I’m sitting here listening to a song called Stir Fry by a group called “Migos” thinking about how I want to show up in this blog post today. I’m also reflecting on the tumultuous relationship I had with money over the years. At the same time, I am excited because I meet with a financial planner for the first time tomorrow! I also want your savings and investment accounts to be lit this year!

One of the most common cliché New Year’s resolutions is the commitment to save money followed by the commitment to lose weight of course. Many people have difficulty sticking to either because they have not developed a plan on how they intend to accomplish those goals.  Or they set goals that are too broad or not specific. After listening to several podcast shows on various topics and doing hours of research, I came up with my own personal list of how I want to save money and what steps I’m going to take to accomplish each line item. Below are some tasks that I have already completed, in the process of completing, or contemplating on. How do you like the three C’s? Creative, right?  Check this out!

Re-Evaluate your Budget

On January 1, 2018, I whipped out my iPhone, opened my Mint App and reviewed each line item in my budget. After 15 minutes, I found an additional $100 that could be re-allocated into my savings account. The budget for the supermarket was still a little expensive for one person, the shopping budget was reduced because Christmas was over, and the budget for credit card spending was reduced. In regards to credit card spending, I never spend more than 30% of the available balance each month and I pay the bill off in full or in two billing cycles before the due date. As a result, my credit score has gone up substantially, and I’m not incurring credit card interest by paying just the minimum or carrying a balance every month. You should try it.

Decrease unnecessary spending

Unnecessary spending for me was immediately replacing things when I run out knowing that it wasn’t an immediate need. For example, if I run out of oatmeal, I would immediately replace it instead of eating the abundant amount of Cream of Wheat in the cabinet. Or buying a book when I haven’t finished reading the books on the shelf. There is a little impulsivity there. Trust me, it can wait.

Increase your insurance deductibles

I decided to raise my car insurance deductibles in order to decrease my monthly bill. Insurance is a necessary evil. We pay so much for it and we don’t seem to use or need it, until we need it. Only do this if you have enough money in your savings account to cover your deductible in the event that something happens.

Lower your cable bill

This is a big one! Most people don’t even have cable anymore, but I still do. It is overpriced. I went to a basic package with one movie channel and kept internet, alarm system, cameras, and phone service. It’s not over yet! I’m sure there is a better deal once this contract ends, which takes me to the next item on the list.

Ditch the cable

Most people are happy with Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV, Streaming, Firesticks, or whatever they are using to watch television these days. Being in a relationship with cable is complicated, just like peoples’ Facebook statuses. We like having that security blanket and we think we’re getting a deal, but we’re not.

Sell things that you no longer use

I just opened an eBay account and I have yet to place items on it. I’m contemplating on it still. I’ve heard that people have been very successful using this and other online stores such as Craigslist, Facebook Market Place, and Amazon. Standby by, I’ll land the plane on this one eventually.

Bag lunch

I know you’re on the go, and you don’t have time, blah, blah, blah. I have two jobs, but I manage to pack a lunch. If you’re not going to pack lunch this week, then save money in another category, like the supermarket. This will enable you to spend money on your takeout meals. I hope they are healthy.

Pay your smaller debts off first

After you’ve paid off a smaller debt, start applying that money to other debt. Refer to Dave Ramsey’s snowball method. Click here to read my book review.

Join some Facebook groups

This has been so motivating to me. I participate in multiple, diverse groups on Facebook that are all about saving, investing, money management, retirement savings and earning more money. Currently, I participate in Black Women Who Budget, Dream Catchers, Choose FI, Journey to Launch, and Paychecks and Balances to name a few. In fact, my first group meeting with Choose FI is next week. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Seek professional help

If you are really clueless about life like me, seek professional help from a financial planner, financial advisor, or a money coach. Only do this if you can afford to cover the costs. If you are living paycheck-to-paycheck, focus on paying off your debt and starting your emergency fund. There’s an abundance of information on the internet and credit counseling services that can assist you. I have an appointment with a financial planner this week to make sure that I’m heading in the right direction. I also needed a different perspective on managing finances, debt payoff strategies, and assistance with estate planning amongst other things.

Participate in savings challenges

I found out about the savings challenges through various Facebook groups. I printed some out and pasted them on a vision board.  The charts give me structure because there is a specific savings goal set for each month. Click here to see some examples.

Work Part-time

Last but not least, if you are not lazy, like I am sometimes, pick up a part-time job or some overtime at your main 9-5. I’ve mentioned this before and I will keep on mentioning it until you hear me. This is a surefire way to pay off some bills quickly and to stack that dough. Check out the books below!

Readers, what money saving tips can you offer our community?

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  1. Wow! There was so much information in this article on how to save money! The older we get, the more we realize that it’s best to start saving now. I’m trying to teach my kids about saving money, cutting off lights, packing lunches, and doing whatever we can to keep a few coins. Thanks for posting this.

  2. Great blog I’m one of your retiree followers that’s trying to reset my financial structure at 60 on a fixed income I filed bankruptcy for the 4th time in my 60 years because I always worked 2 jobs saved nothing and went into my tsp account every chance I could and got into a lot of trouble, well with your help I just recieved 2 credit cards and I going to follow your 30% advice also I like the 5.00 box savings but I can only spare 1.00. The one thing I’m really stuck on is compulsive spending but I have a support group that’s helping get to the root of this infraction . Thank you for this blog I’m not were I want to be but I’m on my way.

    1. I’m not where I want to be either but continue to work on your goals, you will get there . Hmm , I know a millionaire who filed bankruptcy so it’s just you. Definitely pay those cards off before the due dates to avoid the interest ! Let me know how your credit score looks after about 6 months ! Should skyrocket!

  3. Love the picture of the vice grip on the wallet. I always tell my family if we don’t put a vice grip on the wallet, someone else will! I too am a fan of Dave Ramsey’s Debt Snowball. What spoke most to me, was your reminder to not purchase new books, until the books on the shelf have been read. I truly believe buying books is my guilty pleasure. But, I know that if I want any money to give to charities, I have to keep a careful watch on my spending.

  4. My two most ridiculous vices are my hair and books. I am never happy with my hair so I keep buying things to sort it out and then only being happy with that for a week or so. And books! I am ridiculous. My to be read pile is out of control. I really need to look at how much I spend.

  5. Great post! I already ditched my cable tv early last year and I carry packed lunch to work everyday. I also looking into looking for a weekend job. Thanks for great tips!

  6. Great tips! My husband and I just finished reading some Dave Ramsey books. They are helping to keep our mind on track on how to use our money. I had a bad experience with eBay selling. The person that had bought my item paid for it then took the money back. I don’t know how but I just stopped after that bad incident. It was also frustrating paying for shipping. I like selling local, face to face on facebook. Good luck on your money saving adventure!

    Taylor <3

  7. This was super helpful! I’m planning a wedding right now so trying to figure out all kinds of ways to save money! I never thought about Joining Fb groups related to saving money so I might have to try that to stay encouraged. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Really great post, particularly the part about using up the food you have rather than going out and replacing what you finish right away. A lot of people forget that is a great way to save on your monthly grocery bill, but it’s also a great way to discover new recipes and get more creative when making those packed lunches. WIN – WIN !

  9. I really enjoy all of your tips for saving money! I recently ditched cable, I felt like Netflix was more than enough and saving for a future was much more important than Keeping Up with the Kardashians!

  10. Loved this post! I’m a college student about to start at a University this fall, I’ve been living at home the past couple years and I know I’m in for big changes so I’m trying hard to save!

  11. My number one tip for saving money would be to leave Barbados lol. Cost of living here is beyond ridiculous but you have provided some awesome tips that I can apply even here.

  12. These are great tips to save money. I especially like your tip about not immediately replacing things that you run out of. I am bad about this, but I am going to try to start clearing out my pantry before needing to go to the store for replacements. Thanks!

  13. Great money saving tips! I especially loved what you had to say about car insurance. Car insurance…UGHHHHH. It is a necessary evil, but I hate that you pay it, pay it, pay it…and then when you need to use it you have to pay MORE before they do their part.

  14. This is all great advice. I’m going to start the box saving account idea. My first husband and I saw a financial planner back in our 30’s. He asked us, “So, tell me, where do you each see yourselves 20-30 years from now?” My husband answered first, “I see myself floating around on a yacht, soaking in the sun and relaxing.” I answered, “I see myself living in a grass hut in Africa, helping people live a better life.” (I should’ve seen the writing on the wall about my marriage back then, huh? Ha ha) .

    Today, my second hubby and I are prepping for retirement and I already live half of the year in Jamaica (not a grass hut, but almost). We have sold off or given to Goodwill (and gotten tax benefits) lots of things that have accumulated over the years. It’s really about “simplifying” for us, but it saves money, too, because the less you have, the less you have to maintain.

    Great post and I highly recommend Dave Ramsey’s programs to anyone struggling with debt and or finances.

    1. Yes! I have a blog post about the Total Money makeover! I think it’s awesome that you want to help in Africa. I’m started to get rid of things slowly but surely also. My financial planner appointment was awesome and worth it. Can’t wait to go back for the results . Thank you for your feedback and thoughtful comments 😊.

  15. My husband and I ditched cable and settled for streaming services instead. The pricing for a decent cable package with internet is ridiculous. We save more money just keeping the internet.

  16. Very good tips. I am a fan of the mint app. I use it to help trim the fat from my budget. My favorite tip was the Savings challenge. I haven’t done a savings challenge before because I automate most of my finances. I like the idea. I will give it a try. Great article 🙂

  17. Thanks for this insightful post about how take care of yourself by becoming educated regarding finances. I really appreciate your message of becoming aware of what you’ve, what you know and getting to where you want to by being active and responsible in your own affairs.

  18. This is a really good one Anissa! I wish they taught money management in school because it is SO important. I agree with all of your tips and for me specifically right now, I write down my budget and review it every single month! I’m always looking for ways to cut back and I try to stick to saving a certain amount every month. I pray we get to financial freedom girl!

  19. Great tips. I’m literally up to the point where I need to seek professional. Being spoiled at a young age, I really hate how it makes me in the long run. Every time I see something I like, literally want to go and buy it even though it has no use in the household. Can’t wait to seek for part-time jobs after I complete school! ^^

  20. This is a great article and provides a lot of really good tips on how to find extra money and promote saving more money. I know my generation will not be so lucky when it comes to Social Security as it as been for generations before us, we will have to take care of ourselves, and for that we need to prepared.

  21. I really need to watch my spending. I indulge in too much retail therapy. As you suggested I need to reevaluate my budget especially as my daughter is coming home for the break. I need to decrease unnecessary spending. This means I have to re-calibrate my relationship with my finances.. It would take discipline but it wlil be well worth the effort.

  22. Wow! This is such a great information. I’m learning to save my money these days and one thing that’s really helping me is evaluating my budget and decreasing unnecessary spending. Thank you for your professional tips!

  23. I love the idea of selling things I know longer use, not only for financial reasons, but for minimalism reasons too! I’m not a strict minimalist but thinking that way has really helped me not accumulate clutter! Also, throughout grad school I didn’t have cable specifically for this reason and it was the best decision ever. Because during football season, I could go to a friend’s house!

  24. One can never thing how these little tricks can actually help decrease your spendings! I really need to look at few of them. I am sure I will save about 400-500 easy!

  25. Unnecessary spending… that’s me – I’ve been struggling with that lately with how easy online shopping is! Good reminders 🙂

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