I’ve been going on a big savings journey this year with my husband. We recently bought a house and at the same time started paying off his $62,000 in student loans. We’re currently under $40,000 in loans left since starting the pay off journey 6 months ago, and hope to have them paid off next year.
I’m not a penny pincher by any means, I enjoy spending money on things I love. However, we do our best to not waste money and you’ll see what we actually do in the 20 tips below.
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1. Shopping at the wrong stores
When I moved to Nevada, I started grocery shopping at the grocery store closest to me. Little did I know, it was the most expensive grocery store in in the area. I started comparing produce, bread, and grain prices and found I was spending up to 3x as much for the same item.
This is why it’s so important to shop around at multiple grocery stores to find the best price selection. For example, I shop at Costco for frozen fruit, but I rarely buy produce at Costco because it doesn’t beat the prices at my local grocery store.
Helpful article: 50 Healthiest Foods For A Tight Budget
2. Not using cash back apps
Ebates gives you cash back for shopping at hundreds of stores like Amazon, Best Buy, Sephora, Walmart, Groupon, Target, and pretty much any store you can think of.
Ebates even has a free browser extension that automatically applies the best coupons to your purchases and activates cash back. There are so many times I forget to use Ebates when I’m online shopping – so the Ebates button reminds me every time I go online shopping. It’s a must.
Create an Ebates account here. When you sign up through my link, you get a $30 reward bonus when you spend $30 shopping online.
3. Overpaying for cell phone service
You’ve probably seen ads for low priced mobile plans. I decided to take the leap and try out a low-cost mobile plan.
I tested out Tello Mobile for only $19 per month.
I learned that just because you pay more doesn’t always mean you’re getting better service. T-Mobile charges me $80 per month while Tello Mobile charges me $19. I get the same coverage with both phones in my city. I went out to different locations in my town and tested both phone plans. They got the same exact service. This is why I recommend moving to a cheaper phone plan.
Why pay more for the same thing? A savings of $100 a month can be $1,200 a year.
Tello Mobile uses the SAME towers as Sprint to get service. Tello Mobile has no contract, no fees, and has flexible plans starting at $5. Tello has Nationwide 4GB LTE coverage Calls to Canada, Mexico, and China is even included.
You can test out Tello Mobile for 1 month before totally switching over.
4. Not investing wisely
Are you investing your money yet? If not, you’re missing out on compounding, which is earnings from either capital gains or interest which are then reinvested to generate additional earnings.
If what I just said totally confused you, check out the How To Build Wealth by Investing in Index Funds course.
This course is perfect for beginning investors. It’s designed for those who have paid off all non-mortgage debt and want to learn how to build wealth through investing.
This picture below shows why it’s so important to invest your money. Ashley and Amanda both take home $4,000, yet Amanda has a net worth of $2,112,100 at 65 years old and Ashley has nothing.
5. Using a bank that lacks perks
Are you still using a bank that is offering a 0.03% savings rate? That’s what my previous bank offers for savings rates, but CIT Bank is different.
CIT Bank offers high interest savings accounts compared to your average bank. Interest rates fluctuate, but I’ve seen CIT Bank offer as high as 2.0% of their savings account.
Applying only takes a few minutes. You can start saving with CIT Bank here.
If you have an emergency fund, why let it sit in a bank account offering 0.03%? My emergency fund is sitting in a high yield savings account and making me money every month.
If you’re not sure what your bank accounts savings rate is, contact your bank and ask. It’s worth it.
6. Overpaying for insurance
One of the most responsible things you can do for you and your family is having adequate insurance.
Financial experts recommend having health, auto, disability, life, home or rental, and sometimes even umbrella insurance.
To shop around for insurance and get the best quotes, check out Policy Genius.
Policy Genius helps you get the best insurance protection for your money. My husband got his life insurance with the help of Policy Genius and now we’re protected.
7. Not meal planning
If you’re not doing some kind of meal planning or meal prepping, you’re wasting money on groceries.
Create a schedule and rotate your favorite meals throughout the week and schedule in leftovers for lunch.
To make things easier, use $5 Meal Plan, a meal planning service that sends you a delicious meal plan and shopping list every single week for just $5 a month. The first two weeks are free so it’s definitely worth trying out.
Helpful article: 10 Meal Prep Recipes For Weight Loss
8. Avoiding credit cards
If you’re someone who cannot handle using credit cards and tends to overspend with them, skip this and move onto the next tip.
I take advantage of credit cards on a regular basis. I’m spending the money anyways, so I want to make sure I’m doing everything possible to get extra rewards and bonuses.
For example, I recently signed up for Chase’s Sapphire card. At the time, the sign up bonus was $1,250 just for spending $4000 in the first three months. That’s roughly $1,333 a month which is what we typically spend on house bills, groceries, restaurants, gyms, and other things. I got a $1,250 reward after 3 months just for doing my regular spending.
Look here to find out the best credit card in terms of best rewards and bonuses.
9. Not using your skills
One of the worst things you can do for yourself financially is not taking advantage of the skills you already have.
Having a side hustle is a great idea because it gives you multiple streams of income instead of relying on one stream of income.
Helpful article: How To Monetize The Creative Skills You Didn’t Know You Had
10. Avoiding the doctor and dentist
Healthcare in this country is highly controversial, but let’s say you’re someone who has health care covered by your employer. Your employer pays for your health and dental insurance, but you never use it. This is a big mistake.
Many healthcare plans pay for a free annual physical, vaccines, and your dental insurance typically comes with an annual X-Ray and dental cleaning. These are things you should be taking advantage of which help you with illness prevention.
11. Going out every day for coffee
I go out every weekend for coffee, but save the weekdays for making coffee at home. I use a French press, my favorite coffee beans from local roasters, and have a fun coffee experience at home.
My house smells like coffee every morning and it’s the perfect way to start the morning. I also get way more coffee from my French press than I would from the coffee store.
12. Not using cash back on healthy food
Ibotta is a free app that gives you cash back for making purchases on food at the grocery store, including healthy options like produce, fruit, grains, and more.
Ibotta even has a welcome bonus of up to $20 for new users. Pretty much everyone is using Ibotta by now, but I figured I’d mention it unless you aren’t. You can make even more cash back with Ibotta by redeeming certain offers, your “team” (people you’ve referred) hitting a certain goal.
13. Not getting paid for losing weight
If you’re on a weight loss journey, take advantage of it and make some money from losing weight.
HealthyWage is a weight loss challenge that awards you money for losing weight. You make a bet on how much weight you’ll lose, how much you’ll contribute, and the time you expect it to take to lose the weight.
If you stay on track and lose the weight, you win money. This is a fun way to stay motivated for weight loss.
Helpful article: The Quickest Healthy Lazy Dinner Recipes
14. Not using Honey
Honey is a free service that finds you the best discount codes on the internet in one click, saving you time and money.
For example, I recently shopped on a clothing site and used Honey to find the best coupon option. Honey found me a 40% off coupon which saved me a ton of money. Honey’s free for you to use and is a must if you shop online.
15. Buying cheap things
I used to always buy cheap clothes which would lead to them wearing down quickly, and having to buy new clothes again and again.
I know not everyone has the ability to buy expensive clothing items, which I totally understand. Target is expanding their sustainable clothing line and thrift stores often have great finds, it just takes extra digging for a great item and a low price.
16. Eating out too often
We have a rule in our house where we only go out to eat on the weekends, once for dinner and once for breakfast. This keeps us excited to go out and enjoy restaurants, while also keeping a rule on not overspending on restaurant outings.
Let’s say you’re trying to pay off debt but you go out to eat for lunch every day. That adds up quickly and that money can be put to better use by paying off debt. Make a rule to only go out once or twice on the weekend, and you’ll enjoy the outings much more.
To start cooking at home more, get the 5 Ingredient Cooking for Two cookbook that teaches you how to prepare portioned meals for two. There are over 100 recipes and tips and tricks to make cooking easier. Once you start cooking these meals again and again, you’ll remember them and barely have to check the cookbook anymore.
17. Too many subscriptions
It seems like there’s a new streaming or subscription service starting every month. I remember when people ditched cable to get Netflix to save money, but now the same people are paying for five different streaming services and paying the same amount cable cost.
Add up the amount you’re paying with all of your subscriptions and see which you can cut to save money. It really adds up!
18. Throwing away instead of repairing
We are pretty lucky to be living a time where there’s YouTube and Google. You can learn how to repair pretty much anything these days. Repairing at home not only saves you money, but creates less demand for new things which helps the environment.
There’s also a really handy repair book on Amazon that teaches you how to do home repairs and home improvement projects.
19. Phone upgrades
The average new phone costs $1,000 and many people pay the price to get the new phone, despite having the previous version when it’s working perfectly well.
Obviously there’s a need to buy a new phone once your old phone is no longer secure. For example, I know someone who has the iPhone 6 and it’s no longer getting updates to keep it secure, which means it’s more prone to hacks. They are buying a refurbished iPhone 12 on Amazon for the much needed security, and since it’s refurbished, it’s a lot cheaper.
Helpful article: 15 Money Saving Tips That Are Hurting You
20. Not growing mentally and physically
Working on improving your mindset and physical body is one of the best things you can do for your finances. This is because when you’re confident and in control of your thoughts, you have the ability to move further in your career and relationships.
My journey into personal development and self-help started with the book You Are A Badass. I was at the airport waiting for my flight and I still remember the experience so vividly. It was an amazing experience to learn that I was in so much more control than I thought. I went on to run a very profitable online business, met an amazing man who is now my husband, and even became debt-free.
I also invested in myself last year by signing up for a Grow You Life Coaching membership.
I got coached on my mindset, emotions, relationships, health, and business, which helped me drastically in all areas of my life. I even ended up getting a one-on-one life coach that I met with personally for a year. Life coaching is a gym for your mind and completely life changing.
There are so many ways to cut costs and save money so you can pay off debt. If you’ve already paid off all of your debt, then it’s time to cut costs so you can put more into savings and retirement.
So what are you waiting for? Use these tips to save money today!
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