Ok, so who can't use some more money? If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that we are trying to get out of debt. We are aggressively and diligently working at being debt free by the end of the year. In order for us to do this, every dollar needs to be accounted for. Obviously the more money we can save on things, the more money we have to apply to those pesky student loans.
I am going to feature a mini series on here of creative ways to save a dollar here or there. Some of these may be obvious, but some may be new to you.
The first thing you have to do is come up with a budget. Duh! right? Yeah. I know. Everyone knows to have a budget. The key is to follow it! Here's what we are doing to be able stick to our budget.
We have decided to not be so over the top on things. We've tried this before, and it just makes you want to give up. Sort of like when you go on a diet. If you do a diet where you aren't allowed any wiggle room, you tend to give in to your temptations quicker. We have all of our regular bills listed. On top of our musts (utilities, mortgage, gas, food), we've decided to keep our cable TV and our phone extras. We have also kept our $10 netflix subscription. Along with that, we pay $12.50 a month for identity theft protection. If we cut down or eliminated all of these, we could probably have a couple hundred more a month, but we'd probably go crazy! :)
We have our entire month budgeted out. Every extra dollar goes to paying off our debt faster. At the beginning of the month we each get $100 cash. That cash is our only spending money. Our bank account is budgeted down to almost the last dollar. Even if we are tempted to use the debit card, we can't!
This $200 *might* actually be more than we were spending on extras before the tight ship budget began. However, it makes me save money because I hoard my cash. When I know that's all I have, I'm less tempted to spend $50 on a coat that I don't really need. But it also gives me the freedom to spend my money on art and craft supplies and not feel guilty. My $100 a month is for whatever I want to spend it on. This includes eating out, coffee with friends, clothes, shoes, decorations for the house, books, and art and craft supplies. By having the money in cash, it really makes you evaluate if the item is a need or a want. Wants aren't bad... you just have to know that the cash will run out at some point. Try putting yourself on a cash budget and see how much more money is left in your account at the end of the month. I bet you'll be surprised!
*Tips on car insurance savings
*Tips on grocery savings
*Meal planning tips
*Making your store and cards work for you
*and MORE! :)