Who wouldn't like to save money?!
When Luke and I got married I knew that he was going to be the main provider and it was my job not only to make our monthly budget last, but also see how much we can have left over for fun things. Throughout the months I have learned more and more to be frugal on things and it has become a game for me. Here are a few tips to make our monthly budget last:
1. Cut out the unnecessary items
In our family it is unnecessary for us to have a house phone. We have perfect reception at our house to use our cellphones and a home phone isn’t on the list as a must have. It also helps that my husband and I, and our extended families are on Verizon so we can talk/text to them for FREE!! Who doesn’t like FREE?!?
When I say bundle, this doesn’t just include your cable/phone/Internet. I mean insurance too! We have AT&T Uverse which we LOVE! It allows us to bundle our cable and Internet package. With Uverse we also get to watch HBO movies for free. We are also able to bundle our home insurance, car insurances, and umbrella policy. It is an extra bonus that our car insurance gives us money every year if we don’t have an accident. GIVE.US.MONEY??? YES!!!
3. Break any weekly spending habit
This may be hard for some. It was hard for me. You don’t have to go get a coffee every morning or even a Chick-fil-A biscuit. If anyone knows me and my husband, they know we love Chick-fil-A. Breaking this habit may not sound like much but in the long run it does add up. It also makes this seem more of a “treat” when you do get that Starbucks or Chick-fil-A fix.
4. Pay off your DEBT!!
Any extra money that you have left over or money that you have received that was not expected…use it to pay off your DEBT! It’s hard to say “I have extra money this month so I do not need to go buy clothes.” When your debt is paid off you will be grateful that you did not buy that jacket or that awesome purse.
5. Stock up on Coupons
I am in no means a coupon cutter or now what they call an extreme couponer. Like I said before we love Chick-fil-A. If you are a Chick-fil-A lover, stock up on their calendars in the winter. Every month you get two different coupons that is worth the money that you put into the calendar. Recently I just found out that you can ask if they will switch out what’s on the coupon if it cost the same. If the coupon is for a regular chicken sandwich, you can switch it out for 8 nuggets. Also, our high schools in the area always sell a card that has free items as well as discounted items. You pay $20.00 and it is well worth your money. On the card is usually always has a free oil change. So the card can pay for itself after that oil change. Then you still have other free and discounted items to use.
6. Taking down the power bill
Yes, this can happen. Every month when the power bill would come in I dread opening it for the fear of it being outrageously high. And it was for several months. We first decided to replace all the windows in our house with energy efficient ones. This has made a huge difference in our bills, but I still was not happy with it. We started leaving our thermostat on 70 degrees year around. This was hard for the husband because he was adjusting it daily. We now leave it alone and it we have to put on an extra layer or take off an extra layer we do. So now, I’m pretty happy where our power bill is. I now know what to expect every month.
7. Seek Cheap Thrills
This has been fun for our family. This may make us sound like an old married couple, but we love a good Antique Auction. It has been a cheap thrill for us because we can go and look at the beautiful antiques and not have to buy a single thing. The thrill comes from the auctioneer and the bidding wars that can happen. Now why you can go to auction and not buy a thing…we do buy for your home! We have found beautiful pieces at antique auctions and it has also helped us furnish our house. Here are some items that we have purchased for CHEAP, CHEAP, CHEAP!
Table for $7, valued at $100
Huge bird house for $20(value to me, priceless! I love this thing)
Large farm table for $100, valued at $400-$700 and the Café sign for $7 (not sure of value)
Beautiful trunk was bought for $150, valued at $300-$400.
Another favorite auction buy was our awesome dark wood China Cabinet. I hate I didn't take a picture of it. Our China dishes look beautiful in it. We purchased it for $40 and valued at $200.
8. Gym Membership
For some families this is not a necessity and that’s okay. For Luke it has always been a must have and for me it just started. Some people have the equipment at their homes, we do not. Some people rather workout at home, we do not. If you are like us and you need to go to a Gym to get in a good workout, look online for deals for new members. Some places have free membership for a month or buy one membership get another free (great for spouses) Some gyms will also give you other “freebies” like tanning and nutrition. It also never hurts to ask for a discount. Most gyms are allowed to help out anyway they possibly can. My gym gives me free tanning. When I was tanning at a salon I was paying $50.00 a month. Now, I able to pocket that money for things we need.
There are 100 other ways to help with your monthly budget. Even if you have money coming out of your ears I don’t know anyone who would not love to have “extra” money in their pocket. I still have areas in our budget that I would like to work on but it is a work in progress. I don’t think I will ever stop attempting to stretch our budget even more.
Oh, and Happy Hunting future auction goers!