Whether saving money is a want or a need for you right now, there are adjustments to your spending habits you can make that will keep money in your pocket. Changing your attitude toward money, minimizing temptation, becoming more future-focused and shopping around to find the best prices on items such as cheap car insurance quotes online will save you money, month-over-month, and bring you closer to your objective.
What Can You Do Yourself?
It’s true that between work, kids, and play you may feel like you never get a moment to yourself. Let alone a moment to mow the lawn. But if you sit down and list everything you ‘farm’ out for other people to do and delegate some of that work to your kids and to yourself, you could be sitting on a pile of savings.
- Lawn mowing – $25 every week in the summer
- Pool cleaning – $100+ a month
- Cleaning the gutters – $100 twice or three times a year
- Weeding – $30 per hour
- Additional landscaping – around $10 per square foot
- House cleaning – $60 per hour
- Pet grooming – $60 a session
- Manicures & pedicures – $100 every month
How Can You Change Your Diet?
The truth is you might not necessarily want to change your diet. You and your family might enjoy going out to dinner 2-3 times a week. But, you’re also likely getting a rotation of the same menu items week after week. Chances are good you can duplicate (closely) those favorite dishes at home, instead. Getting the kids involved makes it a fun, family affair. And it might just get them off their phones when you enlist them to prep some food.
Or, maybe you are ready for a change. You recognize (and your doctor recognizes) that you are eating far too much starch and meat. When you cut these expensive items from your diet and your shopping list and replace them with fruits, veggies and fish, you’ll notice a remarkable change in your waistline and in your savings account.
What Can the Adult Kids Pay Themselves?
It’s not uncommon for kids to be hanging around the parental home years after they’ve graduated from college. It’s become harder and harder these days for the birds to launch, leaving you a not-so-empty nester. This doesn’t, however, mean that you must pay for all of their goodies. If they are capable, have graduated from high school and make their own money, consider handing them the reigns to pay for their own:
- Cell phone bill – $25 to $100 a month
- Car insurance – $215 a month on average
- Rent – $200 – $400
- Food – $50 a week
- Pet supplies – $25 a week
- Internet – $50 a month
- Gas – $50-$100 a month
- Laundry soap/shampoo, other personal hygiene items – $25 a month
- Car payment – $100 – $400 a month
Minimizing Temptation Spending
Marketing is everywhere. You might easily find yourself humming a fast food jingle or dreaming about that cute pair of shoes that were on sale at the department store. The idea behind marketing is to, of course, get you to buy the items that you want but most likely don’t need. Since marketing is everywhere, you have to make the choice to limit your exposure to it if you have found that you’re not that great at resisting temptation. Here are some strategies to cut the lure of those clever marketers:
- Unsubscribe to emails. Whatever emails you receive in your inbox that are attempting to get you to buy something, unsubscribe. Every time you peruse a website and are offered a coupon at checkout, you’ll receive countless emails. Even if you never purchased a thing.
- Limit your time on social media. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter – when scrolling through social media, you’ll be hit with a purposefully directed ad every few seconds. Staying off social media and finding other things to do will help curb your impulse buys.
- Use the self-checkout. Waiting in line, surrounded by delicious chocolate candies, mints and other goodies is hard for anyone to ignore. Instead of tempting fate, go through the self-check-out where they don’t usually have room for these add on items.
When you set out to save $1,000 a month, it might seem like in insurmountable task at first. The good and bad news is that money flies out the windows and doors so easily it doesn’t take a lot of effort to see how to close them. Put that extra savings into an emergency fund, and you’ll be well on your way to even greater financial freedom.