In today’s current economy everyone is cutting back on spending and not using credit cards. I know my family is currently trying to pay off credit cards and debt so we have more money per month.  Using coupons has helped us tremendously reach this goal.  As prices go up, I can still spend $50.00 to $100.00 per week on groceries. Last year we really cut our spending and didn’t vacation.  This year, our family needs a vacation!  We also need new living room furniture. My current set is over 10 years old. It’s time to retire it. My husband and I want to avoid using credit as much as possible and pay cash for everything this year. In order to do this, we need to set a budget and start a fund!  We are making a Pay it With Cash fund!

I’m going to share with you some tips that my family uses to start your fund.  Let’s get started!!

1)      Start a Savings Fund account-Every bank has a savings account you can start with little to no money. Currently I have a “Way to Save” account with Wells Fargo that takes a few cents per transaction and transfers this to my account. This is money I hardly miss. This is an easy step to putting money off to the side for your fund.  If your bank doesn’t offer this incentive you can ask your employer to deposit a certain amount each paycheck into your savings fund as well. Even if it’s $5.00 per check, it still adds up!

2)      Create a Budget-To create a budget you need to write down or make a spread sheet of how much you spend per month on bills.Then subtract those from your monthly income. Don’t forget to add how much you spend on groceries and gas. If you are in the negative you need to adjust your spending.  I evaluate my monthly budget once every few months to make sure we are still on track in and in the black.

3)      Put aside any extra money you find- This means birthday money, small refund checks that come in the mail, money you find while you’re doing laundry, garage sales, ebay, gift cards you get from shopping.  Anything extra you may find you just throw into your fund.

4)      Cut back on monthly bills-IF you can find a way to cut out any monthly bill, that’s more money in your pocket.  Cut cable and use and HD antenna.  Cut out your data plan on your cell phone. Switch to a new utility provider that is offering a better rate per month. Stop gym memberships and workout at home.  Stop any magazine subscriptions or monthly memberships.

5)      Earn Extra Money Online-You can earn extra money online or by signing up with local companies to do product reviews.  There are hundreds of good companies that will pay you to search the web, read emails, watch videos and offer your input. Some pay cash, gift cards or reward points for them.

6)      Stop Eating Out-This is one I’m trying to get my husband to follow. He’s bad about forgetting his lunch and then stopping at a fast food place to buy his meals. It may seem small at the time but over a few weeks it can end up being $50.00 or more.  I use to stop at my local coffee house and get a coffee to go. Now that I have my keurig I take my coffee with me to work. This saves me $20.00 per week!  Take lunches, make coffee at home and eat at home more often.  I also try to use coupons for any meals I see for dinner. Subway offers great coupons for healthy sandwiches I can feed my family for cheap. Little Ceasers offers $5.00 cheap pizza that’s great for days I’m too tired to cook. I only do this a few times per month.

This are a few great tips that I plan to elaborate on with more posts to save money!  It will feel great to pay for large items cash and cut those credit cards!

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