Do you ever get to the end of the month and find that there just isn’t enough money left? If so, you’ve got to stop spending money!
Of course, this is a lot easier said than done. My goal is to help you along the way and make it as painless as possible…because I’ve been there too!
When we first started taking a hard look at our $17,000 budget, we realized there were a lot of things that we could stop spending money on that were just a waste. There were so many things that we could either cut out completely or find ways to cut corners on.
We live off of one low income, and every single cent counts for us. When we made our budget that we could stick to (after years of trying!), we took a hard look at everything that we were spending money on. Everything from dishwasher detergent to toilet paper came up in our discussion.
Some things were worth keeping in our budget (like toilet paper, of course!) but there were others that either got cut out completely or just got a homemade frugal twist. All in all, when we were done revamping our expenses, we found out that we could save up to $700 a month just by cutting out 11 easy expenses!
Even better? You can do it too!
1. Stop Spending Mony on Cable.
Everybody seems to be breaking up with cable. If you haven't done it already, give it a try! That's a really fantastic way to save a whole lot of money. And, don't you already spend a lot of money on the internet...? Why not just get Hulu and Netflix? If you are like me and shop on Amazon a lot, you can get Amazon Prime for $99 for the whole year and that comes with Amazon Instant Video!
One of my favorite money-saving Amazon hacks is this little-known secret. You can also get HBO, Starz, SHOWtime, and more premium channels from Amazon for $15/month and you can cancel at any time! No, I don't suggest you get ALL of these (remember, we are learning how to stop spending money!), but pick your favorite and enjoy! Plus, you can always rotate which channels you keep. 😉
You CAN still watch your favorite shows without cable. If it sounds too good to be true...it isn't! Here's how to get rid of cable and still watch tv.
2. Water & Water Bottles.
Cold hard truth: water bottles are no different than tap water. It's a waste of money, and it's bad for the environment!
This is the one that we use and it's been amazing. It's more money than a typical water filter, but if you're concerned about the quality of the water that you're drinking and are looking for a water filter that will last you until you have grandkids or great-grandkids, this is the one for you!
Bonus tip: ONLY order water when you go out to eat. Drinks can easily be $5+ each...the savings will add up quickly!
I cut my sons' and my husband's hair at home myself. Just by doing that I wind up saving around $1,500 a year! That's a huge expense!
Especially for guys' hair, you can really save a lot of money by cutting their hair and the risk is pretty low. The only thing you need is a halfway decent pair of clippers (these clippers are the ones I've been using for the past 4 years and they're still going strong!).
While I wouldn't personally cut my own hair (or any other womans!) You can still save money on your next haircut or hair color. To do so, check out your local beauty school. They have incredible prices for all different kinds of services!
4. Stop Spending Money on Dryer Sheets.
Dryer sheets are full of chemicals and they're expensive! It winds up being around $2 per box which might not seem like that much, but when they are completely unnecessary all together and they just wind up adding a lot of chemicals into your home. It's time to find a safer and cheaper alternative.
Instead, you can use wool dryer balls with essential oils (lavender and joy are my favorite essential oils for the dryer). Simply add a few drops of essential oils to the dryer balls to get the same scents and even better results. With essential oils, a little goes a long way, so start with a drop or two.
Plus, wool balls cut your drying time down, which also saves money. Double savings win!
Read more about how awesome dryer balls are - I love them so much I wrote an entire post about it!
5. Laundry Detergent.
I go through a lot of laundry. I have 3 active and messy sons and a husband who works in a steel shop. There are constantly loads of dirty clothes in my house. If I had to buy laundry detergent every month, I would be looking at more than $30 a month in detergent alone.
I started making my own laundry detergent. It is sensitive enough to use on my newborn baby's skin and hard enough to clean my husband's dirtiest work clothes. This recipe is easy and effective!
In fact...I haven't spent a PENNY on laundry all year! I've saved hundreds if not thousands with these tips and tricks.
6. Paper towels.
Paper towels can be really expensive and they are very wasteful. Plus, it is just not good for the environment to have to use so many paper towels. You are literally paying for trash.
Before we stopped using paper towels almost 3 years ago, we were going through a roll of paper towels almost every 3 to 4 days. That's a lot! When we realized that it was just too expensive, one day I just stopped buying them!
Since then, I have used old towels that I have cut up into rags. We use these for everything from cleaning the windows to using them to clean up the kids after a messy dinner.
(I'm not a heathen. I have a roll of paper towels and a packet of paper napkins on hand for when company comes! Don't worry, I won't make you use my rags if you come over for dinner!)
7. Disposable Diapers.
Okay, hear me out. I know a lot of you are shaking your head already, but think of the savings!
I absolutely love our cloth diapers! They're not nearly as difficult or time-consuming as I thought they would be, and they wind up saving me a ton of money!
Not to mention, they're much better for the environment than disposable diapers! Learn more about what you need to start cloth diapering HERE.
Plus, I'll even show you how to make cloth diapering affordable!
Yes, I mean it! The average American household throws out 40% of all of the food that they buy. That's crazy! This is why my secret weapon for my budget is meal planning. For $1.62 a week, I've never saved more money and cooked better!
It's also recommended that the monthly grocery budget for a family equals $100 per family member per month. So if you have a family of 4, your grocery budget should be $400.
Does that sound crazy to you? I know that it might, but there's good news: you can makeover your grocery budget! The real key is planning your recipes and meals.
Honestly, between kids and school and work and everything in between, I don't have the time or the patience to prepare a meal plan and a grocery list, so I have my meal planning secret weapon to save the day. Best money I've ever spent!
You're wasting money on your grocery budget if you aren't planning what you'll be eating each week. By setting up a meal plan that works, you know exactly what you need to get at the store. If you stick to your meal plan, you won't buy things you don't need that will just die a slow, painful death in the bottom of the fridge.
If you do just one item from this list...it should be this one. The savings will add up quickly while you also feed your family healthy, homecooked meals. And you don't have to spend hours in the kitchen to do it, I promise!!
9. Junk food.
Your wallet and your waistline will thank you for cutting out the junk food! If you're like me and have always struggled in the kitchen, I discovered my favorite recipe site that changed the way we eat.
Get substantial food for your meals, and get healthy snacks for instead of junk food. Carrots and hummus are much more substantial and will fill you up a lot more than just a bag of chips. It's so important to make sure you're actually eating food that fills you up!
Here's my favorite trick to stay on budget and away from junk food at the grocery store.
10. New clothes.
I haven't bought new clothes for my family in... wait... how long has it been...? I can't even remember! But you know what, my kids have grown, and they've had new-to-them clothing!
I'm such a huge fan of buying second hand or at yard sales! 99% of all of our clothing is bought either at a thrift shop or yard sales. Why pay full retail when you can get something at a second-hand store for pennies on the dollar?
No one will be the wiser. You can often find brand-name clothing for just pennies on the dollar! Just make sure to give everything a good wash.
11. Fabric softener.
You don't need it! The chemicals that are from fabric softener and the money that you spend on it are just outrageous. If you really want your clothes to smell like something, go with the wool dryer balls and essential oils combo I mentioned above.
If you still feel like you need fabric softener, white vinegar is a shockingly good fabric softener substitute. Just add 1/2 c. to your wash and tada! your clothes will be just as soft as they would if you had used a fabric softener.
Earn More Money
And if learning how to stop spending money sounds REALLY awful...you do have another choice. You can learn how to make more money instead! Here are some ideas to help you get started:
- Make a Full Time Income From Home Proofreading
- 30+ Real Ways to Earn Money From Home
- 7 Survey Sites that Are Actually Worth It
- How I Earn Money as a Stay-at-Home Mom
- 5 Side Hustles That Pay For My Groceries (and More!)
- How to Start a Profitable Blog the Right Way
- An Honest ThredUp Review
- I made $12,007 in one month from my blog
How to Stop Spending Money: Final Thoughts
Let's be honest. None of these changes are earth-shattering.
But they all add up quickly! If you were to cut everything listed here out of your monthly spending, you could be looking at a monthly savings of around $700 or more! And, there's nothing "too small" when it comes to personal finance - literally every single cent counts!
Sure, cutting out cable might be a hard pill to swallow, or saying "no" to the chips at the supermarket might make you a little hangry, but Seven. Hundred. Dollars. Each. Month. Eyes on the prize!
Keep Your Motivation Going by Reading One of These Related Posts:
- How to Live on One Low Income
- We Live on ONE Income
- 6 Steps to Drastically Reduce Your Grocery Budget
- What Do You Do When You Get Behind on Bills
- How We Lived Well on $17,000 as a Family of Four
- 10 Reasons Why You Need An Emergency Fund
- Budgeting Books You NEED to Read
- How to Save Money When You're Broke
- 30+ Real Ways to Earn Money From Home
- 7 Super Easy Ways To Make Your Grocery Budget Last
- How to Live on One Low Income
- Budgeting Allows You to Spend MORE
- The BEST Things To Look For at a Yard Sale
- Money Saving Hacks from an Extreme Cheapskate
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