Being a parent is both wonderful and expensive. Between clothes, shoes, food and the ever-looming college tuition, you’re probably opening up your wallet more than you want to these days.
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Luckily, you don’t have to redo your whole budget or forgo a night out with friends to save a few bucks. Try these five cash-saving tips below to lighten your cash drain and fatten your wallet!
1. Leave The Cash At Home
It’s all too easy to window shop and end up with stuff you don’t need. If you don’t take money with you or limit yourself to a specific amount, say $30, when you go out with friends, you’ll find yourself with a few extra bucks in your savings.
Organize cost-free or low-price outings with friends, like a day at the beach or walk or lunch at the park. Keep yourself to your spending limit if you do go somewhere to shop or gamble by only having the amount you decided on with you.
2. Think Conservative
You can chop some money off your main utility bills, electricity, gas and water, by being conservative. Turn those lights off when no one is in the room, and get your entire household into that habit. Keep your heat on a thermostat timer that flows with your family’s routine. If no one is home from 9 to 5 Monday through Friday, for instance, your heat setting should be as low as possible during that time.
End those 30-minute showers and go for baths instead to save on water. Stop running water when you don’t need to rinse, such as when you’re brushing your teeth or doing dishes. Pay attention to other ways you’re using water and try to cut down; you might be surprised at how much money you’re pouring down the drain!
3. Comb Those Bills
Other services you pay for, including cable, Internet and cellphone, might be tapping your wallet in ways you don’t even realize. Reviewing all those bills can help you cut down on your monthly costs.
Go over your cable or satellite, cell phone and Internet service bills line by line and see where you can cut. Not watching more half the cable channels you have? It might be time to switch to a lower package. Cell phones have features you’re paying for but never use? Cut them out to save cash now, since you won’t even miss them! Contact the service providers directly if you have any questions about your bills and the items on them.
You don’t have to stop at just services: you can call your creditors too! From your credit cards to a personal loan, you might be able to snag a lower interest rate just by asking. Know your history as a customer before you call, as that can be a little bargaining chip in your corner.
4. Cut Out Coupons
Well, not really. You don’t even have to cut coupons out of a book anymore. With mobile tech on the rise, many places offer coupons by text or download to your phone. Check for coupons online anytime you’re going shopping at a physical store or on the web. You can save without ever lifting a pair of scissors! Don’t forget to track sales at your favorite stores too. Buying items you need, like diapers, in bulk when there’s a good sale on is a quick and easy way to save.
5. Try A Little Exchange
Things like going out to eat are fine in moderation but can really chip at your cash flow in bulk. Trade out high-cost activities or habits for something more cost effective yet just as satisfying. For dining out, you can limit it to once a week at an affordable restaurant. If your family loves going to the movies, for instance, you can get them into the habit of waiting for the flick to go to the cheap cinema.