In Budgeting, Guest Posts on
February 15, 2018

14 ways to save on everyday household expenses

Article written by Sarah Smith. Edited by Jessica Speer

People are always talking about how difficult it is to save money. But for me, with little guidance and self-control, I believe it is possible to save more than you think.

In this world we live in, saving is becoming more of a ‘should’ than a ‘have.’ It seems that it would make no such difference without saving, but in the long run, you will always find yourself either being happy you did or end up regretting why you didn’t.

One of the biggest concerns in our lives is how to save more and spend less. To accomplish this task, we will need to cut down our monthly expenditures for the best results. Some of our bills may seem to be small, but if you calculate their yearly effect, you may be surprised by what you find.

Allocating or saving money can be hard sometimes or seem unimportant in the moment, but saving just a small amount can do wonders for you in the long run.

Even if you are not mounting with debts right now, do not be the one who waits for the storm to hit. Be someone who is prepared to fight all the battles ahead of them.

Below are 14 ways to save on everyday household expenses:

  1. BUDGET YOUR MONEY

Always and always, budget your money. I have always loved the 50/30/20 idea. It suggests spending 50% of your income on your needs, 30% on your wants and 20% on saving or paying off your debts. For me, this is the perfect balance. You can maintain your finances without depriving yourself of anything and saving up too. You just need to know what to do when.

  1. INSTALL ENERGY EFFICIENT APPLIANCES

Often times we forget the impact of an appliance or even a bulb, can have on our expenditure. Installing compact fluorescent light bulbs instead of standard incandescent bulbs can lower your monthly expenses and electric bill.

  1. MAINTAINING YOUR BILLS + PAY ON TIME

Now that our life without mobiles and internet is becoming impossible, it is so important that we pay close attention to our bills and the dates that we are due. Late bills can add up and are unnecessary if we are paying on time and in full at the end of every month.

  1. SHOP ON SALE DAYS

To shop on better days means to look out for the sales (all year round). For instance, around Christmas or when a certain season is ending, most brands offer a clearance sale.

I suggest that you make up a list of things that you want, but not at that very instant. Wait for the sale to come and take advantage of the extra savings.

Also, keep an eye on the weekly brochures these superstores publish and buy from the one which is offering the best discount.

  1. BUY SECOND HAND

Buying a brand new product is exciting, until you see your bank account empty. Technology is changing almost every day and we need every new gadget on our shelf. Take advantage of Facebook marketplace or the Let it go apps, to find great ‘used items’ for cheap!

As Dave Ramsey said,

You can typically rebuild a car two or three times for the amount of money you save by buying used.

By buying something at cheap rate, we can always upgrade it at a lower rate.

  1. USE COUPONS

We all get coupons every now and then in the mail, but let’s be honest- half the time we throw them out! Keep them tucked away in your car and use them next time your at the Dunkin Donut drive through 😉 These little savings add up big-time.

  1. CUT DOWN ON TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES

Most of us have to travel a lot, may it be for college or work. If you can take public transportation, that is great. But some of us are not a big fan of public transport. Well, in that case you can also look out for people on your route to carpool with.

  1. FIND OTHER MEANS OF ENTERTAINMENT

You don’t have to go out every weekend. Now, I am not asking you to become a couch potato or anything. I am only asking you to keep it a little low, for a while at least. For all the extroverts out there, being home and doing nothing is scarier than anything else, after all, what is life without a little fun.

All I am saying for now is, if you are going out for two movies in a month- try to go for just one and you will see what impact that will bring to your finances eventually.

  1. AVOID MEMBERSHIP FEES

We all have been there, we all have done that. We have memberships to a gym or club that we never go to, so why do we even bother keeping it?

If you find that you are not using your membership fees to their full potentials, cancel them. You are basically throwing money down the drain.

  1. MAKE YOUR OWN FOOD

When I was a student, I had no idea how to cook. Being away from my mother, I had no choice but to find a way to fill my belly. Those were the worst few years for my health and budget. I spent almost 50% more than my friends were spending on food, just because I used to order out all the time and they use to cook themselves.

Try to cook for yourself to live a healthy and wealthy life. Also, plan your meals ahead to make sure to stay on budget and to set a healthy lifestyle.

  1. SET YOUR THERMOSTAT

I know compromising on the room temperature can be difficult for some of us 😉 but to agree to change it (even just a little) can reduce your bill by so much.

  1. STAY IN MORE

Instead of going out and spending money, suggest ‘staying in.’ Grab a movie, some popcorn and make a night of it. You don’t always have to spend money to have fun. A game night even sounds like a fun option!

  1. GROW SOME GREENERY

Sounds crazy? It isn’t. Trust me- growing some food-related plants in your backyard will not just give your garden or your terrace a pretty look, it will save you on spending money on herbs and now you may just have a new hobby 😉

  1. QUIT UNHEALTHY HABITS

Unhealthy habits are bad for our life and our financial life both. As smoking, drinking or any other habit of this kind can make us unhealthy, it can also make an impact on our budget. Take care of you body and mind and you will avoid unnecessary hospital and doctor costs.

 

 

Author Bio: Sarah Smith has been a personal finance author for the last five years. She is also an independent and very passionate finance and investment advisor. She regularly posts at www.personalincome.org.

 

In Lifestyle on
January 13, 2018

What’s ahead for the Speers in 2018

Hi everyone! Sorry I’ve been a little MIA on here lately. I know I had promised at minimum one post a week and had been doing this for a while, but to be honest- I have run into some personal road blocks.

When the new year hit, I would have thought  I would be excited for new content, new material and new exciting things for the blog- but I wasn’t. This was the first time I’ve had this feeling and it’s got me thinkin’ for a bit about what it really means for me and the blog.

It took me a few weeks to realize that I have been putting a lot of unnecessary pressure on myself to post or create awesome content, that I feel like I’m loosing the joy I felt in doing it. I love to blog- when I can, it is a personal hobby of mine and a way to express myself. I do not want to give it up because I like to write and engage with you all. I felt like I owed it to myself & you all to explain how I have been feeling lately and the reason behind why I haven’t been posting as much.

I will continue to look for new blogging opportunities and continue to post but when I find the time and when I feel inspired to do so. I do not want to put a ‘deadline’ or ‘time frame’ on any posts, if I do not have to. Man, I already feel better getting this out.

On a side note, many of you already know this- but we finally purchased our first home (it’s been quite a journey for us as a family! [Read related post: How to land your dream home on the first try]. With this big time purchase we certainly have had our hands full- between packing + organizing, and all the “fun things” that come with closing on our first house. We are SO EXCITED about this new step as a family and can’t wait to share the whole home-owning process with you all! The good and the bad.

I look forward to sharing what we plan to do with you all, including before and after pictures, sharing my favorite decorating tips and tricks (especially on a budget) and taking you along with us as we transform our house into a cozy farm-style home.

Thank you all for your patience (and bearing with me) during this crazy-exciting time. Feel free to let me know what you love about my blog and what you enjoy seeing, so that I can create some posts centered around those things this coming year!

 

Love you all!

Jess

In Product Reviews on
December 30, 2017

A Glamorous Holiday Look featuring Neutrogena

I partnered with @Neutrogena to bring you my #HolidayHealthySkin look

I couldn’t be more excited to bring to you todays collaboration. I worked with Neutrogena to create this flawless winter-look that is sure to capture people’s attention this holiday season. Want to have your skin looking and feeling healthy? I’ve got the perfect solution…

Today I have created a look for you that is not only simple and easy for you to re-create yourself, but is also super affordable! (Now that’s winning in my eyes!) I am just obsessing over Eiza González’s Metallic Bronze Eye Look shown below. I have always been a big fan of the bronze look because having blue-eyes, bronze really pops on my face. I am also a big fan of natural looking makeup, so this couldn’t be more up my alley.

Neutrogena’s Healthy Skin® Liquid Makeup provides luminous, natural-looking coverage. The formula that I am using contains a blend of antioxidants including Vitamin E, Natural Soy and Feverfew Extract along with SPF 20 to visibly improve luminosity, tone and texture for healthier looking skin. The Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup is better for your skin than wearing no makeup at all. They come in 14 different shades, so there is surely one for every skin tone.

What I love about the Healthy Skin® line is that it helps protect your skin and rejuvenates your complexion so that your skin is always looking its best: radiant and healthy, of course. Neutrogena is a brand that I personally use and trust. They are the #1 dermatologist recommended makeup brand and their goal is to have you looking flawless + beautiful with healthy-looking skin.

 To pick your own holiday look to re-create, head over to Neutrogena for some inspiration and to try out one of their celebrity-inspired holiday looks! 

If you like what you see and want to try to create a look for yourself, Neutrogena was nice enough to share a special promo code with me to offer to you! You can get 25% off any Neutrogena Makeup purchase on Neutrogena.com. Make sure to enter promo code HEALTHYSKIN25 at checkout. (This HEALTHYSKIN25 promo code is valid for 25% through December 31, 2017) Here is the link to all of the items that I was sent and that I am wearing!

  

 

 

 

css.php