Welcome to the club if you’re tired of money problems! Here are several easy ways to save money at home – they’ll help whether you want to pay off debt, save money to buy a house, put money towards your kids’ college tuition, or ensure you have enough money for retirement.
Before the tips, a quip:
“Success in marriage does not come merely through finding the right mate, but through being the right mate.” ~ Barnett R. Brickner.
If you’re fighting about money or struggling with financial problems, try to keep the big picture in mind. You love each other, you want your marriage to be healthy and successful, and you want to solve your money problems together! Focus not only on figuring out and achieving your financial goals, but also on being the best partner you can.
For more money tips for couples, read Financially Ever After: The Couples’ Guide to Managing Money by Jeff Opdyke.
And, here are tips for people who are tired of money problems, from Ethan Ewing, past president of Bills.com.
9 Ways to Save Money at Home
1. Live below your income level. “We’ve said it before because it’s the most important financial lesson to learn, especially in difficult times,” says Ewing. Do not spend more than you earn. If you’re hooked on credit cards should withdraw enough cash each week to cover necessities — even groceries and gasoline — and put the credit cards away. People who pay for their food with a credit card spend 30% more on average than people who pay with cash. And, pay the debt on your credit cards as soon as possible.
2. Focus on needs, not wants. If you’re tired of money problems, get a grip on your income and necessary expenses, and account for these needs before spending money on any wants. “A new shirt for the weekend, new home décor and a flat-screen TV are not ‘needs,'” says Ewing. “Food, home payments, utilities and medical care are needs. To avoid confusing the two, put off purchases for at least 24 hours whenever possible to think about them carefully.” And, save money at home by lowering your winter heating costs.
3. Put vacation plans on hold. To save money at home, stay home instead of taking a vacation – and save an average of nearly $2,000 per year. Instead of going away on vacation, explore your city, state, or province. Work on projects at home, or do volunteer work in your city. Think “staycation.”
4. Enjoy cooking at home. Americans ate an average of 4.2 meals per week at restaurants in 2000. With the conservative assumption that each restaurant meal costs $7, the cost for 4.2 meals per week would mount up to $127 per month, or more than $1,500 per person, per year. For a family of four, costs could soar over $6,000 per year! An easy way to save money at home is to learn to cook a variety of foods, and use convenient tools such as a slow cooker to save time, money and calories.
5. Limit the alcoholic drinks. At home, drinking iced tea instead of a cocktail will save 50 cents to a dollar per day. In a restaurant, the savings could be $5 or more. It doesn’t seem like much, but this way to save money at home can add up to hundreds of dollars a year — or even a month! That’ll help solve your money problems.
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6. Drink regular coffee. Instead of buying a latte or cappuccino on the way to work, make a cup of tea or coffee at home and take it with you. Second best is to forego the coffeehouse cachet for a respectable — and cheaper — cup of Joe from a fast-food establishment or doughnut shop.
7. Stop using shopping as a diversion! Whether shopping online or in person, it is all too easy to start adding items to a cart because of boredom or impulse. Get out of the “retail therapy” habit, and find other, less expensive, ways to entertain yourself. If you’re struggling with a shopping habit, re-evaluate your financial goals as a couple.
If you tend to shop for entertainment, read How Do I Pay Off Credit Card Debt? 6 Ways to Get Out of Debt.
8. Keep the old car – unless you’re tired of the money problems it brings. Your vehicle should be transportation, not a fashion statement. Try carpooling. Own only one vehicle per family to trim transportation costs – this money saving tip for couples might bring you closer, as you spend more time together!
9. Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without. Don’t throw out a bottle of shampoo until it’s completely empty — use it up. Keep jeans past their fashion prime (or learn how to create your own unique fashion trends). If the shape of your turkey platter is not perfect for Thanksgiving, does it matter? And do you really need color-coordinated, fabric-lined baskets for your linen closet, or would old boxes work?
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If you’re tired of money problems, read Why Are Women Bad With Money? 7 Money Mistakes Women Make.