This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MarchIntoSavings #CollectiveBias
When we first moved to our neighborhood, we thought it was going to be a temporary stop along the way. We moved here because we need to upgrade space since we had a baby on the way (Malone). We viewed our second story space in an old Victorian home as a place to live until we could buy a home in a different city.
I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with our neighborhood. But it happened pretty quickly and now I can’t imagine living anywhere else.
Reasons we love our neighborhood:
- It is centrally located. Mike can ride his bike to work when it is nice out and we can be anywhere we need to be within 20 minutes.
- We have a great neighborhood park, can walk to the grocery store and have a bus stop that’s a block away.
- Our neighbors people who care about each other and there are always people out walking their dogs or riding bikes with their kids.
- Our neighborhood is beautiful and seconds away from heaven on earth, the reservoir.
- We’ve got excellent cell phone coverage. This was an issue in our old neighborhood, there was a lot of “what? I can’t here yous” happening.
The homes in our neighborhood are super affordable compared to similar homes in neighboring towns. It feels a little scary to type this out, but we’re looking forward to saving for and buying a home in our neighborhood!
We’ve started taking small steps towards making it happen. I thought I’d share them with you today since if there is one thing we all need to march into, it is savings.
10 Things You Can Do RIGHT NOW To Save Money
1. Pay your bills on time.
When we pay our bills on time, we avoid late fees. If we avoid late fees, we don’t have to pay them. I know it sounds really simple, but late fees can really add up if you’re not careful!
2. Make a meal plan.
I was really great at planning our meals in January. I scheduled one take out night and we had one take out night. The rest of our meals, we ate from home. In February, I didn’t take the time to plan our meals. We ended up with too many take out nights and ate out more than we typically budget for. I’m back to meal planning again for March and so far, it is going just like it did in January.
3. Shop with a grocery list and use cash instead of your debit/credit card.
I have found that I’m much more likely not to add extra treats to my cart if I have a list in my hand and a specific amount of cash one me. For some reason, there is a money/brain disconnect when I use my debit card for groceries. But when I’ve ONLY got sixty bucks in my wallet, I’m watching every penny and adding up every purchase on my calculator.
4. Switch your cell phone carrier up.
Right now, we’re paying a boat load of money to AT&T for service for our iPhones (almost $200.00 a month). However, I am test driving Alcatel Evolve 2 with Walmart Family Mobile.
It is a phone that operates on Android and so far, there isn’t a single way that I use my iPhone that can’t also be done on my Evolve . What is so cool about it is that there are no monthly contracts and the coverage map for service is incredible. Walmart Family Mobile service is $29.88/month (for the first line) Unlimited Talk, Text & Data service plan which includes up to 500MB of 4G LTE data.
5. Bring your own water instead of buying bottled water.
It feels really easy to just grab a bottle of water when I’m out and about and thirsty. But at almost $1.50 a pop, those small purchases add up over time. I’ve decided that unless it is a complete emergency (like one of my kids is literally dying of thirst), buying bottled water is no longer something I do.
Find a new use for something you’re no longer using. Old tee shirts that were destined for the Goodwill just recently became cleaning rags in our house. They’re cotton, so I cut them up and tried them out. As it turns out, they work just as good or maybe even better than paper towels.
7. Say no to your kids.
Every time we go to the grocery store together, Malone asks if he can buy a new car. Hot Wheels are his loves and getting a new one is such a thrill to him. Again, just like the bottle of water it seems like a small amount of money (I think they’re usually less than a buck a piece), but I consistently tell him no. He has plenty of cars to play with at home- more than he could possibly play with at once.
8. Be careful with coupons.
Coupons are amazing and they’re a great way to save money if the item you’re purchasing is something you were going to buy anyway. You want to know what isn’t a great way to save money? Buying something you weren’t going to buy just because you have a coupon.
9. Set a goal.
If you’re a long time reader of this blog, you know how much I love to talk about goals. If you want to save money, set a goal! And then start working towards that goal little by little.
10. Talk to your kids about money and your savings goal.
This one won’t saving you money directly. However, I’ve found that if Malone knows the reason why we’re saying no every time he asks to buy a car, he’s much more agreeable when I say no. He knows that right now, we’re saying no to a lot of things because we’re saving our money to buy a new house and we hope to take a trip to Disney. He doesn’t need to know the dollar amount that we’re aiming for, but he needs to know why we’re saying no right now.
How do you save money? What big savings goal are you working towards?