Thursday, February 7, 2013
When the lovely Ella over at Champagne and Cardigans invited me to be a part of her Thrifty Thursday link up, I knew I had to! Not only do I adore her, but as most of you know, Hubs and I are still paying off our wedding (and my student loans) and are on a constant quest to save money.
My biggest issues was deciding what to talk about, since I've covered a lot of it before. I decided to go with our "earning money for spending money" way of doing things, since when we have to spend money I like to get some back too!
1. This has been the most helpful for me, because I'm a bad saver. If I have it, I want to spend it, but for number 1 on the list: sign up with a bank that gives you incentive to save or helps you do it. I know Bank of America has a Keep the Change program where they round up everything you spend on your debit card and move the extra change to savings. Wells Fargo also have something called Way2Save where every time you use your debit card, they move a dollar. Both of these have been helpful to me in the past, because it just moves the money and I don't have to worry about it. After a few months I got used to it and just started calculating that change or dollar in my head when I thought of how much I was spending, and slowly the savings grew. I also set up an automatic debit into my savings account for a little each month, which also keeps the bank from changing me fees on the account and is another transfer I don't have to worry about. Slowly but surely our savings account is growing!
2. Rewards programs. I am signed up for every rewards program you can think of. I use upromise all the time because it gives me a percentage back on certain purchases, which goes directly to pay for my student loans. Small amounts sure, but I just think of it as a little bit more I don't have to pay later. I'm also signed up on ebates which gives you great deals, and cash back on certain purchases. I've also signed up for Ibotta and Endorse, which are both apps on my phone that have special offers on things like groceries, and personal items. Things you buy at Publix or Target for example. Every week when making our grocery list, I look at the ads for sales, then look at Ibotta and Endorse to see if there's anything I'm planning on buying or that we'll use. Then I click to complete the offers, and after shopping I just scan in the barcode and upload a pic of my receipt. After a few days, money back to my account, which then transfers to Paypal. Simple as that!
We also have credit cards with various rewards programs, that we use for what will earn us things back. For instance, one card has gas rewards this month, while another has groceries. NOTE: some cards give you a certain % back on all purchases, but some make you sign up for different programs. Our cards do 1% back on everything, but every 3 months they have a different program that is 5% cash back for those 3 months on certain things (ie: gas and groceries). You HAVE to go online or call them to activate the 5% portion, or you'll just keep getting 1% on everything, so make sure you keep track. I check all our accounts 2-3 times a week to see how we're doing and if there are any changes I need to make or programs to sign up for.(This is also a good way to make sure no one has stolen your cards or identity, because I check our spending so often). We just keep track of which card has what, and use them accordingly. We also pay them off quickly to avoid interest charges. It takes some work to find out about all of the deals, then remember who's the best for what, but it makes me feel better about spending money we have to spend anyway.
3. Create a savings jar. We have two jars, one for change which hubby dumps his pockets and I dump my pocketbook into, then eventually we convert it to cash and either use it for a project or trip, or deposit into our savings account. The second jar is an idea I got from Pinterest called The 5 Dollar Savings Plan. Zack and I don't use cash as much as we should (another money saving tip I've read) but now I make a point of having a least $20 in cash in my wallet. The idea is that every time you get a $5 bill in your wallet, it goes into the jar to be saved. I usually go out to lunch on Fridays, and almost always get a 5 back, so in it goes. Zack's gotten to be pretty good about it too. I now watch what I spend my cash on, because I like getting that $5 back to go in the jar. It makes me feel good :) We've used the jar to fund football tickets and a hotel room back in November, as well as a few Christmas presents. Now it's slowly building back up to go into our savings account, but I love having it there!
What do you like to do to save money? I'm always looking for more tips! Or go see Ella and find some of your own in the link up :)
Happy Thursday ladies!