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disneyfav4ever
05-21-2010, 09:39 PM
Any tips on how to save some extra money? It seems like I'm spending more then I'm earning right now, so I want to try and stop that. Right now I have a "no credit card" rule, so I'm not spending money I don't have. But any other ideas?

Cheryllynn74
05-21-2010, 10:01 PM
Well it's hard to give specifics since I don't know your spending habits, but here are a few general ideas

1. Use coupons.
2. Make out your dinner menu based on what's on sale. Make a list before you shop and stick to it. Those little impulse buys in the store can add up.
3. If you spend a lot in gas going to work, try to carpool.
4. If you use air, turn up your air conditioner at least 2 degrees. This month my bill went down $70 by keeping the house at 80. I only turn it down to 78 for a few hours after work and turn it back up before I get into bed.
5. Stock up on everyday items you use when they are on sale. That way you always have it when you need it, and don't have to run to the store and pay full price.
6. Go a few extra weeks between nail or hair appointments if you have them.
7. If you eat out, don't do it as frequent, go to cheaper places, use coupons, or cut it out all together.
8. Bring your lunch to work instead of eating out.
9. Buy fruits/veges from a local farmers market instead of the grocery store. If you must buy from store, only buy what is in season if you can instead of paying a premium price for something out of season.
10. Use the library to get music, books, and movies instead of purchasing them.

AF_Judy
05-21-2010, 11:56 PM
I shop at Dollar Tree and the 99 cents store for lots of stuff. I buy most of my kitchen accessories there (ice cream scoop, scraper, plastic containers, ziplock bags, etc) as well as cleaning supplies and some food items. I've also found some brand name makeup (Maybelline New York blush and eyeshadow) for $1! I buy my clothing from Ross, Marshall's and TJ Maxx...I've seen some of the same clothing items at department stores for double or triple the price sometimes! Using coupons does help and going to the clearance aisles first can save you a lot of money if you find a similar item at a discount instead of paying full price.

Around the house, you can save some money by unplugging appliances while they are not in use, especially if you leave the house for the weekend. If the appliance gives off a light while it is off, then it is still using electricity such as TVs, DVD players, etc. You can find some more tips here: http://www.energy.gov/applianceselectronics.htm On cooler nights I open the windows and turn off the air conditioner completely. If it is a little stuffy I turn on the ceiling fan. I also dry clothes/blankets/towels for a shorter amount of time and then hang them on chairs/clothes hangers to let them finish drying. I saw my electric bill go down by $70!

SunnieRN
05-22-2010, 12:25 AM
Join the "No Buy thread", here on the budget board. It will help you cut down on unneeded spending!:goodvibes

TheBigBadWolf
05-22-2010, 02:12 AM
I keep a small 3 X 5" notebook in my purse and I write down every purchase I make. This will show you where your money "leaks" are. Most financial advisers recommend you track your spending this way, at least for a few months. It shows you where you are blowing money, and you'll learn where you need to cut back. It really works well if you can get your SO on board, too. ;)

Debbie
05-22-2010, 04:23 AM
Good ideas above. :thumbsup2 I find that, other than grocery, I don't even look at the flyers when they come in. I don't know what is on sale at the department stores, and I don't go near them. :sad2: If I don't go in the stores, I don't buy. (Well, except for the $100 I spent on books online this month, :blush: but that was for my summer professional reading, and I do it every year. :rolleyes1 I am so PD'd! :laughing: )

roadtripper
05-22-2010, 06:00 AM
Here's one budget tip I don't see often--
If you live near a technical hs, make appts for hair, car repairs, etc there. Much cheaper!

disneyfav4ever
05-22-2010, 07:55 AM
Join the "No Buy thread", here on the budget board. It will help you cut down on unneeded spending!:goodvibesI think I definatly need to do that for June. I've done it a couple times before, and am always good for like the first week, but then slack off, and stop posting.

Nermel9
05-22-2010, 07:58 AM
I think I definatly need to do that for June. I've done it a couple times before, and am always good for like the first week, but then slack off, and stop posting.

I'm going to try that for June as well...I tried it one time a few months ago and it didn't work out for me! I need to get myself on a budget and start following it! :)

laurafergie
05-22-2010, 10:37 AM
Great budget tips - But to save money make sure that transferring money to your savings account is a line item in your budget. I have an automatic draft and I just treat it like a bill.

disneychrista
05-22-2010, 11:19 AM
Look at what you are spending on things such as TV, internet, phone, cell phones etc. Can you make changes there?

Switch to a different package for the TV...do you really watch the extra channels you are paying for? Could you do without it?

Internet...can you downgrade to a slower speed? Will you even notice a difference?

Home phone...do you really need it? Do you have extras that you could really do without?

Cell phones...are you paying for more minutes than you are really using? Can you switch to plans?

QVCshopper
05-22-2010, 11:20 AM
One thing that surprised me--do your big food shopping order every other week (about $80-100) and supplement 1-2 little trips on the off weeks. Little trips=less than $20 for a family of 4. I've spent $300 for our family for the past two months, plus $100 eating out.

Also, join the no-buy thread--zero days are amazing! I've had the lowest credit card bills in possibly years.

SunnieRN
05-22-2010, 12:35 PM
I think I definatly need to do that for June. I've done it a couple times before, and am always good for like the first week, but then slack off, and stop posting.

I'm going to try that for June as well...I tried it one time a few months ago and it didn't work out for me! I need to get myself on a budget and start following it! :)

I've only been there two months (almost), but I see a BIG difference in my spending habits. I now have things in better order, just because I KNOW where my $$ go!!

I think of the thread as a gift to myself, as it helps with budgeting, so less stress!! I'll look forward to seeing you there!! Start today, don't wait for June!! I never thought I would last an entire month either, but now it has been almost two!!

LackeyGang
05-22-2010, 04:16 PM
My DH loves to eat out...so I save all the coupons for resturants. Its amazing how much you can save at KFC for a family of five :)

Kika
05-22-2010, 05:40 PM
Can you direct deposit the amount you would like to save from each paycheck right into your savings account, retirement account, etc.? This has worked well for me over the years. This way you don't even see the money, and what you don't see, you won't spend.
Good luck!

EclecticWAHM
05-22-2010, 07:25 PM
I've always been good about shopping smart, using coupons and saving that way. It doesn't make much difference though unless you actually SAVE the money you are saving. Now when I get back from shopping I log on to my online banking and transfer the amount I saved on coupons or whatever into my savings account.

MrsPete
05-22-2010, 07:54 PM
It seems like I'm spending more then I'm earning right nowI'm going to focus in on just this one sentence:

1. You say it "seems like"you're spending more. You need to start keeping records so you'll KNOW just where you stand. Right now you're not satisfied, but you're uncertain about just how bad it is, where the money is going, or something along those lines.

Start keeping records of where you spend, and you'll figure out where your money is going. Perhaps you're spending too much on eating out, perhaps you're splurging too much on clothes, perhaps you're driving a car that's a little too expensive for your salary, perhaps you're spending too much on entertainment on weekends. Right now you don't know -- so keep records for a few weeks, and look for patterns.

Or, you might find that overall you're fine, but this is an expensive time of year for you. It is for me. Between end-of-the-year school expenses, summer camp expenses, just having added a new 16-year old driver to our insurance, and everyone in our family having a spring birthday, I'm spending tons right now! But that's not a problem because I don't spend this way year-round. I just know from experience that this happens every May, and I'm ready for it.

2. You say you're spending more than you earn. To save money, obviously, you must spend LESS than you bring home. You need to set a budget for yourself -- a realistic budget, which you can keep -- that will allow you to live on less than you're earning. Take at least 10% off the top of your earnings towards short-term savings (vacation, new furniture) and 10% for long-term savings (retirement, college savings) and then make a plan to live within the amount that's left.

MrsPete
05-22-2010, 07:56 PM
I've always been good about shopping smart, using coupons and saving that way. It doesn't make much difference though unless you actually SAVE the money you are saving. Now when I get back from shopping I log on to my online banking and transfer the amount I saved on coupons or whatever into my savings account.This is absolutely true. If you spend less at the grocery store, but then you say, "Oh, look -- I have this much in my checking account! I'm going to buy new shoes!", you'll never get ahead.

It's kind of like people who love the idea of saving their change in a big jar. That alone does nothing. You have to put aside the change AND ALSO not go to the ATM when you're out of money.

mrsklamc
05-23-2010, 08:07 AM
I can't 'transfer what I saved using coupons' though because usually I would NEVER have spent what the item cost originally. I spent $10 on clothes at Kohl's the other day and the receipt said I saved something like $98.

OP- see if your library has 'The Complete Tightwad Gazette' by Amy Dacyzyn.