Leaving my part time job and a guaranteed paycheck was scary. Yes, I have a growing Thirty One business BUT FEAR was starting to knock on the door. Reducing credit card debt and school loan debt has been a big focus for me BUT I have to be honest, I may not have worked at it as hard as I could. Yup! Me being accountable. The new year kicked off new attempts to truly bring this debt down while at the same time giving up my part time job. Seems impossible right?
So, I went looking for ways to save some money on our monthly expenses. While it’s rare eliminating a single expense will give you control over your finances, you can usually save a lot of money by combining savings from several different directions.
1. Organize your grocery shopping
Be more organized when you go grocery shopping, you actually can save money. Of course have a list of what you need to buy, and coupons (I’m still working on this one). Shop early in the week to avoid the stress of over crowded stores.
2. Eliminate one service each year that you can do without
I have to admit the first thing we cut was the cable bill. Yup, we went from what seemed like 1000 channels to maybe about 300 although the cable company said there were only 143. By doing this, we saved about $65 per month. Next step is canceling the land line telephone service for an additional $30 per month. I am also doing this with my businesses to make sure I’m not spending money on tools or subscription services I’m no longer using.
3. Never buy “off the shelf”
Now, I don’t mean all of the time BUT when you are buying something fairly costly, do your homework first. Surf the web for the lowest price, or upcoming sales. Is it something you can buy second hand. Thrift stores and Facebook yard sales are great places for this. You don’t want to do this for small purchases but maybe set a threshold of say, $50 and above.
4. Participate in – and use – your rewards programs
Admit it! You have tons of reward cards, right? How many of them do you actually use? Sign up for them where ever possible, and keep tabs of your points. I love Ebates because the notification pops up about a rebate when I am shopping online at a store which offers it. I have rewards plan with Verizon Wireless which gives me discounts on a variety of things from restaurants to gift certificates.
5. Sell what you no longer need
Instead of throwing away items you no longer use, try selling them first to make some additional money. Then put the money towards a bill. We are not allowed to have yard sales at our condo complex so I have tried this on Facebook and Ebay. This is something which requires a little bit of your time or to be organized. Both of which I am working on right now. When items don’t sell, donate them to a local non-profit and be sure to get a receipt for tax purposes.
6. Buy clothing in thrift or discount stores
I have been a fan of thrift stores for years, since before Belinda was born. Thrift stores don’t have a huge selection, but you can often come across the perfect item from time to time, sometimes barely used. This is great especially for buying kid’s clothing. They outgrow clothes so fast, thrift stores allow you to buy good quality clothes for low prices. If thrift stores aren’t your thing, then take a look at discount stores like T.J. Maxx or Marshall’s.
Thirty One’s Soft Utility Tote is perfect for these kinds of trips. It can be a large purse and then expands to carry all of your treasures home.
7. Never buy new what you can get second hand
You sell what ever you no longer use, others are doing the same all the time. Be sure to look into garage sales and estate sales in your area – you’ll be surprised at the stuff people are looking to unload. Best of all, all prices are fully negotiable! Take advantage where ever and when ever you can.
8. Buy when everyone else is selling
Retail sales usually fall off in January, so nearly everything goes on sale. Wouldn’t it be better to do the bulk of your buying in January rather than November and December. This also has a seasonal application, too. Buy your winter clothing in late winter or early spring, when winter items go on clearance.
What ways has your family found to save money?