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We have decided that 2015 will finally be the year that we gain control of our spending problem. It’s not something that I’ve discussed much recently, as it’s not exactly something to be proud of.
Last year, our spending was completely out of control. Yes, we saved money in some areas, but in other areas we did not do so well. Increasing your income is no good if your spending is increasing as well.
As I always say, I believe that a person can save money and still lead a great life. Too many people think that saving money means that you are making hard sacrifices, but I disagree. The ways that we plan on saving money this year are all realistic, attainable, and they don’t hurt our quality of life. In fact, most of them improve our quality of life.
We are trying to do the things below so that can can head towards a more minimalism and eco-friendly lifestyle. We are not only wasting money, we are wasting other things as well that we shouldn’t be and that is something we would like to change.
Below are the 10 ways to save money that we plan on taking part in this year.
1. I’m going to shop around more for the best price.
I am guilty of not shopping around for the best price and the best quality. If it’s online, I will shop around because it’s easy, but in the cases where I actually have to shop around in person, I am usually very lazy.
I might call or visit one or two places, but usually my search stops there and I will just choose the better out of the two. This has actually led to me wasting money on a bad quality service/product a few times recently, and it’s a mistake that I need to stop making.
2. I’m limiting the amount of money I spend on clothing.
I am declaring 2015 the year that I finally gain control of my clothing spending. I did okay last year, but I definitely think I can work harder and make 2015 my best year yet.
I should have enough clothing to last me all year long, and whatever else I need will be things that I absolutely need.
3. We are going to save money on electricity costs.
One thing that has gone up since we both left our day jobs is the amount of electricity that we use. Since we are both at home almost all of the time, we are using lights, fans, and everything else much more.
We are going to start making more of an effort to unplug or turn off things that we are not currently using.
4. We are getting rid of cable – this is one of our best ways to save money.
I realize I have been saying this for awhile, but we are finally going to cut our cable bill. This is one of my best ways to save money, so cut it out of your life now! It is also a life tip because you will gain so much more free time in your life if you cut your cable package.
Our cable bill right now is only $41 a month and we have plenty of channels (over 100 channels plus HBO), but lately we have noticed that all we watch right now are local channels, so spending the extra money definitely does not make any sense.
We also recently got a digital antenna so that we can get rid of cable but still be able to watch all of the local channels. Then, we will get the rest of our TV “fix” from Netflix.
Related article: Is Cable Worth It?
5. We will be analyzing what we should DIY for our home sale and what we should not.
We plan on talking to our realtor about this to make sure that we don’t end up hurting our home sale at all, but we have decided that we will try to fix some things around our home ourselves.
We are not extremely handy people around the house, but we will do our research and see what is possible so that we can save some money.
6. We are keeping our house a little cooler.
Lately, we have been keeping our house a little cooler than usual. I know some will scoff at what I am about to say since I know others keep their homes colder, but ours is currently set at 69-71. We usually keep it around 74 to 75, and have already noticed a difference in our heating bill over the previous year.
Our latest gas bill was $100, which is much better than the usual $150 to $200 monthly gas bill that we usually receive during the winter months.
What do you keep your heat at?
7. We will go outdoors more to have fun and enjoy life.
The next of my 10 ways to save money is that we will head outside as a source of entertainment.
Last year, we spent way too much money so that we could rock climb, hike, and more. It was all well worth it, so in 2015 we are hoping to continue to use these same items. This should make having a great time outside for pretty much free.
This year, we also plan on getting great use out of our annual national parks pass. Can’t wait to see what amazing national parks we are able to visit in 2015.
8. We will continue working towards earning credit card rewards.
Earning rewards through our credit cards is something that we worked towards in 2014, and we plan on doing the same in 2015. The potential rewards that you can earn are just impossible to say no to.
Please keep in mind that if you tend to rack up credit card debt, then you should avoid this option. Read Are Rewards/Bonus Credit Cards Right For You? if you are interested in reading more on this subject.
9. We will be meal planning as one of our 10 ways to save money.
Recently, I published the article Our Plan To Finally Cut Our Food Spending. Since this time, we have been doing very well with our food spending. One of the best ways to save money in this area for us is to meal plan. I’m estimating that meal planning alone will save us a few hundred dollars a month.
10. We will continue working from home.
The last of my best ways to save money is that we will continue working from home.
Working from home saves us a ton of money and we love what we do! I am saving money in that I no longer have to commute to work. That probably saves me $150 per month right there. I am also saving money in that I don’t need to buy a bunch of expensive business clothing as well.
How do you plan on saving money this year? Don’t forget to enter the TaxACT giveaway below!