To be honest, saving money has never really mattered to me. That is, until I became a stay-at-home mom. Now that we are living on one income, it has become my mission to find ways to save money. You may be in the same boat as I was and you’re not sure if you are financially ready to live on one income. Click HERE. to read my blog post Living on One Income- Are You Financially Ready?
I would like to share with you a few things we have done so far that has saved us THOUSANDS of dollars each year. If you read to the bottom I will also share some posts about how others have saved money. Here is what we have done so far to change our budget.
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I do not share information or products that I do not use and love myself!*
Switch Cell Phone Carriers
This change actually happened on accident for us, but ended up saving us a TON of money.
So, the story goes like this. First, I dropped my phone without it’s case which cracked the screen. I wasn’t too disappointed about this because, as a mom I am just getting used to these kind of setbacks. However, a couple of weeks later, my phone was submerged in water. The water got into the cracks in my screen making it impossible for me to use my phone again. That was sad day.
I headed to the Apple store to be told there was nothing that could be done and my only options were to use my old iPhone 4, or pay $350 to replace it. Umm, no thanks. I was prepared to use my iPhone 4, knowing that I would get spotty service.
But then, my husband had a great idea. Why don’t we call another cell phone carrier and see if they will give us a better deal? The particular carrier we were looking at offers to pay off your old phone with another company. They also split your bill in half if you switch carriers. This didn’t sound like a half bad idea, although leaving the cell phone company we’d been with for several years was a little scary.
We headed into the store after my husband did a lot of research. Not only did they offer to pay off our old phones. They also offered unlimited talk, text, and data for up to 5 lines for one set price. On top of that, if we found someone to refer us, we would get a $100 credit per line (we had 2 so $200 credit). We would also get a $100 credit for each line just for switching over (another $200 credit.)
We jumped on this right away. I called my mom and asked if her and my dad would like to switch to our account. This would mean we could split the cost in half, AGAIN. This made our total bill $60 per month, as opposed to the $166 we were paying with our previous company.
Cell phone companies are very competitive, so it is usually not hard to save quite a bit of money if you are willing to do your research and switch carriers.
Switching carriers saved us a total of $106 per month or $1272 per year! This doesn’t include the $400 worth of credits to our cell phone account. I see that as an added bonus!
The next big change we made to our budget was cutting the cable. Overall, this decision just made sense for our family. We only have one TV in the house and we don’t really watch anything on cable except sports. (My husband wasn’t too excited about this.. But, he is still able to stream games on his phone. Sometimes he will put up an embarrassing antennae in order to get the games he wants to watch. I guess you gotta do what you gotta do, right?) I do want to mention that it was my husband’s decision to cut the cable!
We still have Netflix which we use mostly for kids shows and sometimes we’ll watch a movie after the kids go to bed. Otherwise, we don’t really have time for TV at this stage in our lives anyways!
Cutting cable saved us roughly $1200 per year!
Switch Amazon Prime Accounts
About 2 years ago, I discovered Amazon Prime. Oh.My.Goodness. Can we say amazing!? You can purchase almost anything and have it shipped to your door for FREE in two days. Some items on Amazon Prime also have coupons attached making them cheaper than buying them at the store.
You can also sign up for Subscribe and Save. This is where you can subscribe to items you buy monthly or weekly anyways (like diapers) and they will automatically be sent to your door on intervals of your choosing. Using this service also gets you a nice discount on those items. Not to mention, you can cross them off of your shopping list making your trips to the store much quicker. As a mom, that is the best gift EVER! Shop Amazon – Give the Gift of Amazon Prime
You can Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial and If you end up purchasing the actual membership, it is $99 for one year. For me this was a great deal as I used it to buy everyday items like diapers, wipes, and paper towels. Plus I used it to do ALL of my Christmas shopping without leaving my house last year!
So, how did I save on my Amazon Prime Membership? Well, they have a nice little deal for students, where you can get a Free 6 Month Trial on Amazon Prime Students. If you decide to keep your membership after that you will receive 50% off on your membership. Join Prime Student FREE Two-Day Shipping for College Students.
My husband works at a teaching hospital so he was able to get the student discount, which saved us roughly $50 each year.
I’ve recently started couponing to save money on groceries. I noticed that I was spending more and more each week no matter how hard I tried to stay at my budget. Now that I am staying at home, breakfast, lunch, and snack food will be an added expense as the kids used to eat at daycare. I decided that instead of trying to buy less, I would just try to save more.
I now purchase the Sunday paper for about $3 and cut coupons every week. Being new to coupons I am currently only saving about $15 a month. However, as I continue to cut coupons I think I should be able to save around $30 on a regular basis. There are also coupon apps that you can look up on your App Store to save even more.
For now, I will say I save $15 per month or $180 per year using coupons.
Just by doing these four simple things, we have already saved roughly $2702 per year. That is not including other ways we save money like not having to pay for daycare or gas money for my commute. Obviously, this does not match my previous (glorious) salary as a teacher, but every dollar counts when you are living on one income!
Other Things You Can Do To Save Money
Cancel your gym membership- I didn’t do this myself because it is my outlet and one thing I do for myself. However, I know many people who work out at home or outside in order to save money, If my husband and I cancelled our gym membership we would save $70 per month or $840 per year.
Simplify Your Grocery List- I am pretty sure if I really needed the money I could cut my grocery list in half and we would be just fine. We could stand to eat a few more leftovers or just simplify our meals. I imagine if we did this we could save $200 per month or $2400 per year.
Have a Garage Sale- Simplify your life, declutter, and earn a little spending money. Depending on how many treasures you have, you could make quite a bit of money!
Make a Budget- It can be very easy to mindlessly spend hundreds of dollars at Target or overspend at the grocery store. If you have a set budget, you are much less likely to overspend on things you do not need. This can also save you hundreds or thousands of dollars each year.
Find More Ways to Save Money by Visiting These Blogs
Katelyn also shares great tips on how to pinch a penny! Read more about it HERE!
I hope that you were able to find some useful information and that you can implement some ideas I have shared! Let me know what you do to save money in the comments below!