9 Ways To Save Money On A Super Tight Budget
There are many reasons why a military family could be on a tight budget. They could be saving for a PCS, trying to pay off debt, or trying to make their paycheck stretch a little further. There could be times during military life when you need to have a super tight budget, and times when you can spend a bit more. Whatever the reasons, there are things you can do to help you save money, not overspend, and be able to stick to your budget.
Here are 9 ideas for saving money on a tight budget:
Eating out will get you. We are a family of five, and sometimes even fast food is between $25-30. If you are doing this too many times a month, it can add up. If you do go out to eat, try to find coupons and use your military discount. Look for kids eat free nights, and be smart about what you order. Try to look at eating out as a treat, not an everyday thing.
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If you don’t coupon already, you should. There are many different ways to do so. From clipping the coupons that come in the mail, to using an app like Ibotta. You should also do your research about if the Commissary is truly cheaper than another grocery store in your area.
Meet friends for coffee
Going out to lunch or dinner with friends can sometimes cost $20-25. If you meet for coffee, you can spend less than $5 and still have a good time. And if you have kids, look for coffee shops by a playground. We have a few here at Fort Campbell that have been lifesavers for me over the years.
Shop thrift stores
Thrift stores can be fantastic places for finding deals. Whether it is clothes that you know your kids are going to grow out of in less than a year or replacement dishes for your kitchen. Some thrift stores have days were specific items are on sale or where they offer certain discounts. Make sure to check to see if you have an on post thrift store too.
Find free events
Almost every community is going to have something free for you to do every weekend. You just have to look for what they are. On Facebook, you can search for events by city, topic, and date. If you want to do something fun with your family, look and see what is going on and what you might want to do. You can have a lot of fun at free events and can save money by going to them.
Cut your bills
Do you have cable? Cut it and get Netflix. Using too much data? Get a smaller package and save on your cell phone bill. There are different ways you can get your current bills a little lower. Even $50-100 a month can make a difference.
Saying no is powerful. You don’t have to say yes to everything. I know this is hard for some but if you can say no sometimes you will save yourself some stress and some money. If someone invites you and your kids out to a movie and you didn’t want to see it, say no. You could invite the friends over for a playdate instead. Don’t feel like you have to say yes to everything, especially when the more you say yes to the more money you will spend.
DIY vs hiring someone
If you can do a DIY project instead of hiring someone, do it. There is a lot of advice and ideas out there for learning how to do things around your home. Check out YouTube and Pinterest for ideas.
Use your library
With a good library, you never really have to buy books. Not only can you get paperback and hardback books, but you can also get Kindle and Audiobooks using apps like the Overdrive app. Check with your library to see what they offer. In addition to books, your library might have a lot of community events going on such as movie nights, or even classes.