If you been following my blog you know that I’ve been on my Dave Ramsey ish for a while now. I’ve been really making a conscious effort to gain financial freedom and saving has been a big part of my journey. It’s helped me get out of debt and invest into myself. It’s given me more freedom and security, both of which I’m obsessed with. The piece of mind in knowing I now have options has relieved a lot of the stress in my life I used to have.
Money is important. It affects everything in our lives.
Money effects your attitude, your family, your marriage, where we live, who you associate with, and what you can do with your free time. The more I learn about money the more I get to help YOU. I’m forever trying to learn and grow. It’s a bonus that I get to help y’all out so together we can live our best lives because having freedom and options is much more fun then stressing over the affects of not having enough money.
Budgeting isn’t easy. I want to support and guide you if I can. We get comfortable living the same broke thinking lifestyle that got us into debt and forget we are the masters of our universe. We can beat our financial struggles if we budget accurately and live within our means. I call it thinking broke on purpose. It takes learning to have contentment because money isn’t everything but it is a down payment for happiness. It takes guts and a whole lot of self love to stay disciplined enough to save when we’ve been programmed to be consumers and spend, spend, spend.
Manage your money don’t let it manage you.
Here are a few ways that I’ve been able to save a dollar are two:
1. Cancel memberships and subscriptions. You don’t need Netflix, Hulu, Firestick and Disney Plus. These subscriptions are great alternative to cable but will only save you money if you on have one. No point in giving up cable if your going to just buy every subscription known to man and pay about the same price. The goal is to save isn’t it? Also, that gym membership your not using cancel it. That makeup subscription let it go. You have enough. All those, small subscriptions fees add up so if you aren’t actively using them or need them get rid of them.
2. Electricity. Find out your electric company’s peak time and devise a plan to only use what you need by unplugging appliances you don’t use regularly. Choose to read or play games over watching TV. Go to bed early. More sleep is always needed. Use fan instead of the AC. Turn down the thermostat. Also, I know state to state varies but look into what programs they have to get utility assistance or sign up for any rewards programs.
Rule of thumb if it has a light on it’s costing you money.
3. Phone bill. Phone bills suck but phone are one of those things where it doubles as my computer too so it’s a non negotiable for me. It has to be paid. I do a lot of business on my phone so I need a good cell phone provider and a smart phone but for other members in your family consider comparing group plans for cheaper prices or cheaper phones. Phone bills add up quickly and one of the reasons is because you could be paying for services you don’t use get rid of them ASAP to get your phone bill down.
Another way to cut your bill down is going with phone company’s like Cricket or Boost Mobile. These companies offer services for a lot less. They are ideal if you only have basic needs like sending texts and making phone calls which is perfect for small children. They typically don’t need a IPhone or the latest Samsung Galaxy they just want to play games and watch YouTube.
4. Eating Out. Sometimes cooking food at home requires a lot of time that some of us working moms don’t have. It’s easier to just slide through the drive thru of your favorite fast food drive through and pick up something for the whole family. It’s best to stay away from restaurants altogether if you want to save some money. Join me on my eat at home challenge.
You’ll save major coins by meal prepping or having knowing what meals you want to cook in advance and taking your leftovers to work. If that’s to hard just pick one designated day that you can eat out like only fridays.
5. Coffee. Moms we are not giving up coffee because let’s face it we need our boss mom fuel. There’s entirely no way we’d be able to get through the day without it. I do recommend cutting Starbucks out of your daily routine. I know people who go to Starbucks multiple times a day and go for for venti or even the secret size trenta.
I have chosen to replace Starbucks with 7-11 coffee and I enjoy my caffeine now for more than half the price of one Starbucks cup. Finding an alternative coffee habit helps a ton with saving. Even investing in a good coffee maker will help you save a good chunk of money too. Give it a try and watch your saving fund go up.
6. Name brand items. We don’t need name brands but we like them. Try using generic products over name brands and see which ones you like. Some you will and some you won’t but most are great. When it comes to food in a blind taste test you probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. The bottom line is the saving are real.
If your kids complain about the switch trick them and put the generic option in the name brand container or package. Don’t tell them you got it from me though. LOL. I love my labels just as much as the next but unless I catch a sale, have a discount code or gift card I’m not paying full price for it.
Consignment shops are a great option for label lovers because you can get gently used name brand items for less. I believe you can make a statement in anything that you wear. Whether it’s from Target or Gucci you make an outfit. I’m a big high low girl. I mix and match what I like and put together great ensembles just fine. I personally think once you learn how budget shop fit name brand items you realize you can still be fly and in fact it’s even more satisfying.
7. Entertainment. Be frugal with your entertainment. You don’t have to spend lots of money to have fun. I love spending time with my kids and finding free activities around my city. My go to place is the library. They seem to always have an event going on. Take advantage of the library in your city, recreation centers, parks and make it a point to not spend money or if you do very little if it. A few suggestions I have are going to happy hour where drinks and appetizers are quite less than dinner. Exploring the outdoors is the number one way to save. Get creative and have fun without breaking the bank. Doing outside activities like hiking will cost you nothing.
8. Shopping. Limit shopping to need vs want. Think about what you really need and if it’s worth spending money that you could be saving instead. If it’s a “hell yes” I absolutely need it to function grab it, but if it’s a “it’s nice to have” but I don’t need it put your debit card down. Every time you get to urge to spend pause for a second and see if you get that same feeling after thinking about after 5 minutes. Usually that rush goes away.
Stay away from Costco, Hobby Lobby, Homegoods, Target or Walmart when your trying to save because those stores will gobble up your money in a heart beat. You’ll go in for toilet paper and by the time the cashier has finished ringing you up you’ll want to fall out from the total.
9. Groceries. Make a list. Only shop with a list. This will help you stay on budget.
Money is really important and you should manage it well. I budget because it has changed my life. By budgeting I’m able to put my money to good use. I’m trying to elevate. I want to buy a house soon. So for me budgeting has helped me get my credit score where I need it to be so that I can get a lower APR and be able to save for a larger down payment to put down.
One of my big goals after purchasing a house is to pay it off and be mortgage free within 10 years. God willing it will happen but I know that it will take a lot of sacrifice which is why I’m starting with baby steps now. I’m trying to change my lifestyle now because I value accomplishing my goals more than I value material things or temporary happiness. Saving money isn’t easy but definitely worth it.
What are so freaking excited about? Why do you want to budget? I want to cheer you on. I believe in you! Let’s up-level together.