I was listening to the radio the other day and there was an ad for credit card consolidation. It explained that everyone has credit card debt because you need new tires or there’s a sale at your favorite store. I wanted to scream at the radio, “no! That’s what savings is for!” But how do you save money when you’re already on a tight budget? This week I will share with you some of my favorite tips.
#1: Say Goodbye to debt. Monthly debt payments eat away at your money that could be used for savings. I’ve worked with clients who are paying $500-$1000/month in credit card payments alone. Once that debt is paid off, it opens them up to being able to save for retirement, a house or vacations. If you need help setting up your debt snowball, let me help you!
#2: Cut grocery spending. We are on a tight grocery budget in my house and I have found two things that help me stay on it each month. First, I shop online. This cuts down on impulse buys and helps me stick to my shopping list. It also saves me money as I shop at Albertsons and Target and I can price compare between the two stores. They each have free pickup, so I order in the morning and pick it up in the afternoon. Secondly, I buy store brand products...on most things. There are some items that store brands can’t compete with, like graham crackers. But canned vegetables, pasta sauce, etc. store brands are much more affordable.
#3: Cut ties with cable. There are so many options nowadays instead of paying for cable. With Netflix, Hulu, Prime, Disney+ you can pay more for just what you need than paying for 300 channels and only watching 10. Even live sports can be watched through an app that you pay a lesser amount than cable. We love this option, plus we can watch from any device and from anywhere.
#4: Check your insurance rates. People save on average $700/year when they have their insurance rates checked. Oftentimes we keep just paying what we’ve always paid and are not aware of new discounts or savings from other companies. At least once a year you should shop insurance rates. You can also raise your deductible once you have an Emergency Fund. Also, when your company has health re-enrollment, make sure you’re not paying for more insurance than you’re using.
#5: Pack a Lunch (and eat at home). With Covid, this was much easier, but now that things are opening back up, continuing to pack a lunch for work will save you money. The cost of eating out really adds up and is a budget buster for most people. Even McDonald’s can cost you $8-10 for a meal. That can total a couple hundred a month in eating out.