7 Ways to Save Money

There a heck of a lot of ways to save money. One of my least favorite ways to save money is to simply not spend it. Right? If you really want to save money, the easiest way is to withdraw your "need" or "want" for that item and walk away as the money burns a hole in your pocket. But, what's the fun in that? I think a lot of people think that since we have a budget that we live a frugal lifestyle. That couldn't be farther from the truth. We spend a lot of money; therefore, we need a budget to provide guidelines, or we would spend all of our money on clothes, eating out or vacation, and Rooney would be crawling around without any diapers (which aside from the mess would be pretty darn cute most of the time).

save money

Since we're not very good at restraining ourselves from spending (aside from staying within our budget), and we completely suck at cutting coupons, we try to save in other ways.

7 Ways We Save Money

1. Bank interest: We've earned more than $125 in interest since switching banks in December 2012! We keep all our savings in our checking account because the interest it earns there is WAY better than any savings account we could find. High five for free money! This money goes toward fun purchases we are saving for.

2. Target REDcard: If you live in or near a metropolitan area of any size at all, I'm sure you frequent the the red bullseye store. It's a great store (perhaps the best), and you can have 5% off everything you buy from Target for simply signing up for their free debit card. (They have a credit card version, too, but we don't believe in credit cards.) The debit card links directly to your bank account. Added bonus is that you get 5% off and free shipping when you order online.

3. eBates: Get paid for shopping online! It's pretty simple to use: Go to eBates > search for the store in which you want to shop online > click through from eBates > earn a percentage back. The only trouble is remembering to go to eBates before going to a site to shop. Just last week I ordered some bike accessories and forgot to use it. Doh!

4. Search for promo codes: I think a lot of sites are getting better about posting their promo codes right on their sites, but the last thing I do before checking out of an online purchase is Google: website name + promo code. RetailMeNot is one of the best sites for this I've found. You can usually find some sort of bonus deal. Just be sure to pick the best one that will save you the most money. Sometimes it's free shipping or a percentage off.

5. Sign up for email lists: Sign up for your favorite shops' email lists. Most places will send preferred discounts your way for letting them into your inbox. Yes, yes, they can get rather annoying. Usually they are an automatic delete for me unless the deal is really good (like 40% off or better) or if I am in the market for a certain item. A good rule here is to not even open the email if you are not looking for something specific. That will save you from getting a deal on something you would have never purchased without the deal.

6. Sale sites: There are many of these out there, but you must exercise discipline to ensure that you are not buying simply to get a good deal. You'll want to make sure it's something you need/want. You can read about Kelsey's first experience with Groupon to know what I mean. Along with Groupon and sites like it, there are clothing sites that offer great sales and rewards for referring friends - like Gilt, Hautelook and Rue La La for women, Zulily and The Mini Social for kids, and Jack Threads for men. These sites are free to join, and you never ever have to place an order. They are essentially flash sales (lasting a few days). Sometimes we discover new-to-us brands and sometimes we score great deals from our favorites (American Apparel, PUMA, Diesel, TOMS, Modern Amusement). My best advice for these sites is to know what you are looking for and be ready to pull the trigger quickly when the right thing comes along.

7. Patience: To piggy back off the last few points, if you can...wait. Kelsey is really good at this. It not only builds patience and discipline, but you can often get great deals if you pay attention and wait it out. Kelsey will find something she absolutely loves and simply wait until it gets discontinued or is included in a great sale promotion. Sometimes a site will give you a promotion just to complete a transaction when you leave something in your virtual shopping cart. I'm horrible at having walkaway power, as I have little patience. It's even taken me years to appreciate online shopping because I can hardly wait for the package to arrive.

What are some ways you save money?