As a mom, finding clever ways to save money can help secure your family’s financial future.
Yes, I know, there are many other, more impactful ways to build wealth, and in the grand scheme of things, saving a buck here and there might not seem like the recipe for propelling yourself (with your entire brood in tow) to millionaire status, but hear me out.
Unless you stop the bleeding (in this case, frivolous spending), it will take you a lot longer to get there.
In my mind, building generational wealth is a combination of developing marketable skills, earning from those skills, investing wisely, and frugal spending.
…And putting your foot down when any member of your brood wants to splash $1,000 on a pair of, in my view, hideous sneakers.
That’s why I rave about How to Create a Budget and Everything You Need to Know to Start Using Coupons.
A Mom’s Guide to Saving Money the Smart Way
Of course, as with everything worth doing, it’s much easier said than done. Believe me; I’ve had moments of taking on unnecessary expenses at the grocery store despite having blown past our monthly budget.
It happens; you are going to slip up sometimes. The key is to have a solid hold on your spending habits and a savings system. That way, even if you go off the rails occasionally, you can recover and stay focused on your ultimate savings goals.
With that in mind, here are my top-secret (shhhhhh) creative ways to save money monthly.
1. Start Budgeting
It sounds obvious, doesn’t it?
Would it surprise you to learn that only 30% of American households actually have a detailed monthly budget prepared? Yes, according to a Gallup poll, two in every three Americans don’t have a monthly budget, nor do they have a long-term financial plan or investment goals.
I kid you not; budgeting is one of those things that everyone knows they should do, yet up to two-thirds of us don’t!
Having a detailed monthly budget will open your eyes to the reckless spending on everyday purchases you are currently engaging in.
From unnecessary online shopping sprees to pizza deliveries, even your grocery bill might have something you don’t need, or you can find cheaper alternatives if you just look.
You won’t know where all the money is going until you have an actual, written-down budget. THEN you will see just how badly you’ve been throwing cash around.
Here’s a quick guide on budgeting categories for the family if you want to get started right away.
2. Use Money Saving Apps
If you are anything like me, you put most of your grocery shopping, utility bills, and monthly bills on your credit or debit cards. While most of these offer rewards when you use them, you can go further and use savings apps.
Here’s why. Many of these apps highlight saving opportunities and fetch rewards such as cash back on many purchases you would make anyway.
Here are a few that I like using. You can check them out and see what you think:
- Ibotta: I get cash back for most purchases.
- Acorns: This one helps me save and invest.
- Rakuten: These guys give you cash back on online purchases you make in over 3,500 stores.
3. Try Out Capital One Shopping
Now this is a tool I simply love! Capital One Shopping is not only free, but it also works in the background. So you don’t need to remember to use it every time.
If you want to find the best deals online and gift cards and coupons, you must install Capital One Shopping on your browser.
You will save a ton of money. Trust me on this one! It is by far one of my favorite and most clever ways to save money.
4. Create a Meal Plan
Have you ever found yourself at the grocery store buying things that weren’t on your list because they looked “interesting to try out?” I know I have!
I’m not saying you shouldn’t try new things and new recipes (what would life be without these little adventures?). I’m saying that meal planning will help you cut back on a lot of unnecessary expenditures when it comes to groceries.
Here’s why I meal plan:
- It helps us avoid food wastage (leftovers are planned for)
- Encourages a better diet
- Saves money on impulse purchases at the grocery store
But most importantly, meal planning helps me save money and curb my spending habits on those nights I don’t know what my family will eat. I will already have a plan in place to help cut down on ordering in and eating out.
Check out my free printable meal plan!
5. Conduct a Personal Finance Audit
I know! I know! That sounds like what the IRS is for, but hear me out.
There are things you are paying for now that you either don’t need or don’t even remember that you are paying for unless you run a complete audit of your finances.
When was the last time you actually saw your husband reading that “Monster Trucks Forever” magazine that keeps coming in the mail?
How about you? Are you really going to visit all those vineyards someday? Then why are you paying for that subscription?
We often put so many little $1-a-month subscriptions on our cards because they seem important at the time, or a dollar a month doesn’t seem like that much. But they add up.
Run a quick audit on your bank statements to find out what you are paying for that you no longer use or don’t actually need, and cut it out.
These are just some creative ways I use to reduce our spending and save money. Saving money doesn’t have to be painful. You just need to find ways to reduce your living expenses (not necessarily lifestyle) and channel all that extra cash into your savings account.
How about you? What are some of your clever ways to save money?