If there’s one thing that we can all agree on, I think it would be that saving money is nice. No one likes paying bills and watching their hard-earned money fly out the window, but unfortunately bills are a part of life. We can, however, make sure that we take every opportunity to save money. This summer, my husband and I are really working on “living below our means” so that we can save up extra money as we prepare to sell our house and move. It’s all about a little give and take and smart thinking.
Let’s look at a few ways to keep a little extra money in our wallets. These tips don’t require you to do/buy/learn anything. Just smart ideas that you can start a.s.a.p.
1) Use your library – Instead of heading out to the latest movie or buying the newest best-selling book, stop by your local library and rent a book, DVD or video game for free. All you have to do is register with the library and unlimited books and movies are yours. They usually keep pretty up to date with new releases, and many libraries even offer digital downloads.
2) Search online coupon sites before you click purchase – This can save a lot of cash right on the spot. Online sites offer free coupon codes for different retailers that can be applied to your shopping cart before you check out. Whether it’s 15% off or free shipping, it’s a quick way to save for free. Make sure to check out the Joeshopping coupons page!
3) See what your town has to offer for free – Go to your town’s website or search for a monthly calendar to see what your town is offering/hosting, most of which is typically free. Bigger towns usually offer more free events, but even small towns like to keep their residents happy. One thing that our town does is a free movie night in the park once a month. You just bring a blanket and your snacks, and they play a recent movie on a big screen. It’s free… and much more fun than a typical movie theater.
4) Invite friends over for dinner instead of out to dinner – If you meet once a week or once every other week with friends for dinner, try inviting them over for dinner instead. Offer to make the main dish and then ask them to bring a side dish or dessert. The more couples, the merrier… and the more food! You can even switch houses each week to mix things up. It is still a nice treat during the week to spend time with friends, but this makes it a little bit easier on the wallet.
5) Pack a lunch… and snacks – This one has been a major money saver for me. I work in a hospital and I used to make frequent trips to the cafeteria for a little pick-me-up, sometimes a drink, sometimes a bag of chips or a cookie. I’ve started packing my own snacks now and it has saved quite a bit. If you spend $2 on a snack every single day at work, that adds up to $10 a week and $40 a month (if you work 5 days a week). Save that money for something special and snack on something from home instead.