How to Save Money
Do you need to learn how to save money? Do you dream of having an amazing financial plan in place, but just don't even know where to begin? Are you on a mission to truly change your finances?
I've been there too, and I promise I can help.
Figuring out how to save money can feel completely overwhelming when you just don't have enough to make ends meet. And especially if your finances are really tight, you might just want to give up and throw in the towel.
But you can easily learn how to save money with a few basic steps. Even if saving doesn't come naturally to you, following a simple process each day can lead to serious success even after just one week. And if you're willing to stick with a saving plan for the next few months, you'll completely transform your financial future forever.
You may be thinking like so many folks . . . “I'm just too overwhelmed and I have way too far to go. Is it even worth me trying to save money? Can it even help?”
When my husband and I were first married, we had thousands of dollars in student loans, as well as some credit card and car loan debt. While he had a decent job, I never made more than minimum wage, and there was no way we could have paid off those initial loans without really focusing on saving our money, every single day. It was painful at times (I remember being so jealous of other people's stuff!) but now that we have financial freedom, I'm so thankful we sacrificed in the beginning for the success we have now.
I promise, learning how to save money is completely do-able. And with just a few simple tricks, you'll be on your way to financial freedom, and see success in your finances too.
We'll walk through why you need a budget, determine your financial goals, set up a debt snowball system, and learn how to keep track of your money every single day. And most importantly? I'll share simple strategies you need to save money on your biggest budget busters too.
Are you ready? Let's go!
How To Make a Budget
First things first – you need a budget.
Can you imagine driving down a road in a town you've never visited before, trying to find an old friend you'd love to visit, but completely without a map (or a google map on your phone?)If you don't start with a budget, you're doing the exact same thing with your money, every single day.
You need a budget to set up a roadmap for where you want your money to go and what you want it to do for you, so that you decide where your money goes before it spends itself too fast. Once you write out your budget (you can snag the budget worksheet I use in the Money Planner if you need an easy option), it's time to start a money saving challenge for the next four weeks.
Household Budget Breakdown:
- Charity – tithe: 10% of your budget
- Food: 10-15% of your budget
- Housing: no more than 25% of your budget
- Saving: 10-15% of your budget
- Transportation, clothing, entertainment: the remaining 35-40% of your budget
Plug in those figures and jot it all down, so you can see what you're working with as we get started on this money-saving journey!
Money Saving Challenge: Do This for Four Weeks
Now that you have a budget, challenge yourself to tackle a Money Saving Challenge for the next four weeks. Decide right now that you really want to make a change in your finances, and I promise you'll see crazy success.
Simply deciding that you're ready to make a change will go farther than you can even imagine.
Not sure where to start? Take our Four-Week Money Saving Challenge using the PPP Money Planner (it includes 4 Weeks of Money Saving Challenges + 12 Months of Worksheets to help you stay on track).
In the last 12 months we've helped 4500 families transform their family finances, and I know it will help you too!
How To Save Money Fast
Let's start the four-week challenge out with a test…. how much money can you keep in your pocket?
Week 1: No Spend Challenge Week
To start a saving money fast, begin your challenge by starting with a No Spend Challenge Week.
Decide for one week to spend as little as you possibly can for seven straight days. Get creative. Be persistent. For 7 straight days, do not quit. This is literally the fastest way to save money and stop spending it, and all it takes is a little determination to follow through.
Not sure a no spend week can really work for you? It's time to get resourceful.
If it's date night and you really want to go out, go for a hike at a local park or pop popcorn and watch a movie at home. If you're out of a certain cleaner you would regularly just buy at the store, test out a homemade cleaner using vinegar and water as a substitute. And if you absolutely must have a specific item that you're out of, hop on a local Facebook group and see if someone will trade it with you for something you already have.
Challenge yourself to see just how little you can possibly spend for seven days. I've gone as low as $38 for an entire week, and am betting you can get there too.
During this first week (while you're staying at home saving oodles of moo-lah!) this is the perfect time to set up your budget, determine a one week, one month, one year and five year financial goal, and set up your debt snowball form, monthly budget and bill payment schedules too. Taking a few hours this week to pinpoint exactly what you want your money to do for will help you figure out exactly how to save money too.
How To Save Money Each Month
Week 2: Pantry Challenge Week
The easiest place to find extra money in your monthly budget is your grocery bill. Not only can groceries get extremely expensive, but eating regularly at restaurants is probably the number one budget buster for most American families today. Decide to have a pantry challenge one week, every single month and you'll easily save as much as $200 with this simple tweak.
How much food do you already have in your pantry, fridge and freezer? Could you eat for a full week using up the rest of what you have? Can you come up with simple meals to totally clear out what you do have before. buying anything else? I bet you can.
Here are a few easy steps to get started right away:
- Stand up. 🙂
- Walk to your kitchen.
- Pull out a piece of paper and a pen.
- Open your refrigerator, freezer and pantry.
- Write down every single meal you can possibly make using only what you already have at home.
- Make your menu plan for seven days using what you have on hand already, and decide what is the absolute least amount of money you can spend at the grocery for the next week.
Here's an example of what's in my pantry right now to give you an idea of just how easy this can be:
- Slow Cooker Spaghetti
- Pork chops and veggies
- Slow Cooker Taco Soup (freezer meal)
- Breakfast for dinner
- Grilled cheese
- Salmon & mashed potatoes
- Salmon & rice
- Chicken Parmesan, bread
- PB & Banana French Toast
- French Dip Sandwiches
- Spaghetti & Meatballs
- Homemade pizza
- Chicken nuggets and veggies
- Grilled chicken wraps
- Ham & Swiss Sliders
- Chicken philly cheesesteaks
- Chicken & dressing
For a whopping 17 days my family can eat at home using what we have on hand, making only one quick trip to the grocery store for fresh produce and milk. It's an instant way to get back anywhere from $200-$500 in your budget (depending on what you typically spend each week at the grocery store), and will clear out a bunch of food before it goes to waste too.
Use this week to learn the value of planning your meals around what you already have in your pantry, fridge and freezer, and avoid impulse purchases by skipping the grocery store.
How To Save on Groceries
Week 3: Grocery Saving Challenge
This week, challenge yourself to save money on grocery shopping by shopping the store sales ad and clipping a few coupons. Although there are dozens of ways you can save money in your budget, cutting food costs is one of the easiest!
You can't easily change your mortgage payment, your phone bill, or get rid of a car payment, but if you simply decide to change the way you buy food you can easily get back hundreds if not thousands of dollars each month.
How To Save Money Grocery Shopping
To start saving money while grocery shopping and using coupons, choose one store in your area that offers the best prices on groceries. (You can easily compare a few prices at your local grocery by checking our Price Comparison List.) Then, follow this simple process to save money each week at the grocery store:
- Begin by printing coupons that you'll use online
- Get coupons from the Sunday newspaper (if you don't have a subscription, ask a friend or neighbor to give you their Sunday newspaper coupons if you don't use them)
- Clip and sort your coupons
- Study the grocery store ad online before you shop
- Make a grocery list – including a menu plan- using the items on sale that week
- Organize paper coupons to use when shopping
- Download any digital coupons if your store offers that
- Plan for any digital rebates, like Ibotta or Fetch Rewards
- Shop your local store, being sure to use any coupons you clipped if those items are on sale*
- Submit any digital rebates if you had them, then share your success!
How To Make Extra Money
Week 4: Money Making Challenge
Would you really love to know how to save money fast? Start making extra money right away.
If you're following the four-week money saving challenge, during the fourth week we focus on how to make extra money. Finding ways to make extra money can be easy, if you're willing to think outside the box. Basically, if you can think of any service that you can provide to someone to make their lives easier, you can make money.
What service, skill or product could you provide that would make someone's day better? What do you love to do, that you could offer to do for someone else? Here are a few simple ideas of ways to get you thinking:
- Love pets? Become a dog walker.
- Love kids? Babysit a few hours a week.
- Overflowing Closets? Take lots of items to a consignment store.
- Love cooking? Prep freezer meals and sell them to a family who needs help getting dinner done each night.
- Love driving? Consider becoming an Uber Eats driver.
- Love grocery shopping? See if Instacart in your area is hiring.
There are dozens of other ways to make extra money from home, so challenge yourself to think of a few options that might work for you. Every extra penny you earn will help you save a little extra money, help you reach those long term financial goals.
How To Start Saving Money
Are you ready to start saving money today? Beginning Monday, March 1st 2020 we'll launch our 5 Day Money Saving Challenge using the 2020 Money Planner. If you struggle with making ends meet and just need a little encouragement to get started, this is just for you.
As I've thought through our own family's financial struggles and financial successes, I've pulled together a huge pack of resources to help you get started as you learn how to start saving money today.
Here's everything you need to know:
- The Money Planner Challenge will run March 1st, 2021 – March 5th 2021, and we'll continue to work as a group to stay on track throughout the. month of March. Get the Money Planner now for it's lowest price ($12.95!) for one week only. (After that, the price will change to $14.95 – still a steal for what's included to help you save money!)
- The official challenge will begin Monday, March 1st, so you'll have a few days to gather all the information, prepare your family for a serious money saving month, and set yourself up for success. (Think of it as a massive financial diet for a week. We can do this together!)
- Beginning March 1st and through March 5th, each day you'll have a really specific project to tackle toward your financial success (creating a budget, writing down your 2020 financial goals, filling out a daily spending worksheet, etc.)
- Between 8:30AM and 9:00 AM Eastern Time I'll post a Facebook Live video with budget friendly tips and encouragement to help you stay on track
- Through March 5th only the cost will be just $12,95 for 127 pages of budget downloads. After that the price will go up to $14.95.
- PRIVATE FACEBOOK GROUP: you will be invited to a private Facebook Group as soon as you sign up, where hundreds of other families will help cheer you on to financial success
- BUDGET WORKSHOP: on Tuesday, March 2nd at 8PM Eastern Time my friend Shannon and I will host a private Budget Workshop for anyone who's signed up for the 2020 Money Planner – you do not want to miss this!
Are you ready to learn how to save money forever? Let's get started. HERE Go to download your Money Planner Worksheets, and lets determine to focus on our finances throughout all of March. I'm cheering for you, and can't wait to see your success!