A few years ago, my husband and I were living the good life on student loans while we were in law and dental school. Every semester, a fat check would roll in that would cover our living expenses. We certainly didn’t live like kings, but we didn’t really have a budget or do much to focus on saving money. We figured that since we were living on far less than the amount of money that was allotted to us for our living expenses, we were doing good. Then, my last year of law school, we got pregnant with our son. It was a pretty big wake up call for us to start getting our finances in order and being more careful about spending. Since that fateful awakening, we’ve really mastered the art of saving money, while still feeling a sense of abundance. What I’m saying is, we’ve got some amazing money saving tips to share with you, to help you direct money to things that are actually important to you so you can live an abundant life. For us, the goal of saving money is not just to save money for the heck of it, but to save money so that it can be put to better use (like buying a dream house, investing, getting a boat, that kind of thing).
MY FAVORITE MONEY SAVING TIPS:
Avoid high rent and mortgage payments.
One of the easiest money saving tips to implement is to live somewhere that doesn’t break your budget. You can save hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars each month by living somewhere modest. This might mean living in a not-totally-ideal location. Or it might mean living in a smaller more efficient place. You’d be surprised at how happy you can live in a modest place when you realize how much money you can save.
Refinance your student loans.
Another easy way to save money is to refinance your student loans for a lower interest rate. This will enable you to pay LESS on your student loans over the life of your loan, which in turn, usually results in a lower monthly payment. We refinanced with CommonBond first and then more recently refinanced again with Laurel Road because they offered us an even lower interest rate. (Yes you can refinance your student loans as often as you can get a lower rate!) It does NOT impact your credit score to check what rates you qualify for, which you can do here.
(P.S. if you need help figuring out your student loans, I highly recommend a consultation with the Student Loan Planner— it saved us over $200,000 on our student loans).
Getting rid of cable is another crazy easy way to save money. I hear people complaining all the time about how their cable bill has gone up– again. I’m happy to no have to complain about that. I use a good old fashioned antenna. If you must TV, choose a cheaper option like Sling, Hulu, or Netflix. In fact, all three probably cost less than what you are paying for cable.
Avoid expensive car payments.
Avoiding big car payments is another great way to save money. Rather than spending hundreds of dollars each month on a car payment, opt for cheaper cars and or consider saving up to buy a car in cash. This simple act will free up hundreds of dollars each month. We drive an old, decrepit Toyota that frankly won’t die. The bumper has fallen off twice, there is no panel on one of the interior doors. The radio works only 50% of the time. But, it gets us from point A to point B. It has AC. It’s been pretty dang reliable. It’s honestly all that we need. And when I think about how we are saving hundreds of dollars every month, it makes that decrepit Toyota look pretty dang good.
Use coupons rebates and shop sales.
I can’t talk enough about how important it is to use coupons, rebates, and shop sales for your grocery shopping. Groceries are one of the only areas of our budget that can fluctuate dramatically each month. By using free cash back rebate apps like Ibotta, doubling up those deals with store and manufacture coupons, and shopping only things that are on sale, we save hundreds of dollars each month. [Related: How to Save a Ton of Money on Groceries.]
One example of this is using the Fetch app. It’s a free app where you upload a photo of your receipt from grocery shopping. The app will automatically apply discounts and coupons to your qualifying purchases– you don’t have to do anything else other than upload your receipt! Also, if you link your Amazon, Target, Walmart, or any other online shopping/grocery shopping accounts, it will automatically apply cash back rebates to your shopping– no uploading a receipt required. It’s seriously amazing. It gives you points and then you cash in those points for gift cards (they have all kinds from Visa, Amazon, to Airbnb) Get started with a free $2 by clicking here. Be sure to enter the the referral code YUUG7 when you sign up to get the $2. 🙂
My personal very favorite among these money saving tips is to use Rakuten for every day online purchases. Formerly Ebates, Rakuten is a website that you login to before you buy something online. After you’ve signed up (which is free), simply enter the website that you are going to shop at in the top search bar. It will pull up that website, and you’ll click “shop now” and earn cash back on the shopping you were already going to do. Easy peasy! It’s completely free and is a huge no brainer when it comes to saving money. Sign up here and earn your first $10 free and easy!
After you’ve signed up, you can also download the Rakuten app and or install the Rakuten web extension. These will give you reminders to activate the cash back savings if any apply where you are shopping!
Use produce rescue and co-op programs.
Using a local produce rescue saves my family hundreds of dollars each month. We get 70 pounds of produce for $12 here in Arizona. Find a local produce rescue near you. If you can’t find a produce rescue, search for local food co-op programs that can also save you tons on groceries each month.
Shop smart for gas.
You can save a ton of money on gas each year when you buy gas at Costco or use reward points from local grocery stores. [Related: Things You Should Buy at Costco].
Buy used clothes, shop clearance racks.
We save hundreds of dollars each year by shopping for used clothes at thrift stores and online with companies like Poshmark and ThredUp where you can buy other people’s gently used clothing. We’ve also had tons of luck shopping clearance racks at popular stores and also taking advantage of end of season sales.
Use GoodRX for prescriptions.
I remember vividly sitting in a waiting room at a doctor’s office, watching a commercial about GoodRx, which boasted it could save you tons of money on prescriptions, even without insurance. I thought it 100% sounded like a scam, or at least something that was too good to be true. Somewhere there would be some hidden fee. They’d get you somehow. But no! Lo and behold, the GoodRx app can save you tons of money on your prescriptions with no strings attached. It helps you locate what pharmacy sells your medicine for the cheapest AND links you up with any coupons available for maximum savings. I’ve paid less than half of the original cost of my medicine on several occasions using their free app. Literally no reason not to try it out.
Use grocery pick up.
If impulse purchases are ever a problem for you (and are’t they a problem for all of us at some point??) You can save money by using grocery pick up. I personally use Walmart’s quite a bit. It’s free and what I like about it is that I can see exactly how much money I am spending so that I can stay on budget. When I reach my budget, I stop adding things to my cart. It’s as simple as that. Plus, I can’t see cookies or candy or ice cream or things that I’m often tempted to buy but are total impulse purchases. Another thing I like is that then my son isn’t asking me for every single item on the shelf– I don’t have to say no 1000 x’s because he’s not even tempted! Here’s a $10 coupon you can use on your first grocery pick up. <3
Saving money really doesn’t have to be complicated. As you start implementing these simple strategies with the tools outlined above, you are going to save a ton of money. That will enable you to spend money on the things that are most important to you (like that dream boat!) so what are you waiting for? Go start saving money! You can get started right now. Go download the Ibotta and the GoodRx apps. Contact the Student Loan Planner. See if there is a produce rescue near you. Don’t wait to start saving! 🙂
What are some of your favorite money saving tips? Share yours in a comment below!
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