The subject of money has been a big deal since the beginning of human history. Even in Bible times money became a problem for many people. There has always been a need for money or trading of goods to survive in all societies. Lately it seems like simply paying the bills is getting harder, especially with the ever rising prices in daily essentials. So, saving money really gets put on the back burner. For the average American, the cost of living has gone up by almost 4% since 2008! Our dollar just doesn’t stretch like it used to. Did you know inflation is a normal process of life? However, there are steps you can take to help get out of debt and save money in the process.
Money saving tip one: Have a Plan.
My family lives by the motto “you don’t work, you don’t eat. There are no free lunches.” To achieve goals, whatever they may be, you need a plan. Set realistic expectations for yourself and work hard to achieve your goals. “Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.” -Anthony Robbins-
Nothing in life goes exactly to plan and you can’t predict every outcome. Sometimes you will stumble and fall. Sometimes you seem to have it all figured out. Having a solid goal and knowing your “why” will help keep you on track to reach your goals. Maybe that looks like owning a home, having a family, your dream career, or financial freedom. Maybe it is all of the above. Mars is the limit when you have a goal and work toward it everyday. I want to encourage you and provide a positive solution to help you navigate your way through these troubling times financially. I don’t have everything figured out either I’m just like you. Trying to be better than I was yesterday. Be positive and have a plan!
Money saving tip two: Eat simple meals at home.
Eat at home. Eating out can be very expensive. Even with the price of groceries it is still more expensive to eat out. Especially with a bigger family. Eating simple meals at home can save you hundreds of dollars a month. There was a time we ate beans and cheese for dinner every night for a month. We did what we had to do to survive. Sometimes life isn’t about thriving its about surviving. Just keeping it real.
Additionally, shop the sales when ever possible and buy in bulk.
Tips for saving money at the grocery store. Found on The Humbled Homemaker.com
1. Oatmeal and fruit
2. Yogurt with fruit or granola
3. Home made French toast
4. Breakfast burritos
- Peanut butter and jelly
2. Tuna salad sandwiches
3. Rice and beans
4. Broccoli cheese rice
5. Baked potatoes loaded or w/butter
6. Tortilla pizzas
7. Homemade pizza
8. Zucchini boats
9.Grilled cheese with tomato soup
10. Potato soup
11. Beans and corn bread
12. Home made Mac N cheese.
13. Beef/fish/turkey Tacos
- Apples and peanut butter
3. Carrots and hummus
4. Fruit of any kind
5. Yogurt and berries
6. Fruit smoothies
7. Cheese sticks
8. Roasted Cheerios.
- Peanut butter cookies
2. Cereal treat bars
3. Homemade rice crispy treats
4. Muddy buddies
5. Rice pudding,
6. Peanut butter yogurt
Saving money tip three: Get creative with date nights/family activities.
To save money, you should be creative. There are great things to do for free or cheap everywhere, just think outside the box.
Date night idea one: You can grab a couple of coffees and a pastry from a gas station and go to a park for a late night walk and snack.
Date idea Two: Set up a nice table at home and have homemade pasta by candle light then watch a good movie on your comfortable couch.
Family fun: Pack a sack lunch and go to a park with your kiddos. They will have a great time and it won’t cost you a thing! Go for a bike ride around your neighborhood. Play basketball at the park. Game night at home, video or board games. Your kids will have fun either way. Plus, it’s a great way to have fun and connect with your family without needing to spend money on entertainment.
Money saving tip four: Save for Christmas/ birthday’s year around.
Holidays have turned into a money sucking machine. It is fun to give and receive gifts. However, you shouldn’t need to take out a loan to do it. Saving a little from every pay check year around can do two things. It can keep you in a budget and get you in the habit of saving. We live in a culture that wants things now! However, good things come to those who wait. Waiting and saving for the gifts you want to give makes the gifts that much more special.
Shop for sales and at the outlet stores or thrift stores. You never know what gems you can find! Also, if you go to thrift stores in the wealthier parts of town, they are likely to have nicer things.
Last minute gift ideas for when your not sure. Found on The Humbled Homemaker’s website. She has great tips for saving money!
Simple peanut butter cookies
One cup peanut butter
One cup granulated sugar
One large egg
Mix all three ingredients together. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 mins. Enjoy!
Taco Tuesday! It is not only delicious it is easy and inexpensive to make.
Bonus tip: 3 gift rule.
For Christmas, consider having a three gift limit rule in your family.
1. Something they need/educational
2. Something they want
3. Something to wear. (Sometimes the something they need and wear can be combined into one gift.)
Cutting back and thinking outside the box will help you save money. When you are buying a new home, saving money is important. Every dollar counts and a dollar saved is a dollar earned. Make a plan, know your finances. Be creative with entertainment. Save for holidays year round. Learn to cook from scratch, and shop sales. Saving money isn’t easy and it takes a lot of self control.
Restricting yourself may cause you to over spend later on something you do not really need. Consider having a set amount set aside to spend each month as “fun money” or “mad money” to help you stay on track.