Did you make a resolution to stick to a budget? Or maybe you’re just trying to find ways to save some extra money? Since February is a short month, this is a great time to take part in the Frugal February Challenge! What is Frugal February you ask? For some it may mean no dinners out or no coffee runs. And for others it may mean no shopping for clothing. But whatever it means to you, one thing remains true: this is the time to be aware, mindful and intentional with your spending. Here are a few ways you can participate in the Frugal February challenge – try one (or try all five)!
Cook your own meals
This is easier than you think and should include your lunches for work, as well as any evening meals. Many people find that preparing their meals for the week is the most effective way to avoid eating out. You will be surprised at how much you can save once you stop eating out. Not to mention, home cooked food is often healthier. You may also want to consider taking advantage of online grocery shopping services that allow you to pick-up your groceries on a designated day. Some retailers even have delivery services. Although these services may come with a nominal fee, it may also save you money since you’ll be less likely to make impulse purchases (especially if you have your menu planned out for the week).
Get creative with your entertainment
It’s Friday night and you’re ready for some much needed R & R. Sometimes it’s just easier and more appealing to head to dinner and a movie instead of going home to make dinner and hanging out on the couch. However, there are plenty of free things you can do to have fun during Frugal February. Think of things you’ve already paid for like your cable package, the games you own or the books on your shelves – that’s free entertainment right at your fingertips!
Do it yourself
Think of three services or things you normally pay for that you can possibly do yourself. If you normally pay for housekeeping or landscaping services, try canceling the service for a month and save money by doing it yourself. You can also try to recreate your favorite restaurant dinner. Who knows, you may find a new hobby you enjoy in the process!
Use up all those leftover holiday gift cards
If you still have some gift cards lingering around from the holidays, guess what? Frugal February is the perfect time to use them! Have a gift card to a local restaurant? Plan on going out for dinner one night this month! Need to buy a birthday gift for someone? Try to use a gift card you have! Get those gift cards out of your wallet and drawers and put them to use!
Stop the coffee run
Save the $5 - $6 instead. It’s amazing how what seems like a small expense, can turn in to a pretty significant one. At the end of the month you could save $150!
Unsubscribe to all non-grocery email offers
Your wallet and your inbox will thank you! Everyone fears missing out, and when you see the words “One day only” or “Exclusive”, it can be hard to resist. Give up the temptation and unsubscribe from all those emails. You can sign back up after Frugal February, but you may not want to!
Reduce your monthly expenses
This means savings all throughout the year! Take the time this month to make a few phone calls to your different providers to see if you can reduce the amount you pay. It also may not hurt to rely on your credit union for a helping hand. See if we can save you money on your auto and home insurance. We work with over 40 carriers, which means we’ll work to find the best rate available. What about your monthly car payment? See if Sandia Area can save you money each and every month when you refinance your auto loan from another financial institution!
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