We had a lot of big trips coming up in 2016, and while we were about these wonderful trips, they all come with big price tags. With this in mind, I did some research and found some of the best ways to cut our expenses, thus helping us save for these precious trips. After doing all this research I figured this might help others wanting to save and be able to take their family on a holiday trip or start saving for their summer vacation next year. I found 18 money saving tips that can help make these trips possible. There is a lot of information, so I decided the break up the list into 3 separate posts. This is part 1 which contains tips 1-6. Please check back soon for more money savings tips 7-18. Hope these help you save for that amazing vacation
1 -Reduce or eliminate car usage
Here is one of the easiest ways that we are saving money each month. Luckily my husband works for the local transit agency here and Denver and we each get free annual passes. Wohooo. It definitely save us each month. However, if you don’t have this perk with your company, taking the bus, walking, biking etc will definitely save you in gas, car maintenance, etc. Of course I know this is not logical in some geographical areas, but if it is an option for you, it can save you a lot each month that can go toward your trips.
2 - Reduce your power, water, and gas bills.
This is another thing we try to do, even though it drives me crazy, lol. However, you can save on your power bill by unplugging appliances when not being used. Even though they are off, they still can use up to 40% of their normal usage. It may not seem like a lot, but it can add up over time. You can also be a good steward of the earth by saving water. Take a shorter shower, turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth, and only running the dishwasher or laundry machines when you have full loads. It uses the same amount of water, might as well us it to its full potential. One of things we do a lot to help save money is keeping our thermostat set lower than I’d like, but it is saving us a lot each month. It is amazing what a 5 degree difference does in the bill. They say a one-degree change in temp, could save you up to 5%. We just use a lot of blankets when it’s cooler.
3 - Renegotiate Cable/Phone/Internet bills
Sadly this suggestion has never really worked for us, but I know of others that did, so I decided to share it. Every time I have tried to renegotiate our bill, it seems to fall on deaf ears. Many companies don’t seem to care about customer retention, But it is worth a shot to call and ask to see what they can do. Sometimes they will have special or packages that will save you for a year or two, but then go up. We have moved back and forth from different companies to save. Never hurts to ask though.
4 - Give up your gym membership
This one may be hard for many people, me included. Being in a city where it’s cold so much of the year it’s not really easy to get out and walk every day, thus I like being able to go somewhere and go swimming, walk the track or use the machines. However, that’s just me. For others, you can get some DVD’s and work out at home, or get a treadmill, climber, etc. I just need more structure, or I wouldn’t do it. This is a hard one, but if I did give it up, I'd be saving about $30 a month.
5 - Reduce or eliminate your caffeine addiction
Reducing or eliminating coffee is an easy one for me as I don’t drink coffee, lol. I do drink a lot of tea, but buy the boxes and brew my own at home or the office. However, I know I am in the minority and most people can’t function properly without their shot of caffeine. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t give up the Starbucks for a home brewed cup, or getting your fix at the office. If you do have to go to Starbucks, maybe switch to their house blend instead of the fancy lattes and such. It can save you a lot each month. I know this would be a hard one for many people.
6 - Brown-bag it to work
This one is another one that is a little difficult for me. I am not much of a left over person depending on what it is. I also don’t like having the same thing over and over. But I do try to mix it up and bring my lunch a few days and go out for a quick fast food lunch once or twice. I will also go to Subway and get a foot long with dressing etc. on the side. I eat the first half that day and the second half the next day. Since it is dry, it is usually pretty good still the next day. It is cheaper than buying two 6 inches. I know this isn’t for everybody, but it works for me. I also do a lot of soups as I do like those the next day. Sometimes they are even better the next day. You can also being lettuce and sides to make your old salad. Whatever works for you.
So what do you think of these first 6 ideas? Are there any that you are doing? If so, are they helping? Thanks in advance for any comments. Again, check back soon for parts 2 and 3 of this series.