We’re big believers that money is a tool to help you reach your personal goals. However we also believe that stressing over the numbers is counter productive. Like most moms, I’m looking for a solution that helps us reach our financial goals without having us sweat over every penny. If you’re in the same boat, I hope these tips help you with your goals.
Track Your Money Easily
One of the easiest ways to save money is to cut back incrementally with your discretionary expenses like eating out. However it can be tedious to keep track of every dollar when you’re running around balancing everything. The great news is that now it’s easier than ever to have your cake and eat it too.
Tools like Mint, keep me focused as I receive updates on my spending. Mint allows you to simply create or adjust a budget and you can choose how you’d like to be notified. I prefer emails, but you can also sign up to get text alerts. It’s a hassle free way for me to keep tabs on my lunches out.
Catch More Money
While it may be difficult to increase our income, there are some ways we can reduce our current expenses. If you haven’t adjusted your withholding for the year, go ahead and talk to your company’s Human Resources department. It’s an easy way to bump up your paycheck and gain some extra cash for your savings.
I’m a big believer of cutting out clutter. Over the years, we have managed to free up space and cash by using Craigslist to sell our stuff. Even if you can’t sell your items, you may be able to get some tax savings by donating your goods to eligible charities.
If you have your entire family on an unlimited cell plan, consider affordable options like Republic Wireless, which offer plans starting at $5/month. It can enable your family to keep in touch and drastically cut your phone bill.
Finally, you can save some significant amount of money by shopping around for your insurance. We did this with our car insurance years ago and got the same policy for about half the price! I’m all about making sure you have enough coverage for your family, but if you can get that at a much more affordable rate, then go for it.
If you’re looking for more ideas, I have some extra tips on saving some cash while handling your expenses.
Keep a Change Jar
This won’t save you a ton of money, but I found it’s a fun way to collect some cash – keeping a coin jar. When you get home empty out your pockets and check around your car for loose change. Don’t want to handle the pennies? Enlist your kids for help. Have them empty out your car and have them keep a percentage, like half.
You can then use the money saved for small gifts or for a charity that you pick out. Either way, it’s a wonderful way for your kids to practice saving and you get a cleaner car and house. Win-win!
Move Your Money
Now that you’ve trimmed your budget, you’ll want that money to work for you. Don’t let your busy schedule hold you back; set up an automatic transfer from your existing checking account into a high interest savings account. Looking to boost your savings with better returns? Many online banks have higher rates than their brick and mortar competition since they have less overhead expenses to take care of things like having branches around the country.
The advantage of making it automatic is that you will stay on your savings plan even if something comes up (and we know how often that happens). It’s a stress free way to build your savings.
Thoughts on Saving
I know many of you juggle work and family too, so I’d love to hear from you about how you save. How do you manage to save with your busy schedule? What money tip do you want to share?