I’ve never been one for spending money foolishly. Charged with the task of keeping the spending within bounds, I try to be the level-headed one when it comes to our finances. Not that my husband isn’t, he just has more hobbies.
Part of being financially level-headed means doing my best to save whatever I can.
But I gotta tell ya, saving money is…well…sometimes a struggle.
Especially when there’s none to be saved. Most of my income is generated from this blog; sometimes we’re broke.
Since I’ve become a money-saving-deal-scouter, I’ve come up with several ways to save money when you don’t have any to save.
They’re easy to do and really work.
Let’s get to them.
How To Save Money When You Have None
Use A Money Jar
Yes, a real money jar 🙂 . Whenever I get change back, I almost always throw it into the abyss known as the bottom of my purse. Every once in a while, when the weight of my bag nearly rips my shoulder out of its socket, I transfer that change to a money jar. It adds up.
Switch To A Reward-Friendly Bank
Banks don’t really give a hoot about us. Unless we’re a millionaire. A lot of them even charge a monthly maintenance fee !
So when my bank started their rewards program, I was all over it. This is one of my favorite money saving tricks because my husband also participates…without knowing it. My bank gives me more incentive to earn more free money just by being their customer.
Here’s what I mean: Bank Of America has a Preferred Rewards Program, where you get an interest rate booster and a 25% bonus for having their credit card. Lake Trust Credit Union gives financial rewards for each account you have, and they’ll pile on more if you have more than $10,000.00 in combined accounts, or have direct deposit, or have a credit card with them. Kasasa’s accounts are all free, they reward you for having direct deposit and for having one of their credit cards.
Pretty much all banks give you interest, but does your bank give rewards for being their customer?
Know EXACTLY Where The Money Goes
As organized as I think I am, I still struggle with this one. After all, I’m not the only one who spends money in this house. I’ve tried budgeting, and read some awesome step-by-step “how to make a budget” articles, to no avail. So how do I keep track of our spending ? First, by making sure to immediately record every check written. Second, by using this little monthly expense tracking worksheet. It lets me see how much my bills are every month. Seeing is believing. Now I know if and where I need to cut back.
Think On It For A While
I admit, this one is easier to do when I shop online versus in a “real” store because it seems easier to walk away and think before I buy.
When I’m in a store, actually touching stuff, it’s harder to step back and avert my attention elsewhere. But I manage to behave…most of the time. Before I place my online bid or snag that supple leather purse off the shelf, I ask myself some real hard questions, like do I really need it ? Can I wait a few weeks and gather up more money?
Oh, and another plus about thinking before buying, I have more time to shop around for a better deal (as I’ll explain later).
Research Like Crazy
I can’t tell you how many times I have saved money just by doing some research. Not only have I saved on the price of the thing I’m buying, I often get free shipping. It may take a while of searching, but the time spent is well worth it.
Here’s my most recent proud-saving moment:
These replacement lids would have cost me over $13.00 at Amazon. Ouch ! Under $8.00 on Ebay. Yaaaa !
Now, I know I could have done the free trial of Amazon Prime to get free shipping, but honestly, it’s not worth it for me because I buy from Amazon often, but not often enough
Oh no…not the old-stye clipping kind !
I mean digital coupons.
My grocery store’s website lets me scan through manufacture’s coupons and pick-and-choose which ones I want to use. All done online, from digitally clipping to automatically redeeming at check-out (as long as I remember to enter my login details when I’m checking out 🙂 ).
And, as an extra bonus, when I spend a certain amount, I get a reward. Usually an extra savings of $5.00 a shopping trip. Meijer (Mperks), Kroger, Publix, and Walmart have similar coupon and saving programs.
…And Coupon Codes
Going back to the Think On It For A While point I made above, when shopping online I always look for coupon codes. Even if shopping at a little store that doesn’t have the worldwide exposure like the big guys.
Here’s my latest coupon code score: A few weeks ago I ran out of my vitamin supplement so I decided to see if I could get it cheaper online. I found it at a ton of nutritional supply stores, all at similar prices. I quickly narrowed it down to three stores because of the shipping price and anticipated ship-to date, one of the stores being Bluebird Botanicals. I then did a quick little Google search for coupon codes by entering something like “ Bluebird Botanicals coupon code. Ya ! I found a code for 15% off my order total at Bluebird, which I entered in the appropriate box when I was checking out.
Exercise More = Eat Less = Spend Less
Ok, this one does require a bit more energy than the rest.
Did you know that exercise is an appetite suppressant ? And the less you eat, the less you spend on food. It’s true ! I’m living proof ! Now, I’m not a big exercise freak but I do like to stay fit, especially after this lazy winter I’ve had.
And because of the tiny effort I make with an exercise routine, I have not only lost those pesky 6 pounds, I am eating LESS. I am also eating better. Not in an organic kind of way, because that’s expensive, but in a no-more-chips-and-fried-mozzerella-sticks way. And I don’t replace those yummies with anything else, either. So work out a little more, eat less, spend less.
Side Gigs Help
The only thing better than saving money is making money. And when a few extra bucks is needed, a side gig comes to the rescue. Like these:
Are You Ready To Save More?
Even though there are a million money saving hacks out there, having these simple ideas in your pocket will definitely make your life a whole lot easier. So go ahead, give them a try and see how much you really can save.
And as always, I would love to hear about your saving experiences.