As I get older and more in tune with how to run a household successfully I realize all the ways that a family can be frugal, or “go” frugal (like, going green … only cheaper lol). I’ve been a coupon clipper and usually save at least $10 at the Commissary (which in itself is a wonderful place to save money!) I also look for sales and price compare things. I have a chart that I got from ListPlanit that helps me to compare items at different stores – it’s very helpful because I am a bad list maker.
Anyway, here is a little list of ways our family is working to be more frugal:
- Clip coupons (they seriously work!) – but don’t buy something that you wouldn’t normally buy just because you have a coupon for it. Also – my friends and I swap coupons sometimes, it works out really well!
- Search for sales – check out various stores for price comparisons.
- If you are military and have access shop at the Commissary! They aren’t lying when they say they can save you 30% off your grocery bill. Get what you can there and then what you can’t try Wal-Mart (if you have one). They might be a little *evil* but they are still cheap.
- Save and try NOT to use credit cards!!!! (easier said than done, I know!)
- If you are swimming in credit debt why not try and do a balance transfer? Make sure that the percentage rate is super low for at least 6 months (or better yet for the “life of the balance”). Pay attention to the “balance transfer fee” because it could be high. Then, make that card a PRIORITY.
- Make a budget and stick to it – sounds simple but it works. Try and use cash for things like groceries and entertainment (and allowance). A trick I learned from my Mom that works for me is to divvy up the budgeted money into different envelopes. Then you can see plainly what you have to spend.
- Cash in those bonus points from you credit cards! I love getting either $50 “cash” or a $25 Starbucks card from my Discover Card points. A lot of companies have reward cards – if you are going to use plastic you might as well earn stuff.
- For playgroups meet somewhere FREE (like a park) and plan a picnic. The kids will have a great time eating on a blanket on the ground and the adults get to relax.
- Swap babysitting with friends.
- Try to shop online at places like eBay or Half.com – even Amazon now has a used entertainment category. Pay attention to shipping though.
- Seriously SHOP AT THRIFT STORES (and pawn shops!).
- If you like to rent movies see if there is a “Redbox” nearby – the movies (usually new releases) are only $1 per night! You can even get a text message per week with a “freebie” code!
- Don’t pay a lot for eyeglasses when you’ve got a website like Zenni Optical around. Their glasses start at only $8 and are super cute and in tons of styles. I personally know moms who have shopped at their site and say that their deals are really for REAL and that the quality is excellent. They were even mentioned in a book titled “Living Rich by Spending Smart” by Gregory Karp. (Which might I add has some seriously great advice).
I’m sure there are more GREAT tips on spending less money. Please share YOURS!!
Getting organized with our bills is something I’ve been working towards for a few years now. I admit – I spend too much money; but I still sorta keep track of it and am aware of it. That’s a step, right?
We’ve got a “budget” but it’s really only for keeping track of what bills we have each month. I don’t have a “budget” for going out to playdates or getting lunch or anything; just what we have to pay on the phone, the television, utilities and credit cards each month. I’ve been working on spending less and making more (which is why you see a lot of paid ads on the blogs) and it’s coming along nicely. I have a LONG way to go though.
So, to help me (and you) there is this website that gives you your “BillsIQ” and it’s really handy for figuring out where you are at in terms of bills, debt help and the organizing/planning of payments. It covers everything from monthly budgets to retirement to saving for your child’s college fund. I went through and answered a few simple questions and it told me that my “IQ” was a “B” – 83%. Not bad! I pay our bills on time each month (although, in the past couple months I’ve forgotten at least one – not good because this is the largest variable in calculating credit score) and I generally know our credit score although I’m not sure of the number (check your credit report at least once a year). Credit scores are based on three things; payment history, debt loads and debt utilization (how much is on your credit cards in terms of limit).
Here’s my goal!
Like I said, our budget consists of a breakdown of each bill we pay each month. I am working on paying off 3 credit cards (I’ve already paid off two). The only card I’m using right now is the Discover – although it would just be better if I stopped using the card (and generating more debt). I pay more than the minimum payment each month also; which is super important. According to my plan – those three cards (if they aren’t used) will be paid off in less than three years. We also have a debt consolidation loan which is being paid on each month. But, it’s all for the greater good I suppose. We’re working on getting some debt relief as soon as we can and we’ve got a pretty good payoff plan. Now – all we have to do is keep to it!
If you are looking for a T-Mobile coupon or even coupons from such retailers as Blockbuster, Overstock, Hot Topic, Babies R Us, Old Navy, Travelocity and a ton more look no further than www.savings.com. This website provides coupon codes for many retailers and all it takes is a few clicks to save you some mucho dinero. I always search for coupon codes before I send in an order to a store – I shop online often at Amazon, Old Navy and Children’s Place and all three of those stores can be found on the savings.com website.
Take Hot Topic for instance – I just found a coupon code where you can save $25 on any order over $100. That’s ¼ savings there baby! Hot Topic tends to be on the more expensive side too so having a coupon code is really nice.
What about all of you going to IzeaFest? Have you ordered some business cards yet? Why not check out the 50% off coupon for Vista Print that you can find on the savings.com website. Sah-weet! Stock up now so you receive your order in time and have enough cards to give to everyone.
I can seriously see myself using this website – check it out and let me know what you think!
I know some people think it’s “selling out” but – I do some paid blogging and reviews in order to be able to stay home with my kid. The extra money is nice and honestly, I give pretty full closure when I do a paid post. I make at least a couple extra hundred dollars a month, which helps me pay off my credit cards a little faster and have that extra money for my son and I to do some cool things during the day (like visit the zoo, buy a season pass to the Aquarium and make a monthly trip to Chuck E Cheese).
Since November of last year I have been blogging for PayPerPost. The pickings have gotten a little slimmer since” Scroogle” decided to strip my page rank – but, not all is lost. Izea, the company behind PPP has come out with its brand new social marketing network called SocialSpark. SocialSpark is still in invite-only Alpha testing (which I was so, so lucky to get invited to) but it’s already promising to be way better then PPP ever was with some awesome added bonuses! First off, it’s like a social network – so you can have a friends list and be able to “talk” with potential advertisers. It’s a more personal experience.
Plus, SocialSpark has the REQUIREMENT of full disclosure! So you can be sure that you know when you are reading paid or sponsored content. You have the option of doing paid posts or blog “sponsoring” (which entails a popup when you first visit and an ad bar at the bottom of the blog). They also provide “Sparks” which are ideas for blog posts you can do when you run out of ideas.
I’m really excited about SocialSpark – really excited! I’m excited to able to stay at home with my son and STILL be able to bring in some extra money. It’s awesome for my fellow “Mommy Bloggers” who blog anyway about things they love like products, and other websites – why not get paid for some advertising? Check it out, play around with the social networking side of the site and just see how much you can make!
If you are looking for a simple website where you can find a great assortment of loans including home loans then why not check out Refinance.com? Once you visit the website you can get an instant quote for a refinance for free. Just choose your information from the drop down lists right on the front page! All your information is secure; so no worries about identity theft.
You will also find “Today’s Mortgage Rates” in a left column which will give you a good idea of how much you would be paying if you get a mortgage refinance. You will also see mortgage refinancing information for each State. At the very bottom of the page you can also get information regarding their mortgage refinancing program such as bad credit refinance, home refinance and also information on refinance related programs such as FHA loans. They also have Home Equity Loans and can even help you pay off your debt with a Debt Consolidation Loan.
Refinance.com was previously known as Homebridge Mortgage Bankers which was founded in 1989. They have a free consultation service where they can match clients with the program best suited to their needs. They are there to help you; be it with home buying, home refinance or debt issues. If you are looking for a company to help you – please check out Refinance.com.
Right before Alan and I got married (back in 2002) someone took a joy ride with my credit card and bought a Dell computer with all the fixings. Thankfully, Bank of America had the sense to call me and make sure that it was me that did the purchasing – when I told them that it wasn’t, they pulled the charges. That fiasco was only $500; the next creep who went on a joyride with a credit card took Alan’s to New York and spent over $1000 on random stuff. Navy Federal realized it wasn’t him and removed the charges.
This kind of thing happens daily and if you aren’t the victim of identity theft then you are one of the lucky ones.
I caught wind of a company that promises to protect your identity, it’s called LifeLock and it’s the industry leader in Identity Theft Protection business. When you are a member of LifeLock – they will call your credit card companies and have them put you on a fraud alert, they will have your name pulled from the pre-approved credit card lists and they will also order free credit reports on your behalf.
LifeLock has a 1 Million Dollar service guarantee and is only $10 a month. I suggest you give them a serious look if you want someone to really protect your identity. They are listed on the Better Business Bureau and Top Consumer Reviews. You can check out how they work by clicking here.