Today I’m sharing a few of the things we do to save money and reduce expenses. J.C. and I are both naturally savers; however, it’s not always easy. The saving money concept is almost like working out your muscles. You have to do it often to be strong. If you aren’t a natural saver, hopefully I can give you a few ideas on how to save some Dolla Dolla Bills.
-The biggest thing that has helped us is completing Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. If you have not heard of him or his program, I highly suggest you look into it. Click here for a link to his website.
-He teaches to have a zero-based budget every month… and to actually follow the budget. We do this every.single.month without fail and follow it to a T. I normally have 6 to 12 months planned out in advance. I created the budget in Excel. It has formulas and everything. #spreadsheetnerd (Leave me a comment below if you would like the Excel file to set up your monthly budget.)
-He also teaches to use cash envelopes, which we do. I won’t go into a ton of detail on this one. It’s basically where you use all cash. You naturally spend more money when you are swiping your debit card. Does this mean we don’t use ours? NO; however, we use cash for day-to-day purchases. We’ve used this system for about 16 months and seen great results.
-Speaking of debit cards, we don’t own any credit cards and don’t plan on owning any. Am I saying that you are a bad person if you do? NOPE, absolutely not, NOT AT ALL! It’s just not for us. We normally just don’t buy things we cannot purchase with our own money. So we truly don’t have a need for credit cards. I actually know a lot of people who use theirs as a debit card to earn points and then pay it in full every month. Some people do really good at being disciplined and others don’t. We just don’t want the temptation, that’s all.
-To save money on groceries, we don’t buy junk food or soda to keep in our home. By junk food I mean cookies, cakes, chips, etc. It saves a LOT of money on our grocery bill. Do we eat junk food and drink soda? Yes, of course we do. We are humans. We just don’t purchase them to keep in our house.
-We also drink water out of the faucet. Bottled water is tasty, but expensive and creates a lot of trash to fill up landfills. I have a water bottle and J.C. uses a cooler at work. Have we ever purchased bottled water? Well, of course. We are actually having to use it right now because our well needs to be back flushed… whatever that means 🙂
-Seeing that we use mostly cash, we end up with a good bit of change. We put it all in this old milk jug.
There’s no telling how much we have saved up by now. Maybe it will be enough for a fun little weekend trip sometime… or maybe we will just put it in savings?! Who knows?
-Before we buy something new, we normally search Eldoark and/or Craigslist for used items to see if we can get it for a good price. I also like to shop around and find the lowest prices on items. Waiting to make a purchase and using coupons is also very helpful too.
-Last but not least, we try it out ourselves first before we hire it done. You can save yourself a lot of money if you try to DIY. Now don’t get into something too deep! You may cost yourself more money than you would have if you would have let the professionals do it in the first place. We always scour YouTube for how-to ideas before we start a project.
So, in what ways do you save money? Are you a natural saver or a spender? Do you do some of the same things that we do or are all of our ideas PLUM CRAZY?! Leave me a comment below.