If you randomly walked into an economist’s office and demanded that they tell you whether or not the US was in a
recession, they would (besides call for security because a stranger just barged into their office and started asking questions) probably say no. And if you measured the growth of the economy by using indicators such as our GDP or the stock market, they’d technically be right. However, pose this same question to the average American family who is scraping by, they’d almost certainly say the opposite. The reality is that there are many people who are still reeling from the effects. And I should know, since I’m one of those families. With two young children, I’ve had to figure out creative ways to keep our budget on track by being protective and by doing more with less. Here are four simple ways to help ease that pain by keeping more money in your wallet. Of all the different things you can do, the methods that I’ve outlined have very minimal effect to quality of life and the impact will also be felt in the short term (2-4 weeks).
Brown Bag It- With the rising cost of eating out, this is one of the first things that should be instilled in your regimen if you’re serious about saving. If you work in an office environment like I do, you might feel some peer pressure to go out to lunch with your colleagues. However, keep in mind that if the cost of lunch is $8 (this amount is on the conservative side), doing this every day is costing you a whopping $160 per month! Instead, consider bringing lunch from home by using techniques such as prepackaging leftover dinner for the following day. I’ve found that the benefits of doing this had gone beyond just fiscal: Since I’m directly controlling my portions, I’m taking in a lot less calories, so I’m feeling healthier as well!
Cut the (Cable) Cord- These days, having a cable service is considered an expensive and outdated luxury. When my wife and I decided to get rid of cable for good, we went through all of the channels we had through our service and realized that out of the 100+ channels we had, we only watched about 10 of them. In lieu of cable, we picked up a streaming service (i.e. Netflix, Hulu, Prime, etc.), so we could have some entertainment when we needed, but for only a fraction of what we were paying before. Since we cut the cord, we have found that we have found more productive ways to spend our time together as a family.
(Semi) Extreme Couponing- You don’t have to have cable to know about America’s latest sideshow, extreme couponing. This hobby consists of men and women who dedicate copious amounts of their time and energy in order to obtain the most insane deals ever. These are the people who get $100 worth of items for only $10. While some of these feats are admirable, most people just don’t have that level of
Play Hard to Get- It is a great time to be a customer. With ever increasing competition, companies are doing everything within their power to keep your business. In fact, some companies even have a special department (usually call retention) whose sole existence is dedicated to doing just that. A great example of this is with our car insurance. We were paying $200 per month, and we felt that was way too high. So, we called our carrier and let them know that we were considering switching providers. By the end of our phone call, we ended up with a monthly charge of only $120. Be smart, do your research before calling and you will ensure that the odds will remain in your favor.
While researching saving techniques, I came across this learning library by Protective Life. This is a great resource that covers a variety of topics, such as money management and life insurance.
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #IAmProtective #CollectiveBias - See more at: http://spaceshipsandlaserbeams.com/blog/2015/03/boyish-charm/my-new-adventure-blogging-full-time-iamprotective#sthash.j1l15pA8.dpuf
I'd love to hear your thoughts. Comment below and tell me what other tips and tricks work for you. Thanks for reading!