I am 30 years old and I have done my share of stupid things. I have always been pretty thrifty in certain areas of my life, but then other areas… not so much. Somehow I got myself into quite a bit of debt. It’s actually pretty easy to do. I think almost everyone struggles with debt in this day and age. Well, I don’t anymore! I am now only using cash and I am on a budget that I actually follow. I am also in the process of paying off all my debt which feels great. Plus, I now communicate with my husband each month about our finances and what to expect in the next month’s budget. This has helped so much. It’s funny, how just talking about things made everything better. Sure, it was hard at first to talk about how much money we owe and to budget every nickel and dime. However, now I realize how freeing it is at the same time. I no longer have to worry about making ends meet and just scraping by. I have a plan for everything, and so when I do buy things, I do not feel guilty about it. However, I try to be thrifty in every area that I can. This way, I have more money for the things I enjoy. Here are some ways that I have found helpful:
- Get Upside: I save money on gas by using a free app called Get Upside. I’m obsessed with it! It is so easy to use. You just have to go to certain gas stations. They always give you nearby options. Most of them are Shells which is nice. Trust me, I wouldn’t want to use the app if they only offered some sketchy gas station in the middle of nowhere. Also, it is so easy to use, unlike Ibotta which is way too complicated. You can really save a ton of money on gas. Especially if you tell your friends to sign up.
- Use Walmart Pick up for Groceries: Another huge money saver is buying groceries online at Walmart and doing the pickup option. I can see exactly how much I’m spending in my cart and remove snacks that may be causing me to go over budget. It also saves me the frustration of bringing a toddler to the store. Plus I can add in my coupon codes without holding up the line and being embarrassed in the process. You all know what I’m talking about! Also, make sure you buy store brand items. It saves you a ton!
- Shop at Bargain Stores for Clothing: I buy the cutest clothes. I get complimented on them all the time. But do I spend a fortune? Heck no! I only shop at places like Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Ross, Burlington Coat Factory, and the clearance section of Department stores. Sometimes I even shop at Plato’s closet to save even more. (Especially with jeans) Although recently I’ve discovered an app called Taylor. It’s the best! You get a personal stylist to help you shop online. They find the clothes you like and the deals for you! Try it out! Just don’t spend money you don’t have! Make sure it is in your budget!
- Price Match: I’ve learned recently that many stores will price match. Just ask the employees in customer service. In fact, Target will price match for their online prices which are almost always cheaper! I wouldn’t bother on small items, but on big items, it saves you a ton!
- Don’t Go Out to Eat Very Much: Try to cook your own meals and eat leftovers. This will save you a ton of money. I use to go out all the time! I once looked at how much I had spent in a month going out to eat, and it was like $1,400. Now I have a grocery budget of $600 that I stick to and I only go out for special occasions. It also helps to meal plan for the week so you know exactly how much you’re spending on ingredients for the whole week. This is a game changer people!
- The Nest Thermostat: This one may seem counterintuitive. However, once you make the initial investment purchasing a Nest, it does save you money! On average it saves you about 10 percent a month on your electricity bill. It actually programs itself and makes sure you have the right temperature in your home without wasting energy.
- Purchasing Furniture Used: I would never personally buy brand new furniture. It is just such a waste of money. You can go on Craigslist, or Offer up and find like new furniture for much cheaper than buying it brand new. You will still get lots of compliments on your home if you take style into consideration. Also, if you need some decor pieces, I would check thrift stores or even Ross. They have a lot of great stuff for cheap! Ross is my go-to store, especially for bedding.
- Trade-Off Babysitting: People spend so much money on babysitters. It’s insane! If you have a couple of close friends with kids. Why not trade off watching the kids and pay nothing? Or if you have family that can watch your kids, that’s always the best option. You should only ever pay for a babysitter if you absolutely have to. Ask some of your friends if they are interested. I bet they will say yes!
- Buy Used Electronics on eBay: If you need to buy some electronics, eBay is the place to shop! You will save so much money. There is no point in buying them new at the store. They will work just as well if you buy them gently used.
- Purchase Used Cars Only: A car loses so much value as soon as you drive it off the lot. Never buy a brand new car! So dumb! Check Autotrader or CarMax for a great used vehicle.
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