I’m baaaaaaack for another edition of Molly’s Money! Is it your first time checking out one of these Money posts? This is a series where I talk about all things MONEY and personal finance. Saving money, getting out of debt, how to budget, etc. etc. etc. You can check out all of my past Molly’s Money posts by clicking here.
One of my most popular money posts in the last year was this post on 5 Awesome Money Saving and Making Tips. A lot of you have even requested more “tip” posts, and that’s something I’m hoping to do more of in the coming weeks and months!
However, I want to break them down into separate money saving posts and money making posts.
So, today’s post is all about a few more ways to SAVE money!
1. Save Money On Your Rent or Mortgage
If you own a home… find out if you can refinance and get a lower interest rate on your mortgage. Talk to a mortgage broker (we always talk to someone we know personally or we get a referral for), run some numbers… see if the rate is better with both you AND your spouse on the loan (if applicable) or if just one of you is on the loan officially (credit can affect interest rates). Before we moved, my husband and I refinanced I think THREE times, getting a lower rate each time, and ended up getting our interest rate down to 3.25%! That is insanely low AND that is seriously like FREE money. The first couple times we kept the mortgage in JUST his name because my credit wasn’t good enough at the time and it affected it. However, by the third time we refinanced my credit was restored and it helped to get us a lower rate. Plus, we refinanced to a 15-year mortgage and so when we moved, we have that much more equity built up in the house. This is not a mortgage post, so I’ll go into more detail about this at a later date, but you get the general gist of it.
If you rent… find out if your landlord offers any discounts. If they don’t, offer to do work for them for free in exchange for a discount on your rent. For example, when I was living alone and renting, at one point I helped to run the social media accounts for my landlord (who was totally social media inept) and I got a discount on my rent monthly in exchange for my help! I also know someone who would help pull weeds around the property so that the landlord didn’t have to pay someone to do it. In exchange for pulling weeds, he got a BIG discount on his monthly rent. Not all landlords or apartment complexes will let you do this, BUT, I have known plenty that are more than willing and it can save you big money!
2. Don’t Eat Out. Pack a Lunch. Bring Your Coffee to Work.
I know this one seems like a no-brainer (heck, a lot of these seem like no-brainers), but you’d be surprised when you REALLY look at what your spending as to how much money is wasted on eating out or buying coffee from a coffee shop. My husband and I spend about $50 TOTAL a month eating out. We knew we needed to cut spending in an area and it’s the easiest area to cut. He packs his lunch every day with a sandwich or leftovers and bought milk and cereal for his office refrigerator so he’s not tempted to stop and get breakfast on the way to work.
We really save eating out for “special occasions” and we save a TON of money that way. So we really only eat out maybe 2-3 times in an entire MONTH.
If you are a coffee drinker, think about it this way… if you get a coffee every day on your way to work, that’s about $5 a day (approximately). That’s $25 a week. That’s approximately $100-$125 a MONTH in coffee alone. So, go buy yourself a reusable coffee mug for $3 from Walmart or Target, get yourself a $20 coffee maker, and boom. Save money.
Plus, it will make you enjoy eating out even more when you actually DO go out to eat! It’s like a special treat!
3. Get a Programmable Thermostat.
In North Carolina it gets absurdly hot in the summertime and so our AC is always cranked up. In the winter, it can also get bitter cold and we blast the heat. But, what is happening when we are NOT home? We don’t often remember to turn down or up the thermostat when we leave… so that’s money wasted.
By getting a programmable thermostat for your house or apartment, you can set it to be at the desired temperature when you are home and you can time it so that it’s higher or lower when you leave or when you are at work.
Something as simple as programming your thermostat can save you anywhere from $10-$50 a MONTH!
4. Buy Used (and save the difference!)
Any 19 Kids and Counting fans out there? You might recognize that reference! Haha!
It’s true though. You don’t ALWAYS have to buy new.
I have purchased two new cars in the past and that was the BIGGEST mistake ever! I will NEVER buy a brand new car again. When you drive that brand new car off the lot, the value of it IMMEDIATELY drops about $5,000-$10,000 (depending on the make and model of the car). Both my husband and I now currently own vehicles that we bought used, we paid cash for them, and we own them outright.
I buy A LOT (not all, but A LOT) of my clothes used (you know, minus my Stitch Fixes 🙂 hehe). I shop at places like Clothes Mentor, eBay, and I get a LOT of my Lilly Pulitzer from the Re-Lilly group on Facebook!
I buy almost ALL of Lilly’s clothes used on eBay or from consignment shops! I also will often sell stuff that she’s grown out of to those consignment shops and then use the store credit or cash that I get to buy new clothes for her or heck, even toys!
Always check Craigslist! Now that my family and I are in our new house, we have a lot more space and need to furnish it. We’re checking Craigslist daily for the pieces we know we need / want. We have also been hitting up some of the Habitat for Humanity ReStore stores that have a lot of great, used furniture for cheap.
When you need something (unless it’s food haha!), instead of just running to the store and buying it new, see if it’s something that can be purchased used. Check Craigslist, Amazon, or even resale groups on Facebook.
5. If you DO Need to Buy New, Shop Online and Use Coupons or Discount Codes (or even shop) on Sites like Frugaa.com*!
Y’all know I’m all about saving money and spending it wisely (hence this entire Molly’s Money series), so because of that, I’m ALWAYS on the hunt for the latest and greatest sites with coupon codes, discounts, etc. for those times when I am shopping online and buying new.
I actually discovered Frugaa a few months ago and I am SUPER impressed with how many amazing discount codes they have. I actually used them when I wanted to order some cute “We’ve Moved” cards on Snapfish and found a 50% off my entire order from a Snapfish coupon code I found on Frugaa and was able to order my cards for crazy cheap!!
Need to do some shopping? They’ve got discount codes for stores like LOFT, Target, and Amazon.com. You can search by store or by category… They even have a “Frugaa Marketplace” that sells random products at a discount as well!