Saving money is tough. Bills come in, expenses are made, and sometimes dipping into the emergency fund needs to happen. Unfortunately, I am speaking from experience. This year, my car ran into some issues, we had some expensive medical bills, I lost my job, and college bills came in. In light of all these things, I had to start getting creative on ways to save money. Now that I have learned some financial responsibility, I would like to share some different ways I saved some money this year.
1. I cut my own hair and my husband’s hair
I know this one is a little bit scary. I was a hairdresser for 6 years, so I am able to cut my own hair because I’ve been doing it for so many years. I understand if you aren’t comfortable with this idea. However, it might be worth looking into cutting your kids or your husband’s hair. Think about this: a man’s haircut costs around 15 to 20 dollars at a lower-end salon. The average man gets a haircut every month to month-and-a-half. That is 20 dollars a month which leads to 240 dollars a year. On top of that, your kids need a haircut at least every few months if you want them to have nice hair. A kid’s haircut is typically around 15 dollars. If you go 3 times a year to the salon for one kid, the price is 45 dollars a year. Now add 45 dollars to every child in your household. If you have 3 kids, that’s 135 dollars a year. Now add that number to your husband. For your 3 kids and your husband, the grand total is 375 dollars a year… just for haircuts.
My point is, you can make this number go down to almost zero with just a little training from youtube or a hairdresser you know and a good pair of haircutting scissors and clippers.
On this same topic, do you really need all those expensive haircolors, highlights, shampoos, products, and conditioners?
2. I gave up an expensive habit
I have a weakness:
Phone games. Yes that’s right. When I get addicted to a phone game, I have no problem spending money on it. In fact, it was getting so bad that I started spending 20 dollars a month (if not more) on my phone games. I finally decided it was time to nip that in the bud after I realized how much hard-earned money was going to something so insubstantial.
3. I shopped around for auto insurance
This one definitely isn’t the funnest one on the list. Shopping for auto insurance is very time consuming, especially if you still want decent insurance at an affordable price. However, it is worth it in the long run as I was able to save us over 900 dollars a year just by switching plans.
4. We save on heat
We have a propane tank. When we run out of propane, it is a huge bill that smacks us in the face all at one time. On top of that, running out of propane in the middle of winter means waiting at least a couple days to get more, even if it gets expedited. Last year when my husband was away on a work trip, I ran out of propane in the middle of a blizzard with freezing temperatures. I had to bundle myself in 5 layers for the next two days, sit next to my little heater, and pray to God that our pipes wouldn’t burst.
In order to combat these problems, we now keep our house at 65 degrees in the winter. Sounds terrible right? Well, having no source of heat in freezing temperatures is far worse. I can tell you that from experience.
As far as the Air-co is concerned, we usually have it on because of my husband’s seasonal allergies. However, I have been recently turning it off during the night when it is cooler which has somewhat lowered costs.
5. I started maintaining my car
After my car started having problems, I learned a valuable lesson. If you put in a little bit of money regularly into your car, it will save you from having a huge bill in the future. That is why I now get regular oil changes and wash my car once a month. Washing your car will prevent rust which in turn will give your car a higher resale value if and when you choose to sell it.
6. I learned basic home renovations
With the help from my husband and youtube, I have learned a lot about home renovations this year which in turn has saved us some money. I learned how to build a door frame, hang cabinets, and even how to replace electrical outlets.
7. We stopped ordering drinks from restaurants
It is ridiculous how marked up drinks are at restaurants. Pop, sweet tea, and coffee are overpriced to begin with, and alcoholic drinks are crazy expensive. Besides the fact that none of these beverages are that good for you, you can buy them for much cheaper at a grocery store. My husband and I save about ten dollars a meal with just ordering free water.
On this same note, we also stopped eating out almost entirely. Although we do enjoy an occasional date night and movie, we no longer eat out weekly like we used to.
8. I no longer click on targeted ads
This one was bad for me. If I saw something on Instagram or Facebook that I liked, I would click on it. Then that website would send out information to tell other places what I liked. Soon, I was getting tons and tons of targeted ads and was getting more and more tempted to spend money. Although I didn’t often buy things from online, it would often spark me to want to spend money, and I usually would. Now when I see a targeted ad, I just keep scrolling. I haven’t exactly calculated it, but I know I have stopped spending significantly since implementing my new method.
9. I actually started returning stuff
For some reason, I was always in a habit to keep something I bought even if I didn’t like it or it didn’t work for me. I usually justified this behavior by saying it wasn’t worth driving all the way back to the store if I didn’t spend a ton of money on it. But now I realize how silly that was. Most places have a 30 day return policy. Chances are, I will be back at that store (or at least in the area) withing 30 days. I save all of my receipts and if I don’t like something, I keep it in my car until I am back at the store (unless of course the item is perishable.)
10. I cut my hair short and stopped buying expensive makeup
When I say this, I mean I cut my hair SHORT. You may ask, “how did cutting your hair short save you money?” Well, the less hair, the less amount of products I needed. I use so little shampoo and conditioner now as compared to what I used to use. My husband and I share the same shampoo and conditioner, and I buy a new bottle about every 3 to 4 months. On top of that, all I need to do to style my hair is to wet it down and put a small amount of paste in it (if I even decide to style my hair that day.) Cutting my hair short has saved me so much time and money, it is unbelievable.
As far as the makeup is concerned, I no longer purchase expensive makeup from Macy’s or Sephora. I have learned to enjoy drug store brands and wearing less.
11. I buy food from local farmers
During the spring, summer, and fall months, buying produce from local farmer’s markets is a smart choice. The food is better quality, the prices are far cheaper, and to top it off, you support your local farmers which is always a win.
This concludes my list of ways I’ve learned to save money. I know I don’t often write about money, but I thought this might be an interesting break from my usual home improvement posts. Whether or not these are new ideas to you, I’m sure we all want to save money at some aspect. Let me know what you think in the comments, and tell me a few ways you like to save money yourselves!