When we’re ready to start saving money we often go straight to our income. We determine how much remains after our expenses and whether we need to make more.
Our lifestyle habits, however, are sometimes the last things we evaluate.
Crazy thing is that the easiest ways to free up extra money are often right under our nose. Here are a few lifestyle changes moms can make to save money!
Learn the word “no”
This goes for both you and your kids. The ‘treat yo’ self’ mentality is okay to have in moderation, but if you’re using it as an excuse to buy things you don ‘t need then you’re just asking for debt.
“But I work hard!” Yea, you and all the other moms.
As for the kiddos, I know it’s easier to buy what they’re begging for than to deal with the embarrassment of a public meltdown. I’ve caved a few times too, but a $2 thingamabob can easily turn into an expensive habit of buying items to pacify them.
Groom at home
Yes ladies, clutch your invisible pearls because things are about to get real!
Feeling good about yourself is extremely important. You’re a more attentive mom and just a happier person overall. Now that that’s been said, some of our beauty habits are ridiculously expensive.
Hair. Nails. Waxings. Threading. Facials. Only God knows what else.
If you’re looking to save money, some of these habits have got to change. It hurts yes, but imagine how much you could save if you did some of your grooming at home.
Not convincing? Let’s say you spend $80 at the nail salon each month. That’s $960 a year!
Hopefully, you have at least that much in a savings account. If not, that number can easily make you nauseous and remember that this is just for nails!
If you stretched your visits out to once every three months by doing your nails at home then you’re only spending $320 a year. That’s a $640 savings. Much better.
Always bring a list
How many times have you gone into a store intending to only buy 2-3 items, but instead you walk out with like 10?
Target run maybe? Let’s be clear…there’s no such thing as a Target run. It’s more of a Target take-your- time-and-buy-up-everything. I applaud their marketing team.
Without a list, everything is up for grabs. Write down exactly what items you need so that you can stay focused and get out quickly.
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Plan out your day
We all find ourselves bored out of our minds on the days we just go with the flow. The kids do acrobats on the couch no matter how many times you scream for them to stop, and all you want to do is get out of the (nut) house.
So, you stuff them in a car and off you go in search of something to wear them out to have a moment of peace. Sure, everyone had a great time but you’ll be wishing you had that money back pretty soon!
You don’t have to be some kind of ‘by the book’ mom just to have a basic outline of your day. This way, you can properly prepare for any future outings.
Don’t grocery shop hungry
I learned this the hard way. Everything looks good when you’re hangry so a lot more food makes it to the checkout line than usual.
Hangry: The gut-wrenching type of hunger that makes you angry and a bit delirious.
To avoid buying everything off the shelf that probably won’t even be eaten, try munching on a snack before you go to the grocery store. You’ll be a lot more focused on the items you need versus salivating over those you don’t.
Related reading: How to Save Money on Groceries – 13 Tips to Cut Your Grocery Budget!
Do it yourself
Confession time, I’m addicted to HGTV and the DIY Network. If I could find someone willing to look like a fool with me on First Time Flippers I’d be down to remodel a home!
I love doing things myself because, not only do I save money, I’m having fun as well.
How many times do you pay for something because the thought of doing it yourself is exhausting? For me, it was too many times to count.
About six months ago, I toyed with the idea of buying a new computer desk to match my fancy new chair. It needed to be white, but my current one was old, leaning to one side, and the wood had a super dark stain.
Basically, the thing was ugly, but refurbishing it myself was unfathomable. That was until I saw that white desks were going for $130-$400.
Suddenly, the unfathomable turned into yep, I can do it!. I only spent $40 on supplies (paint, wood glue, and sanding blocks) versus $400.
(Not too bad????????♀️)
Whether it’s a change of décor, cleaning out own your car, or changing your own headlight *gasp* there’s something you can do yourself to save some coins. If you need guidance, YouTube is packed full of tutorials for almost everything.
Bring the brown paper bag
Lunchtime. Who knew it would be your favorite part of the day as a child and as an adult.
An average of $3008 is spent each year on take-out, which is insane when you really think about it. Instead of ordering lunch, bring your own food from home.
One combo meal can easily cost $8-$12. With a 5 day work week, that’s over $200 leaving your wallet each month. That’s like handing over $200 to Popeyes to pre-pay for your meals.
They love it, but you’re the one feeling the sting.
Needless to say, this is one of the top lifestyle changes moms can make to save money. Even just bringing your lunch two days out of the week can save you over $60 a month.
It’s a techy world out there, and we rely on our debit/credit cards to handle our transactions for us. We’re told our total, swipe, and the rest is history.
I can’t be the only one who checks my bank account balance and has to grab a paper bag to breathe into. You scroll through a list of transactions and have to remember what the heck they are and when you made them. Dangerous.
Consider using cash to make your purchases as it’s been known to decrease spending. I like to think this is because you’re actually seeing your $20 bill turn into a few cents and that’s enough to make anyone’s eye twitch.
Most of my bills are on auto-draft, but I do like to keep cash for my play money. You can use cash envelopes or in my case and I have a post all about using the cash envelope system to budget here!
Make more meatless meals
No, I’m not saying give up meat, just make more meatless meals.
In a recipe, meat can easily be the single most expensive ingredient costing anywhere from $4-$6 per pound. When I need to make my money stretch, I find myself scrolling through meatless meals on Pinterest.
Need some inspiration? Check out these 200 meatless meals you can make on a budget!
Incorporate more free activities
The next time you’re looking for things to do with the kids, don’t leave out the free activities.
Nowadays we’re more into the trampoline parks than we are the regular parks, but free can be just as fun.
If you have smaller kids, then you know they find a cardboard box entertaining so you don’t have to get super creative to save.
What lifestyle changes have you made to save money that moms can use?!
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