When it comes to saving money, I consider myself to be pretty well versed. I’m always looking for deals, and pretty much refuse to pay full price for anything.
(My husband was speechless the first time he saw me haggling over the price of our new car. We were in the dealership for 8 hours but I walked away with a killer deal.)
Although I’m not a huge fan of clipping coupons (unless I happen to see a coupon for something I was planning to buy anyway) I do know that even a couple of dollars saved here and there can really add up.
A perfect example of this is my Ibotta account. Since signing up I’ve made well over $400 in cash back. I may only make a dollar here and there for some of my shopping trips, but for a grand total of $400, I’m more than willing to make the small time sacrifice. (If you want to join my Ibotta team where we can help each other earn cash bonuses, click here and you’ll get a bonus $10.)
All the small steps you take to save money (like these creative ways to save money) can really add up in the long run, and this is even more evident if you start a separate savings account where you only put the money that you save (and earn from places like Ibotta.) This will help avoid the temptation of spending it and it’s super motivating to see it adding up! Here are 5 simple steps you can take to save over $8000 this year.
5 Simple Ways to Save Over $8000 This Year
Cut the Cable
But what about The Bachelor?! I can’t miss 90 Day Fiance! Shark Tank is my absolute favorite – I’m not giving it up!
I hear you, my friend. My heart breaks into palpitations at the thought of not hearing “Will you accept this rose?” every Monday night.
Worry no more. You can save a ton of money by cutting your cable, and still watch all of your favorite TV shows with a Mohu Digital Antenna (they’re also sleek and stylish – not like the old bunny ears!) and Amazon Prime.
Mohu Antenna’s start at just $19.95. I use the Mohu Leaf 50 which is $69 and I get free access to 29 channels including FOX, NBC and of course, ABC (so no missing out on The Bachelor.)
Combine the Mohu Leaf with an Amazon Prime subscription and you’ll have access to all the network channels and thousands of on-demand TV shows, movies, and music. (Added bonus – you’ll get free 2-day shipping on millions of items sold on Amazon.)
You can sign up for a completely free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime here.
Savings from cutting the cable and switching to Mohu and Amazon Prime
$1618 – $168.99 for Mohu and Prime subscription = $1449.01/year
Dye Your Own Hair
When I was a teenager and during my 20’s I used to love making trips to the salon to get my hair dyed. It was so much fun trying out different colors, going from bright red to blonde streaks, to “peekaboo” highlights.
Then I got a gray hair. Then another one. The bane of my existence.
What was once a fun way to experiment with different looks (and spend tons of money) became a “necessary evil” (i.e. getting rid of premature gray hair.)
The average cost of getting your hair dyed at a salon costs between $100-$150 and to keep your dye job looking fresh you have to go to the salon about once a month – pretty costly!
I got sick and tired of spending so much time and money at the salon, so I bought a $6 box of dark brown hair dye (this is the one I use – I love it) and I can’t even tell the difference. Seriously.
Savings from dyeing your own hair = $1200-$1800/year
Related Post: 10 Smart Things To Do With Your Spare Change
Stop Eating Out
Don’t get me wrong – I love eating at restaurants as much as the next person. But there’s no denying that it’s an expensive habit.
The average restaurant meal is around $13/person (or more, depending on where you live.) For two people, that’s $26 a meal.
Over the course of a year, eating out just twice a week will cost almost $2500!
Making your own meals at home is going to save you a ton of money. However, if you’re like me, it can be difficult trying to come up with different meals each week. (My husband loved my sweet potato chili until he ate it for the 10th time that month 😉 )
If you need some help with menu planning, I recommend checking out $5 meal plan. For just $5 a month, you’ll get a new menu delivered straight to your inbox, with most of the meals costing around $2 per person.
Savings from making your own meals at home $2496 – $60 for $5 meal plan = $2436
Related Post: 7 Ways To Eat Healthy On A Tight Budget
Cancel Your Gym Membership
One of my goals for 2017 is to get fitter, so it may seem counterintuitive to cancel a gym membership. But there are plenty of free (or substantially cheaper) ways to get fit.
The average gym membership costs around $60/month and the majority of the time, it’s majorly underused.
Instead of a gym membership, here are some alternative ways to get fitter in 2017:
- Beachbody on Demand – $99/yr and you get full access to every single Beachbody program ever created – I love it! Try Beachbody on Demand free for 30 days.
- Walk outdoors – free
- Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred DVD – about $8
- Use the “7 Minute Workout” app – free
Savings from canceling your gym membership = $720/yr
Start Completing Online Surveys
In this post about things to give up to get out of debt, I wrote about better utilizing your free time.
While online surveys aren’t the most exciting thing to do with your spare time, they are a good way to make a bit of extra cash.
I make between $100 – $200 a month taking online surveys (depending on how much time I dedicate to it) and I usually do them while we’re watching TV in the evening.
The best survey sites that I recommend starting with are:
Swagbucks is actually more than just a survey site. There are plenty of surveys for you to take, but you can also make money by using the Swagbucks search engine to search online, watching videos, completing online polls, etc. Click here to sign up for free with Swagbucks.
Another great survey site that can help you make some supplemental income while you’re vegging on the couch watching TV. Join here for free.
Vindale Research has been around forever and they always have lots of well-paying survey opportunities. Right now in my dashboard I can see a few surveys that are paying $3.67, $4.74, $2.76, etc. Obviously that’s not a ton of money but if you just complete the surveys while you’re watching TV in the evening, you’d make over $11 which really isn’t bad! And it all adds up 🙂 Click here to explore Vindale Research.
Like Swagbucks, you can also make extra cash with InboxDollars in a variety of ways. InboxDollars also has free cash sweepstakes you can enter (you can gain entries by spinning “Billy’s Spin to Win” wheel which is actually kinda fun 🙂 ) Join here and get a bonus $5.
Ibotta actually isn’t an online survey site, but it’s too good for me not to mention here. Ibotta is an app that gives you cash rebates for your grocery purchases. I have over $140 in my Ibotta account right now, so I can testify that it’s legit. One of my favorite things about Ibotta is that the cash rebates aren’t brand specific, meaning you can buy “any brand of cereal” or “any loaf of bread” and get cash back. They also regular offer cash rebates for buying fruits and vegetables. Join here and get a bonus $10 after you claim your first rebate.
Extra money from taking online surveys and getting cash back from Ibotta = $1800/year
While all of these steps are relatively small, the savings really add up over the course of a year.
The total potential savings by implementing all of these steps is around $8205.
That’s a lot of money. Imagine if someone said they’re going to write you a check for $8205 every year. You’d be pretty stoked, right? I know I would. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that’s probably not going to happen.
What would an extra $8205 mean to you?
To me, it means finishing paying off our last debt (besides our mortgage.)
It means being able to take my son to meet his family in Australia.
It means a WHOLE lot.
Try implementing all of these steps and then come back and let me know how much extra money you have at the end of the year!
I’d love to hear about it 🙂