20 Creative Ways To Save Over $17,226 a Year!
When you’re paying down debt, it’s important that you cut costs in any way that you can to throw those extra pennies towards debt! There are many creative ways to save money that I’ve found over the years and I decided to jot them all down in this blog post.
Now, if you’ve been following along with our debt free journey – you know that we’re close to $150,000 left out of $171,000. So, we’ve paid off about $21,000 in 14 months. Which isn’t too bad! But, that’s not enough for me. (Surprised? Ha, I’m not.) I wish I could make $150K in one year, but I’m not quite there yet. (Actually, no where close. But, I still have hope!) This upcoming year, I’m hoping to throw about $50K a year towards paying down debt to make sure we meet that goal of 3 years being debt free.
So, in hopes to stick close to that goal – if not sooner – I’m cutting costs in every way possible. Here’s a list of 20 ways to cut down your monthly and yearly costs to save you over $17,226 a year so you can put that extra money towards becoming debt free!
DIY your own Beauty Products
Over the years, I’ve made some really cost effective beauty products that are comparable (if not better) to store bought products! You all know I’m a big fan of Lush products – but Lush you break my bank. Every time. So, I’ve learned how to make my own beauty products that definitely don’t break the bank! Check out what products I DIY!
Start Your Own Blog
You’d be amazed with how much money you can make by starting your own blog all for $3.95 a month! You’re an expert in something! I know you are. If you can make money by writing blogs about taking care of kids, paying down debt, DIY’s, and more – why not, right?
DIY In Home Products
This is in the same genre as making your own beauty products. But, if you can DIY laundry soap, fabric softener, and dryer sheets – why not! You’d be amazed at how much you can save by taking a couple extra minutes out of your day to make this and set yourself up for months to come!
Cut Down on Bills
Now, this one requires a bit of negotiating (which I’m not good at, to say the least!) so I roped in my hubby on this. He called all of our insurance companies, internet and phone provider, and other miscellaneous bills that we have to negotiate a lower price for our monthly bills. This one ended up saving us $732 a year! Not bad, right?
No More Gym Time
Think about it, you’re paying (on average) $480 – $600 a year on a gym membership! Now, if you’re anything like me – you’ll be lucky if you go twice a week. Now, imagine if you took $100 of that $480 and invested it in a nice yoga mat, some free weights, yoga ball, and any other miscellaneous equipment that you may need to make your own home gym! You don’t even need a separate room for your gym. Just buy items that you can tuck away in a closet or under your bed. That’s a lot of extra money a month that you’re saving!
Cut the Cable Bill
Ok, I’ve never been a big fan of TV. I have to admit that one right away. So, I wouldn’t even bat an eye over cutting the cable bill. Think of how much time you’ll get back for not having to watch all those commercials! Amazon Prime is a dream when it comes to cost effective entertainment (with added perks too!). It’s about $50 a year for an Amazon Prime account which means you’re spending $4.16 a month. Not bad! If Amazon Prime isn’t your cup of tea – Netflix is a pretty great way to go. Unlimited movies – you can even rent movies and have them sent to your house. Cable is expensive and you have the potential to save about $1500 a year by cutting that pesky cable!
Invest in a Water efficient Shower Head
Depending on where you live, water gets expensive very quickly. By investing a couple bucks into your shower heads in your house, you can likely save hundreds of dollars every year. Plus, you’ll be environmentally friendly. What’s not to like about that, right?
Visit your Local Goodwill
This one might catch some people off guard, others will likely be thrilled about going for a good thrift hunt! My husband and I have been looking into getting a smaller dining room table (because it’s usually just the two of us, so why have a table big enough for 6, right?). So, off to our local Goodwill we go! Lucky for us, we found a great table in perfect condition for $50! That included the 4 chairs that came with it too! If you need a new piece of furniture, why not stop by Goodwill and see what you can find.
Cut the Entertainment Fund
This sounds shocking at first, but once you realize how many free things there are out there for you to have fun at – it’s a no brainer. Anything big, like birthdays and anniversaries we just plan ahead and save up for. We can put $100 back into our budget by doing so. Plus, it’s only for a few years. After we pay off debt – you better believe we’re going on a huge exuberant trip to celebrate.
Give more meaningful gifts
Instead of buying a gift for your family member or friend – give something a little more meaningful. Maybe you have some memorabilia laying around that your sister has had their eye on for a few years. Or, maybe you can give your best friend that sweater of yours she’s been eyeing for awhile. If you’re crafty, you can also make gifts too!
Downsize your home
I know this one requires a lot of effort – but it’s something that should definitely be considered. Especially if you have a large house. I’m a huge advocate for using your time, space, money, and stuff wisely. Right now, it’s just my husband and I. Why would we need a large 1800 square foot space? It’s way too big! We can make due with 1000 square feet. Easy. With two pups even. To do this you have to think about your family and what you NEED in a home. Check out this post on how to downsize your home.
Cut that Coffee Habit
That’s right folks! I said it out loud – well, I said it in writing rather. But you know what I mean. By cutting your daily trip to Starbucks you could save yourself hundreds of dollars yearly! (Seriously, I spend on average $4.19 on my Starbucks drink – if I get that drink everyday for 20 days out of the month that would be well over $1000 in savings!) Now, that doesn’t mean you have to cut coffee completely! I would never go as far and say something that crazy! Simply make your coffee at home. Save yourself time waiting in that long line every morning and sleep in those extra minutes of blissful sleep.
With things that you need to purchase in store and you can’t DIY on your own at home, buy it generic. It’s amazing when you compare the generic brand ingredients with the name brand – it’s all the same stuff. You can save, on average, 25% by simply buying generic brand stuff!
Become BFF’S with Consignment Stores
I’m a huge advocate for capsule wardrobes. It’s easier to get dressed every morning and I love everything that I have in my closet. I know what looks good together and I feel like I’ve gained back those precious minutes in the morning, which is wonderful to say the least. Now that I’ve switched over from consumerism to capsule wardrobes – I realized that I had bags upon bags of clothes that I didn’t love on me, it was too big/small, or I just didn’t like it anymore. Take those bags into your local consignment store and have them buy it off of you! That’s one quick way to earn some cold hard cash – especially if you have little ones in the home that are growing like weeds. This gives you that extra little bit to buy them a pair of pants that don’t look like high waters!
Plan out Your Meals
My husband and I started this shortly after we got married and it’s been a Godsend. We never ask, “What do you want for dinner?” because we already know what’s on the menu. This saves you SO much money (and time) because we write out our meals for the week and make a shopping list. We only buy what we put on the list. So, there’s no buying meals that look good or sound good while in the store.
Save up that pesky change
There’s people that hate change so much that they throw it away! Can you imagine? Literally throwing away money. Take that change and save it up. We work on a cash budget system so we often have change and can bring in an additional $100 every couple months or so. Put that towards a nice birthday or anniversary dinner!
Utilize YouTube To Fix Things
If you have a car savvy hubby like mine, YouTube is a great way to save costs when it comes to changing your oil, replacing windshield wiper blades, tail lights, and many other miscellaneous things on your car. This saves us so much money. However, if you’re not car friendly – I do not recommend this. Take it to a reputable auto shop and save your fingers in the process.
Wait 42 hours before a big purchase
Anything about $100, we wait two days before purchasing. If after two days we cannot stop thinking about it – then we’ll go back and buy it. But, if we forget about it or we think more on it – we sometimes find that we don’t need it. Which saves a lot of money a year!
No smoking or drinking
You can save $2550+ if you cut back on cigarettes alone! With savings like that you’ll likely be able to pay off your debt in no time. Plus, you’ll save yourself thousands on health insurance bills in the future and your body will appreciate the break.
Stop Eating Out
If you spend $11 at lunch every day – that’s a total of $2800+ a year! An amazing amount of savings if you think about it! Bring in your lunch to work and don’t deviate from the plan. If you must eat out, budget for a couple times a month instead of every day.
A total savings of $17,226+. Now that’s some serious savings in one year and dough that you can throw towards your debt. I think you’ll be in good shape if you can implement some of these ways to save money. Do you have any ways that you save money around your house? Shout it out in the comments below!