Monday, April 8, 2019

Ways to Save This Month

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Anyone working on a no spend April?  I find the first quarter of the year the easiest in which to save money, but I'm trying to keep that motivation going this month too.  Here are a few ways to save this April:

Participate in all things Earth Day.  The great thing about Earth Day is that you're not only saving the environment, you end up saving money too.  And Earth Day doesn't have to be one day a year, so you can (and should) do these things all the time to save money.  But Earth Day is a good reminder.  Things you'll hear about this month in relation to conserving our planet's resources, and thereby your money: wasting less water and energy by taking shorter and colder showers, brushing your teeth with the sink turned off, committing to one hour of all the lights and appliances turned off in your house, turning the heat or air conditioning off, carrying reusable bags (Chicago charges 7 cents per plastic bag, FYI, some cities are even more), carry your own reusable water bottles and mugs for coffee - the list goes on and on.  You'll hear about plenty more this month, so take the time to figure out which will work for you, and implement them.

File taxes on time.  If you haven't done it yet, you have a week.  Filing late = fees.  Plus if you're owed a refund, you're only pushing the date back to get your money.  Get them done!

Rework your budget.  3 months seems to be a good amount of time for things to have been progressing for all your new year goals and habits, which is why the end of March and beginning of April is a good 'quarterly check in' time.  Budgets are meant to be tweaked constantly, so take a look at the last three months to figure out what has and hasn't been working.  You'll probably find additional ways to save even more.  And if not, you're at least setting yourself up for continued success for the next 3 months.

Cancel gym membership.  It's nice now!  Go outside!  Working out outside is free.  Plus you get vitamin D and the mental clarity that fresh air can bring.  I dislike nature as a general rule but even I need to go outside for a little while every day.  So consider cutting the gym and running outdoors with your dog instead.

Hang laundry to dry.  Like your exercise, take your laundry outside.  Line drying clothes will make a big dent in your electric (or gas, depending on your model) bill because you won't need to run your dryer.  You can hang things indoors all year long, of course, but it's nice to use the sun to help.  Sunlight is sanitizing even, so extra bonus there.

Cancel cable or extra subscriptions services.  Cable is so expensive, it drives me nuts.  You don't need it, there's so much available for $10 a month on something like Netflix or Hulu.  There's workarounds even to get basic channels for free, if you need the news.  If you're not ready to part with cable, then at least get rid of any extra movie channels, and any extra streaming services (Prime, Netflix, and Hulu?? Overkill.)

Cancel subscription boxes.  There are some fun boxes out there but as a rule, I don't like subscription boxes.  Especially makeup.  I don't like sample sizes, first of all, but I also think it's a waste of money.  You'll never like every product that's sent to you, so it's incredibly wasteful first of all, but you'd also save so much over time if you just take what you spend on subscription boxes and put that towards investing in products you actually like and will use to the end.

How will you be saving this month?

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