Learn how to save money with these thrifty money-saving tips.
For the first part of our marriage Hubs and I lived paycheck to paycheck. We never had a savings plan or a plan at all really. We just went through our days treading water financially never really getting anywhere. We simply knew nothing about saving money.
We knew deep down this wasn’t a sustainable game plan. We had dreams after all. Dreams of owning our own home, buying a new car, and dreams of starting a family. And those dreams required money. Something we just didn’t have at the time.
We needed to save money, but with our finances so completely stretched we had no idea how to do it. We went through our budget and looked for ways to save. Ways to cut back anywhere and for any amount. We were simply desperate to save money.
Now, if you are just starting out this can be a pretty daunting task. After all, every penny you have may already be earmarked for a budgeted item.
If that’s the case, then this article is for you.
I am going to show you ways to find money so you can start to save. Ninja ways to take a little here and sneak a little there.
No, it’s not going to be astronomical amounts. But like a snowball rolling down the hill in the winter. Even if you start out small, that snowball will grow and grow.
Top thrifty money-saving tips to save you big money.
Tip #1 Go over your budget.
I mean really go over it. (warning…tough love time) It’s time to put on your big girl and big boy pants and ask the really hard questions.
- Do we need it?
- Can we cut it.
- Will we die without it.
Make cuts, tough cuts. I promise you will survive. Hubs and I cut satellite and cable TV years ago and we have not missed it once. (well, maybe once….but just once!) If you really, truly want to save money you need to ask the hard questions.
If you have not yet created a budget, making one is relativity simple. All you need is a game plan so you spend less than what you make. You can get your beginner’s crash course to budget making here.
Tip #2 Stop eating out.
Yep, you knew this one was coming, didn’t you? I am not saying you can no longer eat out, you just can’t pay to eat out. These are ninja tips my friends and not for the weak minded. 🙂
Online surveys and credit card points can easily be used to purchase gift cards for dinners out. You can also request gift cards as Birthday and Christmas gifts from family and friends. Your goal is to eat out ONLY once a month. This will keep the number of gift cards needed down yet give you that night every month to look forward too.
Tip #3 Renegotiate.
Did you know that you can call and ask for lower payments on your bills? You sure can! I have gotten thousands of dollars in discounts for my cell bill, landline phone bill, even my credit cards. All you have to do is call ask. Be truthful and upfront from the beginning. And by all means, be polite. The kinder you ask the more readily they will give.
You can read just how we did it here for more tips and advice.
Ninja Tip: Make these calls after hours. More often than not you will get a middle-aged operator that will be more sympathetic to your request. During the day they tend to be all business and rushed so they are less apt to be generous.
Tip #4 Be proactive.
When it comes to vehicle care catching issues before they become problems is the key to saving money. Drive with the radio off so you can hear any sounds or noises that are not quite right.
Avoid pot holes, dirt roads and last minute breaking. Keep fluids full and check the oil frequently. All of these tips are simple and very money saving if you do them routinely.
Tip #5 Take it one step further if you have kids.
Being proactive with car repairs is especially true with kids. I cannot tell you how many times my boys “let things go” because they either did hear the noise or didn’t realize it was an issue.
For that reason, Hubs will drive each of our kid’s cars to work once a month. This way he can catch any issues the boys may have missed before they become expensive repairs.
Another tip is to do as much work as you can yourself and have the kids help and watch. Teach them to change breaks, batteries, tires, do simple repairs and show them how to check fluids and change them.
Tip #6 Keep them off.
If you really want to save money learn to live with less. Turn off the lights if you don’t need them. Use fans rather than air conditioning (read how we live without with A/C here).
Use power strips for electronics and shut it off when they are not in use. So many items still use electricity even when they are off. Ensure they don’t buy flipping the switch on a power strip before bed each night.
Tip # 7 Stay out of the stores.
I cannot stress this enough. If you want to save money, really save money….STAY OUT OF THE STORES! I only do my shopping once a month and it has saved me thousands of dollars every single year.
You can’t impulse buy if you are not in a store which is the number one reason for people going off budget. Make a list and learn to shop with intention only. Saving money means not spending it, friends!
Tip #8 Make it don’t buy it.
I love this tip the most because it has really gotten me to think outside of the box. Very rarely do we purchase things for our homestead, we try to use what we have on hand only buying things as our absolute last resort.
Tip #9 Make sure every single penny is used.
The goal of a budget is to make sure every dollar has a place. Well if you are a Ninja, then you also need to make sure ever penny has a place as well. We are not just saving money, we are learning to spend more wisely.
For this reason, you need to find goals for your change so you can put it to good use and not have it sitting in change bowls and ashtrays scattered throughout your home.
For us, change is used for Christmas gifts. Every November we gather all the change in our home and cars and pool it together. More often than not we have a couple of hundred dollars all ready for Black Friday. An awesome and painless way to save a little money for the holidays.
Tip #10 Do without.
Let’s be honest. Our parents did it and our grandparents did it. There is no reason why we cannot do it too. If you don’t have the money, don’t buy it.
Simple and super effective.
Other than food (which you should have plenty of money for because of your awesome sauce budget) you can do without until you do have the money. Before shopping, set a target goal amount and start saving for the item or items you need.
This will keep you from going in to debt to buy and also give you a bit of time to really decide if the item is a want or a need.
If you want to save money really save some serious money it can absolutely be done even if you are living paycheck to paycheck. Start with these tips, ask yourself the tough questions and be brutally honest. It is your money after all, why wouldn’t you want to do everything in your power to keep it rather than waste it.
Use it up. Wear it out. Make do without. And start building up your savings account with these thrifty money saving tips!