One thing I can honestly say is that I love to save money! I will go to great lengths to save a dollar. Because of this thrifty trait of mine, I have discovered several ways to save money here and there, and I would love to share some of them with you. Right now is a great time to get started, since most people are going to be spending money for Christmas.
Common Sense & Discipline
Wow, that subtitle really sounds pretty negative! However, both common sense and discipline can play a big part in our money. Here are a few tips:
- If you do not have the money, don’t buy it. This falls into both of those categories – common sense & discipline. It seems so simple, but it is so hard to do!
- Look for sales, and almost never pay full price.
- Make a list before you go to the store, whether it be for groceries, gifts, clothes, or anything else and stick to it. This is also very hard to do.
Re-evaluate Subscriptions and Monthly Bills
So many times, we sign up for a subscription (or a free trial) and never cancel the subscription. Sometimes it seems easier to just keep it than to cancel what we are not using. Even the smallest fees add up quickly. Take a look at some of these to see if you should drop them or renegotiate the monthly prices:
- TV/Streaming Services
- Waste Disposal
- Music Streaming Services (Never pay the full price. Contact them and ask for a better price. They will usually always come down on the price. My husband called the day before ours was going to renew and they dropped it by about $85.00.)
- Food Delivery Services
Try Using a Budget That Fits Your Needs
I know most people do not want to live on a budget – talk about a negative connotation! I used to feel the same way, but it is actually pretty liberating! We started out using the Dave Ramsey System, which I love. We have tweaked it a bit to fit what works best for us. Here are the main things to think about with a budget:
- Start with a basic spreadsheet listing all expenses and all income. Even this can be eye-opening! Be sure to add in your extra spending. You need to be realistic, or you won’t stick to it.
- Right off the top, set aside your giving to the Lord.
- When you first start out, you may not be able to do this, but if possible put 10% of your income into a savings account.
- If you use cash, you tend to hold on to it longer. Again, this is a Dave Ramsey teaching. He uses envelopes, which work great for us. I actually ordered the cutest envelope billfold from Amazon. The envelopes are plastic, so they do not tear like the paper ones.
- Decide how much you want to spend each month and be realistic. Try to stick to the plan if at all possible.
Here is a picture of the envelope billfold I got for an unreal price of around $10.00:
Some of you may know that I used to do extreme couponing. Walking out of a grocery store with two buggies worth of food and paying $20.00 was quite a thrill! It was a lot of work though.
I have found other ways now to get money back that is simple, fun, and not very time consuming at all. I am sharing links to some of my favorite money making apps. In full disclosure, many of these will give bonuses to both the person signing up as well as the person who shared it with them.
There are many more apps you can use, but at one time, I was doing too many. This not only took up too much time, but it took the fun out of it. I had to narrow it down.
These are my favorites:
Ibotta – You can use this on a computer or on your phone. You get money back on store purchases by taking pictures of your store receipts. They also have a card linking feature which I love! If you link your card and use it at one of the stores, the money is added to your account automatically. I have earned quite a bit through this app. If you want to try it out, they will give you (and me) a bonus 🙂 Click here to sign up for it.
Fetch – With this app, you literally take a picture of every receipt you get. It can be groceries, gas, local businesses, you name it! You earn points to get gift cards. I have been able to get several Starbucks and Amazon cards with Fetch. Right now they are giving 2,000 points for joining and snapping the first receipt. Click here to sign up for Fetch.
Coin Out – This is another super easy app to use. You scan any and all receipts, just like with Fetch. This one adds actual money to an account. Each receipt is worth a few cents, but with the bonuses, they really add up quickly. When you get ready to use the money, you can either get an Amazon card or have the money sent to your Zelle or Paypal accounts. I don’t think they have a referral program, but if you go to the app store, you should be able to find it.
Shopkicks – This has been the money-making app I have used the longest. You can earn points in a variety of ways – watching short videos(I get them playing as I make my coffee each morning), scanning products in stores, opening the app as you walk into certain stores, and even purchasing some products. I have earned over $500.00 in Starbucks cards over the years, and a few Target cards. They are all digital, so you get them within minutes. They are giving 500 bonus points when you sign up and earn your first 10 points. Click here to sign up for Shopkicks.
Each receipt can be used on multiple apps. I usually line my receipts up for that day and scan them on each of the apps. I might as well make money in each one! Most of them will let you link your Wal-Mart and Amazon accounts so that you automatically get money back with online orders as well.
I encourage you to try at least one of them. You get to have fun while making money!
Other Resources on the Web
ParentingHighSchoolers.com shared a great post – Budgeting for the Holidays
FamilyBudgetIdeas.com has a lot of great information in their post Best Ways To Start Saving Money Next Year
I hope this post helps you save some money not only during the biggest spending time of the year, but everyday. Please share any other money saving tips and ideas you use.
Have a Grace & Joy-filled day!
disclosure: affiliate links are used on this page. Thank you for supporting Home with Grace and Joy. When you purchase an item, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.
“When I am filled with cares, Your comfort brings me joy.” Psalms 94:19