Time to Save! 10 Easy Ways Your Family Can Save Money
The new year is always a great time to revisit our finances and start some form of savings plan or to contribute to a retirement or college fund (if you’re not already doing so.)
Saving doesn’t have to be so hard, here are 10 easy ways your family can save!
Create a change jar. Every day, take all the change in your pocket and put it in a jar. At the end of the year, you will have a pretty penny.
Take the 52 week challenge. The concept is simple: put aside $1 the first week, $2 the second week, etc… OR you can do it backwards, put $52 the first week, $51 the second week, etc. Lisa from Atypical Familia has a grid you can print out to help keep you on track. Bonus! If both you and your spouse do it, that’s double the savings! (over $2,000!) (The second full week of January just started, so you can still start now and catch up!)
Teach your kids how to save: take all the change and have them save it in their piggy banks. Use the money to buy something they really want, or put it towards a 529 college savings account. For more information on your college savings options, check out Adrianna Lupher’s great post on saving for kids’ college.
Swap babysitting with a friend. Instead if spending money on babysitting, take turns taking care of the kids.
Eat breakfast at home and/or pack lunch.
I haven’t been the greatest at fling this, but the savings can be significant, especially if you work in an expensive city like NY.
Ditch the meat. Meat is expensive and adds to your carbon footprint! I’m not saying to go vegetarian, but you can replace a few meals a week with organic eggs or beans that are packed with protein. Here are some yummy egg recipes.
Buy next year’s clothes NOW!
This is a GREAT way to save, especially on your children’s clothes. At the end of the season, stores are looking to get rid of their inventories and make way for new stuff. Purchase next year’s winter coat now. At the end of the summer, stock up on swimsuits and related items.
Stock up on holiday decorations after the holidays. Christmas lights are 75 percent off after the holidays… Valentines day cards are also on sale right after V-Day… etc. etc.
Use your credit card points to earn you free travel! If you use your credit cards, paying in full at the end of the month will of course save you fees and interest charges, but if you are going to use a card, use one that will give you something! I love the JetBlue Amex card JetBlue Amex card because points are good for JetBlue travel and they don’t expire! Also, the JetBlue Amex card gives you 50 percent off snacks and food on JetBlue flights. (Note: this is not a sponsored post.)
Plan meals in advance! Meal planning will not only help you save money, but it will help you plan your calorie/nutrition intake as well. Want to be really good? Plan your meals using the specials in the weekly supermarket circular! Here’s info on menu planning for beginners by AKA Designs to motivate you to get started… and it comes with a free meal planning printable!
BONUS: Deals like Broadway week (2 for 1 shows) and other deals (like matinee movies) can also help you save… and soon, if you live in NYC and you can get the IDNYC NYC Municipal ID cards via you get free admission to cultural institutions around the city! (This can be HUGE savings!)