Guest post from Kristin of Joyfully Thriving.
As a frugal mom, I am always looking for ways to save my family money. We were always on a tight budget, but after having children our income was cut almost in half when I became a stay-at-home-mom. Since then, I have had to work harder than ever to find ways to save.
I have learned that saving money is possible, even when your budget is tight. These ideas aren’t earth-shattering but they do work. You probably won’t be able to save as much as you used to save (or as much as you would like to save) but you still can save something!
Work hard and get creative to start saving.
Here are some of the ideas that we used to save money on our tight budget.
1. Sell things.
This is one of the quickest ways to earn money and can be done anytime money is tight. Look around your house and find some things to sell. I guarantee you have things to sell!
You can sell just about anything on Craigslist or through a Facebook garage sale. Have an actual garage sale. Sell books at Half Price Books or via Bookscouter.com. Sell your clothes at a consignment shop or online through a site like thredUP. Whatever you make from selling, put it straight into your savings account.
2. Eat from the pantry.
I would venture to guess that you have food in your pantry, fridge and freezer. It may be an eclectic mix but that’s okay.
Give yourself the challenge of eating from what you already have on hand and skip the grocery store for a week. Put whatever you would have spent on groceries into your savings account.
3. Use coupon apps and put the money earned in savings.
I have become a big fan of coupon apps for the simple way they can earn money. Start using coupon apps and whenever you can cash out, put the money directly into savings. The same principle can be applied to shopping through cashback sites.
4. Audit all your bills.
Really look at all your bills. It is a known fact that we can negotiate bills with most companies, but how many of us actually do it?
Start by cutting any bills you possibly can. If and when you’ve already done that, call the other companies to see if they can lower your bill.
Utilities, car insurance, your mortgage – any bill is fair game. You can even do a grocery audit to save money! Whatever the difference, set up a monthly transfer into your savings account.
5. Stay put.
When you don’t go out, you don’t spend money. You don’t spend money on food, entertainment or gas. It’s harder to calculate but look at your gas bill for the month.
See if you can skip one fill-up this month by staying put. Whatever money you save, once again, put it into savings.
6. Challenge yourself to a no spend week / month.
This idea is old and often encouraged by the most frugal of us, but when was the last time you completed a no spend challenge?
Now is a perfect time. You set the rules and the time frame. No matter how long you do it, you are bound to find savings that you can tuck away!
7. Look for a cheaper way to do everything.
Instead of going to a movie theater, rent a movie on Netflix. Instead of using Neflix, borrow a free movie from the library.
If you go on a weekly date night, can you switch it to an every other week date night?
Instead of hiring a babysitter, swap babysitting duties with another mom and her family.
If you like to eat out, commit to only eating out with coupons or gift cards.
Start thinking about everything you do and look for a more frugal way of doing it.
I hope this post has given you some new thoughts on ways to find savings on your tight budget.
Remember, get creative and you will find ways to save. Be careful not to let the savings disappear into your monthly budget! As soon as you find a new way to save, put the savings into a specific account or else it will get used for other purposes. (I have learned that lesson too many times!)
How do you save money when your budget is already tight?
Kristen is a frugal stay-at-home mom of two, who works hard to save her family money. She writes at Joyfully Thriving about learning to love her frugal life, as she encourages others to do the same. She loves baking with chocolate, good books, and saving money.