As the husband and I are gradually preparing for the arrival of this baby, we are not only mentally preparing, but also financially preparing. Kids are expensive, yo!
Well, as we’ve been preparing financially, we’ve really been toying around with our budget and figuring out different ways that we can cut costs, areas we can save, and ways we can even bring in a few extra dollars.
So, I thought since this is something we’ve both been working on for a while, it would be a perfect addition to my Molly’s Money series. No? Yes!
Now, obviously, this should go without saying, but the number one way to save money is to MAKE A BUDGET AND STICK TO IT. Trust me, when you write down the dollars you bring in and the dollars you spend, you will find areas to save. Do that first.
You can also check out the last post I did about saving money when you don’t have money to spend! That post also has some great money saving tips on there, as well.
1. Money Maker – Sell Your About-To-Expire Coupons!
What? Sell your coupons? Yeah, I had no idea either! So, I will randomly get some coupons in the mail for stores that while, yes, I love, I know I won’t use the coupon. For example, I recently had a 10% off coupon to Crate + Barrel. Now, I LOVE Crate + Barrel, but there just isn’t anything I need from there right now that I can A) justify buying or B) really need.
Well, some coupons like that could be super valuable to someone who was maybe planning on buying furniture from C+B (or another large-ticket item). Well, you can go on eBay and list your coupon and you don’t even have to ship it to them – you can just e-mail the highest bidder your coupon code.
Sure, you won’t make $20 off of it, but I have seen about-to-expire coupons sell for as much as $10 or $15 at the right time.
And Crate + Barrel is just one example, I’ve seen plenty of other coupons go for $20-$30 before! Crazy!
2. Money Maker – Sell Your Gift Cards!
Do you have a gift card sitting in your wallet that you just know you aren’t going to use? Maybe you got it for Christmas or your birthday or something and it’s to a store where you just won’t or don’t need to shop? Or maybe you used part of a gift card and just don’t have use for the rest of it?
3. Money Saver – Call Your Insurance Companies!
So, one thing on my to-do list this month was call all of our insurance companies and make sure we were getting the best rates possible. PLUS, I got quotes for having my husband and I combine insurance on a couple things (like auto insurance – right now, we have separate auto insurance policies).
Well, I was able to find out that as of May 24th, I am eligible for a couple discounts and they can remove a ticket from an accident I was in a few years ago off my record and off my insurance. Thus saving me… $60+ a month! AND if John comes on to my policy, we would BOTH save almost $100 a month on car insurance. Yeah.
But you see, my policy would have stayed at about the same rate if I hadn’t called and checked.
We also did the same thing with a few of our other policies recently and we were able to knock off around $10-$20 a month on a couple of them. It’s no guarantee, but it DEFINITELY never hurts to ask.
4. Money Maker – Sell Your Books + DVDs!
So, I am an AVID reader and movie lover. I could spend HOURS in Barnes & Noble and my idea of an awesome Friday night is sitting on the couch watching a good movie.
Over the years, I’ve collected HUNDREDS of books and a whole LOT of DVDs.
But the truth is, with my books, it is rare that I read a book and then read it again. 95% of books I read, I never read more than once. I have to REALLY love a book to read it more than once.
And with DVDs, SO many of the DVDs I own are on Netflix, I just am not watching DVDs like I used to.
Now, I am a HUGE proponent of donating books to a library or school or something like that – and that is something I do A LOT, but when you are in need for some cash, this is a great way to add to your wallet.
Look in your area to see if there are any used bookstores that will buy your old, gently used books from you. There’s a GREAT one in this area called Nice Price Books & Records. They will buy your books AND DVDs. Now, sure, they’re not going to give you a TON of money for them, but I’ve been able to walk in with a bag of books and walk out with $20-$40 cash before.
Also, if you have a Plato’s Closet in your area, they too will buy relevant books and DVDs from you.
And, when in doubt, go to eBay. I have sold a lot of seasons of TV shows on eBay for good money! In fact, back in January, husband and I did a big DVD cleanout and made almost $100 selling seasons of TV shows on eBay.
Just another thing to consider!
5. Money Saver – Save1.com!
I found Save1.com* back in the fall and I have used it quite a few times! What is it exactly? Well, it’s basically a coupon website – but for online shopping. BUT, there are literally HUNDREDS (if not thousands) of retailers listed on their website.
You can just search for the store you want to find a coupon for in the search bar on the homepage, OR you can search by category. They also list the CURRENT best coupons and best deals on one section of the site.
They have coupons for EVERYTHING from apparel to accessories to computer ink to batteries to cooking / online groceries to web hosting and domains! I mean, there is basically a coupon for almost anything. So, the next time you need something or you are looking for something, you can search Save1.com to see if there’s a coupon that can save you some money!
BUT wait, there’s more… no seriously. One of the things that caught my eye when I first discovered them, is that for every coupon or offer from their site that is used, they provide a meal for a hungry child. Yeah, amazing! To date, they have provided over 97,000 meals to hungry children across the world. You can read more about their story here and also about their commitment to financial integrity here.
But seriously, I’ve used the site for a lot of random things over the last eight months or so since I discovered it, and it’s one of my go-tos when I am planning on doing any shopping online.