15 Tips To Save Money


tips to save money
Are you wondering how to save money? I look back over my life when I first moved out of my parents house and out on my own, and boy have I come a long way.  For most of my life I have been a single mother.  Budgeting, scraping, and sacrificing was a way of life for me.  However, I’m proud to say things got better as time went on.  I was able to purchase my own home, send my daughter on a international vacation, college educated her,  purchased a new car for her college graduation, travel, and built a significant savings account and retirement nest egg.  This is not a boast, but a blessing.  As a result, I want to share my tips to save money with you.

You ask how I managed, I say discipline and remembering that every penny counts. Here are a few tips on how I saved:

  1. Pay yourself first – First, bank a portion of your check regularly. Put it into an account and forget about it.  I’ve cried broke my entire life, and I act as though the money doesn’t exist. People say they can hear me squeak.
  2. Shop wisely – I shop at thrift stores, yard sales and second hand stores. You can find brand new items, name brand items and gently used items. Don’t by-pass the Dollar Stores either, they’re great for school supplies, coloring books, crafts and snack items.
  3. Use coupons and discounts – You can save tons of money by using coupons and taking advantage of discounts.
  4. Look for free activities – Take advantage of free activities during the summer and holidays for family activities.
  5. Bank a part of your child support – If you’re single parent bank a portion of your child support. If you can’t bank half, bank what you can. I was able to send my daughter to Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Austria on child support that I saved for her.
  6. Drive an inexpensive car with low maintenance – My first car didn’t have an air conditioner and it was a straight stick. At this stage in my life I couldn’t handle either of the two, but I sacrificed when I was younger and able to endure.
  7. Pack your child’s lunch – My daughter was a brown bagger until high school. Packing her lunch relieved me of having to pay another bill.
  8. Limit credit cards – Additional tips to save money is cash and carry.  It was my motto for most things.  Buying budget furniture and refinishing items cut down on household expenses.
  9. Start a Thrift Saving Plan (TSP) or 401-K – I invested my money for the past 25 years, and again acted as if it didn’t exist. When I needed a loan, I borrowed from my TSP at a much lower interest rate. When I retire, I will have a monthly check from my employer as well as everything that I have saved and earned for 25 years in my TSP. I plan to use this money to travel the world.
  10. Purchase clothes off season – I purchase clothes on clearance at the end of each season for the following year. I’m now able to shop where ever I want whenever I want, but I still purchase the majority of my clothes off the clearance rack and the kid’s clothing there as well.
  11. Start a vacation club – I’m able to vacation several times a year. I treat my daughter, son-in-law, 2 grandchildren and my friend each summer to a week at the beach.
  12. Prepare meals for the week – This will eliminate stopping at fast food places and spending money unnecessarily.
  13. Become a DIYer – After I purchased my home, I did my own painting, mowed the lawn, trimmed it and fixed minor things around the house. I saved thousands of dollars by doing my own work and banked it.
  14. Assess your household expenses – Tips to save money can be applied to your household expenses.  Get rid of unnecessary expenses and bank that money. You were spending it initially, so you shouldn’t miss it if you bank it.
  15. Be Creative – When I break a dollar, I throw the money to the bottom of my purse. I empty my purse at the end of the week, and place the money into jars. Once the jars are full I head to the bank and place it into my travel account.
These tips to save money have worked for me over the years and I’m sure they will work for you too. Start out doing 1 or 2 tips and increase the tips as you go. Remember, pennies add up to dollars, dollars turn into hundreds of dollars and eventually thousands. What do you do to save money?


LayAway Is Back

Are you familiar with the layaway plan? It’s where you place items on hold in a store and you make payments until you get the merchandise paid for. It used to be popular in the 70’s and 80’s, but faded out when credit cards became the thing. With the economy the way it is, it looks like layaway is back and the way to go. I remember using the lay away plan at Kmart and this local department store called Nichols back in the day. I used the layaway plan for summer and winter cloths and Christmas items for my daughter. I paid a fee to the store, and than made weekly payments of $10 – $15. I look back now and my response is wow. Of course back than, my entire layaway was the cost of a pair of sneakers now. I don’t think $10 – $15 would put a dent in what things cost today, but I think it’s a great plan when you’re short on cash and you don’t want or have a credit card to use.
Toy R Us, Kmart, Sears, TJ Max, Burlington, and Marshall’s are big promoters of layaway. It’s a great way to ensure that you get what you want and you don’t have to go in debt to pay for it.  E-layaway is becoming popular with Kmart and Sears too.  Although Wal-Mart eliminated their layway plan, I love shopping at Wal-Mart on-line. They take Paypal, which works out perfectly for me. I’m able to use funds from my on-line business when I shop there. Wal-Mart also has free site to store shipping and low shipping cost to your home. I love shopping in my PJs, so I take advantage of shopping on-line. If I could figure out a way to have my groceries delivered, I would take advantage of that too.
If you are like many people whose funds are limited, but you can make weekly payments, you should check out these layaway programs. It’s a great way to release the stress of trying to figure out how you’re going to pay for a birthday gift, school cloths and Christmas gifts. If you would love to redo your bathroom or bedroom, but can’t afford to take the money out of the household budget. Put that comforter set or shower curtain and towels on layaway too. You’ll be glad you did.