Are you looking for tips to save money this year? Maybe you are still trying to pay off bills from last year. Every year we look at ways to save money on our bills. Recently, we called our cable and cell phone companies to examine our monthly bill to see what service we can eliminate or cut back on. It may take a little time, but you can totally do it. If you are saving for a certain item or maybe a family trip, here are 5 tips to save money this year.
5 Ways to Save Money This Year
1. Personal/Family Budget like Business– You may think that I am crazy by saying this, but I never thought of my household as a business until I became a stay at home mom. When making the jump from two paychecks to one paycheck, you have to look at where every penny is going. Creating a budget, similar to a business plan, will help guide you through the entire year without getting into debt. The Erin Condren Planner is a great tool to help get you started to track your budget.
2. Know your Monthly expenses– Take out a piece of paper and list every monthly expense that you have. This may require some time and you may have to go back a few months of looking at bills.
▪ Eating Out
▪ Doctor Visits
3. Create a Spending Budget- Plan each month what you are going to spend, save and splurge!
▪ Groceries and Eating Out
▪ Misc Expenses (like haircuts, celebrations oil changes, clothing, entertainment, after school sports, home repairs, etc)- One of the tips that I love to share is how I stockpile on gifts for the entire year. You can view the ValPak Video on Creating a Gift Closet.
4. Use a calendar and make sure that it’s in a room that everyone walks through. Not only does a calendar help get you more organized for scheduling but it’s great for a monthly budget. By planning for pizza night or special nights out with the kids, the entire family will we aware of when those dates are coming and it avoids the popular question- Can we just eat out? And yes, here are tips to save money dining out.
- Meal Planning- I just started really getting into meal planning and try for just the dinners each week. Note that I try to schedule a night to eat at my moms or mother in laws as well 🙂
- Shopping Trips- Plan all shopping trips ahed of time and try to buy clothing online (even for stores that offer free in store pickup). By shopping online it prevents those impulse buys and you can also check your shopping cart and easily click the delete button. We actually shop at least once a month at Sams club by buying in bulk. The other weeks we shop at Aldi to save money.
- Celebrations- Planning ahead rather than buying last minute can save you hundreds of dollars a year.
5. Emergency Money/Flex Money
It’s so important to have an emergency fund and also flex money to have some fun with the family. If you are a couponer or find yourself saving money with some of these tips, then save that extra money in a flex fund. You should always being saving in an emergency fund
I know that it’s hard to save, especially when there are so many bills. A friend of mine that runs Tots2Tweens.com shared this idea on Facebook to save money and I am totally doing it.
Here is my plan- I am going to start backwards and start at $52 this week. This way, as we get closer to Christmas, I won’t have to add as much money to the account. You can start this at any time, don’t think because you didn’t start it with the first day of the new year that it’s over.
Save Money This Year with the Money Challenge
Some things to keep in mind as you jump into this 52 Week Money Challenge:
- Set a goal what you are saving for (for example, is this for Christmas or maybe a special vacation)
- Try not to borrow from the funds (unless there is an emergency)
- Don’t keep the cash in your house – You will be more likely to dip into it
- If you need to skip a week or add less, that’s ok. The goal is to save in the end, not go into debt from saving