Guest Post Written By: Wendi Iacobello
Getting ahead on your monthly finances takes work. Making small changes now can vastly increase your savings each month. It takes discipline to stick to a strict regimen and make saving money a priority. Below are a few strategies to help increase your savings each month in three key areas.
1-Lights-Change your light bulbs to energy efficient bulbs. Then, only use lights in the room in which you are sitting. During the day time, open up your blinds or curtains and let in fresh light instead of using electricity. To learn more about the cost savings of energy efficient bulbs, click here.
2-Appliances-Change the way you do laundry to save money. Washing clothes in cold water is cost saving. Make sure your laundry and dishwasher loads are full. Lastly, run your appliances during the early morning or late evening hours when energy costs are lower.
3-Lunch-Food is a huge expense. Packing your lunch can save up to fifty dollars a week, plus you can eat healthier.
4-Dinner-Plan your family’s meals for the week utilizing similar ingredients so you are not wasteful. For example: If I know I am cooking a large meal on Sundays, I make sure that Monday night’s meal plan will incorporate leftovers plus adding in one extra vegetable that can be cooked easily on Monday night. This not only saves money, but can also save you time from having to cook every night. This can also include using similar ingredients in your recipes so you are using the entire product you bought before it expires.
5-Going out to eat-Going out to eat is costly and can wreak havoc on your budget. Depending on how much money you want to save will depend on whether you should eliminate going out to eat completely, or limit it to only one time per week.
6-Grocery List-Make a grocery list and stick to it. Often times when you are in the grocery store, you begin throwing in extra items that are usually unnecessary. When you stick to a grocery list, you avoid adding extra expenses to your grocery bill. For an added challenge, you can write down and add each item as you place it in your shopping cart to make sure you stay within your weekly grocery budget. While I may look ridiculous, I bring a small dry erase board with me to the grocery store with my grocery list on it, and I can add everything quite easily as I shop on the board.
7-Off brands-Instead of name brand products, look for the best prices on some of the products you typically buy. Off brands taste very similar to the name brands, so be sure to check prices and see where you can make the adjustment to save money.
8-Coupons-Using coupons never goes out of style. Many stores now offer coupons right on the shelves which makes it easier to save, but also entices you to buy certain products that you may not really need. Keep clipping coupons and pay attention to the deals to make sure it’s truly worth the buy.
9-Errands-Plan your errands accordingly. When you plan your trips around town and errands accordingly, you not only save on gas money, but you also save more time in your schedule. Time is worth money, so if you can save time you can also save money.
10-Trips-Limit unnecessary travel until it is affordable in your budget. Traveling can become costly and puts a large dent in your budget. Avoiding trips and traveling can save tremendous amounts each month.
What are some things you do to save money on your budget each month? Please share in the comments.
Want to know more about Wendi? Read below.
Wendi Iacobello is an Army wife. She has a background in special as well as adult education. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and a Master of Arts in Educational Media. She is a blogger, workshop presenter, and advisor to military spouses seeking career and education assistance. In her free time, you can usually find her in the outdoors somewhere gardening, running, or playing with her Beagle puppy. Wendi is extremely passionate about helping others by sharing her experiences, insight, resources, and inspirational stories on her blog Strength 4 Spouses.