So… we went NUTS this holiday season. That is an absolute truth! To combat this HORROR, my husband and I have buckled down HARD when it comes to spending. I don’t think we had a choice. After a lengthy conversation, we carved out a few small tweaks to our every day lives and saw some serious return.
It’s not hard to save… you just actually have to make an effort.
7 Small Ways To Save Money Now That The Holidays Are Over
- Stop getting coffee and tea from an outside source. We did the math and I was spending almost $1500 a year on tea. Yes, you read that correctly. How absolutely disgusting is that? And that was just on ME. I’m not talking about the extra $30 we would spend each Sunday as a family getting our breakfast together in our favorite coffee house. I don’t want to add that in because it would just make me sick. Please, don’t tally it for me. I don’t want to know. Start brewing at home. I got the new Ninja system and don’t need pods anymore. So, it’s actually CHEAPER for me all in. Now, I just need two scoops from a bag of grounds and I am good to go! Think about what a difference that has made for us.
- Stop auto-reloading cards: Here’s the deal with convenience. It’s a way for companies to make you forget you are spending money. Let me run you through a scenario. We all use EZPass, right? I drive through a toll and don’t think about how much it costs me to do so. Back and forth I go and my account just automatically reloads when it gets low. The prices rise but I can’t tell because I’m not counting. I drive. Prices rise. I don’t notice. The cards reload faster. The world keeps spinning. That’s how they win. I guess you could say the same thing about credit cards, but I have an affection for cards because I believe in benefiting from their rewards system. But don’t auto reload your cards because then you won’t REALIZE when it’s time for you to pay up which means you won’t realize how fast you are spending money.
- Movie nights at home – and limited to only what’s free: I am the QUEEN of justification. I don’t go out on Friday night with my husband to the movies. Instead, I stay home for a simple night in. While in bed, I decide that I want to rent a movie because “I deserve it” for staying home. What’s $5.99? Nothing! Not if you compare it to the $75 we would have spent at the theatre. So, I end up renting movies every weekend. It just all adds up. It truly does. Stop feeling like you deserve everything. I mean, you DO DESERVE EVERYTHING. I’m not saying you don’t. But we have to stop acting like we deserve it ALL at ALL TIMES.
- Stop buying books: I am the WORST OMG. The W-O-R-S-T. I never rent books from the library. I never borrow books from friends. And not for nothing, but my iPad makes it SO EASY to grab new titles at all hours of the night. I even signed up for audio books at one point during this year. It was too much to handle. Stop it all. There are free ways to read. Do them.
- Cereal for dinner: Ok, this is a bit of an exaggeration, but my point is that we stopped going crazy for dinner every night. Sometimes, we decided to have pancakes, or PB&J or pasta and butter… and that was ok.
- Friday night is for takeout only: Talking about food again! Yup, that’s me. Listen, I work like crazy. You and me both, right? It’s so easy to just phone it in at the end of the day. Sometimes 4PM rolls around and I haven’t even stepped away from my desk once to refill my drink – forget about think about what’s for dinner. This was a hard pill to swallow, but I had to do it. We had to do it as a family. We saved the MOST MONEY by not ordering in and while this continues to be a test, I am up for the challenge.
- Check prices: I used to have many things on subscription – deodorant, detergent, dish soap etc. – sent to my house on a regular basis. I never thought about prices because all I thought about was convenience. I started to look at other options. It wasn’t just about Amazon Prime, it started to be about Jet and Boxed too. It wasn’t about online shopping, but it became about BJs and Costcos for us. And while it took more time out of my daily life, it saved us a lot of money in the long run which is what mattered.
On another note, I want to say that we also started to sell some of our items on eBay. This is a hard task but you really can make some good cash. You just have to stay calm and follow the rules.
How have you saved money in the past? Would love to hear some tips that have worked for you!