Growing up, I never understood the concept of money. We were blessed with a lot and I basically got everything I wanted. I never saw my parents struggle financially. The words “save money” was not in my vocabulary. Living better wasn’t even a thought in my mind.
Fast forward to when I moved out of my parent’s house. I was only 17 years old and I had no idea of the amount of money I would need to survive. My parents moved away and they didn’t support me financially.
Thankfully, my aunt owned a business and she gave me a job. I made $15 an hour and she paid my car payment. Having a full-time job helped me tremendously. It gave me a set amount of money so I could survive and pay my bills.
I lived in my own apartment so I had to pay all the bills to keep shelter over my head and food in my body. It was hard and I had to learn to save money because I wanted to live better.
Once I was living on my own, I knew that I needed to save money to live better. Even though I was blessed financially as a child, that wasn’t mine, it was my parent’s hard work of wanting to live better.
Make the Decision to Save Money and Live Better
There are many ways to live better, it really just depends on what that means to you. When I say save money live better, I’m referring to not worrying about money.
In this post, we will be focusing on ways to save money. Living better doesn’t happen on its own. Make the decision today to learn to save money so you can live better.
Save Money Live Better
I’ve spent a lot of years trying different ways to save money. I have finally narrowed down what works for me. I’m always looking for more ways to save money but they need to be worth my time and energy. If they don’t fit into my routine, then I won’t use them.
My hard work in learning to save money has paid off. For the past 10 years, I’ve been able to stay home and homeschool my kids. My husband works a full-time job and is the provider for our home.
Learning to save money has helped us get to this point. We have enough money to raise our three kids in a loving home. That to me is living better. Do we have everything we want? No. But we are ok with that.
We have Jesus, a healthy family life, and a roof over our heads. That’s all we need to live better.
Ways to Save Money and Live Better
Now that you have a full understanding of what live better means to me, do you want the same thing? If so, continue reading. Below you find all the ways to save money that have helped me and my family live better.
Like I mentioned above, there are tons of ways to save money. These are the methods to save money that I currently use. Hopefully, they work for you too.
1. Create a Budget
Creating a budget is the first thing you should do when you decide to manage your finances. Seeing the money you bring in every month will help you get a good idea of how much you can spend.
You need to assign you money to a budget category so you can see what you have leftover. If you don’t create a budget then you will be spending money you don’t have. Credit card debt is a huge danger and trust me, you don’t want to get into it.
I wrote a post dedicated to starting a budget. Click this making a budget link to get started.
2. Get Cash Back Shopping
Getting cashback is one of the easiest ways to save money. We all shop, right? So why not get cashback on the purchases your make.
There are multiple cashback programs but my favorite is Ebates. They were recently bought by Rakuten but I still know them as Ebates. I’ve saved over $800 with Ebates.
It’s super simple to earn cashback. You can earn it when you shop online and now you can earn it in person at select stores. Ebates has been the easiest cashback program for me. That is why I use them. I don’t have time for complicated systems.
You can read all about how to use Ebates in this getting cashback post.
3. Get Rid of Cable
We got rid of cable 6 years ago. It was the best decision we made. Our cable bill was well over $100 a month. Getting rid of cable was a blessing in disguise.
There’s so much garbage on TV so getting rid of cable was a no brainer. The only downfall we faced was my husband being able to watch sports.
Thankfully, we tried out different streaming providers and found some that offer sports. Right now, we are paying $25 a month to watch what we want on TV.
4. Make a Shopping List
Making a shopping list has helped us save so much money. I have a shopping list for everything because if I don’t, I buy stuff I don’t need.
Many stores rely on impulse buyers. I would be an impulse buyer if I didn’t make a list. Remembering that I want to save money so I can live better has helped me in this area.
I usually won’t even go into a store if I have nothing to buy. Even if my kids want to shop, I will sit in the car. Thankfully, they are old enough to shop on their own.
5. Cancel Your Gym Membership
Fitness is so important. I used to go to the gym 4 days a week for 2 years before I made the decision to work out at home. Working out at home has saved me money and time.
I used to spend an extra 45 minutes a day just getting to and from the gym. Then I’d come home and homeschool my kids. It was crazy and exhausting.
If you are actively using your gym membership and it is the only way you are getting exercise, then continue doing it. When I say cancel your gym membership, I’m speaking more to the people that have a membership but don’t use it.
There are some really great workout programs you can do at home. I personally love the Beachbody workout program.
6. Get a Local Discount Card
Did you know that many areas offer a local discount card? Our area offers one and it’s only $10 for the year. It gives us 10% off at many restaurants, stores, and services in the area.
We discovered the discount card a few years ago through our local middle school. They sell them every year as a fundraiser. It basically pays for itself after a month or two.
It’s one of my favorite saving tools because it allows me to get a discount on local services that don’t usually offer coupons or discounts.
7. Eat at Home
A family of 5 eating out = lots of money. We enjoy eating out but we have found that we like the food we cook better. This has made it easier for us to eat at home.
I understand the convenience of eating out but it’s expensive and most of the time unhealthy. Try making time to eat at home and you will save a lot of money.
8. Bring Your Lunch to Work
If you can’t go home for lunch, you should think about bringing your lunch to work. Buying lunch can easily cost $10 a day which would add up to $50 a week. That means you’d be spending $200 a month on buying lunch.
I can think of a lot more things I rather do with $200. Thankfully, my husband works close to home so he comes home every day for lunch. He usually has leftovers or makes a sandwich.
9. Do Your Own Yardwork
I know it sounds like a lot of work but you can save money by doing yard work yourself. It is great exercise. If you keep up your yard it shouldn’t take you a whole lot of time to do.
Obviously, we all have different size yards and some may take more time than others but this a great way to save money.
10. Lessen your Wardrobe
I’ve never been one to have a ton of clothes. It’s hard for me to decide what to wear so if I have too many options, I get frustrated.
Most of us are like this in our family with the exception of my girls. They love clothes. Thankfully, I have taught my girls from a young age that they need to buy their own stuff. I buy them what they need but anything above that comes out of their pocket.
11. Buy Used Clothing
Like I mentioned above my girls love clothes. Buying used clothes has worked well for them because they get bored with their clothes really quickly.
They never keep the same shirt for over a year. You can definitely save money by buying used clothes online.
12. Use your Local Library
We use the library a lot and it has saved us lots of money. You’d be surprised at what you can find there. It’s a great way to eliminate clutter and save money on purchases.
13. Pack Food for Vacation and Roadtrips
My family loves to snack on road trips. Between the 5 of us, we could spend a ton of money buying food as we are traveling.
I learned a long time ago that I needed to pack my own snack foods. This doesn’t mean you can’t have the yummy junk food. It just means you get to enjoy it at a fraction of the price.
14. Learn How to Coupon
Learning how to coupon is fun, it doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Most people think it’s hard but there are some great benefits.
I always look for a coupon before I buy something. Using coupons allows us to live better because we can get more for our money.
15. Save your Leftovers
We cook at home a lot and we end up with leftovers. Most of the time, my family eats them the next day. There have been situations where the leftovers don’t get eaten.
In cases like that, I freeze our leftovers. It has become really handy for days I don’t feel like cooking.
16. Do your own Car Maintenance
Let’s face it, cars are expensive. We decided a long time ago that we would do any car maintenance ourselves if we knew how. The nice thing about it now, is there are Youtube videos on pretty much anything you need to know.
You can watch a video on how to change your oil or change your brakes.
17. Sleep on It
Making decisions is hard for me. Especially when it’s a big purchase. We have saved a lot of money by sleeping on it. Most of the time we don’t make the purchase if we sleep on it.
It’s so much better to think it through before you make a mistake.
18. Meal Plan
Meal planning is a huge money saver for us. I’m a busy mama between raising my three kids and homeschooling. If I don’t plan our meals in advance, there will be cereal for dinner every night.
I create a meal plan twice a month and that keeps us fed for the month. It’s so nice knowing what I’m making for dinner every night. Check out my how to meal plan post if you want to get started with meal plans.
19. Stick with “Needs” NOT “Wants”
We all want things, I get it. If we purchase everything we want we would be in debt. Focus on things you need. If you have enough leftover, then you can get what you want.
I’ve realized over the years that my “wants” aren’t satisfying. The thrill of getting what I want is fun but then after that it isn’t worth it. If you want to save money to live better, then you will want to take this seriously.
20. Do a No Spend Challenge
As I’m writing this, we are on a no-spend challenge. We are going on vacation this month and we are trying to save every bit of extra money so we can splurge on our vacation.
When I say “no spend challenge”, I’m referring to things we don’t need throughout the month. It’s a fun challenge to do a few times a year. The reward is worth it.
21. Stop Impulse Buying
I gotta admit that impulse buying is a weakness for me. I love looking at all the stuff when I get to the checkout stand. The problem is I don’t need any of it.
22. Free and Cheap Date Nights
My hubby and I love spending time together. Now that the kids are older, it’s easier to go out and not have to find a babysitter.
We never feel like we need to do expensive things, we just love each other’s company. Cheap date nights have worked for us over the years. I put a list together of cheap date night ideas if you want to check it out.
23. Watch Free Movies
Family time is a big deal for us. We enjoy watching movies as a family at home. We’ve found some really great legitimate free movie resources if you are interested.
24. Read Free Books
The internet is full of so many free things including books. If you love books, then I highly recommend you check out this list of free books to read. There are some really great options.
25. Find the Best Value
Getting more for your money is a great tactic if you want to save money and live better. Purchasing something that will last a long time is a big money saver.
I usually buy things in bulk because the price is better than buying a smaller amount. This saves both time and money.
26. Wait to Buy Until the Item is Fully Used
There’s something about having new things. It just feels good. If you want to save money, the best rule of thumb is to fully use the item.
Our refrigerator is 15 years old, it still works fine but it would be nice to get a new one. I’ve decided to wait until it doesn’t work to get a new one. We have saved lots of money keeping this mindset.
Are you Saving Money so you Can Live Better?
I’d love to hear what you are doing to save money. Let me know in the comments below.
All the items I mentioned above work well for us. Hopefully, you can incorporate some of them into your daily life.