Monday, March 17, 2014

Pinching Pennies

So we're planning a Disney trip for next year and I'm super excited. But as we're planning and finding out how much things are going to cost it's a bit overwhelming. Between trying to pay off debt and keep up with monthly expenses, it can be overwhelming. My hubby finally has a job that pays well and we're getting back on our feet from a rough year. This vacation is going to happen come heck or high water.

I've been doing research, crunching numbers, looking at our bank accounts and trying to figure out ways we can save the cash we need to pay for our vacation. Here are a few ideas I've come up with and PLEASE feel free to share a few more ideas!

Stop Eating Out:
This is pretty obvious but I had a major wake up call earlier today. There are times I like to stop and grab a burger or a treat after I drop my kids off at school. I come home, kick back and catch up on an episode of Grey's Anatomy on demand and snack away without having to share. It's relaxing. Not only is this unhealthy for my waistband, it's not helping my wallet any.

I figured out that if I spent $5 a day (pretty average) on a snack I would spend $20 a week on my extra snacks I'll will have spent $80 a month. When I multiply that by 11 months (the time before our vacay) I will have spent $888. Holy smokes! That's nearly as much as plane tickets to California! Ouch. Goodbye eating out.

Cut Entertainment Expenses:
We like to watch movies. Right now we're paying for cable, Netflix streaming and Netflix DVDs. Not only is that FAR too many options, it's costing us at least $60 per month. If we cut cable and the DVDs we can still watch movies on streaming and save $50 a month.

Cut Cell Phone:
We both had smart phones and we don't really need them. When our contract ends in August we're ditching the smart phones for flip phones and saving about $90 a month!

Turn off the Lights:
One of our biggest bills is electricity. We've started shutting off lights whenever we aren't in the room and unplugging anything we aren't using to cut back on electricity. We flip open the blinds and let the natural light warm our apartment, helping us lower our gas bill too!

Use the Library: We love the library. You can check out movies, CDs and books for free (if you remember to return them on time!) This helps keep us entertained and our budget a little tighter.

Shop Car Insurance:We switched car insurance in February and saved over $60 per month! Yay. You should shop your auto insurance at least every two years to see if you can get a lower rate. It's free and it only takes a few minutes. Consider using a service like Answer Financial that will compare several companies for you and give you a new rate within 10 minutes.

Do you have any more tips on saving money?! A vacation for four isn't cheap, but we're bound to get rid of debt and pay for our vacation out of pocket! What tips do you have to share?

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