Budgeting Tips – How To Save Money When There Is None
When I first started trying to work out a budget it was tough work. I’d never really paid much attention to how much I was spending or really sat down to budget bills. So, the first few times I sat down to budget out our monthly bills I was a little bit overwhelmed. There were so many and we only had x amount of dollars coming in. After a few times of doing this I made up my mind that I was going to start strictly watching what I spent, not just at the grocery store but online and all the little side stops I was prone to make as well. Even the little $10 dollar purchases I used to make on a quick snack from fast food joints really started to add up but when I started restricting myself I really saw a difference.
When you make up your mind that you’re going to start saving money it really opens your eyes to all of the things you actually spend money on. The grocery store and our bills were really just the bare minimum of what our money was being spent on. Things like buying a new toy here and there, doctors appointments, prescriptions, take out, going out with friends on shopping trips, etc. they all seem like small expenses at the time but after a while of saving receipts each month I soon realized that even those things were costing us big in the long run. It was amazing how quickly our money was trickling out.
As with anything, the more I restricted myself and really took stock what I was spending money on, the more tricks and tips I started finding out. I learned how to reduce heating and coloring costs, how to cut down on grocery bills, how to save more and spend less each week and a host of other ways to save money, especially on the weeks when we had to stretch our money a little further. Whether you budget for fun or budget out of necessity, you should always try to find more ways to save and this is something that I’m always aware of. I’m always looking for new and fun ways to save money so my family can get the most out of life.
This week I’ve compiled a list of fun and creative ways to save money that you might not normally thing about but that are real lifesavers in the long run. They’ve definitely helped me stay within budget, so, I hope they can help my readers too!
Research deal sites
One of my favorite sites like this, and I’m sure everyone has heard of them is Groupon.com (and Amazon Family, especially when it comes to babystuffs like diapers and wipes!). They have super deals on everything from restaurants to travel and more. I was just browsing through last night and was amazed at how many good deals there were that I could take advantage of while saving money. If you have something you do religiously that normally costs you a pretty penny, check out Groupon and see if there are any special offers there. You’ll be amazed at just what kind of deals they offer and you might find something that you just can’t pass up.
Become friends with your local beauty school
One thing that I love to do and it’s totally frivolous, is getting my hair and nails done. I have a salon I use for my nails that is super cheap and I love the quality of the work but when it comes to getting my hair done it ends up costing me a bundle since I usually keep my hair between medium and long. A trick I’ve learned is that if you go to your local beauty schools you can get your hair done for free or for super cheap. If you aren’t super picky about what you do with your hair then your local beauty schools are the place to go.
Buy designer kids clothes – gently worn
There really is no need to buy your kids brand new clothes, especially at the insane rate that they grow! I never bought baby Nike’s or Calvin Klein jeans for my kids. I learned to accept hand-me-downs from friends and neighbors, and discovered at site called ThredUp.com, which sells gently worn designer brand kids (and adults!) clothing for waaaayyy less. So, while you’ll see my little ones sporting GAP and Old Navy, it’s only because I scored those brands for about $5, not $50.
Focus on your overall health
This is something so many of us neglect and sometimes we put off our health until we have no choice but to go to our primary care doctor for treatment. This leads to office visit fees, prescription fees and more which can really add up by the end of your visit. Taking your multivitamins, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep and eating healthy foods are the best ways to stay in good health so you can avoid pricey problems later on.
Make your own DIY beauty and skin products
You’d be amazed at how cheap it is to make your own soaps, shaving creams, lotions, skin scrubs and more within the comfort of your own home. I don’t know about my readers but the DIY products that I’ve made are always preferable to the ones I get at the grocery store and I sleep better knowing that I’m not only saving money but that I also know exactly what’s going into the products as well. No weird frankenproducts for this gal! In fact, see how you can make your own homemade whipped coconut body butter!
Cut back on expensive habits
I’m not a smoker, but I have friends who are, and it’s one of the most expensive habits to have. It ranks right up there with buying beer and wine. It may not seem like a lot in the beginning but if you keep track of how much of each of your little guilty pleasures you’re buying, you’ll soon see just how much you’ve been spending. It doesn’t have to be beer or cigarettes either, it can be something as small as a new pair of jeans or a tie for your hubby. Anything that you have made a habit of buying, you can bet it’s costing you a pretty penny that you can save if you start cutting back a little.
These are just a few of my top favorite budgeting tips to save money (when there isn’t any). Obviously you don’t have to do the same things as I do, but I’m sure if you sat down and took stock of your monthly expenses you could just as easily come up with some nifty ideas on how to save money just as easily as I have. Once you get your brain started on budgeting, it can get addicting! Be sure to share your tips in the comments, too!