What is the first thought that comes to mind when you find money in pockets after doing laundry or when your grocery bill is lower this month than what was projected? Do you feel the urge to spend it? Most likely and for many members of the household, it is common to visualize what is going to be purchased.
I am willing to claim that saving the money was most likely the last thought. If it was the first thought, then congratulations. The point is our mindset has been conditioned to spend money. We are led to believe from the marketers and funny advertisements that sales are good and new technology items are must-have items! With us being bombarded everyday it can be challenging to save money.
Have no fear! Below I am outlining 21 ways to help you save money.
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"One pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth."
In this blog, I will highlight 21 ways to save you money this month from:
How to save money traveling
How you can reduce your online shopping expenses
How to keep your utility bills down this summer
I've researched several useful ways from everyday common ways to save money to out of the ordinary methods in saving.
Here are 21 Ways to Save Money
1. Saving Money While You Travel
One of the best ways to save some moolah is to look in the area and find key days or weekends promoting Free Admissions. These are usually advertised by museums, tourist sites, and local events. In fact, one of my photos on this site was taken on a free admission day at the local San Antonio Museum.
When having fun, it is easy to get caught in the moment and forget your budget. That's why Briana of Finspirations wrote an article on having fun while saving money.
2. Shop Around for Hotel Rates
Be flexible in your travel dates and you can save money on nightly rates at hotels. Two of my favorite places to shop rates are Hotels.com and my favorite hotel-chain IHG because of the free breakfast and the clean, comfortable rooms. These includes hotels from Holiday Inn Express to Staybridge Suites, etc.
3. Book Available Short-Term Lodging
Airbnb has built a $2.6 billion industry off of everyday common people renting out their homes, apartments, cottages, etc. If you're going on vacation, this can be a great way to earn some money back while you travel. Click HERE to learn more.
4. Stay Overnight on Sunday
Many travelers utilize hotels from Friday night to Saturday night leaving more availability to hotels. Business travelers typically stay in hotels during the week from Monday to Friday so take advantage of low rates on Sundays. If you are a hotel rewards member, this can be a great way to maximize your points for the least amount of money. With Hotels.com Rewards program, you get 1 free night per 10 nights booked. You pay only for the taxes and fees on the free night.
5. Use Coupons
You've most likely seen the shelf of brochures as you enter and exit your hotel lobby.
While the majority of us walk pass these without any consideration, you are actually passing free coupons offering discounts on local tourism sites. Next time you see these, take a quick glance just to see what might interest you and your family.
A terrific resource when it comes to couponing is to read Crystal Paine's blogs on couponing. She is the full-time blogger of MoneySavingMom.com. Her traffic averages over 60,000 visitors per day because of her tips and ideas in couponing.
You should also check out FaithfulProvisions.com which teaches couponing classes to help families save money.
We all know that grocery shopping can be expensive too. The Roving Foley's posted 15 Easy Ways to Save Money on your Grocery Bill.
6. Shop Insurance Carriers
Some might be surprised to learn the only way to search for new rates is to shop around. In fact, it pays to shop around so I encourage you to review your policies this summer and shop around for rates to see if you are overpaying. A quick and efficient way to quickly obtain a quote is to visit Esurance. This quote is a great benchmark to gauge other quotes.
As the legislation made changes and revisions to the national healthcare plan, take a look at the latest rates and compare with eHealth Insurance and determine you aren't overpaying.
7. Get Paid to Shop
Well sorta. I love my ibotta app. My first week of using it I instantly made $22. The way that it works is once you shop at stores like Whole Foods, Target, Wal-Mart, or numerous other stores, you pull up the store you just shopped at and find if the items you purchased has any cash back. Below is an example from my phone of what it looks like.
The big benefit of this app is the items I purchased were goods already on my grocery list. After I scanned my receipt, the cash back was put into an escrow account until you hit $20 in which you can then cash out. Christina, blogger of VeganGirlOnTheRun, wrote an in-depth piece on ibotta.
8. July Savings
The month of July can usually be a great month for consumers. Below are several dates to jot down for July 2018:
Early July: As new video games are set to be released, keep an eye out for older titles being heavily discounted.
7 July: Clothing stores will reduce merchandise by 50% or more. Watch for huge sales!
16 July: AMAZON PRIME DAY! Starting at 3pm ET, keep an eye out for deals. You can get a sneak preview of sales 24 hours prior. If you have questions regarding Prime Day, then read Liz's blog on Prime Day; All Your Questions Answered.
For $14.99/month you can receive unlimited grocery delivery from AmazonFresh. Save time from traveling and commuting in traffic while saving money from fuel expenses while wrapping up savings from Amazon.
9. Ditch the Cable
This is very difficult for many people and I get it. I don't write this lightly as I pulled the plug from my $120/month cable bill to switching to DirecTV Now for $35/month. If you have the Amazon Fire Stick you can download the app: DirecTV Now. I've added HBO for an additional $5 and my biggest concern was the limited channels but I receive over 60 channels and our favorites are still provided to us. It is a win-win solution for us. There are multiple packages starting from $35.
10. Switch Cellular Carriers
While some of us like myself are loyal to our cell carriers, we should consider researching other plans as well in order to be fair. I found a trusted wireless company with affordable rates that utilizes the networks from Sprint and T-Mobile. With plans starting at $15/month for unlimited talk & text, you should look at the packages available with Republic Wireless and determine if this is a good fit for you.
11. Use Credit Card Rewards
If you are striving to payoff your credit cards or payoff debt, you have probably noticed rewards points have been given to you. Usually you have the option to exchange these points for cash. Consider depositing this cash into a special savings account.
12. Stay at a Campsite
Over memorial day weekend, my kids and I went to a KOA campsite where we stayed in a cabin over a three-day vacation. This trip including food and cabin was under $300. We built a lot of memories there cooking hot dogs and roasting marshmallows to include making new friends.
13. Get a FREE Credit Score
With a reputable company like Credit Sesame, you can obtain your free credit score after providing a valid email address to them. It's quick and easy! If you haven't already pulled your free annual credit report, you can do so at AnnualCreditReport.com.
14. Save Money on Meal Plans
Groceries can consume a large portion of your budget. There is a belief that eating healthy is expensive and I thought so too at first but here are two highly recommended sources to prove those nay-sayers wrong. I love $5 Meal Plan with custom weekly meal plan ideas that are affordable when you buy your groceries.
Next, I have to also recommend PlateJoy. Each week you will receive a tailored meal plan of your choosing as you select meals from breakfast to snacks. Then, PlateJoy will ask which items you currently have in your pantry and produce a grocery list.
15. Discount Code for My Course
I have launched an online course designed and tailored to walk any interested person through my tutorial on how to make money online. Because every family should strive to become debt-free and achieve financial freedom, not everyone can get a second job or career to help pay for the bills. With that, this course is for you. You can take this 15-unit online course for $9 if you use my promo code: DOLLAROTTER10.
Another option is to build your own online course. I recommend Udemy as they host courses for millions of students and would encourage you to spend a week or two building a solid quality course of your choice.
LeeAnn, a retire Navy Vet, launched her blog, Girl Bosses Rock and earns over $1,000 each month through Pinterest marketing. Read how her passion has turned into profits and how it has skyrocketed her savings.
16. Affordable Budget Printables
When it comes to budgeting, many families are not sure where to start. Because of this, I have a variety of budget templates you can print. There are two paths to take. You can either purchase these on my Etsy Store in which most are under $2 or you can get a free template by providing your email below where you will in return receive a FREE 5-Day Guide towards Debt Freedom.
17. Shop Groupon
I have taken heart to Groupon on many family events. It is a great and simple way to save money on various events and items. Countless times I have found significant savings on museums, theme parks, zoo passes and so much more that has literally saved my hundreds. I'll be doing some traveling this summer and you better believe I'll be looking through Groupon and you should too!
18. App Saving Tools
Technology has come along way. With Robo-Advisors becoming the norm in handling your investments, several companies are helping people save money that is non-invasive. I write invasive because you barely notice it is leaving your checking account and being deposited into a savings account.
With apps for your smartphone like Acorns and Qapital, these companies will round up purchases made to the nearest dollar and deposit the difference into an escrow or investment account of your choice. For example, if you visit your nearest book store and make a purchase for $13.95, then $0.05 will be deducted and deposited into the savings account. The amount can change based on rule settings you guide the app to.
19. Refinance Student Loans
I come across so many friends and family still paying 6-8% in annual interest on their student loans. With rates being low and looking to climb soon, I recommend they shop around and refinance for available lower rates. The one company I recommend is SoFi. When I was working to get out of debt, I used this company to restructure my debt into one payment at a very low interest rate allowing me the freedom to quickly pay off my debts.
20. Get a 0% APR Credit Card
While I very rarely recommend credit cards to my viewers, in some cases it makes mathematical sense. If you have a credit card that you are paying 14% APR, yet, you have the opportunity to move that balance over to a credit card with 0% APR for 12 months, this is money saved from interest payments. The only downfall is that most people continue to use the credit card. STOP! The whole point in moving the balance is to pay down the balance. If you have the will and discipline, then I recommend this strategy.
Another strategy is to have the discipline not to use your cards and obtain a low rate loan from Upstart. By replacing and consolidating your loans with one loan, you immediately increase your credit utilization on your credit score. The key here is to pay off the credit cards and DO NOT use them again.
21. Boost Your Savings!
Last, but not least is you need to download the app from Qapital. It is an effective strategy tool that rounds up your purchases made and then deposits the difference into an escrow account. For example, if I buy apples for $2.50, then Qapital recognizes the difference of $0.50 because it is linked to my bank account and will automatically pull out $0.50 to round up the purchase to $3. You have full control to establish rules of when and how much to deposit. You can set a limit on ceiling or floor and the app will not pull the difference if it is going to cause an overdraft--ADDED PROTECTION!
Let us know in the comments below what methods to save money worked for you!