A few years ago my family went from a two income household down to one. It wasn’t due to any unforeseen circumstances, just that I decided to be a stay at home mom. Regardless, adjusting to such a change was not easy. When you are comfortable in a certain income bracket and anything happens to change that, it’s a shock to the whole family system. So we had to learn to live differently, not worse, just different. I started with very small changes at first, but have grown to find how to save hundreds of dollars every month. I’d like to just start by sharing some of those smaller changes, changes that anyone can do.
1. Learn to bargain
For centuries that is how we survived and now most people are happy to just pay a set fee without trying to talk out a better deal. This is especially true for services like cable, internet, phone, and insurance. Just because you receive a bill that has a set price, doesn’t mean you can’t get it for less. Contact your service providers and ask them for specials they have going on. These companies do not offer you a discount once you’ve been a customer for some time, but you will get one if you ask. After speaking to the representative at my insurance company just recently, she informed me, if you want a better deal you need to call and ask. It really is that simple.
2. Take advantage of sales and coupons
No, I’m not talking about being an extreme couponer and stocking up on a hundred bottles of shampoo, although that is possible. Start small with things you buy anyway. Do you have a favorite store you shop at? Well, many stores will match their weekly sale with the coupons that come out that week. So not only are you saving $0.50 off an item because of the sale, but clip that $0.50 coupon and save the whole dollar! Some may think, it’s only $1 right? Not really, all those add up and before you know it you can be saving 10-20% off your weekly groceries.
3. Use saving apps and online codes
It may only take a minute out of your day to check for an active code. You can find many codes with a basic Google search, or with a site like retailmenot.com. You can find savings on anything from home furnishes to dinner at your favorite restaurant. Many stores have also come out with their own apps for you to save 2-10% on your purchases, you can ask about them at the service desk. Again, this is a little change, but can save a lot when you are making larger purchases.
Finally, I’d just like to say that once you get used to grabbing a code before making a purchase or talking to a representative about getting your bill lowered it will become like second nature. You won’t even notice the few extra minutes, however, you will notice that you have more money left at the end of the week than you did before.