That is how much money these tips have saved me over the past year. And that is a very humble estimate.
Spring is the perfect time to take a close look at your spending habits to determine where you can make cuts. But any time is the right time to start saving money, IMHO.
Here, I am sharing 5 near-effortless budgeting tips that you can implement right now. Small changes that you can make that will help you save significant money over time.
Here they are:
#5: Always Search For a Coupon Code
A few years ago, I received a piece of advice that has served me well ever since: Before any online or retail purchase, search for a coupon code. Many websites have a field for coupon codes – always do a Google search for one. And before you buy something at a clothing store, electronics store, shoe store or other retail store, look for a coupon code.
Last weekend, I went to Gap to buy a pair of yoga pants. I was prepared to pay $59, but at the last minute did a quick search on my smartphone for a coupon code. I found one for 30% off, and the cashier honored it. Just like that, I saved $17!
#4: Get a Rewards Credit Card
If you don’t have a rewards credit card, you’re missing out. There are several credit cards that offer significant rewards – from cash-back to travel benefits. Last year, I got the Barclay Arrival Plus credit card. Through normal spending throughout the year, I got about $700 worth of travel benefits. My plane ticket to Calgary, Alberta, was paid for – as well as a couple of hotels and rental car too.
Do some research to determine what type of savings you want. If you travel a lot, look for a travel rewards card. Otherwise, a cash back credit card may be your best bet.
#3: Inventory and Clean Out Your Cupboards
Go through your cupboards, fridge, freezer, and pantry:
- Throw out expired food
- Set aside food that is about to expire
- Organize and inventory food that still has shelf life
Then, plan upcoming meals around the food that is about to expire.
#2: Rethink Your Recurring Monthly Costs
Recurring monthly costs – Netflix, Birchbox, other subscription boxes, gym memberships, magazine subscriptions, massage memberships, coffee clubs, etc. – are worth reconsidering. You may be subscribed to services that you no longer use or need. It is easy to forget about these recurring monthly charges. Take a close look at your credit card bill to determine if there are any cuts you can make.
I recently cancelled my monthly chiropractic visit membership (I’m opting for as-needed services) and my Birchbox subscription. This will save me $60 a month.
Also, consider downgrading your cable plan if you’re not watching cable channels, and your cell phone plan if you’re not using all of your minutes.
#1: Clean Our Your Closet and Sell Clothes You No Longer Wear
When is the last time you cleaned out your closet? Chances are, you’re not wearing all of your clothes.
Once or twice a year, I go through my clothes and set aside items that I no longer wear. I bring these clothes to a local consignment shop. Last year, I made close to $100 selling both clothes and household items. Here are possible places to sell clothes, shoes, decorative items, dishes, etc.:
- Consignment/resale shops
- Garage sales
Extra Credit: Even More Ways To Save
Every person has different spending habits. Take a close look at yours to determine where your money is going. Your daily latte – drinking soda at every meal – buying lunch at work versus making your own – shopping at the wrong grocery store. You may be overspending without even knowing it.
Obviously, my greatest tip of all is to start implementing more budget meals into your weekly rotation. Be sure to stay in touch via Instagram and Pinterest to stay updated on my latest cheap recipes and money-saving tips. And please feel free to add your own budgeting tips below. I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas!