What would you do with an extra $5000 this year? It could mean finally getting that new car you desperately need or simply enjoying a vacation with the family. If this sounds pretty awesome to you then find out how to save $5000 this year!
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When it comes to saving money there are really only two options: spend less or make more. Of course, that’s the extremely oversimplified answer. Technically, saving money will always be about spending less. Then you have to throw in Murphy’s Law, impulsive kiddos, and a husband that simply won’t give up that daily lunch with coworkers.
Does that mean it all has to fall on you? All of the sacrifice and savings rests solely on your shoulders? Um, heck no! Instead, make a plan and stick to it… forcing your family to do the same. If that sounds hard (or downright impossible), then check out the tips below to take it 1 step at a time and find out how to save $5000 this year even with a large, demanding family.
Make a Plan with Family
The very first step is to share your goal with your family, including your kids. Tell them why you want to save $5000 this year and also how it will impact them. Include both positive and negative ways it will impact them, especially for little ones.
For example, let your kids know that this money will mean a super fun vacation next year but in order to achieve that you won’t be getting coffee and cake pops at Starbucks when you grocery shop.
Ask for input from your family as well. Are your kiddos willing to swap Pop Tarts for oatmeal in the mornings? Can hubs promise to pack his lunch twice a week?
Lastly, let your family know what you will do to cut back and save as well. Too often we overlook this part because it seems so obvious to us, but it may not be as apparent to your family. Make sure they know that everyone is working towards this goal, including you.
Prioritize Your Budget
Now is the time to get super focused and prioritize your budget. If you have been lax in the past, only occasionally filling out a written budget and hoping the pieces fall into place that ends now. Set your budget and, most importantly, stick to it.
Budgeting doesn’t have to be overwhelming. In fact, it can be very simple and easy. (Read about how to budget when you’re overwhelmed here.) The main goal is to know what you have coming in and tell it where to go each month, or week.
Prioritizing your budget doesn’t just mean setting one, either. Part of prioritizing your budget is referring to it regularly throughout the month. Did you get a bonus you forgot to budget or is there overtime on a paycheck this week? If so, that means adjusting your budget. That’s not “extra” money, as we sometimes treat it. Instead, view it as “goal” money. Work it into your budget and anything over the amount you need to live for the month can go towards your $5000 savings goal.
When you’re trying to save money, it’s also important to find areas in which you can cut back. Sometimes these are easy (like not getting Starbucks) but other times it can be trickier. For example, do you really need cable, Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hulu? Are you paying for subscriptions that you don’t use? Fine-tune your budget each month until you’re happy with how lean it is.
Save Money on Food
One of the easiest ways to blow your budget is on food. In December, we went to Kroger to buy all of the things we needed for Christmas day. I don’t cook on Christmas. It’s the one day I take off from the kitchen every year. When all was said and done, we walked out of there with $200 worth of basically junk for 1 day! Considering that only $50 less than I spend on monthly groceries, I experienced more than a little buyer’s remorse and it was totally budgeted for.
The hard truth is that this is a weekly occurrence for a lot of moms. How often do you find your cart full of things that weren’t on your list? Then when you check out your bill is double what you planned for. Eek!
With intentional planning, you can keep your grocery bill low and still have easy dinners for the month ready to go (meaning you don’t eat out because you lost track of time). Here are a few rules to save you hundreds every month on your food:
- Be very specific with your list and stick to it.
- Shop at Aldi (but know when you’re really saving money and when it’s more expensive).
- Turn into the mean mom that doesn’t let her kids add things to the cart that aren’t on the list.
- Don’t “reward” yourself with takeout because you’re tired from grocery shopping.
- Skip the Starbucks at Target and Kroger.
- Prep your freezer dinners as soon as you get home.
You might like Why You Need a Grocery Freeze
Stop Buying New
This is actually a new goal we are trying this year and I’m super excited about it. We are not buying anything new in 2019 (with the exception of food, because, well, used food definitely doesn’t sound appealing). The first step to this is to try not to buy anything, period. Look around your house at all of the stuff you’re already drowning in. Do you really want to add to that?
If there is an item that you absolutely need, instead of buying it new try to find it used. Check thrift stores, Ebay, and Craigslist to start. You can also reach out to friends and family and let them know what you are looking for. Even if they don’t have the item, they can keep an eye out for you to help you find it.
Utilize borrowing. The best place to do this is your local library. Instead of renting your next movie for family night, borrow it from the library. Little changes like this will have you reaching your $5000 savings goal in no time!
Check In Bi-Weekly
To truly be successful, you need to make sure you check in with your goal bi-weekly at a minimum. Sit down with your family and share where you are at with your goal. Talk about what was successful and what wasn’t then make adjustments for the next week.
This is also the perfect time to share constructively with kiddos about difficulties that arose. For example, if there were meltdowns over not getting chicken nuggets for dinner share how saving that money got you closer to your goal. You could even make a coloring sheet that tracks your savings and let kids color it as you fill it.
As time goes on and the kids see that savings grow, they will become more amenable to the process. They’ll still totally ask you for toys, junk food, and the myriad of other things that they want, but they will more readily accept your response when you say no.
These tips for how to save $5000 this year will have your family hitting your savings goals in no time! More importantly, they create lasting habits that will improve your finances for years to come. That’s pretty awesome if you ask me. Make sure that you include your kids in this process. Not only will it make the entire process easier for you, they will also be learning valuable skills about delayed gratification, money management, and working together towards a common goal.
See where I’m linking up!
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