2017 has been a difficult year for me, financially. A good rule of thumb is probably to not buy a house and plan a wedding in the same year! Every spare dime we have is going straight to the wedding fund for next fall, so my fiance and I have made some hard decisions and we're cracking down on our budget. Here are some habits I've adopted to maximize our spending.
1. Sell Things You Don’t Need/Use
You know that thing that’s gathering dust? Rather than let it hang out as a piece of décor, at least try to sell it online! Some great places to earn a bit of cash for your stuff are Offer Up, Next Door, and Facebook Marketplace.
2. Look for Used Items First
Quite the opposite of selling your stuff, try to be the savvy buyer and shop second hand. People on the internet are selling almost anything you can think of – clothes, books, and household items. My fiancé and I are serial yard-salers. We love scouring nearby sales to see what kind of bargains we can get. Recently, we inherited a poker table and ended up finding a really nice set of gently used chips and cards for only $10.
3. Eat Out Less
This one’s is hard on me, mostly because I have zero willpower when I get a craving for a very specific food.I am trying to be better about planning meals to eat at home and brown bagging it to work. I try to think of it like this: I can feed the whole family on under $20, depending on what I make, or I can spend almost $20 per person. When I think of it like that, it comes a no-brainer.
4. Cut The Cord!
When my fiance and I moved into our first apartment, we were flat broke. Getting cable wasn’t an option as struggling college students. Years later, cable subscription prices are INSANE. To us, it’s just not worth it. For years, we’ve used an antennae that picks up local channels and there are a ton of places to find shows online.
5. Dump Your Gym Membership
I found myself paying over $30 a month for a gym membership that I was barely using. What’s worse is that I was locked into a 12 month contract so I was stuck until it finally expired. Now, I ride my bike in the neighborhood, take my dog for long walks, and follow along with yoga videos on YouTube to stay in shape – all for free!
6. Car Pool When Available
I met a girl at work who ended up living less than 2 miles away from me. We worked out a car pool system which allowed us to both save huge bucks on gas. Not only did I save money, I made a friend!
7. Drink More Water
Think about how much a soda costs. A cup of coffee. Alcohol. Especially when dining out, drinks really add up quickly. Water, however, is free and your body will thank you.
8. Cancel Your Subscriptions
Lookin’ at you, Netflix. “Only $10 per month” adds up fast when you’re subscribed to Netlix, Hulu, and Spotify, not to mention those oh-so addicting monthly subscription boxes. Don’t get me wrong, I love Netflix just as much as the next person. If you can’t bear to part with them all, pick your favorite one.
9. Turn Off Your Lights
Why keep lights on in your house in rooms that no one is in? You're throwing money right out the window. It might not save you a ton of money, but it will add up in the long run.
10. Keep Your Foot Out of the Gas Pedal
I'll be the first to admit that I have serious road rage. It comes with the commuter lifestyle. But I know that if I drove a little kinder and with a bit less gusto, I could save a buck at the tank.
What are some of your money saving habits? Share with us in the comments!