How to Save Money on Everything
As we work on paying down our debt, my husband and I have are learning how to save money on nearly everything we buy. We’ve become pros at squeezing a nickel out of a penny, so to speak. Saving money, even on the smallest of expenses, is second nature to us now, and so I thought I’d share a bit about how we’ve learned to save money on everything.
You Can Save Money on Everything by Learning to DIY
We have saved thousands of dollars in the last year and a half by simply learning how to do things ourselves. The Internet is an amazing resource for learning just about anything you could possibly want to know, and by taking advantage of it, you really can save money on everything. Rick has learned how to do several car repairs, home repairs and other maintenance things we would’ve normally needed to hire out for by searching for how-to videos on You Tube. And don’t underestimate what can be learned online.
For instance, our son, who’s eight now, has always struggled with saying his R’s. They came out like W’s. I was cringing at the thought of paying a speech therapist to help him with this problem, not to mention the gas we’d spend driving from the boonies to the cities a few times a week. So I found a You Tube video that teaches people how to say their R’s correctly. We worked with Sam for a few weeks to help him get the sound formation down right, we practice with him a ton, and now he’s finally got his R’s down, and it didn’t cost us anything but time and the willingness to do the work.
This goes for everything from growing your own food, to repairing your own stuff, to learning what you want to learn, be it a new language or whatever. Don’t assume you can’t do something yourself until you’ve really researched the options out there, because DIY options alone can save double digit percentages off your expenses each month.
Consider the Cheaper Option
I’m a firm believer in quality over quantity, but if you want to save money on everything, you just have to realize that not everything has to be top of the line. Rick loves his Sam’s Club Colombian Supremo coffee just as much as he loves the Starbucks stuff, and we buy lots in the way of generic or off-brand foods and toiletries if the quality is up there near the spendy stuff or if we can deal with the lesser quality.
Need to remodel or replace something in your home? Consider linoleum instead of ceramic tile, pine instead of cherry wood, or Formica instead of granite counter tops. Although it’s important to make sure you’re not buying poor quality items simply in the name of saving money, there is a middle ground here.
For instance, one of the things we’ll need to do here soon is to replace a broken down retaining wall. We found some cheap retaining wall blocks that, if Rick does the job himself, will allow us to replace this wall for about $1500. However, if he uses treated wood beams instead of the retaining wall blocks, we’ll spend about half that amount. The treated wood wall would last us 10 years instead of 20, but for us, it’s worth it, given our main financial goal right now is to get out of debt.
When doing a project, saving money on everything means researching your options thoroughly to see if you can pick the cheaper material, whether it be paint or anything else, instead of the more expensive one.
Ask for Discounts
When we are in a situation where we need to pay someone to do a job, we never hesitate to negotiate. Whether it’s a discount on a damaged item at Walmart, or a lower price on a repair job, we always (politely) as if it can be done for less. When this is done with tact, people are often willing to give a “nice-guy,” a damaged merchandise or a big purchase discount.
When working with home repairs, offer to do some of the work yourself. When paying for services, offer a barter option. For instance, my brother is a mechanic, so when there’s a car repair issue that Rick can’t do himself, we’ll often make a deal with my brother. I love to bake, and he loves to eat, so well say “Hey, will you come over and look at my car and I’ll pay you a pineapple upside-down cake?” This is a terrific deal in my brother’s eyes, and a huge money saver for us, so it’s a win-win.
The trick, however, to successfully asking for discounts, is to make sure it’s an appealing deal to both parties. If you come off as cheap, you’ll ruin your chances of getting a discount, so make sure what you’re proposing is beneficial to both parties.
By getting creative, you really can save money on everything. Well, almost everything. Try using the tips above to see how much extra money you can save this month. Get into a mindset where you’re always looking to pay less, and you’ll soon have the creativity necessary to save money nearly everywhere you go.
What are some creative ways you’ve learned to save money? What’s the biggest discount you’ve received simply because you took a chance and asked nicely? How do you save money on everything?
Photo courtesy of: Free Digital Photos
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