I don’t really have a whole lot of room to complain when it comes to money. Because you see, I have this giant money tree that grows in my backyard which makes me independently wealthy. What? You don’t have one of those, too?
No, I say that because our family has enough to pay our bills. My husband has a good job and is a great provider for his family. His job has allowed for me to stay home with our three kids and while that has involved some sacrifices, we have everything we need. We have a roof over our heads, a car to drive, food in the fridge, clothes on our backs and health insurance, even if it’s the kind that extends you a helping hand while simultaneously kicking you in the head.
We have what we need but there is simply not a whole lot of extra cash lying around, even in the couch cushions. And since we have three kids and there always seems to be an expense creeping up, I found it necessary to start pinching a few pennies, and dimes and pretty much anything else I could get my hands on.
I started getting creative and found that I was being wasteful without even knowing it. Now, maybe you’re not like me. Maybe you read every line of every bill you get each month…right after you alphabetically organize your food pantry. And maybe you’ve always been super observant and diligent when it comes to every dime that comes in and out of your bank account. Good for you. You are making Suzie Orman very proud.
But if you are like me and are lucky to pay your bills on time because you procrastinated and didn’t order bank checks in time and now you only have 3 checks left and 5 bills to pay, then you might want to listen up because you need all the help you can get.
I’m going to write a three-part series on saving money. The first part will be dedicated to cutting down your monthly expenses on your utilities and regular monthly bills. I found lots of little tricks where I was able to save ten dollars here, fifteen dollars there but that kind of stuff really adds up! The second part will be saving money with lifestyle changes like cutting your own hair and line drying clothes and the third will be all about couponing. I will share realistic couponing tips, nothing extreme! Have you seen that crazy couponing show on TLC? It’s called “Extreme Couponing” and while they offer some good tips, I have to say those people are plum crazy! You won’t ever find me crawling around in a sloppy dumpster to find coupons. No siree!
I want to preface this by saying that I am not a financial expert. I’m simply your neighbor who was desperate and started looking around for ways to save money and ended up with a few hundred extra dollars in the bank each month. I just want to share the wealth!
When I started working on cutting down my monthly bills, I found that I was able to save an average of $150 a month on my utilities and monthly bills. With lifestyle changes, we started saving around $150 a month and the coupons have saved me a consistent $400 or more a month. In total, I was able to save us about $700 a month!
Now, I’m not talking huge changes here, I’m talking about the money that we didn’t realize we were spending that was slowly bleeding out of our bank account every month. You know, the nickels and dimes that add up to huge stacks of cash before you know it. I invite you to come back and hopefully get some tips to save some money. Today I went to the supermarket and saved $180 dollars. C’mon, I know you want to know how I did that! If not, I’ll let you get back to pruning your money tree.