Want to save money, live better and have more financial security? Cutting expenses and living frugally can help impact your wallet and allow you to have a better quality life. Here’s how!
Chances are you’ve wanted to save money many times over the years. Whether you didn’t know how, or just didn’t get going, saving money is possible. Here’s how to save money, live better and enjoy it along the way.
Start a Savings Plan
Whether your goal is to save $5000 in 6 months, to save $10,000 in a year or even something more aggressive, determine a plan to help meet your goal. Once you know your goal, break it down. Do you need to save $5 a day, $10, $20 or more. By knowing the daily amount you need to save, it makes achieving your goal more attainable. You can even start small with change such as by doing this penny challenge.
Put Together a Better Budget
Once you know how much you want to save, start your plan on how to get there. Take a look at your income, your expenses, and start to plan for that daily or monthly amount that you want to save. Need a tool to help you get started? Be sure to check out these better budget planners to organize your finances.
Find Ways to Save
Now that you have your plan in place, look at ways to save money that can get you closer to your goal. You don’t have to give up everything that you love, just look at ways to save money where you might be paying (or even overpaying) for things you need. Take a look at your monthly expenses and highlight opportunities to save. Can you slice your cell phone bill by moving to a different plan? Can you cut the cord on cable or satellite TV and get by with only streaming? The good news is that there is an app for that! Use Trim to help identify ways to save.
After you review the services you pay for, take a look at other ways to cut costs by reviewing your food, entertainment and other adjustable expenses. You don’t need to clip coupons for every item or go without, just look for easy ways to cut back on costs.
Some of my favorite ways to save including using rebate apps such as Ibotta, Dosh and Checkout 51. With just your smartphone and a few minutes of time, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to save! We use the money we get back from these apps for our dining out budget, which still lets us enjoy takeout and dining out, even on a tight budget.
Put Your Money to Good Use
Once you start building your savings, make sure you’re maximizing it as much as possible. Considering opening a new savings account where you can earn interest, and possibly even a sign up bonus to help grow your savings faster.
Indulge Where It Makes Sense
Saving money doesn’t mean that you have to go without or that you cannot indulge. To be truthful, the main reason my family lives frugally is so that we can indulge in extras we wouldn’t normally be able to afford. We travel regularly, go out to eat and enjoy various entertainment, however we just don’t always pay a ton for them. Here are a few areas where our “extras” pay for themselves. While your indulgences may be different, break down the costs to see if they make financial sense for your family.
- Gym Membership – If you never use your gym membership, cutting the cost may be worth it to work out from home for free instead. However for us, our monthly membership makes sense. Our family gym membership may be $90 a month, but it absolutely worth it for our family. We love to swim, and do so 5 to 6 days a week. When you take a family of 4 times an average 22 days a month, that costs us $4 a time swimming or just a little over a $1 per person per swim. It’s cheap entertainment and great exercise too!
- Trampoline Park Membership – My tween has enough energy for 6 kids and keeping him active is vital to his sanity and mine. Our local trampoline park has unlimited jump memberships for $15 per month. For less than 50 cents a day, he can go jump his heart out after school or on weekends and it’s also a great activity for him to do with his friends. As an added bonus, the place has free wifi, so I can get work done while he plays.
- Amazon Prime – While I do always try to find the best deal possible, sometimes there are just items that you need and you need them NOW. As a busy working parent, shopping isn’t something I have a lot of extra time for and shopping options in our small rural Iowa town are somewhat limited. When I need a new swimsuit in January, finding it a store is not an option here and Amazon Prime comes to the rescue. The free shipping benefit pays for the membership in just a couple orders, plus our family loves the other videos like Prime Video and free Kindle books. If you are on food assistance, you may qualify for reduced Amazon Prime and college students can also get 6 months free. Get a free one month trial of Amazon Prime here.
Find Free Entertainment
Just because you’re minding your money, doesn’t mean you have to be bored. Find free streaming entertainment that you can enjoy at home and free books to read at home or on the go. Watch your local community online groups and events for free classes, concerts, and experiences you can enjoy without a lot of expense. Chances are you’ll find free outdoor movies, concerts and more to get you out of the house and having fun. Many zoos, museums and cultural attractions also have free admission on select days, or even all year long.
Start a Side Hustle
If you’ve found all the possible ways to save, you may want to consider starting a side hustle to help bring in extra income to help you meet your savings goal. Whether you find passive income ideas that can help you earn money or an active gig job like Doordash, Instacart or Rover where you can earn money in your spare time a side hustle can he
If you’re looking for ways to save money live better, the good news is that it is easier than you think! Take simple steps to set your saving goal, find ways to cut costs and live more frugally so that you can afford to do more. Find more tips to save money and live a better lifestyle.
Kim Ritter is a frugal living expert, blogger and mom of two from small-town Iowa. What began as an effort to help her family save a few dollars a month has now transformed into a full-time passion to help other parents money. Visit her online at twokidsandacoupon.com and follow her on Twitter at @2kidsandacoupon for more ways your family can have fun on a budget.