5 Simple Ways to Save Money

Are you on a budget? Do you faithfully stick to your budget or do you easily roll off the tracks toward the end of the year? Well, if you have fallen off your budget wagon, this post is for you. As it turns out, this is the time of the year my family gets its finances in order before school begins.

We write our expenses on index cards and go through our bank statements to see what we need to change in order to save money. This is the best time of the year for us to do this because it’s right before back to school shopping begins and before decisions concerning our children’s education are made. This is also the time of year when we begin to plan our Christmas lists and planning now prevents us from being tempted to make silly decisions around the holidays.

I hope these five simple ways to save money will help you too:

1. Haircuts at home

My oldest is 24 years old and I have been cutting all four of my boys’ hair and my husband’s hair for 21 years. My hair stylist gave my oldest son his first haircut when he was two and I was willing to pay for that moment and the opportunity to record the memory by taking a few pictures. Realizing haircuts would soon add up, I took him to a less expensive place to a have his hair cut when he was three. Unfortunately, this was not a good experience and he left the salon looking like he had styled his hair himself. I quickly decided I could destroy his hair for free, so I went to Walmart and purchased hair clippers and a good pair of scissors. The WAHL Pro Hair clippers are easy to use and you can view Youtube videos demonstrating step-by-step how to use the clippers. Don’t worry if his hair doesn’t look too great the first few times you cut it; it will take a little practice. I would recommend experimenting with your new clippers in the summer. If you mess up his new do, you can just buzz it off. Summer cut!

 2. Shop around for the cheapest phone service and stop paying for data

How much do you pay for your cell phone service every month? If it’s more than $25 per phone, you are paying too much. Ask your friends what they pay and have them share how they were able to get a better deal than you have. I pay $25 a month for unlimited talk and texting with AT&T. You can add the data plan for only $10 more a month, but I have never felt the need to have data on my phone when there are HOTSPOTS in most stores and restaurants. I can even Take Over Tuesday for Chattanooga Moms Blog on Instagram without paying a single penny for data. After conducting a survey on Facebook, I discovered AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Cricket have the best rates. 

3. Create your own home gym

Working out is important to me not only because I want to stay strong, but because is it a great stress reliever. I love working out at the gym, but after dealing with medical expenses, I do not want to be under a contract for anything. Take a fitness class and learn how to exercise on your own at home. I attended a Boot Camp with Dillard Training a few years ago and was introduced to the Dynamax Medicine Ball. You can follow my Pinterest board YES.YOU.CAN. to discover more working out at home ideas other moms have shared. Feel free to pin your ideas to the board. 

4. Meal planning and eating at home

This one is huge! If you eat out a lot, you should take a look at your bank statement and add up all you have spent eating out in the last 12 months. Take that amount and subtract 30%. The difference is about what you would have saved in the last year had you planned your meals and cooked what you had planned. Some weeks make it more difficult to cook. Freezer meals, make ahead meals and food prep will make it easier to stick to the plan. And it’s okay if your family eats a sandwich for dinner every once in a while — homemade food is always healthier anyway.

5. Buy clothes at discounted prices for the family

New clothing styles that have just hit the rack are what most moms want. Until one day, you realize your child is wearing his college fund. Children outgrow their clothes quickly and are not worth the investment unless they can be handed down. I purchase most of my children’s clothing the year before by simply purchasing the next size up. Stores may be limited with the size and color you may need. If you find a certain shirt or style that you like, you will usually find more colors and sizes online. Be sure to share all the great deals you find with other moms and always check websites like SLICKDEALS, RetailMeNot and DealsPlus for promo codes before completing your online purchase. Old Navy, Kohl’s and L.L.Bean are my favorite places to shop for quality kids’ clothes. Plan a Clothes Swap event in your home with your friends; this is a great way to purge and share with your friends and you will be able to take some “new to you” clothes home too.

If you add up all the SAVINGS per year:

$624 + $420 + 840 + $1,664 + $400 = $3,928

and you save this amount for 25 years

 $3,928 X 25 years = $98,700

That’s a great beginning to your retirement fund!

The best way to save money is not by finding ways to make more money; it’s by simply doing without. If you cannot afford to buy something, don’t buy it. If you cannot afford to be a part of something, be patient; the season will soon come when you can, if you spend your money wisely. 

Debt is not worth the worry.

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3 Responses to 5 Simple Ways to Save Money

  1. Kathy Brown July 14, 2017 at 6:25 am #

    Great ideas. The one that would benefit me the most would be to eat more at home and meal planning. Thanks for sharing.

    • Holly Meyer Long
      Holly Meyer Long July 25, 2017 at 12:30 am #

      Thanks Kathy and please be sure to come back and tell us how much you have saved by cooking more and eating out less.

  2. Carolyn July 19, 2017 at 8:35 am #

    I had the discussion with my mom about what having my husband cut the family’s hair really saves. I was looking at the cost of the haircut and tip as my basis. She added that the transportation costs, my time and incidentals needed to be added in. I sometimes have to travel with my job, they pay $.56 a mile, so I will use that number. One 40 mile round trip to the barber/salon is $22.40 (we live rural) and haircut for each boy at $12 plus $3 tip is about $55 for two boys, $660. Mine at $43 plus $7 tip is $50 every 6-8 weeks plus $22.40 transportation is $72 or $720 for the year. Hubby cuts his own, I tried to help, but he had to fix my work. The home haircuts started as i received too many bad haircuts at the salon and the boys got three really bad haircuts in a row. Why pay for bad haircuts? I save over $1300 a year. My husband is great with the clippers and hair shears. He bought the proper tools, cape, neck strips, clips, etc. it is convenient, fast and we get great results. At first my mother was upset that I had him cut mine, thought I should just go to the salon and pay to get pampered. Rude staff, hair yanked, head jerked around, scalp burned by blow dryer, cut as they wanted (too short) and too expensive. That is not pampering. I get compliments on my boys’ haircuts and friends have asked hubby to show him how to use the clippers and shears on their children. My best friend stopped over to visit while I was getting my haircut and she complimented his work and asked him to cut hers while he was at it. She got compliments at work and my mother asked hubby to cut hers after her salon changed ownership, prices went up $20 and she got a bad haircut to boot. She admiited my home haircuts were a great idea as he gives great haircuts and she has no complaints about saving hundreds she would have spent at the salon. So I would say you are underestimating your savings substantially. We are now picking fresh fruits and vegetables from our garden. I havent gotten to calculating the savings on that, but when we picked six quarts of strawberries every other day and eight quarts of blueberries same schedule, three weeks later, i know i will save hundreds and like the home haircuts, I love knowing what I am getting.