Money Saving Tips & Tricks
My husband and I are CHEAP! There's really no way to sugar coat it or put it in another light. We do everything in our power to save money. In order to really understand I thought I would share a little bit of our story as to how our finances came to be.
Once upon a time.... Mike and I got married in November 2010 and then went on our beautiful honeymoon to Maui! When we got back from our honeymoon it also hit home that we still owed 22,000 between my college debt and his truck loan :( At the time we were both working full time so we hit our debt hard and fast. We both decided we would pay off our debt so we could start saving for our future (house & baby, etc.). This was however a lot easier said then done! For the next year my paycheck went towards debt and his towards bills. It was such a blur and so awful being so cheap about everything :( But, it was all worth it because with my paychecks, our wedding money and our tax return we were finally DEBT FREE!
After that we didn't stop and kept saving, saving, saving until we had enough money to buy a house. We were pre approved for a specific amount to buy a home and when we got the number back we were astonished! If we bought a house that expensive almost all our money would go to a mortgage. So, we purchased a house for 1/3 of the amount we were pre approved for. Now that's not what a lot of people would do, but it's where we felt most comfortable. (We were also lucky because it was 2011 and homes were at an all time low!)
The home we bought was foreclosed, ugly and needed a TON of work! You can take a look at our home tour here and here. After a year of remodeling it was finally finished and in May, 2013 we welcomed our daughter Odette into the world. We both decided that me staying home with her was the biggest priority which brings me to the subject at hand. How are we going to go from 2 incomes down to 1?
Car Insurance: Shop around and find the best possible price you can! Within a twenty minute application we saved 50% on our car insurance. I would highly recommend you request a free quote through Costco! It was the best price by far that we found and is ultimately what we ended up switching to. We were paying almost $3000 a YEAR!! Now, we only pay about $1400 for the year.
Phones: I'm constantly glued to my phone, Instagram, etc. so we knew we wanted to keep internet, texting, etc. but just have a cheaper bill. We used to have Sprint and paid $152 a month on our phone bill! Then we switched to Family Mobile through Walmart and now only pay $75 a month. We get unlimited everything too! Also, we needed new phones but there was no way we were going to buy $700 phones. Have you ever heard of Blu phones? For $120 we got a phone that is really similar to the Samsung galaxy III. The only downside is the camera isn't that great but we still love them!
Cable/Internet: We don't have cable at all! Every time we have had it there are so many reruns we usually end up cancelling it. Instead we watch Hulu, Netflix and movies on our Amazon Prime account. We always have something to watch because there is so much to choose from! Also, most of the time we're watching Disney movies these days so we don't feel it's worth the extra cash anyway.
Groceries: I like to buy organic, which is not cheap! The ways that I've learned to save money is buying all our organic meats in bulk from Costco. Also, Trader Joe's has very reasonably priced organic produce! Other than that I love couponing and you can get awesome deals as long as you stick to things you buy regularly. If you haven't already seen it, check out my post here on buying Organic at Costco.
Gym: We used to have a gym membership and it was great pre-baby! Almost everyday Mike and I would go to the gym and worked out together. But, when we had Odette we had to trade off and it wasn't fun anymore so we cancelled our membership. Last year I bought an elliptical and I usually just work out while Odette is watching a Tinker Bell movie lol.
Baby Lead Weaning: When Odette first started eating solids I loved making her baby food purees and even bought the little pouches for a few months! Almost immediately we started baby lead weaning and by about 9 months she was eating almost everything we were! This saved so much money and it was a lot, lot easier not preparing two different things every night.
Find Cheap Family Activities: Our library has free passes to zoos, museums, etc. Check out your library and see what they have! Splash pads, parks, story time, bike rides, etc. Not everything has to be expensive to be fun!
We Wait to Make Big Purchases: All our appliances, furniture, big ticket purchases were all bought when they were on sale! I don't think we've paid full retail on anything. If you can wait, buy things around Black Friday or other sales. We bought all our appliances for half off during Black Friday a few years back!
So, there you have some of our top money saving tips and tricks! What are some of the things you do to save money? I would love to hear about them :) We're always looking for new ways to save money!
P.S. Whew... sorry that was so lengthy!