If you are struggling to pay your bills, you are likely living beyond your means. Alternatively, you may be living within your means but not making the kind of progress on your debt as you’d like.
I’ve been there, I cut a lot of costs so I could put more towards my debt, but I did it without sacrificing having a life. Just because you need to cut back on your spending does not mean you have to give up having a life.
I ended up saving over $175 a month using the things on this save money list
By saving money, I was able to pay off over $6k in credit card debt in just 5 months. I continue to use the checklist to reevaluate my expenses so I can keep saving. The save money checklist helps me stay on track with the rest of my debt repayment.
To help you start saving money, I put together a FREE list of 45+ ways to save money and still have a life. It includes expenses and ideas for how you can save. It contains over 45 ways you can start saving money today. Want to take it with you? Sign up for it below to get it sent straight to your inbox. Now onto how you can save money and still have a life.
What to Watch
First things first, cut cable. Just do it, use some of these alternatives instead.
1. Use a Digital Antenna: You can get a decent Digital Antenna for about $15. Digital antenna’s allow you to get free basic channels. With mine I get ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, and a few other channels. However, keep in mind that digital antennas only work on TVs that are 2009 or newer.
2. Stream Netflix: The cost of Netflix is just $7.99 a month and is great for anyone that wants to be entertained, but isn’t concerned with keeping up with current seasons of shows.
3. Stream Hulu: If keeping up to date with shows is important to you then Hulu is the way to go at just $7.99/month.
Other Streaming Options to Consider:
4. HBO Now (14.99/mo),
5. Sling ($20),
7. DirectTV Now
Save Money on Going Out
Going out is easily one of the easiest ways to bust a budget. However, no one like to live like a hermit, even when they are trying to save money. Here are some ways you can save when going out.
8. Check Groupon/Living Social Groupon and living social are great sites to score good deals on fun things to do with friends. From group workout classes, to paint nights, indoor rock climbing and beer tasting, you’re sure to find an activity that will suit your style.
9. Mail Flyer Coupons or Ads We all get various coupons and ads in the mail. These can save you serious money with very little effort. They are particularly great when something new is opening because there is usually a promotion you can take advantage of.
10. Happy Hour I know happy hour doesn’t exist everywhere (sorry Massachusetts) but if you live somewhere with happy hour, you should never pay full price for a drink.
11. Other Ideas: Check to see if there are any Meet Ups in the area that interest you, this is really good if you are new in town. Also take advantage of any gift cards you might have, nearby parks, and skip the movie theater, rent it on Redbox for a fraction of the price.
Books & News
12. Paperback Swap $2-$3 If you are a reader, you probably have a bunch of books lying around that you’ve already read and don’t intend to read again. Swap them for other books you are interested in, only pay for shipping your books.
13. Book of the Month Club $5 to start. Choose from 5 different books each month, the first month is just $5 and it’s $14.99 after.
Best Tool: BookScouter allows you to enter your book’s ISBN number and it compares the prices it would get from various sellers, making sure you fetch the most money possible for selling that book.
Save on Booze
16. Winc Affordable monthly wine subscription with prices averaging $13 a bottle. Use my link & get a free bottle of wine. If you don’t want wine delivered straight to your door every month you can easily skip months.
Favorite Wine Delivery: I like ordering a box of different wines to try from Winc every few months. The bottles average $13 a piece and delivery is free when you get at least 4 bottles (more wine please). If you want to check out Winc, you can get a free bottle of wine using my link. I’m very pro free wine.
17. Groupon Deals For around $100 including shipping, I got 13 bottles of wine shipped to my door via a Groupon that comes out to just $7-8 a bottle.
Save on Housing & Transportation
If You are Renting
18. Downsize or consider getting roommates.
19. If you don’t want a permanent roommate see if you lease allows you to rent out a room on AirBnB.
If You Own a Home
20. If you have a mortgage, look into refinancing to save money.
21. Also consider renting out a room to a boarder or on sites like AirBnB.
22. As a last resort if you really can afford your home, consider selling and downsizing.
23. If you have a car loan, consider refinancing
24. Can you walk more or use a bike?
25. Use an app like GasBuddy to save on fuel.
Save on Utilities
25. Unplug or turn off power strips of items that are not in use.
26. Wash clothes in cold water and air dry them.
27. Contact your electric company to see if they offer any alternative electric plans.
28. Adjust the thermostat and throw on a sweatshirt.
29. Make sure you aren’t paying for more internet than you need.
30. Contact your provider when you see a better price listed on their site or a competitors site, try to get the lower rate.
31. Consider going without internet if you can easily access it elsewhere (like at work, or an apartment complex’s resident’s area)
32. If you ever work from home, see if work is willing to reimburse you
33. Wait to do laundry until you have a full load
34. Consider getting an installing a water saving shower head
35. If hand washing dishes, soak and wash followed by a quick rinse rather than having the faucet on the entire time you are doing the dishes.
Save on Minimum Payments
36. Student Loans – Consider changing repayment plans. You change repayment plans once every 12 months. Consider an Income-Driven Repayment plan. If you have private loans or your debt to income ratio allows it, consider refinancing with a company like Sofi, you can read my review of what it was like to refinance my bar loan with SoFi here.
37. Insurance Shop around and negotiate, prices can vary greatly between providers. Insurance you should consider: Renters/Owners insurance, car insurance, medical insurance.
38. Consumer Debt Work with your creditors to see if they can lower your interest rate or come up with another payment plan, they’d rather be paid a little less and extend the term than not get paid at all.
39. Subscriptions Gym memberships: Is there a cheaper gym you could use or could you get a discount through work? Phone plans: Consider using a service like Ting or Republic Wireless to save on your phone bill
Save on Food
40. Shop at less expensive stores such as Aldi, Market Basket, or Walmart Grocery
41. Use coupons from your mail to save, make sure you are only using coupons on items you would buy anyway.
Best Tool: To save money on groceries, download the Checkout51 app and sign up for free. Each week on Thursday, “new deals” come out. Go through and star the items that are on your grocery shopping list. Do your shopping and at the end use your phone to snap a picture of receipt through the app and hit submit. Once you earn $20 in rewards you can cash out and Checkout51 will send you a check.
42. Don’t buy more than you need, the less food you was the less money you waste
43. Apps like Ibotta, Snap by Groupon, and the Krazy Coupon Lady will help you save during your shopping trip.
Tools to Help You Save Money Without Sacrificing a Life
44. Chime – Helps you save. You know you need to build up some savings, but actually setting aside that money can be tough, enter Chime the app that saves for you. It rounds up your spending and then gives you a 10% bonus.
Chime works by starting a spending account (takes 5 minutes) and opting into the automatic savings plan. (Learn more about getting started with Chime). Every time I use the Chime Debit Card it rounds up my purchase to the nearest dollar and puts in in savings. Right now they also offer a double round-up bonus on those savings. All those withdrawals add up over time. Chime is free to use, with no monthly fees. With Chime, you end up saving money without having to think about it.
45. Qoins – Helps you Pay Off Debt Faster Qoins rounds up what you spend to the nearest dollar and sets aside that amount to be applied towards your debt once a month. Remember, the more payments you make the less interest accrues.
Learn more on How Qoins Can Help You Pay Off Debt Faster
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