Category Archives for "Frugal Ways to Save Money"
Frugal Ways to Save Money posts
Frugal Ways to Save Money posts
“This post was sponsored, and paid for, by SunTrust. All opinions are my own.”
It happened. The things we had been waiting for. I was secretly hoping it didn’t happen. That she didn’t want to go through with it. I may have said, a small prayer. It wasn’t that I didn’t want my daughter to achieve her dreams. I just didn’t like what it did to me.
Isn’t it hard when you have to make choices that would benefit your children but deplete your bank account? How can you say no to “Mom, I want to try gymnastics.” You start to say, “Yes, by all means you may be the next Simone Biles but my wallet isn’t ready.”
I had gone to the website because all of her friends are doing it and now she wants in. And, she knows. It is too late to hide another activity. But, what it will cost? What will I give up to make it happen? Can I make it happen? These thoughts are running through my head like a train without sufficient tracks.
I type in the URL to the gym. I may have said a prayer to the frugal gods. It comes up $68 a month and $25 to register. I calculate the damage. $816 for the year plus $25 registration then there are the uniforms. Do not forget the gas to get to the location and the time spent away from my job. I breathe.
I take one of those long breathes that fills your lungs. I try to take in every bit of that oxygen as I exhale. I remember something that left my mind in that moment of panic. My husband and I have planned for this. We didn’t exactly plan for this sport, but we have put aside money for her activities. I have three kids so the question isn’t if they wanted to do sports it is when and how many? It is also how am I going to fit this into our tight budget? We know that having a child or children that play any kind of sports is expensive. You have fees and equipment to buy. Then you have travel expenses. It can be overwhelming if you do not have a plan. So we used the SunTrust budget worksheet on onUp.com to figure it out. Youth activities can cost more than $2,500 per year, and almost 40% of us spend more than $1,000 a year according to a recent SunTrust survey. We actually budget for $1,000 for each child. I know that sounds like a lot, but we often go over. They get sports instead of gifts.
I am not saying it isn’t worth it. I spend every weekend at some sporting event for my children, and I couldn’t be prouder. I know investing in sports teaches my children so many valuable lessons. It also teaches them the lesson of how to budget our money so we can afford to say yes, to cross country, gymnastics, travel soccer, and basketball. We can say yes to them pursuing of their dream without giving up our dreams of living debt free and having a bountiful retirement account.
This same SunTrust survey shares that, parents make tradeoffs to help children’s dreams come true. They sacrifice dining out (42%), shopping (35%), vacations (29%), retirement savings (21%), other savings (25%), paying off debt (27%) and upgrading their car (23%). I want to make sure that we don’t have to make too many sacrifices – I want to be able to save and take family vacations. That means using budget planning tools, like the one from SunTrust, and sticking to it.
SunTrust launched the onUp Movement to inspire many of Americans to take a step toward financial confidence. The onUp Movement is about having the confidence to move forward—one smart step at a time. I was able to say yes to every sport this year since we saved $275 of each paycheck. There is nothing better than watching your child shoot a free throw and run across the court forgetting that he has another one to shoot or watching your daughter score the winning goal. It is incredible to cheer your child on as they beat the last best time on the track, every second counts. You can reduce your stress and savor the moment by planning ahead!
Learn more on how you can save and afford sports for kids, visit SunTrust’s OnUp Movement.
This post was sponsored, and paid for, by SunTrust. All opinions are my own.
This is a sponsored post on behalf of Bloggin’ Mamas & the Florida Prepaid College Board. All opinions expressed are my own.
I recently had a conversation with my son. He wants an $800 cellphone because his “starter” cellphone isn’t good enough. I wonder did I buy him a cellphone to let me know he was on the bus and for him to call me when he was done with soccer or did I buy him a cellphone to keep up with the Jones? If you know me you know, I bought him the cheapest phone I could find that worked. You know why?
He doesn’t have a job. His phone doesn’t earn money, and I wanted to pay cash, and it would be a cold day in Hawaii before I would spend $800 on a phone for a kid. Why is it that this same mom wrote a check for thousands of dollars for something he will not even use for 18 years?
You see I like to spend money on things that matter. We live our lives with the big goals in mind. If I spend money on all the little things that do not matter the thing that matters most will be out of my grasp.
What matters most to me?
Yes, college. I wanted to make sure my children have the ability to attend college and to graduate college debt free. We chose Florida Prepaid College. We were able to pay all three plans off before our oldest attended high school. We said “no” to many things along the way so we could say “yes” to the one thing that will never break, that will never get old, that will never lose value. We gave them the gift of an education.
As a full-time stay at home Mom and full-time college student, saving money is extremely important and beneficial to our family. Over the past several years I have learned different ways that our family can get all the bills paid, buy groceries for the month, have extra money for entertainment and put a little away in savings. Here are 10 Frugal Living Ideas to help your family live on an annual income of $30,000 or less and still find time to have fun and save for a rainy day:
1. Coupons – Use them, love them…they are free money. Coupons can be found for pretty much anything now; you just have to hunt them. Sign-up and join as many coupon/bargain sites that you can find. Also remember to search and use coupon codes when ordering items online.
2. Comparison Shop– always look to see what store or company will offer the better price; shop around.
3. Take advantage of local farmers and farmers markets – You can find really good quality produce at a better price than what grocery stores sell produce.
4. Grow your own food- dirt, seed, water and sunshine is less expensive and more rewarding.
5. Cut down on your electricity usage and save on your power bill – if you’re not using something, cut it off and unplug it. Make sure lights are off throughout the house when you aren’t in those rooms. Keep your thermostat on 68 in the winter and 72 in the summer. Don’t run your dryer any longer than you have to and on warm sunny days, hang your clothes out to dry.
6. Take advantage of thrift stores or yard sales.
7. Save gas – reduce the number of trips you make out of the house every day on days that you need to run errands, plan your trip beforehand. Find a route that will take you from place to place that you need to go without having to back track. Carpool if that is an option; find an errand/shopping buddy.
8. Pack your kids lunches for school – Not only is it cheaper; it is healthier. Read our list of 15 Healthy Snacks for Lunchboxes
9. Find way to re-use items – For example: I use old baby wipe containers to hold the kids markers and crayons. Take worn out towels and use as dust rags, used baby food jars are great to store nuts, bolts and screws, plastic grocery store bags can be used in small trash cans.
10. Use the internet to your advantage on finding money saving deals. Use sites like restaurant.com or groupon.com to save money on doing things your family enjoys, like eating out. Look at store sales papers every week and buy in bulk when it is something you use a lot of and have found a great deal on it.
There are tons of ways that you can save money every day and live on an annual household income of $30,000 or less; be frugal and always hunt for the best deal or bargain.
Thanks Tabitha J. for this Living on 30000 or Less tips!
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See why I said no to disney
This year, one of my goal is to challenge myself to save money and be frugal. I know that if I do this in the long run it will benefit me and my family. One of the Savings Challenge that I want to do is the 52 Week Savings Plan. I saw this first from one of my friend and I immediately got interested. If you will look at the chart below, you can see that it’s something realistic. Unlike other money savings plan with this Savings Challenge you only have to save little amount each week and after 52 weeks you’ll have $1378!
The concept of 52 Week Savings Plan is very simple, you just have to save and deposit the amount that corresponds to the number of the week into your account. What I love about this plan is it’s not intimidating and even kids especially teens can do this. By saving small amounts, at the end of the challenge, you’ll have extra money.
Disclaimer: RealAdviceGal.com occasionally receives vendor/ brand sponsorships for mentioning their products and services.
Do you like designer clothes. The high-end fashion ones? I do I drool over the magazines only to realize I can’t afford a button on one of those frocks. Then I decided I would figure out a way to get what I wanted. The high-end fashion looks on a budget I could afford. I would create a trading up of sorts, and I would start today.Continue reading
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Rite Aid but all opinions expressed here are mine.
Who doesn’t love a great deal on diapers? Not so many years ago, when our kids were in diapers, a trip to the store always entailed searching out the best deal on diapers. For a family on a tight budget, finding a great deal on diapers could mean the difference between buying macaroni and cheese, hot dogs, and fish sticks for dinner all week or actually being able to afford to buy some meat like hamburger, chicken, or pork. With the way prices have increased over the years, I can imagine today’s moms face the same dilemma.
Since our kids are grown and have children of their own, I’ll admit I don’t pay much attention to the price of diapers. However, this month Rite-Aid is having a Plenti Point Palooza with a great diaper deal!
Simply spend $50 on any participating products and receive 2,000 Plenti points. That’s worth at least a $20 in savings for every $50 spent. In other words, 40% in savings! If you find these items on sale and/or have coupons for any of them, your savings will be even greater.
Every time I have a chance to earn Plenti Points, I scan the ads to see if there are ways for me to add more points to my Plenti account by buying things that are already on my shopping list. Well, this month, it looks like I’ll be adding diapers to my list and earning 2,000 Plenti Points!
This is what I bought:
4 Pampers Swaddlers @ BOGO 1/2 OFF $12.99 ($12.99 + $6.49) x 2 = $38.96
4 Pampers Wipes @ BOGO 1/2 OFF $3.99 ($3.99 + 1.99) x 2 = $11.96
My subtotal was $50.92 and I earned 2,000 Plenti Points (worth at least a $20 value)
To sweeten the deal, there are two coupons available which can be loaded to your Rite-Aid card:
Since I can’t use the diapers, I’ll run the deal and donate the diapers to a local “helping hands” organization. With a deal like this, it’s so easy to give back to the community. With the 2,000 Plenti points I earned, the points will go towards filling my gas tank at ExxonMobil next week. All totaled, my actual out of pocket cost will only be $27.46.
Please share what Plenti Point Palooza deals you find and tell us what plans you have for the savings!