Nowadays it seems like just about everyone is barely scraping by when it comes to paying their bills and being able to afford the high cost of living. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t hear a family or friend saying how they wished the cost of living wasn’t so high; if things were more affordable they’d be able to have nicer things or a better vehicle or even a nicer home. Unfortunately, this is something that I myself have lamented on as well. Everything is just so darn expensive these days. From paying bills to racking up a whopper of a bill at the grocery store, it doesn’t seem like there’s an end in sight when it comes to constantly draining our accounts of our hard earned cash.
When you’re just barely managing to scrape by from month to month, trying to save money can seem like a joke. How can you put any money aside when you’re constantly struggling just to pay the bills you have?This is a question I’ve asked myself on the countless nights I’ve lain awake wracking my brains for creative ways to try and save my family money. With our household being the size that it is and with little ones who’re growing like weeds, it seems almost impossible to save money at first glance. Over the years however I’ve put together some of my best guides to saying money. I’m not afraid to admit that I use savings apps and coupons nor am I ashamed to admit that I’ve taken smart steps to reduce the cost of bills such as cable and electric.
My most recent project when it comes to money is a big one but one I’m sure my readers are going to love. I’ve been scouring the internet and using the steam of my own creativity to brainstorm ways to save my family an extra 1K a year. I know, I know, it seems like a high number when you’ve got a ton of bills piling up and a family to take care of. There’s good news though: the longer I brainstormed and researched, the more convinced I was that it was indeed possible to save that $1,000 a year. If you think about it, it’s really not as much as you thought when you first read the number. With some smart planning and penny pinching, you could be on your way to saving that $1K over the course of the next year.
To help you see how possible saving that $1,000 actually is, I’d love to set up a list of tips that you could use to help get you to that goal. Some of them are so easy and others are just plain genius! I hope they help my readers as much as they’ve helped me so far!
How To Save An Extra $1000 A Year
Empty your pockets
I don’t know about my readers but after a transaction I’m always stuffing my change into my pockets. I’ll usually always spend my bills but the change typically goes onto the counter at home where it stays until one of the kids pick it up and decide to keep it. By consolidating all of your unused change into one jar or bottle, you’ll be surprised at how quickly the savings add up from just your pocket change.
Don’t clip coupons
Remember the days that you watched Mom and Grandma sort through the coupons from the newspaper and spend hours cutting them each month? Well, those days are long gone. Sure, you can still grab the Sunday paper and clip some, but honestly, unless you live in a region that gets good coupons, it’s not really worth it. Instead, grab your smartphone and “clip” coupons that way! Apps like Ibotta (sign up here for free, www.ibotta.com) and Checkout 51 (go here to sign up free as well, www.checkout51.com), allow you to save coupons for items you actually need and eat! Simply click on the coupon savings you like, go shopping, and then scan your receipt when you’re done! You’ll get the money back in your account within a few hours (or days, depending on when you submit).
Reduce the miles of travel
This can be tricky because we have so many different commitments to attend to during the week. Extracurricular activities, work, runs to your local Wal-Mart, these are all things that we’re guilty of but you could potentially save 1K a year on just putting the kids on the bus, carpooling, etc. An added bonus is less wear and tear on your family vehicle, something we can all appreciate.
Free up your free time
So many times we get bored with doing nothing that we’re in a hurry to rush out and find something to do. Instead of spending big at your local movie theater, mini golf course, etc. try to get a little creative with your free time. Rent a book from your local library, splurge on a Redbox rental, or go on a hike with your family. Check out your local farmer’s markets on the weekends, and host “game nights” with family and friends. You’ll save big bucks and learn to self-regulate in the process.
Bring lunch from home
You’d be surprised at how often people will eat out during their workweek. It’s so much easier and faster to pop into your favorite eatery but if you’re looking to save some extra money, bringing in your own lunches from home or leftovers from the night before is a great way to start! Added bonus: that scrumptious dinner you made the night before will taste just as good, if not, better, than the night before (like my recipe for Garlic and Olive Oil Pasta!)
Cut the cable cord
This is a big one when it comes to saving yourself some extra cash. The cost of cable is so outrageous these days, you can expect to be paying anywhere from $100 to $200 per month on just a cable subscription. Switching to Amazon Prime or Fire TV, Netflix, or a even an antenna (lots of great deals here!)would save you big time in comparison to your monthly cable bill.
Relax on eating out so often
With a hectic schedule and maybe one or two picky eaters, it can be tough to go home after a long day and cook a meal for your family. This can lead to an increase in eating out, thus straining your budget even further. Home cooked meals vs. restaurant or take out is a lot cheaper plus it can often times be more healthy than outside meals.
See how easy it is? Saving money while every penny goes to paying bills can tricky but it is possible if you implement a little ingenuity. It can be scary trying to save 1K on top of everything you already have going but in the end your little bundle could be just the thing you need to pay off a loan, get out of debt and buy a treat for your family that you’ve been eyeing. It’ll take some thought and consideration but it is definitely doable if you put your mind to it!
What did you think of this article on how to save an extra $1000 a year? If you have any tips, be sure to leave a comment!