10 Tips to save money that you are probably wasting
No matter where you are in your journey to a financially free lifestyle, tips that save you money are always welcome, right? I have been on my financial journey for 10 years and am still finding ways to free up money in our budget. A big way that I save money is finding a new way to do things. In this post I want to give you 10 tips to save money that you are probably wasting so you can change your budget for the better!
I just want to put this out there that I know most people will not want to do all of these items. They take a bit more effort and will definitely challenge societal views of how certain things should be done. I challenge you to break those barriers and try something new. Who knows, maybe you will really love the new way of doing things.
With so many options out there for t.v. streaming or movies, this should be a no brainer. I am not a huge fan of watching television, but my hubby is. When we decided that paying nearly $100 a month was a waste of money for barely used cable, we looked around for other options. My hubby found a good mix of digital antenna, Sling T.V., and Netflix. In case you haven’t yet heard of Sling, it is a form of t.v. a la carte where you choose which packages you want to purchase and only pay for that. So, if you love sports, get a sports package, home decor is your thing, get the home channels, kids like Disney, get the Disney channel. We pay about $30 a month for this.
Other options include Hulu, Amazon, and specialty channels like HBO. Check out this post for some additional info. This is #1 on my list of tips to save money because it is super expensive and probably not used as much as it should be.
Okay, before you go off thinking that I never cut my hair, hear me out. When Little Mister was just a wee baby, we decided that we would cut his hair. At the time, Mr. Hubster was working on base so he was able to get super cheap cuts. When we went down to a one income family, we had to change our hair cutting habits. We had been successfully cutting Little Mister’s hair for a while so we just added on my hubs to the docket. I have been doing his hair for close to 3 years now and have saved over $1,000 just on him! I only get mine cut once a year so it isn’t a huge deal, but I have thought of doing my own as well. (If you have tried this method of flipping over your hair and cutting, let me know before I jump in on doing it).
This isn’t too intimidating. Just look at some YouTube videos like ones from this channel and give it a go! The worst thing is that you would just shave it down…which I have had to do to the hubs before. It is a learning process, but is pretty easy. *I have also put a link below to the exact hair clipper set that I have used on my family*.
3. Car payments
If you are keeping a new car that means you are probably always paying a car payment. The average car loan is 5-6 years so keeping your car for well beyond that time is a great way to get more bang for your buck. I am not even discussing leasing a vehicle because that is just not a smart way to go about car ownership. Instead, save up for a car that you can afford with cash and put the amount that you WOULD have made on the car payment into your retirement savings.
4. Expensive outings or dates
Dates can be expensive, but when you add in all of your family members, it can be really costly. Instead of spending a lot for a family outing or even a date, wait until you find good deals on Groupon or from your local family amusement park such as zoos, water parks, and more. Asking for money for birthday gifts for yourself or the kids can help you purchase year passes for fun places that you will all enjoy.
Every year we ask for money for Little Mister. We in turn use that money to buy zoo passes, Science Center passes, or even Sea World passes. It has been a great way to save ourselves money and Little Mister still gets to have a lot of fun all year round.
5. Full priced clothing
This is easier said than done, I realize, but try to think of it this way, you can buy more pieces of clothing for the same amount if you buy items on sale or even better, used. Consignment is a great option for shopping because you can generally find high end or very nice clothing for a serious fraction of the price. ThredUp is one of my go to shops for new clothes, but finding a local consignment shop will allow you to turn in old clothes for cash to buy the new ones.
The best thing that I have done to my clothing budget is to throw out my desire for specific brands. I get what I like and what looks good on me despite the brand. Same for Little Mister, I get mostly used clothing for him (except undies and socks) and have saved so much money!
6. Laundry softener
Out of all the things to not buy on this list, this one is probably the easiest to replace. Two words…wool balls. Throw a few in your dryer with your wet clothes and you get static free, soft clothes. Add a few drops of essential oils to the balls and you get fresh smelling clothes that are free of the toxins that are found in laundry softener sheets. Which, by the way, did you know that those are the most toxic items in most households? That is pretty horrible so why shouldn’t you make the switch.
7. Laundry detergent
When looking for things to not buy in your household, look for items that you can DIY instead of buying prepackaged. Laundry detergent is the perfect example of this as you can make your own detergent for about 5 cents a load. The best part is, it doesn’t take a lot of time to make it. It takes me about 15 minutes to make my own detergent that I can use for a month or more. The recipe that I use is from Dwelling In Happiness and it is borax free, natural, and environmentally friendly. Think about how much plastic and cardboard you will save buy making your own detergent.
8. Paper towels
Replace your paper towels with junk rags instead of throwing them out. This saves the environment in many ways, and definitely saves your wallet. Even if you buy the cheap paper towels, you could save yourself several dollars each month with this simple switch. If you are using paper towels or napkins at the table, just switch to table linens instead.
Now, this is a change that I have only made in the past couple of months. Being as environmentally friendly as possible is a big deal to me, but I still have some nasty habits that I need to change. Paper towel use was one of them. We would go through about 1 roll of paper towels a month, but not the cheap kind. I am talking the heavy duty Viva towels that can be wasted and reused…but we weren’t doing that so it was just wasteful. We replaced our paper towels with old rags and have saved so much just in a few months.
9. Extended warranties
It seems like every electronic (big or small) comes with an extended warranty. Sure, it may only be $11 (for a small item), but that can add up if you are buying many products with warranties every year. Chances are pretty good that your product will last past the warranty period anyway. Opt to save the money instead just in case you have to replace an item. Be sure to purchase high quality items that are made to last instead of cheaply made goods that are sure to break if you even look at it the wrong way.
10. Specialty appliances
Part of this may come from me living in a smaller townhome, but specialty appliances are really just a waste of money and space. If you walk into any bed, bath, and kitchen store, you will see so many different appliances…for just one use. A popcorn machine? Who needs this, really? (okay, so maybe someone really needs this, just not generally speaking). Instead of buying a Belgian waffle maker, buy a waffle and convertible griddle, get a food processor with many attachments to perform the work of 5 different appliances. You could potentially spend a lot of money on kitchen gadgets and then on top of that add the warranties…nope. Just add this one to the list of things to stop buying, save yourself some money, and get versatile appliances that you can use for years to come.
Remember that when it comes to creating a budget that works for you and your family you need to ask yourself what is really important to you. If paying $30 every month for a haircut is a higher priority than having a fun (and cheap) family outing, then get your hair cut. It is also a learning process. 50% of the items on this list may be easy for you to do right now, but in 3 years maybe you will be giving them all up! Baby steps will lead you to a life that you truly love…an inspired life.
So, how about you? Do you have any tips to save money?