If you ever read Smart Mom Deals, you know I’m a fan of Dave Ramsey and his Financial Peace plan. The reality is, when you don’t have debt hanging over your head, you feel much happier and more secure. There’s less stress surrounding you and that makes everything easier … even your relationship.
I mean, think about it. What would your life be like if the only thing you had to pay for was your mortgage and your monthly utilities? What would life be like if you didn’t have to worry about an unexpected medical bill or car repair?
And it’s not only the rich that can do this, trust me. When we adopted the plan, we were making very little money … like, less than $40,000 for a family of four. If we could do it with that kind of income, anyone can.
But I’m not here to preach or sell the Dave Ramsey plan. I’m actually here to give you four easy things you can do to save a few bucks … what you do with the extra cash is entirely up to you.
Negotiate a Trade: Our nanny is getting married soon and she and her partner are on a tight budget. She also happens to be a photographer. She traded a family photo shoot (about two hours of her time) for hundreds of cupcakes for her wedding reception. What are you good at? Maybe it’s cleaning houses. Maybe it’s watching a few kids. Maybe it’s making cupcakes. The point is, offer to trade your service with someone else’s … you’d be surprised at how well this works, even with small, local businesses.
Find a Deal Site and Use it: I’ve offered up several pieces on how to find money you didn’t know you had and my thoughts on flash sale sites. But the truth is, with all the rewards programs out there, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. So if you can find a deal site or rewards program that you can consistently use and that covers most of what you buy, you should use it. The first one (of course) that comes to mind is Amazon Mom. You’ll save 30% on baby essentials, every time, plus get free super-saver shipping. They’ve also got banging deals on household goods like detergent and toilet paper. Plus, it all comes right to your door.
Pay Cash: It’s amazing how powerful cash is. Really. Whether you’re buying a car, going to your annual doctor’s appointment, or even buying an appliance. Cash talks. When I became a freelancer, I went several years without health insurance. You know what I found out? If I paid with cash, my annual pap was $125. My dental cleanings? $150. My birth control? $20/month with a prescription card given to me (for free) by my doctor’s office. I purchased a catastrophic insurance policy to cover anything major and paid cash for the rest. The money I saved was substantial.
Plan a Splurge: Even if you’re focused on saving and cutting back, you have to have a splurge. Otherwise, it’s like being on a diet and depriving yourself of chocolate. So choose your vice. Is it shoes? A fancy dinner with the hubs? Decide and budget for it. Make it a joint effort and when you’ve got enough to cover it, go spend that “mad money.”
photo credit : lyricsdog.eu