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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A Girl and Her Money : Well...How Do You Save?

Hey Guys!

Back with another installment of A Girl and Her Money!!

Awhile back, Alisha who blogs over at Alisha Nicole, left me a comment asking if I'd blogged about the ways I saved money. I promised her a post so here it is. These are the ways that I've been saving money so far on my money journey, and I'm no expert, but it seems to be working so far.

1. Track Your Spending
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For about two months, when I was using YNAB incorrectly, I basically just entered every transaction I made without setting a budget. Many online banking sites allow you to track your spending as well. After two months I realized I was spending A LOT of money on food. Fast food, impulse grocery shopping, snacks at work. I was also emotionally spending. Crappy day? New nail polish! Bad mood? Oooooh hair products!!

2. Stop the Bleeding
Once you know where you money is going and where you are overspending its easier to cut back and trim. I realized I was spending like crazy on food, so I knew I needed to start planning better. I go to the grocery store on Sunday armed with a loose meal plan for the week. Lunches for Boomer and I, plus dinner. (Breakfast is pretty simple in our house, and I don't feel the need to 'plan'.)

3.Cut The Cord

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This isn't for everyone, but I canceled cable. As much as we use Netflix, it just wasn't worth it, and it wasn't adding anything valuable to our home time. I also cut our land line. I'm not even sure why we had that dinosaur.

4. Ye Have Not, Because Ye Ask Not. 
Loose Biblical paraphrase, but important. Nothing is ever set in stone. Negotiate. Ask if you're really getting the best deal. I got my cell phone plan lowered by $40 just by telling them I wasn't happy with my rate, and asking if there was anything they could do. Same with my cable before I decided to chuck it all together. You can also barter. Do you have a skill that's worth money? Look into what you can trade for it!

5. Plan!
This is huge. Do you know that you have bigger expenses coming up. Start saving now. I put aside money every month for my quarterly renters insurance. I have a rough estimate of how much Boomer's summer camp will cost, so I set aside some of my tax refund NOW to pay for it LATER.

6. Save a little room for fun...
If you follow me on IG, then you know I haven't given up my love of beauty products or eating out. Each time I'm paid and I work on my budget I set aside a little fun money. I have found that for myself, if I cut out EVERYTHING, I am much more likely to just give up on trying to budget and save.

What about you guys? Any helpful tips, or things that have worked for you? I'd love to hear about it!


Kathy@MoreCoffeeLessTalky said...

yes to all of this!! i wish i could cut my land line but i can't because my mom lives with me and she lives on that thing and makes a lot of long distance calls that would kill the cell phone rate.

-kathy | Vodka and Soda

Alisha @ The Alisha Nicole said...

Ahh thank you for this!! I just downloaded the mint app on my phone so im hoping that will help with my BIGGEST issue is def emotional spending..i even use bad weather as an excuse to buy new nail polish :(

JumpingJE said...

I need to get 10,000 times better at negotiating. I can't think of a time I've ever done it and I always hear how much you can save. I also eat here at our work cafeteria too much... but just because the soup selection is unbeatable! Great tips!

jackie jade said...

these are great tips! I've been better about packing my lunch so I try to save going out to eat for when i'm meeting up with friends. I used to always put things on my credit card and pay them off later, but now i'm trying to actually save up money beforehand. duh. haha.

jessica said...

tracking my spending has helped me tremendously. i am (was) an impulse grocery buyer for sure. no doubt. + living like 2 minutes (seriously i could walk if i wanted) from the grocery store didn't help. so i now make a list, and will only buy whats on that list and nothing else! also i'm trying to limit myself to just going twice a month, but i haven't mastered that one yet.

also i make a savings goal each month, and do my absolute best to save that amount. i'm doing pretty good so far.....we'll see how it is once summer hits.. :-/

good post, whit!

LG @ said...

oy vey this is not my strong suit. but I really like all your tips. I tried to have a budget once but when I realized that well over half of my income was going towards the rent on my dumpy apartment, I just got depressed. maybe its time to try again though. we keep talking about cancelling cable. And we're trying to get better about turning out the lights!

Alex, Speaking Denglish said...

I have been tracking EVERYTHING I've spent this year just on a Google Spreadsheet I made and it is really so painful to see what I waste money on, but it's slowly but surely helping me rethink my spending habits.

Amanda Elizabeth - Meet @ the Barre said...

I really need to get rid of my cable....that monthly bill makes me so angry. I called last month to negotiate with them and they basically told me I was out of luck. I think I really need to start looking into Netflix.

MarlaJan said...

All of these are faboosh tips, my lovely. I'm super proud of you, budgeting/finances are tricky dickey (that's why I leave that ish up to Steve, he's so type A when it comes to that!) We recently got Roku and are thisclose to finally getting rid of cable. Would save us a ton of money. We always just got rid of our house line... only calls we ever got were my in-laws and telemarketers!

The Queen said...

The Queen is very proud of you... As you may be aware, the realm I oversee also uses YNAB to manage its finances. It has brought the royal household out of debt and allows the establishment of a royal cushion fund. The Queen loves her cushions! The Queen could never eliminate a land line. Never! I don't want all of my subjects and royal relatives calling me on my cell phone! A queen needs to be unavailable sometimes. Now the Prince would never give up cable, although the Queen would be amenable to the idea. The bottom line, is only you know your financial situation and priorities. The key is understand where your money IS going, assessing if that's where you WANT it go and change it if your money is going places you don't want it to go. Finally, spend less than you make. Credit is rarely your friend.

Erin LFF said...

Love this! We cut cable and I honestly don't miss it! We also asked about getting a better rate on cell phones AND insurance--- definitely never hurts to ask! :)

Princess Burlap said...

I love this! I myself tried a grocery slimming approach that worked wonders. Instead of spending $50 for every meal, I have been trying to make large dishes that are cost effective and healthy, and will feed us for a week.