10 Money Saving Tips From Families Who Save
Being a family who is able to consistently keep a savings routine is a real struggle in these tough economic days. The good news is that it IS possible to be a family who saves, without having to become extreme couponers or overhaul your entire lifestyle.
I reached out to a few families that have had great success in the savings department and asked if they would be willing to share their “secret saving sauce” recipe with the rest of us.
Here is what they had to share:
1. Plan your meals: “Our family never shops without a list. When we started planning our meals and shopping with a list we began to see a dramatic decrease in wasted food and began to save hundreds on food costs each year.”
2. Invest in Reusable Items: “We really learned this lesson the hard way. We have four people living in our home. Our tap water isn’t the best, so we were buying cases of water each week. On a whim, I totaled up how much we were spending just on water. It added up to over $1,000.00 a year! Just on bottled water. Right then and there, I began looking for permanent solutions to all the disposable items we were using on a regular basis. It really adds up over time.”
3. Sign Up for Customer Rewards Programs: “We sign up for every customer rewards program we can find for each of the stores that we shop at regularly. Free merchandise, store coupons, percentages off gas; all go a long way to helping our bottom line. Each time we save using one of these programs, we transfer that amount to our savings account and watch the balance increase.”
4. Take Advantage of Cash Back Rewards Credit Cards: “Even though we work off an envelope system for our budget, all purchases and utilities get charged to our personal credit card. The card we use gives us a percentage back for each purchase. Our bills all get charged to one place and paid off each month and we make money back. Often we will roll the balance for many months and then cash it in to use towards a big purchase or for Christmas.”
5. Do a Services Audit for All Services Your Family Uses: “Twice a year, we call all the service provider’s that our family uses; insurance, phone, cable, lawn care, electric, gas, etc. While on the phone with them, I will ask them to review our package/plan with me to see if there are any discounts or ways to reduce our monthly costs. Quite often, the companies have been able to apply discounts that were not available previously. This is a great way to be sure that we are paying only for what we need. It never hurts to ask!”
6. Limit Spending for Entertainment: “There are 7 people in our family. To go out to a movie or some other paid entertainment can get quite expensive. We began to search our local paper for free or inexpensive entertainment options and were surprised at how easy it was to find fun experiences for us and our children that were free or nearly free. From movie nights under the stars, to free concerts offered at our local park, farmers markets, church fairs, local parks, and so much more; we realized that fun outings were available without our having to break the bank to escape our four walls.”
7. Invest in Yourself, not in Things: “Years ago, I began to notice that when I was bored, I would pack up the kids and go kill a few hours at the mall. While there I would feel the pull to purchase things that we really didn’t need. After talking about it with my Bible study, my friend gave me the greatest piece of advice I have ever received. She told me to invest in myself instead of things. That when I began to feel bored, I should exercise or learn a new skill. She recommended that I pack the kids up and take them to the library instead of the mall where we all could constantly find new stuff to entertain ourselves, but not have to pay a bill after the outing.”
8. Take Care of Your Stuff: “Neglect of your high ticket possessions can really put a dent in the bank account. We routinely take our vehicles in for service maintenance, have our heating and air conditioning serviced every year, and try hard to teach our children respect for our home and the things in it. All these steps help us keep our “stuff” in good working order and keep it lasting longer.”
9. Track Your Spending: “It is easy to spend money without even registering where it is all going. Our advice is to track your spending. There are a lot of great money tracking apps out there to make this very easy to do.”
10. Work at Saving Every Day: “If you want money left over in your account at the end of the month, then every day you have to be conscious of what you are spending your money on and why you are spending it. Work every day at being a little better at finding ways to be a saver.”
I really enjoyed reading these tips, and will be using some of these idea’s in my own home! Thank you to all the families that submitted their creative saving ideas.
Did any of these tips stand out to you? If so, which one and why? Have a money saving tip that we could benefit from? Leave a comment below and share with us.