Quick Tips For Saving Money!

Each year our entire church unites for a cause. I mean, we all rally around the cause of Jesus every day! But once a year we rally together financially too, so we can make a significant impact in our community. We believe powerful things will happen through our Liberty Offering just like it has each and every year!

This year we’re focusing on campus expansion. We’re launching two brand new campuses, and we know that every single seat represents a life that will potentially be impacted for Jesus. We don’t take that lightly, and we know you don’t either. Reaching people for Jesus is a very big deal. It’s actually what we are all about.

We’re also taking 10% of every dime that comes in and giving it to Mercy Ministries to see a home for girls built right here in Charlotte, NC. Please check out Mercy Ministries and find out all that’s happening with them. It’s an honor to be a part of building the 40-bed home here in our very own city! (Yes, there’s a lot of building going on with FHC in Charlotte this year!) Can you imagine the impact that this Liberty Offering will have? It’s crazy!

Our Liberty Offering is March 27, 2011, and it will be a church-wide event. Even the children at Freedom House are involved and have started saving up! They understand the importance of seeing lives changed, and they wouldn’t miss this for the world. I love how my kids have already started plotting out their money-saving ideas. Can’t wait to see what your kids come up with too!

With that said, I want to share some money saving tips with you. Some people may not have very much margin in their monthly budget. If that’s you, I want to share some ways you can create more margin and fully participate in this year’s Liberty Offering! All of us can contribute, no matter what our financial picture is or how old we are.

Here are a few quick tips for saving money:

1.     Eat at home. Did you know that the food you eat at a restaurant is priced 3 times higher than food you eat at home? That can quickly add up. If yours is a family of 5 like mine, and you decide to eat at home instead of having Sunday dinner out, you can save approximately $300 per month or more (depending on where you eat).

2.     Brown bag your lunch. An average lunch out at the office can cost between $6 and 15. If you brown bag it just 3 days a week, you could save as much as $180 per month.

3.     Buy staples in bulk. Buy items you use a lot of in bulk, particularly items that don’t perish like trash bags, laundry detergent, diapers, etc. This will cut down on their cost per usage quite a bit .

4.     Look for free stuff. Lots of restaurants and entertainment venues offer things for free on certain days. Find out what days your kids eat free at restaurants, what day is free at the museum and the like. It really adds up.

5.     Look for coupons. A lot of stores accept coupons. Look through the paper and online to find big sales and buy-one-get-one-free items. Also use loyalty cards at participating stores, and take advantage of double- and triple-coupon days.

6.     Free shipping. Most every time you buy something online, there’s a way to get it shipped free. A friend showed me how to find free shipping codes online. It’s simple! For example, if you want to order from Pottery Barn, just Google “free shipping Pottery Barn” and the free shipping codes pop up. Give it a try.

7.     Rent movies. My family loves family night. If we don’t plan well, it can be expensive to have 5 people go for a night on the town. There are fun ways to have family night be spectacular without breaking the bank: Rent a movie and make your own popcorn;  make s’mores over a fire in your backyard; make homemade pizzas together; play games or puzzles together. The list goes on. **Make sure you take the movies back on time!**

8.     Drink water. Drinks at a restaurant can cost as much as $2.50 per person. Switch from sodas, tea and coffee and save a lot. For a family of 5, that can be a big savings! If you happen to be addicted to Starbucks (like my husband) that’s another great way to save money: Make your own coffee.

9.     Break habits. Some habits can be very expensive; what better time to quit? Things like smoking or drinking wine and beer can be very expensive. There are better and cheaper ways to de-stress.

10. Use the library. Many of us buy lots of books. A great way to save money is simply to check them out from the library and then you have no fees at all. They also carry movies for your family to watch as well, free!

11. Slash the incidentals. Read carefully through your credit card statements. Be on the lookout for ongoing monthly fees and charges that you may have completely forgotten about. Cancel club memberships you don’t use and any magazine subscriptions you may not be reading.

12. Cancel the land line. Most people I know don’t even use their home phone! They haven’t cancelled it because… well, they’ve just always had it. You could save more than $30 per month by using your cell phone instead.

~ by pennymaxwell on March 7, 2011.

7 Responses to “Quick Tips For Saving Money!”

  1. we cancelled our land line and our cable! we use magic jack (which is 19.99/yr for nationwide calling!) and we watch tv online now. there are plenty of great sites to get the shows you love to watch and well…some are just not worth watching! we have saved $150 bucks a month and havent missed the luxury we thought was a need for so long!

  2. Great stuff Penny! Awesome practical tips that if applied will really make a huge difference to peoples finances. Love it!

  3. We cut back on direct tv…We have the least expensive package which is 29.99 a month. It is saving us 80 bucks from what we were paying!

  4. Alot of people have seperate Life, Home and Auto Insurance Companies and in essence missing out on multi-line discounts. Call each company and price it out for all 3 lines and go with the best rate!
    If there are nights you need to eat out, check out http://kidsdirectorycharlotte.com for the restaraunts offering Kids Eat Free nights in Charlotte.
    Plan errand running for all at one time and pre-plan your route so you aren’t driving extra miles and wasting gas..this can really add up! Check the air pressure in your tires on a regular basis and keep your air filter clean. When gas is close to $4 a gallon..every MPG counts!
    Plan your dinners around the sales for the local stores that week. All grocery stores new sales begin on Wednesday and you can find websites with every sale flyer available to peruse.

  5. good points, except the going out to eat part…;)

  6. Karen, you would think your husband owned a bunch of restaurants of something?! 🙂

    Amy, all of your points are awesome! I heard that you were the queen when it comes to that stuff. Make sure to post if you think of anything else!

    Ladies, those phone and tv items do add up! Thanks all!

  7. Hi Penny,
    Here are some points & responses to points:
    1. Eat at home. This is not only good savings, it’s also healthier. usually. A goode twist: Team up with friends and family and make larger meals together. You’ll share the work, share the time, share the food. It’s easier, more fun and less expensive. Once, in college, we had 25 people over at one house and everyone ate steak and multiple sides. we had more than enough left-overs for less than $5 / person.

    2. Brown bag your lunch. This is healthy and a time saver. Get lunch over in 15 minutes and see if you can clock in early and get some overtime.

    3. Buy staples in bulk. Be clear, this does NOT mean go buy 6 pairs of shoes. Nor does it mean going to buy 15 of something just because it’s on sale. But when you buy Windex or Rice, buy them in larger containers. It’ll save time and money.

    4. Look for free stuff. CRAIG’S LIST! Freecycle!

    5. Look for coupons. There are two ladies in north Charlotte (Mandy Devine & Renee Lewis) who actually do workshops on how to maximize coupons. These ladies have olympic type savings. the kind where you pay $12.00 for $120 worth of groceries. Penny, if you’ll get in touch with rebekah goode, she has Mandy’s phone #. I’m CERTAIN Mandy would be willing to put on a workshop for folks at FHC!

    6. Free shipping. Definitely. Especially on my new iPad 2.

    7. Rent movies. Or hulu! or Netflix. or go to someone elses house and team up on the movie renting.

    10. Use the library. While you’re their, pick up Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. I have an extra copy on audio book. I’ll happily give it to anyone who wants it.

    11. Slash the incidentals. I have a better idea. Cut up your credit cards. Yes. Cut them up. Get rid of them.

    12. Cancel the land line. While you’re at it, cancel cable TV and rediscover the art of “conversation.” Cancel that subscription you haven’t used in 15 months.

    Now for the hard part: (what, first my TV. now what?)
    Each person reading this blog should consider going through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. I know, I know. “but, our church does crown.” Don’t get me wrong, Crown is a great bible study on financial topics. (and the folks at crown will admit this) But Crown does not teach you the step-by-step HOW-TO’s in saving money, getting out of debt & financial literacy. Unless you’re in crown AND an insurance agent, you likely have NO IDEA what your insurance really covers. so here’s my top 10 list of things to do:

    1. Enroll in Financial Peace University (13 week course costs about $100) See daveramsey.com/fpu

    2. Do a written budget. WITH YOUR SPOUSE! Both votes count and you give every dollar a name. On paper. On purpose. Each month for THAT month before the month begins. Which of you would begin to build a house without first doing the budget unless you get done framing it and you run out of money. and all your friends mock you, “look at this moron. started building a house and got half way done and run out of money.”

    3. Cancel your credit cards and stop using debt. It’s not intelligent to pay $140 for a $85 outfit. so why do you?

    4. Don’t buy anything unless you have the CASH ON HAND to buy it.

    5. Speaking of cash, use the envelope system for groceries, restaurants & clothing. Put cash in an envelope (yes, paper cash in a paper envelope) and begin purchasing with real cash. You’ll be amazed. It’s not possible to go over budget when you only use cash. Oh, no intermingling of the envelopes. Once the money goes in an envelope, it’s in and can ONLY be spent on that category. HINT: over-fund groceries the first few months.

    6. Stop using your plastic (debit & credit) at the grocery store. A Dunn & Bradstreet study shows that most people spend 15-25% more when using plastic than cash. And don’t get fooled by gimmick points and rewards by CC companies. If you’re spending 15% more and get 3% cash back, they still win. Stop thinking you’re winning. their buildings are bigger than your house for a reason: they have a plan for your money when you don’t!

    7. Investigate and shop around your insurances. If you have whole life, consider getting 20-30 year level term in place BEFORE canceling your Whole-Life garbage insurance. Whole Life insurance is a rip-off. The only people who say otherwise are the people who sell it. NOTE: Only cancel whole life AFTER you have term in place.

    8. When making big purchases, learn to negotiate. Negotiate on color, quantity, last-year’s model. etc. Purchase with cash and ask the question: “What is the least you’re willing to accept for.” then SHUT UP. Let them talk.

    9. Unless you have a million-dollar net worth, do NOT buy a brand new car. Dr. Thomas J. Stanley’s research on millionaires and deca-millionaires shows most wealthy typically purchase used 1-2 year old vehicles with low mileage at a discount. Don’t worry, I know all your excuses for why you think you “need” a brand new car, and they’re wrong. Your total value of automobiles (cars, trucks, boats, motorcycles, seadoos, etc. if it’s got an engine) should be less than 1/2 of your yearly income. and far less if you have a significant income.

    10. Stop making excuses. Every single one of these line items represent a level of discipline most people are not willing to undertake. If you found yourself arguing with a line item, it’s probably because you’re unwilling to discipline yourself in that area. Is your car where you get your identity? Your clothing? The brand of bottled water? Your jeans? Isn’t your existence more than these things?

    Bonus: Consider there are only 3 things you can do with money. 1. Give. 2. Spend. 3. Save (investing fits here). You need to learn to do ALL THREE extremely well. But most adults are too pompous to admit they need to learn to handle money differently. But, if you did. could you possibly honor your Father more with it? And not just with giving. but in your spending and savings too? Once you’ve completed Financial Peace University, go take Crown… or vice versa… take both. If you don’t think your time in Financial Peace University is worthwhile, I’ll buy your materials back from you… no questions asked.

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