I was blessed to have been raised by a mother who believed in spending less than you make. Thankfully, that belief is ingrained in me and particularly came into play when my older child went off to a private college four years ago! I reexamined our monthly expenses and was determined to find ways to save money. Here are some of the things I came up with:
- "Unrate" your child on the auto insurance when they are away at college (my daughter didn't have a car and never drove at her university). This saved $100/month. Then when she visits home (in the suburbs), I would call and put her back on the policy as a "rated" driver.
- I found a person who does hair out of her home—this saved me at least 50% on my haircuts.
- Shop around for your cell phone carriers; by doing so, I was able to cut my cell phone bill in half.
- I discovered you can see movies for just $5 on Tuesdays!
- Research all the benefits your employer or spouse's employer offers. I was able to join a group coaching fitness program for free.
- Always ask if there are any additional discounts at retail cash register. On one trip, I received 20% off on my son's clothing.
- Re-analyze your reoccurring expenses. For example, I was paying for storage (for way too long) and decided to either give away or keep items the items at home. As a result I saved over $300 month.
- Ok this sounds basic, but visit your local library—it's free! Also, consider online library App Libby.
- Don't get tires from your car dealer, go to Costco (they aren't on commission).
- Enjoy rewards at your favorite retailer (e.g., you can get free refills at Starbucks if you get to a certain level).
- Don't take no for an answer-persevere. My car dealer said they would fixed an issue, but in reality they didn't do what they were supposed to do. I had already paid thousands of dollars. I contacted the Better Business Bureau (after failed attempts dealing with the dealership directly) and—long story short—I was ultimately refunded thousands of dollars back.
I will stop there. The above list totals over $600/month savings and that's over $7,200/year, only counting the recurring monthly expenses. Happy Savings!