20 Ways to Save: Necessities to Extras

This is the last of a 3 part series to get you loads of ways to save you money!  This one will have some familiar reminders, but a few new nuggets in there for your too. 

Clothes, Cars and Housing

  1. Consignment – Shopping used is not only good for your wallet, it’s good for the environment.  There are lots of second hand treasures out there; for yourself and the kids.  Find a few local favorites to haunt every couple of months and save hundreds of dollars while supporting small business owners.
  2. Hand me Down – Similar to consignment, passing things down or allowing others to pass things to you is a great way to save or trade.  My sisters and I always pass our closet no-go’s to each other first before donating.  And my girls are the oldest of the cousins; when they each outgrow items they get passed on to the littlest.  It decreases the amount of new or even new to us items that need to be purchased overall.
  3. Alternative Transportation – Your boots were made for walking. Consider walking to your local grocery store if you only have a few items to pick up.  Research the times of your local bus route or commuter train.  Back in the day when I commuted to the office daily I cherished my time on the train – 20 minutes to myself each way, saving gas and wear and tear on my car.
  4. Work from Home – If you have the availability or flexibility to work all or some of your work shifts from home, do so.  Not only will you save the time and travel costs, but also added expense with work attire, but the temptation for coffee or meals out.
  5. Used Cars – Don’t buy a new car, take care of your old one.  Oftentimes our love for a car wears out before the car itself does.  You get tired of looking at your 7 year old sedan, I get it. But when I compare the amount of money it would take to replace it – I determine that I’ll love it a little longer.  When you do get ready to replace your car, replace it with something used, new to you in great shape but a much cheaper price tag.
  6. Total Price – Don’t buy more house than you can afford. You will likely get approved for a home with a payment somewhere close to 40% of your take home pay.  That doesn’t give you much wiggle for the rest; you want to have money for your future!  Plan to stay around the 25% mark for total house payment. If you’re thinking about purchasing a new home check out these home buying tips first.
  7. ADU – Additional dwelling unit.  I think the trendy term these days is also called house hacking. Purchase a property that has an ADU; mother-in-law suite, apartment above the garage, basement that can be rented, etc. This a great way to make extra income while owning your own home.
Our home, with a detached garage that includes an apartment above!
  1. PMI – Private mortgage insurance is the worst. You must pay PMI when you don’t put at least 20% down on a home purchase.  20% is for the lender to be comfortable with the equity that you have in the home, and decreases their risk – if you don’t pay that – they want to insure their risk in alternative ways by making you pay typically 1.5% of the purchase price paid in monthly installments over several years.

Extra Ways to Save

  1. Beauty School – Listen I appreciate a good blow out, and have found a couple of local hairdressers that I adore. But there are times that I haven’t had a chance to schedule a trim or need to get my kiddos in for a haircut…and I have time for a lengthy pedicure.  Insert the local beauty school.  For $10 my kids get a haircut, and for half the cost of a local salon I can get a pedicure while they get a trim. 
My two girlies post beauty school appointment!
  1. DIY – Doing your own hair seems a bit risky for me, I don’t think I can put it as a savings recommendation – but I can for the occasional skin care treatment or nails.  I tend do DIY my pedicures in the Winter and get some help in the Summer when my feet are on display.  For less than $10 you can get a decent polish and paint your toes all season long.
  2. Gift Closet – Ever run out of time and you need to bring a gift with you to a hostess or for a birthday party, small child or adult? I like to stock up on some of my favorite items when I find them at a good deal, or when I see something that a friend would like – or when we hit the clearance section of the toy store and find great bargains on kid stuff.  We have a section of our hall closet dedicated to these gifts, along with a variety of cards, gift bags and wrap to be ready to go for gifting.
  3. Vacations – Here’s another “spending” money saving tip. If you’re already planning on going on vacation, be sure to do some shopping around.  Don’t stop at just airfare but also hotel, transportation, and excursions. Oftentimes if you book in advance, you can get better deals.  Check into your other memberships to see if you can secure deals; AAA, Costco, and more often have affiliate travel deals.

Typical Ways to Save

  1. Recycle – Yes, of course you should!  Good for the Earth, and good for your coin purse when you return your cans.  Locally in Portland we have Bottledrop locations now where we can just turn in our entire bags of cans and bottles with our tag and money is deposited into our account.  
  2. Turn it Off – The water, the lights, and maybe even the thermostat.  Watch your electricity use and turn things off when not in use.  Do you set your thermostat to automatically turn down at night?  Do you turn the water off when you’re brushing your teeth?  Small changes can impact both the environment but also your utility bills.
  3. Buy Used – This doesn’t just apply to vehicles and clothing, but home goods and more.  We live in a society that gets rid of good stuff for…no good reason.  Changing fads, seasons or tastes – more than wear and tear or dysfunctional.  Take advantage!  Looking for a new dining room table?  Check out local social media platforms, apps and more for great deals on new to you items.
  4. Holiday Exchange – Anyone else get overwhelmed with the amount of ‘stuff’ around the holidays? So much food.  So many gifts. How about limiting your gift giving?  Draw names for cousins or siblings?  Do a single gift exchange game for a big family gathering.  Consider skipping gifts altogether.
calendar adventures banner
  1. Yard Sales – This has been a staple with our grandparents for years.  Make a fun family activity out of it.  Write down a list of things that you could use…then go on a Saturday hunt to find it local and slightly used.
  2. Discount Sites – Hello Groupon!  There are a lot of great discount sites out there. The key here is to only use them when you’re already planning a weekend away or night on the town.  Don’t pull up the app as a hobby….use it when you already have the funds set aside and know part of a plan in place.
  3. Interest Free – This isn’t what you think.  I don’t want you to use 0% credit cards – I just don’t want you to have to use them at all. Avoid paying fees for borrowing money, save it up first and then pay for the ______ fill in the blank.  It’s going to be so much more satisfying that way!
  4. Sales – Of course, sales. Similar to discount sites, if you already know you need an item go hit up the back row sale corner before you grab an item from the full priced rack.  Make sale hunting fun with a friend.  
Converse…on sale.

What are some of your favorite ‘typical’ money saving tips?  I’d love to add them to the list! Get the first 65 now!

To see the entire list of 65 Ways to Save download it here.

Sarah is a Ramsey Preferred Coach
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