Saturday, January 18, 2014

Financial Tips Round-Up

As I was working on yesterday's challenge for the 52-week Money Challenge, I started looking around for more ways to help us get out of debt and save money. I haven't totaled it, but with our two vehicles, student loans, and some smaller hospital bills, we are around $35,000 in debt.  I would like that gone within 2 years.

Where do we begin?  Here are 5 great resources to help you get on track to saving money and spending less!

1. Over at the Nesting Place, Myquillan shares her tips on how she was able to get their $150K debt paid off in just 5 years.  
2.  Anna over at And Then We Saved, paid off 24K in debt in just 18 months!  She gives a list of the many ways you can have fun without spending money.

She also tells you how to do a Spending Fast to reduce your debt.

3. Erin, The Humble Homemaker shares how her family lives well on one-income.  Definitly tips I can use!

4. Over at At How to Save Money (without going crazy), Paula gives us many different ways to life frugally so you take your savings and pay things off!

5. DIY Cozy Home has a list of over 100 ways you can cut your monthly expenses by $400!  

In addition to these sites here are the ways we have cut back at our home:

1.  Paper-free kitchen
we use cloth napkins and have a slew of hand towels for cleaning, draining bacon, drying hands, whatever!

2. Bye Bye Cable!
We got rid of cable and instead use Hulu Plus, Netflix and Amazon Prime.  We spend around $200 for the year to watch our favorite shows instead of over $200 a month.  We have an antenna to watch local channels.

3.  Shop Thrift Stores and Garage Sales
I try to get most of the kids clothes at thrift stores because they grow so fast and the boys wear things out so quick.  It is hard to justify $30 jeans when they are getting grass stains and holes in them within a month or two.

4.  Homemade Cleaning Products
I make my own laundry detergent which costs me $20 and lasts me 10 months.  I have started using homemade cleaners around the house as well.

5.  Cloth Diaper
We save thousands by not purchasing disposables.

6.  Couponing
I used to be an Extreme Couponer with the binder and everything, but it started becoming too burdensome and most of the products were junk foods and things we didn't eat.  I felt obligated to buy them since they were at a killer deal.  Now, I look for coupons for things we actually use and ALWAYS check Cartwheel by Target and the Target coupons before I shop at my favorite store.

7. Re-Purpose
I covered a lot of this in my challenge the other day.  There are many we re-use to save money around our home.

8.  Conserve Water
If you live in California like me, you know we are in a drought currently.  To help save water (and also keep our bill low) we have had the boys shower together, we make sure the washer and dishwasher are FULL before we start them, and my newest idea, saving shower water to use in the garden.  Let me explain, you know those few minutes you turn the shower on waiting for it to warm up?  There is a ton of water going down the drain.  We are collecting that water only in a bucket and then using that water to help the plants in the backyard.

Happy Savings!

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