September always signals the start of something new to me. The start of school with crisp new notebooks and fresh pens. The start of fall with stores full of beautiful gold, brown and red clothes that we in the desert won't be able to wear for another three months - but a girl can dream. And it's a subtle shift towards the season of holidays. I love September.
I'm also busy at this time of year. And it gets busier as sports seasons start up, school assignments increase and life just seems more demanding.
When I get busy, really busy ... like overwhelmed busy ... all I can really take in are little soundbytes of help. So this month, I'm trying something. I'm going to be offering a month of tips to help us busy women. I've invited some friends to participate as well, to learn from their experience.
Today, I'm going to share Ten Tips for Saving Money:
1. Prepare a menu for the week - Be thorough and include snacks. You’ll be less tempted to splurge during the week on take-out when you’ve got a plan. (watch for my tips on doing this later in the month.)
2. Invest in cookbooks with photos. I say if a new cookbook saves my family from going out to eat ONCE, it was a good investment. Check out cookbooks from the library.
3. Become a thrifty shopper – Look at saving money as a project, and develop a repertoire of resources for learning new ways to save. Here are some web sites: www.stretcher.com; www.betterbudgeting.com; www.mommysavers.com
4. Examine your smallest budget items first. Identify those items where you can make the quickest change. Where do you spend your cash? Can you save money by doing this yourself?
5. Look at every expense as a money saving avenue. Go through your checkbook, item by item and list your expenses. You can save on almost every one. Take your utility bill for example: lower/raise thermostat, install electricity saving light bulbs, change air filters, etc. Contact your utility provider for more ideas.
6. Create an entertainment notebook. Start a notebook with free or inexpensive activities such as museums, hikes, parks. Then when you are looking for something to do, you don’t just choose the expensive option. Invest in a travel book of your area for great ideas.
7. Buy hair clippers. I’ve cut my husband’s and three sons’ hair for years. A pair of $25 clippers will last at least a year, and saves us hundreds. I learned by watching a hair stylist and asking questions.
8. Borrow/rent instead of buy. Evaluate how much you will use an item before you buy it. Rent tools from Home Depot. Borrow movies from the library. Share with friends.
9. Plan in advance. Take a look at the next six to 12 months and forecast some expenses. Make a list and start watching for sales and other opportunities to save.
10. Evaluate savings opportunities over time. $1.00 saved a week is $52 a year. Don't discount anything as too small a savings.
Watch for more tips in the coming month.
In His Love,