Can you use 10 ways to save money today? I am really concerned when I hear people are struggling to pay for things like groceries. Some of my ideas may be easy to do, and others might be harder to change due to old habits. Let’s get started right now. You can do it and I will show you how. One step at a time.
Just start with one technique and move onto another, yes we can do this, I promise.
1. Save Money Today by Eliminating Debt:
Start eliminating debt. If you have debt, start paying down your credit card(s) with the highest interest rate. Then when that one card is paid off you take that payment and add it to your next card or car payment to pay it off. I call it the domino effect. You start by eliminating the highest interest rate payment and then pay that extra amount on the next higher interest rate, car payment, etc. For instance, if your payment on one credit card is 12% eliminate it as quickly as possible. If that payment is $50.00 a month you pay that card off as soon as possible by paying a little more each month on it. Credit cards are designed to be 20-year loans, typically. So that sweater on sale for 50% off you bought with a credit card is no longer a bargain if you are paying on it for years. Just giving you the heads up here.
Once that card is paid off you take that same $50.00 amount and pay it on the next highest credit card you may have, besides the regular payment you’re already paying. You will pay it off faster by paying that extra $50.00 a month. Once the credit cards are paid off, pay off your car. You don’t want to be held in bondage to interest charges being paid, if at all possible.
Now you can start saving money for a down payment on a house if you are renting and you want to be a homeowner. Owning a home is expensive. It may need repairs, appliances wear out and may be more expensive to repair than to replace, in some cases. I never thought I would ever say think twice about owning a home. Years ago, you could buy and sell a home anytime you wanted to move. If you do own a home get the lowest term your budget can afford. If you must do a 30-year term pay one extra payment per month to the principal. You need to set up an automatic payment to pay additional principal or send a separate check with a note that says APPLY TO PRINCIPAL. Let’s say that your payment is $1200.00. Divide that by 12 which equals $100.00. Pay that $100.00 a month extra on principal. It’s amazing what a difference that extra payment on principal makes over the life of the mortgage. If you’ve ever looked at the compounding effect of starting to save early in your career, the same can be said about paying extra principal on the mortgage early on in the life of the loan. Trust me, you will be glad you did. Live beneath your means.
2. Save Money Today by Saving A Few $$$:
Do whatever you can do put a few dollars in the bank every month. Do without that trip to ice cream or yogurt and save the money for your future. If you can do an automatic deduction from your paycheck to a savings account, that is even better. You won’t miss the money. Watch the account grow before your eyes. If you can save 10% of your pay each month that is awesome and you’ll be surprised at how fast the account builds up over time. If you can save $10.00 a month that is still awesome since you are at least trying. If you get a raise pretend like you didn’t get a raise. Put the money in the bank or invest it as wisely as you can. You may be able to take some investment risk early on, but be careful as you get closer to the day of retirement when you need to start taking the money out to live on.
Write down your goal for saving money today. Is it for a car, education, house or retirement? Write it down and start saving today.
3. Save Money Today by Staying Out Of Stores:
Now this one is going to take some practice for some people. Here’s the deal with going to the stores when you are hungry or bored. Yes, I am saying bored. You know the smell of those snacks they pass out at the grocery stores and they taste fabulous? Well, I really don’t like to taste them because I might be tempted to stop and try them, then BUY what I don’t need. I literally throw out ads that come in the paper. I don’t want to see what is on sale because I do not need much of what I see. There is a difference between need and want. I am a sucker for kitchen gadgets….I will admit that. I love shoes as well. I don’t know why I love shoes. I have to stay out of shoe departments, period.
I know there is a very famous store that advertises on the television, newspaper, and radio all the time. I can picture the logo for the store. The first thing they have in some stores are those dollar sections right as you walk in the door, or as you are checking out with your purchases. It’s a great marketing ploy to get people to pick up and buy something for a dollar…they might even pick up two or three of them. It’s all about profit for the store.
I do plan to check out sales and coupon specials when it comes time to add to my food storage, like in the fall when the case lot sales are popular. This is a planned approach with a purpose.
I will say that my husband and I have learned from sad experience that you need to do your research and buy right the first time for purchases of any significance. You may want to consider buying the higher quality item that is designed to last longer and provide more comfort. I’m not talking about buying the “latest and greatest” based on popular demand. What I am saying is to buy things that are well made, perform as you expect and then take good care of it.
4. Save Money Today by Keeping Track Of Spending:
Some people do not like the word budget. If you have a budget and have your payments automatically made you won’t pay late fees. Nothing is worse than using our hard earned money to pay for returned check fees. If you have a budget and set up automatic payments and use cash for everything else you won’t be tempted to waste money. Don’t even carry a credit card with you in your wallet or purse unless you have much more self-discipline than I do. Learn to use cash, only cash if at all possible. Decide how you need to use your hard earned income. Make an envelope for gas money, groceries or small expenses. When your envelope is empty you will wait until next payday. Some people say we should pay with a credit card to earn those special purchase points and then pay off the card when the monthly bill comes. That sounds great in principle, but I’ve seen a lot of people get in over their head because the anticipated funds aren’t there when the bill comes. Before you know it that credit card has a substantial amount owing.
5. Save Money Today by Making A Grocery List:
First of all, don’t go to the store without a list. I have three 3 x 5-inch cards that I write down the foods I need to buy the next time I go to the store. If I go to the store the items on the list are the only things I buy, period. I have a budget and must stick to it in order to survive. I keep a list of the items that are getting low in my pantry and watch for sales in the fall to pick them up. Try and shop only once a month. I would love fresh vegetables every week, but I need to save money today a whole lot more.
6. Save Money Today by Shopping Second Hand Stores For Clothing:
I am hearing several friends that now buy their clothes at second-hand stores. Oh my gosh, just think of the money they are saving. One friend just last week stopped by to show me a beautiful jacket she just picked up at a local thrift store. One of my sisters picked up a fabulous jacket with the price tag still on it. It was originally $200.00 and she paid $25.00 for it. I love hearing young mothers who trade clothes because the kids grow out of them so fast. Check out your local consignment stores for some real bargains, you’ll be surprised at the quality items that often find their way to the shelves.
7. Save Money Today by Cutting Back On Entertainment:
Anytime you can cut out $$$ on entertainment it is money in the bank. Invite friends over for card or board games. Pop some popcorn or make root beer floats. Have a potluck dinner with friends and enjoy each other’s company. Watch a movie someone owns or rent one over the internet via the television or PC. It’s all about entertainment and having a date night, right?
Go to the park with friends or family and roast marshmallows over a fire. Bring a frisbee to throw and run after. Bring a soccer ball and set up a team. I would love to share some of your ideas on cheap or FREE entertainment choices in this section. Please comment and I will add them. Thanks so much in advance.
8. Save Money Today by Cooking From Scratch:
If you need help in learning to cook from scratch take it slow. Please don’t think that this day going forward you must make everything from scratch. No, you don’t need to. I say take baby steps. Several baby steps. I love making tortillas. I really love making Melissa Richardson’s (The Bread Geek) corn tortillas. I still buy some, but they are never going to be as good as the ones she taught me how to make. Corn Tortillas: Corn Tortillas Instructions by Food Storage Moms. Save money today by making these!
9. Save Money Today by Stocking Up Your Pantry:
Here is where the heart of saving money on groceries begins. Slowly stock up on case lot sales when you have the funds available. Plan to plant a garden this spring and then learn the different techniques to can those fruits and vegetables you grow in your garden or purchase at a farmer’s market. Buy flour and learn to make bread. Save money today by buying a used bread maker. I have heard they sell them at thrift stores all over the USA. I couldn’t part with mine, that’s for sure.
10. Save Money Today by Vacationing At Home:
I’m not sure how people will feel about this one. I haven’t had a vacation in several years. I see on Facebook that a lot of people travel quite extensively. I think that is wonderful if you have the time and money. When I worked I was lucky to have been able to see some fun places and even took a few cruises. Traveling is not in my budget right now, but I am grateful for what I do have and the travel experiences I’ve enjoyed. There are lots of exotic places to visit and that would be wonderful to do. I also know there are fun and exciting places to visit right around the corner. We all tend to take for granted what is available close to home. When I visit my daughter in California I’m always surprised when I hear her friends comment they haven’t been to the beach in months. I love the beach and always visit those sandy spots I remember enjoying when our kids were young. We live in Southern Utah and have people come here all year long to see and enjoy all the venues available, whether to golf, hike, bike, fish and more. I need to take advantage of those things myself.
Save Money Today-Be Self Reliant
I am self-reliant and have never had to depend on the government to take care of me. All we can do is take baby steps to improve our situation. May God bless you in your efforts…..one step at a time to save money today. Blessings to you all, Linda