Many of us dream of becoming financially stable. I mean, who doesn’t want financial independence? I know it’s a dream of mines! And the fact that you are here, reading this post means it’s a dream of yours as well! And guess what, it is possible! Anything is possible once we put the work in. Right?! And of course – we have to know where and how to begin. And that’s why you are here today. You are looking for easy and fast ways to save money realistically. I got your back, my friend!
Grab yourself a drink, notebook and let’s get started with your financial growth journey.
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What Does Financial Independence Looks Like?
Financial independence will mean something different to every one of us.
Personally, for me, it’s fully paying off my mortgage. After all, a big chunk of one’s income is dedicated to one home mortgage or rent. On the other hand, financial independence for you may be having 6 months of emergency funds put aside. For another, it may be – not having to depend on her spouse.
Do you see how financial independence can mean something different to every one of us? Financial independence is having enough income to pay our expenses for the rest of our lives without worrying about money.
Sounds good right? Not having to worry about our finances!
12 Easy And Fast Ways To Save Money As A Mom
There are many easy and fast ways to save money, but it will take some effort on your part. Let’s now look at 12 ways you can easily start saving some money.
1. Create A Plan That Will Allow You To Easily Save
To become financially independent, you need to put a plan in place. In this plan, you need to map out what does financial independence looks like for you. And why does having “X” amount of money or paying certain debts off will make you feel financially independent?
Get clear with your goals. Open an excel spreadsheet, or if you choose – you can go the good old fashion way as well with a big sheet of paper and pen. Write out All your sources of income and expenditures. Get down to the cents you spent at the shot stop! Everything needs to be recorded. Are you spending more than you are earning? Are you living off your credit card and racking up more debts month after month? If you are, don’t feel ashamed. The good thing is you are recognizing it now and making the effort to curb your spending and start living a life of financial independence.
Now that you have recorded your total income and looked through your spending habits, what have you noticed? Are you overspending? Are you saving, or are you going deeper down the rabbit hole?
It’s time to build a habit to save! Need help with building healthy habits?
Then check this related blog post out – how to build healthy habits that will last.
In your plan, list where you want to see yourself in 1 year from now (short-term goals) and then 5 years from now (mid-term goals) and then 10 years from now (long-term goals).
Now that you have listed goals for yourself. You are going to choose appropriate strategies to help you move forward and achieve your goals.
Don’t feel pressured to implement every one of the strategies below at once. Choose one or two at a time and build on them.
2. Having A Budget Is An Easy Way to Save Money
I know you are probably tired and bored of hearing to have a budget! But it will work magic if implemented and maintain. The great news is if you maintain your budget weekly or daily. ( if you have time) It’s not challenging at all! Take it from a mom of two.
Here’s a reminder that your budget does not have to be fancy. All it needs to do is reflect your income and expenses.
You can use excel or google sheets or even a notebook (if you’re still old-school) to record all income and expenditures for each month. If you are overspending, find ways to reduce those areas. And the simplest way to do this is by asking yourself if you really need the item you’re considering buying.
Then you can throw these numbers onto a graph. See the example below. Look at your graph each month. If your expenses keep increasing, you know you got work to do. Once you begin to witness the graph dipping, you will be inspired – to keep doing what you are doing. You will enjoy seeing your expenses decreasing and the ability to save more!
Please remember, in months where you have big expenditures – like home repairs or property taxes, and so forth, your expenses will be higher than usual.
3. Stop Trying To Impress Can Easily Save You Money
We live in a culture where we go out of our way to impress others. Is it really worth our time or the better question to ask – is it worth your money? Are you shopping for something because everyone else has it? Do you really need the latest smartphone? Should you really be competing with your sister-in-law or the neighbour?
We go about our lives trying to impress others – wasting money, time and most importantly bring about stress and overwhelmed into our own lives.
The funny thing is! Sometimes those you are trying to impress never really notice you because they are busy building their own lives.
So the next time you’re about to purchase something because you think it will give you a “trendy image” or impress someone. Ask yourself if it’s worth it. Are you allowing others to define you because of the clothes you wear and the car you drive etc? I really hope you’re not! Personally, I don’t.
4. Repair and Re-use, Instead of Replacing Is Another Easy and Fast Way To Save Money
Again we live in times where we toss out as soon as it’s broken (or at least we think it is) instead of trying to replace it.
Think about this. Would you consider fixing your microwave if it no longer works, or would you head to Walmart or Amazon to grab one? Chances are, you would purchase another one. How about instead of purchasing something in haste you start looking at options to repair. Plus, it’s good for mother earth!
5. Get As Much Use Out Of It As Possible
I’m really good at this, and I think it’s the mom part in me that nurtures me to get as much use as possible out of something. And if you’re anything like me, you’re probably good at this too! So keep at it!
Ensure you are getting as much use out of something before buying another. This applies to your kids as well. They do not need to have 5 pairs of shoes and 30 different dresses. And the thing is, our kids grow quite quickly, so chances are they may outgrow them before fitting into it. Getting as much use as possible, do not only apply to clothes and shoes. It applies to your furniture and appliances, cars etc.
6. Don’t Go Shopping If You Don’t Have To
As shopaholics, we tend to go shopping for unnecessary things or because we are bored. We purchase things that we do not quite need, but at the moment it makes us feel good. Refraining from going shopping without a cause is another sure way to save money. When you get that urge to head out the door or visit Amazon.com do something to keep you occupied. Ask yourself, do I really need this or am I trying to impress someone. If you do not need to go shopping, don’t go!
Remember, impulsive buying hurts your wallet and can lead you to rack up thousands of dollars on your credit card. And we do not want that, do we?!
7. Plan Ahead of Shopping
Is making a list a thing of the past? Do you still make a list when going shopping, or do you make a list mentally in your head?
Making a list helps you stay focus on what you need vs what you want. When we write a list before heading to the store, whether it’s on your smartphone or the good old fashion way – pen and notebook you know exactly what you want when you enter the store avoiding you from roaming the store aimlessly only to purchase another pair of jeans that you really do not need. Once you begin writing regular shopping lists, it will become habitual, and you will begin to feel good. You will feel good because you are no longer shopping for items you do not need. You become more conservative with your spending.
Personally, I believe planning and making a shopping list is one of the easiest ways to save money.
8. Shoping Around And Comparing – Such An Easy Way To Save Money
As moms, we should master this method of shopping!
Don’t shop impulsively, but rather shop around and compare quality and prices.
Before purchasing something – especially big ticketed items shop around look at various sites or retail stores. Add it to your Wishlist and compare prices, quality and services before making that investment.
We recently purchased a bike for my daughter, which cost around $450. The next week the bike went on sale. It was $150 cheaper. Yep! Of course, we took the receipt to the store and were able to get the bike at a discounted price. My point here is to shop around and keep an eye out for sales to follow because you never know where you can save a chunk of money. There’s no shame in asking for a discount. It’s definitely an easy and fast way to save money. If you ask me!
9. Pause and Check-in With Yourself Before Making A Purchase
Are you an impulsive shopper? Do you buy things because you find them on sale? Do you stock up on multiple items just because?
You know, you can’t resist the urge of garbing those eye-catching stationery or a new brand of mascara on the market. Oh, maybe just one more outfit for your little princess! If you are – no judgement from me. I was once like that, and the funny thing is I would buy these things just because, only to later re-gift it or have it pick dust-up.
By taking a minute to pause and check-in without yourself before purchasing will allow you to save money very quickly.
10. Reframe From Using Credit Cards
Have you ever enjoyed a grand vacation on your credit card only to return home to work hard, like really hard to pay off those debts? So many times, we throw expenses onto our credit cards so we can enjoy the “now.” Is it really worth it?
The misuse of credit cards is a big factor that leads us into debts and more debts. It tricks us into believing we have money to make a purchase when in fact we don’t. What we are really doing is spending money that we don’t have (as yet) in some instances. Using credit cards regularly depletes our income, because once you receive your monthly income, you now have to dedicate a percentage to paying for services or goods already utilized.
Challenge yourself to avoid using credit cards for a month. Pay for what you need with debit or cash. By doing this, you are training yourself to live within your means.
If you MUST use a credit card, ensure you are paying the full amount that is due before the due date so you will not be charged interest.
11. Use Cash back And Coupons To Save
We all know how hefty grocery bills can be! It makes up a huge part of our budget.
Now, you may not be able to save using cashback and coupons on every trip to the grocery store or gas station but, I’m sure the overtime use of cashback and coupons can save you hundreds of dollars.
When couponing, you should only collect items that you use regularly. There’s no use in buying something because it’s on sale, and you have a coupon if you know you are not going to use it and eventually toss it out.
You can cut coupons out of magazines, newspapers, flyers. You can even sign up to receive emails or download apps that will send you coupons or give you cashback.
Some great cash back apps are:
12. Cancel Unwanted Subscription
Let’s talk subscription!
Go through your many subscriptions and ask yourself – if you really need to stay subscribed to every one of those. Chances are, you are subscribed to services that you’re barely using and enjoying.
An easy and fast way to save money will be to cancel these services.
I recently unsubscribed from Disney plus because my kids don’t look at it as often. I’m now saving $11.99 CDN monthly. It may not seem a lot, but over the months and years these small amounts add up. If everyone is using their cellphones, do you still need a landline? Do your kids need all those gaming subscriptions? Do you need to pay for that gym subscription that you use once or twice a month?
There’s a subscription to everything these days! But it doesn’t mean you should have them all.
Instead, you need to ask yourself if you really need to have it. Only subscribe to services that you know you will be able to get many usages and enjoyment from.
Saving money doesn’t have to be difficult. Choose to save and put a plan in place and stick to it. Resist the urge to spend lavishly or impress anyone and choose to live a simple life. A life that will allow you to achieve financial independence, so you can spend more time doing the things that make you happy.
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