Let’s face it life today is hectic. It seems that the demands continue to mount and the stresses of life can sometime seem overwhelming. Costs continue to rise and we’re getting older each day. Did I paint the picture for you? You may need…a vacation.
First of all you need to determine where you want to go. Not just a weekend away, I mean a full vacation one that you have been meaning to take for years. But the question is: How do you come up with the money to pay for it? That’s what we’re going to figure out now. What’s the average cost of a great vacation? Depending on how many people are going and where, the cost could be between $1000-$1500…or higher. So the million dollar challenge is how can you come up with / save the money that you need with very little extra effort?
Secondly...when do you want to go? Let’s say you want to go in 6 months. For an example we need to save the $1500 in that period of time to cover the cost of the trip. That’s $250 per month for six months. Do you have the extra money to save or will you need to figure out how to adjust your monthly expenditures so that it would cover the amount needed? You could go out and get a part-time job outside the home but that would cost you time, money, gasoline to get there, and taxes taken out of the money you made. I believe there’s a better way and if you combine this with another money-making strategy you could reach your goal or exceed it that much faster. It’s kinda like losing weight…you want to (1) start exercising and (2) lower your food intake for the fastest results. It’s up to you however to determine how fast you want to accomplish this goal that you have for yourself.
So let’s look at your expenses and daily nonessential spending like stopping for breakfast on the way to work, eating out daily for lunch, stopping for coffee, even going to the drink machine daily instead of bringing your own drink . See the point is there’s always lots of money that is wasted…so with a little attention to the “little things” you should be able to come up with a very large portion of your monthly goal with little effort.
So now that we have our goal set here’s some ways to help you trim your budget and “find” the money for that much needed vacation.
Here’s 41 ways to save on your MONTHLY EXPENSES
- Use Your AC sparingly and use a Programmable Thermometer. They have been shown to save you 10-15% on your electric bill every month…forever!!
- Use Ceiling Fans year round to help control temperatures and air / heat flows in your rooms.
- Don’t get cash from an ATM. Stores like Wal-Mart and other retailers will let you get up to $100 as cash back for free with no extra charge.
- Watch the way you drive to avoid tickets and an increase in your insurance costs.
- Take shorter showers (set a timer) saves you on your electric / gas bills.
- Buy quality items that will last…like Cast Iron ..don’t buy cheap items that have to be replaced every couple of years.
- Inspect your cell phone bill for over billing and errors.
- Use the Groupon App to buy discounts.
- Take discounted vacations like the ones shown on Amazon.
- Use houseplants to purify the air…cheaper that Air-Purifers and require no filters…ever.
- Adjust the temperature on your hot water heater down to the recommended temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Buy good items from consignment (like Plato’s Closet) and thrift stores (but get only the good stuff)
- Go Solar on all outdoor lighting and motion detector security lighting. (Use free renewable energy source – the sun)
- Use 13-watt compact fluorescent bulbs on all your indoor lighting (60 watt equivalent).
- Just ask for a Discount..everywhere the savings are worth the effort. What’s the worst thing that could happen?
- Shop at overstock outlets like Ollies, Big Lots, and wholesalers like Sams Club / Costco.
- Check & Buy from Today’s Deals on Amazon (big savings)
- Use Cash envelopes for your expenses that Dave Ramsey talks about.
- Put your thermostat at 75 in summer and 68 in winter. See also: Programmable Thermostats…Do They REALLY save you money? What’s the best brand?
- Wash clothes on cold water when possible.
- Dry your clothes at night in the summer months to keep the house cool during the day.
- Check your Cable Bill and adjust your services for maximum savings.
- Compare cell phone providers and plans. Combine your services with other family/friends to get the best rates.
- Share rides to stores, etc and share costs on everything you can.
- Use Public Transportation to save gas and operating costs.
- Cook more at home. Eat out only ONCE a month=BIG SAVINGS.
- Invest in a crock pot and plan your meals weekly
- Senior citizens often get free or reduced items at restaurants and at certain stores on specific days. Use them if you qualify.
- Go Generic on your Groceries.
- Use Generic prescriptions and combine with other store savings opportunities like gas savings etc.
- Use credit cards that give you cash back (1.5% or better) like Capital One)
- Don’t buy your favorite magazines at the store…get subscriptions to them cheaper on Amazon.
- Sign up for all savings /rewards plans at the stores you shop like CVS, Kroger, etc.
- Buy items ONLY when they are on sale (never pay full price) and stock up accordingly (see opening image).
- Save on your travel costs. Let your luggage / bags fly free when you travel on airlines like Southwest ( Savings=cost X #bags)
- Download coupon apps
- Don’t ever buy Batteries again= lifetime savings.
- Get the Sunday Paper (has the largest number of coupons in them)
- Compare grocery stores savings and ads
- Get AMAZON STUDENT 6-MONTH FREE TRIAL
- Get AMAZON PRIME 30-FREE DAY TRIAL
Also see: 7 Ways to Save Money On Monthly Expenses
Here’s 29 additional ways to save on your GROCERY BILL.
One grocery item is priced high, one is priced low. Which item presents the best deal and how can you make your grocery budget stretch? First, you must figure out an amount that you want to spend for the month and divide that into how often you go grocery shopping. How often is the best? Will you go daily, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly? Keep in mind that the more often you have to go to the store, the more expensive those trips become because of the time / gas involved.
Here are some tips to help you stretch your budget:
- Create your budget with a Monthly Budget Planner
- Make a Grocery List
- Plan your meals with a Menu Planner
- Check the newspapers for “sales”…stock up when items are less expensive
- Figure out which stores offer “double coupons”
- Figure if it’s worth it to drive to more than one store or not
- Use the Bulk buying stores like Sams Club, Costco, etc.
- Use Coupons and a Coupon Organizer
- Get Coupons Here if you need them
- Use a calculator to keep up with how much you have spent
- Buy & Stock up on meat only when it’s on sale ( Invest in One of These )
- Buy Generics (they are often just as good)
- Compare ingredients to see if the items are the same
- Look below the items that are “eye level” …they are the most expensive
- Look at the dented cans and close-outs that can be a tremendous savings
- Don’t purchase unnecessary items (all those items around the cashier)
- Don’t pay full price for magazines at the grocery store (some are $9 or more each) Buy Magazines At a Discount Here
- Stick to your Budget and don’t go over (put something back)
- Ask if there are any discounts available ( store loyalty programs will save you more)
- Combine store savings w/gas purchases for more loyalty points
- Use the store pharmacy, florist, gas station for more savings on the loyalty program
- Save some of your budget for non-food items that can be purchased in bulk or at a cheaper price
- Pay in cash…you’ll spend less
- Don’t bring a credit card inside the store
- Check the dollar stores for some of your personal items like toothpaste / deodorant and buy once a month
- Use money-saving apps: Saving money at DOLLAR GENERAL is this easy…using the Dollar General App
- Combine apps w/coupon use and multiply savings…may be able to get item free
- Read this to learn how to save $1000 at the grocery store
- Stick to budget for 6 months and take you one of these with the money you saved on groceries …gotta have a little motivation 🙂
Bonus tip: Don’t just save in this one area, save 10-15% of your monthly electrical bill using this.
What are some additional ways that you save money on your bills? Leave us some comments below.
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