When I began budgeting my family's money, it seemed like we would have to make huge sacrifices to get to where we wanted to be financially. There wasn't a lot of money left after we allocated funds for retirement, emergencies, and our monthly expenses; however, I was determined to find a way to afford both our wants and needs. We have had to make some sacrifices along the way, but nowhere near as many as I thought. The plus side is that cutting back has forced me to find some ways to save money while enjoying some of the things we love. Here are three ways I save money without sacrificing luxuries.
Shopping for Clothing
Like most women, I love shopping for clothing, but it's easy for me to overspend. Fortunately, I have learned that I can save as much as 75% on clothing by shopping online and taking advantage of sales, discounts, and coupons. This year alone I have purchased over $600 worth of clothing for less than $200. In my most recent purchase I was able to get three shirts that retailed for over $60 for just $15.
I love to read and thought an e-reader along with e-books could be the answer to my budget problems; however, both can be quite expensive, so the start-up cost isn't very budget-friendly. Luckily, I was able to find a solution with very little effort. One day while searching online I found a free program that turned my laptop into an e-reader, and I also found several websites that offer free or reduced price e-books. I have saved at least $300 reading this way, and plan to continue as long as there are books available to read.
Waiting to see movies
When my husband and I were dating it was nothing for us to visit the theater four or five times a month to see movies. However, now that we are married and have bills we just cannot afford to spend $40 or more per movie. We haven't cut out the theater completely, but we do limit our visits to must-see movies. Instead of seeing all our movies at the theater we now wait until they are released on DVD, and then rent them for $1.25 each at the local Redbox kiosk. Saving $38.75 per movie is a huge boost to our bottom line.
Living with limitations is always difficult, but when you are creative you can find ways to still indulge in your favorite activities. I've saved no less than $700 this year alone, and I did it all while enjoying the things I love to do.
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