Would you like to save over $300.00 a month? As a money saving consumer advocate this is a question our family visits regularly as we go over our Monthly Family Budget. We recently met for a brainstorming session to see how we could shave and save more money each month. Our tips can work for your family too. Schedule a time to talk to your spouse about money and divide up the money saving missions.
How were we able to save $300.00 each month?
Saving Money Tip #1: Evaluate Services You Don’t Use
When we reviewed our monthly expenses, the first to go on the chopping block was our AT&T Bundle invoice. Maybe yours is DirecTV, cable or pay television by another name.
We were spending $9.99 each month each for premium channel like Cinemax and HBO. We enjoy watching movies but the reality was that we just weren’t able to watch these movies at the times that they were on and even DVR’ing them didn’t help we couldn’t find the time to sit and watch all we would like. Dropping the premium channels saved us $20.00 per month.
Saving Money Tip # 2: Drop Unused Entertainment Expenses
We feel that we are already frugal in the entertainment area taking advantage of Entertianment book and free events. With coupons, promotions and free event, much of our entertainment ends up being free or low cost. Still we were back to monthly movie costs again. Using Blockbuster Online cost $15.99 a month plus we had to rent at least four movies each month to get free movies in store. Since we hadn’t taken advantage of a free movie in over 6 weeks, we saw that this was an expense that we could easily cut. We weren’t getting the value for our money. Instead we sign up in store for Block Buster movie rewards and now we can get buy one get one free 3 days a week and only pay when we use the service.
This brought our monthly savings up to $35.99.
Saving Money Tip # 3: Look at Your Phone Bills
Next we examined our cell phone bills with Verizon. Since our home phone package includes unlimited long distance, we saw that we were not using our full amount of minutes. We called our cell phone carrier, Verizon, and asked for discount ideas including corporate and school discounts for our son who’s in college. By changing our plan to Friends and Family and lowering the minutes we reduced our communications expenses by about 15% for a savings of $37.00 per month.
Our monthly savings now totaled $72.99.
Remember that these first three money saving tips only took a one-time phone call. We called once but we save money every month.
Saving Money Tip # 4: Brown Bag Lunches
How much do you really spend each month on lunches? A look at our debit card and credit card statements showed us that just one of us was spending about $6.00 a day for lunch which ends up being $120.00 per month. This doesn’t even factor in the gas money for going out to get lunch. With some reusable containers and leftovers, our family is saving money, saving gas and going eco-friendly too, not to mention that the packed lunch is healthier.
By packing 20 work day lunches a month, our family’s cumulative monthly savings is up to $192.99.
Saving Money Tip # 5: Smart Coupon Clipping
Clipping coupons is smart but it’s also an art. Coupons won’t save you money or time unless you follow these coupon clipping rules.
A. Don’t cut it if you don’t use it.
B. Don’t buy anything just because you have a coupon.
C. Make the most of coupons by stocking up when grocery items are on sale.
We recently saved $45.00 off of our grocery bill with coupons. On average we’ve found that we can save around $110.00 per month using coupons. Where do I find the best coupons? In addition to Sunday circular coupons, I use Coupons.com, Smart Source and Red Plum.
By using these money saving tips plus clipping coupons, now our family saves a total of $302.00 per month.
How do we get these money saving tips accomplished? At your budget meeting, divvy up the money saving chores and give each other 24 hours and check back in. Remember that while two of these tips, packing lunches and clipping coupons takes an ongoing commitment, over $70.00 a month was saved with just three phone calls.
What could your family do with an extra $300.00 a month? Pay off debt? Save for college? A vacation? These real money saving tips worked for our family and we hope that you will use will use these money saving tips to help your family start saving money this month too.
Jonathan Kraft is a recognized expert in helping consumers save money, shop safely and be protected from identity theft [http://blog.identitytheftsecrets.com]. Learn more about the money saving strategies and consumer protection at the Identity Theft Secrets blog [http://blog.identitytheftsecrets.com].
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