Budget & Saving

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These 5 Small Actions Will Save $200 a Month

March 11, 2015 : Marinés Duarte – Guest Contributor

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Editor’s Note: What can you do with the amount of money accumulated from saving $200 a month? I can think of a lot of things. What’s the secret? It’s easier than you think.

They say that a penny saved is a penny earned. And what better way to save as a family than getting everyone on board to meet the goal? Whether it’s paying for a vacation, gathering money for Christmas gifts or starting a college fund for the kids, every effort counts. And it’s easier to do if it’s done as a family. Get your team involved and start saving without making too many sacrifices! 

Whether you want to save $200 a month or just $50, perhaps the biggest motivator is to share the goal with the family – a team working to achieve a common goal in which all members are equally important. Design goals for each member, appropriate to their level of spending and their ability to modify or adjust money-saving habits.

Here are some ideas so that each family member does their part in saving together.

Don’t Spend on Eating Out

Marines-HealthyLunchDo you work outside the home and eat outside of the office? If you bring your lunch from home instead of buying it just once a week, you’ll be saving an average $50 a month! Tonight, cook a little more than necessary and keep a portion for tomorrow’s lunch. You’ll see how good it feels to eat your homemade meal while contributing to your family goal.

The same goes for school lunches. Even if what the school offers is not expensive, by the end of the month it can add up. Replace two lunches with homemade meals and add variety and homemade TLC to your little ones’ day. You can save an average of $25 a month with this small initiative.

Before going shopping, create a menu for the week’s meals. Bring a list of the ingredients you will need and stick to it. You’ll avoid over-buying and having to go back to the store for an item you forgot.

$3 Makes a Difference

Make coffee at home. Do you love drinking a frothy latte on your way to the office? A latte from a coffee chain costs about $3. If you exchange that for making coffee at home or in the office, you’ll be saving around $60 in one month! In a year, that’s over $700! If you don’t have what it takes to make a latte like the one from the store, invest in an espresso machine. You will pay for it with the savings in a couple of months!

Half-price Clothing

If your teenage daughter cannot live without her expensive designer jeans, take her through discount sections at the department stores. You can find the same items there at half the price (saving at least $50). The difference? They are from last season but have the same look, fit and style as her favorites… because they are her favorites!

Get Ahead of Birthdays

We don’t often think about the spending that comes from our children attending birthday parties; often they can add up to four in the same month. When you go to a discount store buy a bunch of different discounted gifts that are appropriate for your children’s age group. That way you save money and by having it on hand you avoid running from store to store whenever you get an invitation. If your child has two birthday parties a month, you can save up to $30 with half-price purchases.

Turn your Home into a Private Movie Theater

Like going to the movies with your family on the weekends? Try putting together a movie night in the comfort of your own home. It’s ideal for winter evenings. Choose a movie on Netflix or rent it from Amazon. Complete the showing with your favorite kind of popcorn and save!

They say the best things in life are not expensive. By everyone saving as a family, you all learn not only the value of material goods, but also the value of work, of being part of a loving and caring group, all while enjoying time together. Do you have suggestions on how to save as a family?

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Marinés Duarte – Guest Contributor

Marinés Duarte – Guest Contributor

En Tus Zapatos

Marines, a bilingual and bicultural mother of four, is a family and lifestyle expert for Univision, co-founder of M4 Media Group, and founder of En Tus Zapatos, a content platform for today's women.

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