The 7 Things I Stopped Doing to Save Over $5000 a Year
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I am by no means an extreme cheapskate, in fact, I’m quite embarrassed to admit that I don’t adhere to a budget (a problem that I hope to conquer this year). But I do try to do everything I can to save money, especially if it will add up to a substantial amount over time.
As a parent to young kids, I have stopped doing a lot of the things I used to, simply because I realize how much they cost our family.
While you’re here, you should check out a few more posts I have related to saving money:
- 9 Smart (and Easy) Ways to Save Money on Groceries
- 6 Ways to Save Money During Pregnancy
- 6 Places to Find Good Quality Baby Gear
- Everything You Need to Know About Buying Diapers
- Everything You Need to Know About Buying Formula
Here are the 7 things I’ve stopped doing to save over $5000 a year!
1. Getting my hair colored.
In my childless glory days, I would get my hair colored a couple of times a year. I would spend endless hours searching Pinterest for the trendiest highlights. Then after a long appointment with a stylist I would take that awkward walk up to the cash register, to wait for them to tell me the total. It was ALWAYS way higher than I would have guessed.
Additionally, I would have to return to the salon every couple of months to get it touched up, which meant it really added up over the course of a year.
Estimated annual savings: $250+
2. Taking my kids (and husband) to get their haircut.
I watched a few YouTube videos and bought a pair of hair clippers from Walmart. I’ve used the same pair of clippers to cut my husband and kids hair for 5 years now and they are still working well.
Besides saving money, it saves me the hassle of dragging my little boys to a salon. Additionally, it saves them the stress that occurs when someone comes at their head with a pair of scissors.
Estimated annual saving: $400+*
*Assuming $15 per boy’s haircut, $20 for my husband’s, with each of them going at least 8 times per year.
3. Buying Coffee Shop Coffee
It is so easy and convenient to run by a coffee shop on the way to work, during work, or while you’re out shopping at Target. But I used to buy a $4 cup of coffee 5 times a week and it added up fast.
Instead, I started buying Starbucks coffee grounds (I stock up when they’re on sale) and make my coffee at home. To make it more fun, I got a cute to-go mug.
Estimated Annual Savings: $1040 – $70 = $970
*Assuming 5 cups a week at $4 each. A bag of Starbucks coffee ground cost $7.99 and makes 24 servings (costing $70).
4. Avoiding the dentist
I have moved a lot during the last 10 years, hence making it all to easy to put off going to the dentist.
Last year, I had got a toothache and couldn’t postpone going to a dentist any longer.
At that appointment (my first in over 5 years), they found that I had 3 small cavities and one tooth that needed a crown. If I had been going in for regular check ups, it probably wouldn’t have gotten so bad.
Besides, with dental insurance, most check ups are free, but getting problems fixed are not. Getting all of those problems fixed cost me A LOT of money! (And I had been paying for dental insurance all of those years!)
Estimated Annual Savings: $1000+
5. Postponing recommended maintenance on my car.
Just like the dentist, it’s incredibly easy to assume your car is fine and doesn’t need maintanence checks.
The check ups that usually cost a couple hundred dollars to around a thousand dollars can prevent HUGE repair bills.
Estimated Annual Savings: $1000+
6. Paying for Babysitters
Occasionally, I used to hire babysitters to watch my kids if my husband and I were going out. But in addition to the cost of dinner and an activity, the babysitter would nearly double the cost of our outing. Therefore I started using neighbors (and our neighborhood even set up a babysitting co-op recently) so that I could save that money.
One tip is that my husband and I usually have “late date nights.” We put our kids to sleep (usually by 8 pm), so that the “babysitter” simply has to watch TV at our house.
Estimated Annual Savings: $360+*
*Assuming $40 per evening, once a month.
7. Shopping for clothes
Every time I enter the mall, I can practically guarantee I will walk out with a shopping bag. Usually I will find a store with a sale and get suckered into buying 2 things because it’s buy one get one half off.
I have managed to buy very few clothes the past couple of years without any noticeable problems by simply avoiding the mall. I only go shopping if I am looking for something for a job interview or special event.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average household spends $1800 annually on clothing. Our household spent less than $600 least year – total.
Estimated Annual Savings: $1200
Total Savings: $5,180+
If you are looking for some easy ways to save money, these are relatively easy to do. They make take a little work to get started (like not coloring your hair anymore), but once they are established, it will become your new normal. Just imagine what it would feel like to have $5000 extra dollars in your bank account at the end of the year.
What things have you stopped doing to save money? Share below!
Now get out there and rock your busy mom life!