7.21.2011

Tips on Saving Money

I was recently inspired by this blog post to write about my quest to save money. As you can imagine, being a young newlywed couple, with a minimal income, there is a lot that we have had to cut from our budget. As we cut, and cut, and cut some more, we have started to realize how much in life is a want, and not a necessity. Below I have complied a list of ways that we are trying to save money. Most of this list has evolved from the many money mistakes that we have made over the years!

Happy Saving!

1. No Cable: Anyone that knows me well, knows how much I love watching TV. I’m not saying this is a good thing, I’m just stating it as a fact. I have watched some horrendous shows in my TV Career. However, things have changed! We cannot afford cable, and so I now no longer watch TV! Guess what? I’m still alive.

I would recommend that you get rid of cable if you are having money problems. It will likely improve your relationships, because you will have more time to spend with your loved ones! Now that we have started our marriage sans cable, I intend on keeping it that way. I don’t want my children to sit in front of the TV for hours, and I don’t want to be doing that myself. So, goodbye cable TV, and hello bright and beautiful world!

2. Goodbye Name-brands: I have never been a name brand person, so this isn’t really an issue for me. But, my husband has countless t-shirts from Abercrombie, Hollister, The Gap, Banana Republic…I think you get the point. If you love name brand clothes, then find a factory outlet store, and only buy what is on sale there! Otherwise, why not consider shopping at Value Village or Goodwill? There are some great finds there, and it doesn’t get much cheaper than that!

Another great idea is having a Clothes Swap with your girlfriends. Gather as many friends as you can, and have them bring a few items that either don’t fit or that they don’t wear anymore, then start swapping! (I have to give credit where credit is due – thanks Emily for this idea!)

3. Food Allowance: Daniel and I both LOVE going out to eat. However, our budget doesn't allow for us to be eating-out whenever we feel like it. An idea that I recently heard about, and am thinking of implementing, is a food allowance. Set aside a certain amount in cash for the month. Once that cash is gone, you're done for that month with dining out. This should also include such treats at Tim Horton's or a quick run to McDonald's.

4. Don't Pay For Entertainment: It's tempting to go to the movie theater, buy some DVD's from the sale bin, purchase some discount books, or even check out the new rides at the nearby amusement parks. But, all these things cost money! Why not check out the library for DVD's and books? Look in the newspaper for any local events that are happening that are free, or be your own entertainment (maybe that's the drama-nerd in me). 

5. No More Gifts: This may sound harsh, but it's something to consider if you're tight on money. I'm not saying that you don't give anything, just don't pay for what you give. You can write a poem, or create something if you're crafty, or do a nice deed for your loved one in place of a gift. This is something that Daniel and I are learning. We're not that good at it yet. But, I seriously think that we could save hundreds of dollars a year if we just stopped buying gifts! Oh, and never buy a card. Those things are like $5 or $6, and such a waste of money! Just make one!


What are your money saving tips?

4 comments:

  1. I'm soooo passionate about bargain shopping so this is gonna be a long post ha ha. I'm not into second hand shopping but I still manage to find amazing clothes for really cheap. Not sure if there is a store there, but SHOP AT GIANT TIGER!!! Trust me on this one...I'm huge into name brands but when I walked into this store I fell in love. Clothes are insanely cheap, and to be perfectly honest...I get 10 times more compliments on my $10 Giant Tiger shirts than on my $50+ name brand ones. One good example...I got a strapless bra for my brother's graduation for $12, which are regular $60 MINIMUM at La Senza, and I've even found underwear for $1 which is even nicer than La Senza's selection. Bras for $5. Even cheap stuff for around the house! Winners is great too, and dollarama has lots of great finds.

    Plus right now a lot of stores are having "end of season" sales where you can find great deals on summer clothes (and I'm assuming almost everything else, too). I've found items for 30% of the original price at name brand stores. Online shopping is good too, especially for designer stuff for the hubby. I found a pair of brand name jeans regular $90 for only $13, tops regular $70 for $9.99, etc etc. all from the actual brand website.

    Look around you'll be amazed at how much money you can save!!!!!

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  2. Amanda (again)21 July 2011 at 15:39

    And another thought...I've found great gifts at stores like dollarama. You can spend $5 (which includes a gift bag, $1 card and tissue paper) and get something suitable to give to someone that they would never know was so cheap. If you don't feel like their $1 cards are personal enough, you can find sales at craft stores such as Michaels...we even get 50% off coupons in the mail every week. Friends have told me I should work for Hallmark when they see the cards I make! All it takes is a little creativity (but you can find exceptional ideas online if you're lacking in that department)

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  3. Thank you Amanda!! (is this my cousin Amanda??)

    Yes, we do have Giant Tiger! I will have to see if there is one nearby and check it out! I also LOVE Winners and always find really cute dresses for around $25. My husband still loves shopping at name brand stores, but I have taught him about sale sections...so that's good!

    Thanks for the tip about the dollar store and online shopping. I never check out online stores much...but I should! :) Thanks Amanda for all the great tips! Love it!

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  4. Amanda has some great tips - I agree with her on about Giant Tiger and Dollarama - it is quite amazing what you can pick up there (also a great place to buy cards, when a card is necessary).

    Doing something nice for someone is a great gift - it just takes more thought and planning. Sometimes my family has picked up a favourite book from the library for me (saved me the time of running to get it). Other freebies you can sometimes get from the library, in addition to DVD's, as Amanda mentioned, are periodicals that are slightly out of date. Speak to your librarian to find out when they are available.

    And as much as we all love the treat of eating out, you can save a TON of money by choosing to eat at home. It requires more planning, and careful shopping, but preparing something nice (hopefully together) can be a very special 'date night in'. And SHOP the flyers! Grocery costs can easily get out of hand, but by carefully planning your weekly menus around what is on special, you can easily trim the grocery budget. If you really must get out, make it a picnic!

    As far as 'name brand' stuff, you will lovingly need to educate your 'man'. Name brand often is very poor quality and we just end up replacing those items sooner. Watch for sales. Check out Dixie Value Mall. Consider a cross border shopping trip - even the US Walmart is generally less expensive than on this side of the border. But the real secret here is.... the less time you spend in stores or malls, the less you will spend or be tempted to spend.

    Cheers!

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