More advice on saving money



We pay for convenience...so the best advice on saving money is to see if there are any conveniences you can skip.

Take your bank (debit or credit card) statement and add up exactly how much you are spending...and where you are just wasting it on fru-fru coffee and garbage. When I was still married, I did this and figured out we were spending almost $200 a month at Hungry Howies!!!! My ex had a thing for pizza.

Clipping Coupons...
If you haven't gotten into clipping coupons, you should watch an episode of Extreme Couponing. While I don't have 30+ hours a week to dedicate to couponing, you can learn some tips for stretching the sales.

Buy dry goods in bulk...
You can get a better price and the stuff won't go bad. You can also buy snacks to store at the office - hopefully it is healthier and cheaper than the vending machine offerings. Just make sure you go in with a list, otherwise you will walk out with a LOT of crap you don't really need.

Buy vegetables weekly...
We've all bought vegetables with the best intentions of eating healthy. A week or two later, you are pulling fuzzy squash out of the back of your fridge. Buy what you need, when you need it or you'll probably end up throwing it away. Remember, your kids may not be home as often as they used to be...so plan accordingly.

Get a programmable thermostat...
Turn the AC off when you leave the house (with the timer)...I'm a polar bear, so it has saved me almost $15-20 per month.

Cruise some thrift stores...
I'm amazed at what I've found at thrift stores lately. Name brand products with very little wear, for a fraction of the cost. It takes a little time...but wow is it worth the savings.

Make a list of what you need...
It is easy to get caught up in a good deal...which leads you to buy a bunch of crap that you don't really need. Know what you are shopping for before you go to any store - from the mall to the grocery store to the thrift stores.

Can you telecommute?...
I telecommute 2 days a week...that means two less lunches, a couple of extra gallons of gas, and I get to work in my jammies.

Save Money on You...
Ok, this should be my only mommy moment (today). If you try to eat healthy, exercise a little bit and get some sleep...You WILL have more energy and get sick less. You don't have to go vegetarian and take up yoga. Just add some fresh vegetables and go for a 10-minute walk.

And, we all know how stressful life can get...When you start getting stressed - supplement with some vitamins to get you through the hump.

For example, when I get stressed, my shoulders and neck tense up...and after a couple of days, I get a migraine. I can usually stave it off with a couple of doses of St. John's Wort...A bottle of St. John's Wort is $10, which is a LOT less expensive than 1-2 days of lost work from a migraine.

Save Money on Your Kids...
Life isn't free...and the sooner your kids learn that, the more they will appreciate the food and clothing that you do provide for them. Younger kids don't need all the fancy toys and gadgets that are out there...and older kids can work to pay for their Ipod. Don't turn into an ATM for your kids... encourage them to start a business to help pay for their sports and hobbies. Read this article on tips to help you foster entrepreneurship in your children. You can also encourage them to get part-time jobs. Here is a quick link to some job opportunities for your kids. Job articles for teens and students

Oh yeah...younger kids will never know that you picked up their new shoes at Options Thrift Store instead of Baby Gap. So save a couple of dollars on the shoes and bring home a pint of ice cream. You'll be the coolest parent.

Extreme Bargains - shop hundreds of items all with savings over 50% off retail!



Return to advice on saving money and financial planning

Return to Single Parent Home