To catch up on this series, click here for past links.
We’ve assessed our finances, made steps to working out a budget, and now it’s time for some money saving tips! That’s what you’ll be getting from me for the rest of October. Now that you’ve looked at your expenses and, since you’re still following this series, likely found areas where you need to save money, it would be a good idea to declare the rest of the month “No Spend October”. Put yourself on a spending freeze. Not only will this keep you from spending extra money that needs to go elsewhere, but when you don’t allow yourself the opportunity to freely shop, it really brings to light just how much you might be making unnecessary or impulse purchases.
- Unsubscribe from emails (or just don’t look at them) for “deal” websites like Groupon, Living Social, Moolala, Amazon Local, Decor Steals, etc. You can always reactivate your subscription later, but think about it – would you have ever thought to purchase a particular item if it hadn’t come directly to your inbox as a “deal“??? I know I have fallen prey to this, and there’s only one way to get around it!
- Tempted to get a coffee or some other treat? Resist the urge, put that amount of cash into a piggy bank, and do the same EVERY.TIME you are tempted to spend on something that’s not an immediate NEED. At the end of the month you may be surprised at how much you have collected, and that can go towards your savings goals or to pay down debt.
- Find something you absolutely HAVE to have? Put it on a wish list. If you’re like me, you’ll have family and friends that will ask for ideas, and this way you can still possibly get the item but avoid sabatoging your goals. I started wish lists on Amazon and Target.com. Once you’re in a place to do so, maybe purchasing items from your wish list for yourself can become a future goal!
- Don’t eat out. Make meals at home a priority.
- While the weather’s still cooperating, walk instead of drive where you can.
- Use cash to pay for items? Put ALL change into your piggy bank. That can add up, too. I remember watching Oprah once when she shared a story about a librarian who put $5 bills away every time she had one. She became a millionaire or billionare just by saving her $5’s!
- Once the piggy bank gets full, take it to a real bank and deposit into a savings account or put towards your goal(s).
- Vow to never “borrow” from the piggy bank or savings account! Emergency savings should be just that…for emergencies. Brown riding boots are not an emergency. (I’m talking to myself now.)
- We’ll talk more about this later in the month, but start coming up with ideas of Christmas gifts you could make rather than buy.
- Shop around your house for decor and craft items before you go out and buy.
- Declare an “eat what’s in the house” week. Take inventory of what’s in your cupboards, pantry, fridge and freezer and plan meals according to what’s in there. For that entire week, only buy the perishables and necessities to complete the meals (milk, eggs, bread, fresh produce, etc.).
- Most banks offer free bill pay. Stop mailing payments and start paying online from your bank. This will save on stamps, postage and checks!
- Make sure to pay your bills on time to avoid late fees and increased interest rates.
- I’ll probably go more in depth on this as well, but start organizing your house and create an area (with labeled boxes or bins) to collect items to be sold or donated. If you can’t get a garage sale in before the weather turns cold, list on Facebook or CraigsList. Many communities now have Facebook garage sale pages.
- Enjoy fall and open the windows while you can. Turn off the A/C and enjoy mother nature’s cooling air! Fresh air can help prevent illness, too!