Southern Savers, one of my favorite coupon sites for the Southeastern US is doing a savings challenge so I thought I would share it here and see what kind of ideas I could add to save. Now, I don’t make enough money to quite save $1000, but I might be able to save 10%.
Cutting out eating out, which means crock pot meals since it’s football season. This should save a couple hundred for sure.
Unnecessary expenses, my hubby is really bad about stopping at the convenience store for cokes, so hopefully I can talk him out of that.
No unnecessary out of town trips. We don’t usually go out of town but once a month, but that can run our gas budget up an extra $100.
No rental movies. We are really bad about renting movies from Amazon because we think it’s cheaper than going to the movies, but this month, if it’s not on Netflix or Amazon prime (which we have subscriptions to), we just won’t watch them.
Those are the main ones I can think of right now to begin slimming down. We already run a pretty tight budget, but there’s always a little wiggle room.
If you have read the coupon investing experiment, you’ll know I am taking the funds that I save by using coupons and investing them. At the end of week one, I had saved $69. By week two, I saved another $16. I also went to the movies and had rewards coupons for a free ticket, $10.50, a free medium pop-corn, $8, a free small pop-corn, $6, and a small drink $6 that were all expiring by the end of the week, so I used them all. I decided to take this from my YNAB Entertainment Category and add it to my investments. This will give me a total of $115.50 for the pay-period to invest. According to Betterment’s handy-dandy advice calculator, adding this will increase my retirement goal by $272.00. This may seem like small-potatoes, but I see it as an integral piece of the puzzle. If I can keep this level of investing each month, we are looking at thousands more towards my retirement. Just matching that same investment during PP2 of August, I will have increased my retirement by $525. That’s another $7000 added to a 15 year investment plan if I can invest at least that much extra every pay period.
While using the extra money I got from the movie coupons, I realized I can do the same for any budget category. I have gotten the “Retail-me-not” app on my phone, which sends retail coupons directly to my phone for pet stores, clothing, and even some restaurants. Even money saved from a percentage off will be a great way to save towards my investments. I also have a Winn-Dixie rewards card, which gives you cents off your gas purchases. I plan on taking that money from my fuel category and investing it as well. It has never been more important to save money now that I see the potential returns towards my retirement.