10 Budget Saving Tips for 2020

New decade, new budget goals? My goal for 2020 is to up my savings game. The big question is how will I manage to save more when things are more expensive than ever?

I read in the news last month that you can expect to pay $487 more a year on food for a family of four! You definitely need to be creative and even more minimalistic to save money in an ever more expensive world.

Regardless of inflation, I am staying positive!  I believe I can continue to save money and have researched and believe that I can implement all of these tips before the end of the year!  Here’s my personal list of budget saving intentions for 2020 to spark inspiration for your own budget!

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1. Quit Fast Fashion

Cheap is not always cost saving.  It is estimated that we collectively consume 80 billion items of clothing a year.  80 BILLION.  We buy more and more cheaper clothing items, which has accumulated to 400 times more than what people consumed in the 80s’.  

One of the many problems with fast fashion is that is does not last.  Moreover, if the clothing that you purchase is a fashion trend, it will not likely have longevity in your closet.

I am becoming more and more aware of not only the quality of my clothes I am buying, but also trying to buy items that are timeless, or even minimalist.  Doing so, I may be buying more expensive items; however,  I will buying less so I will save money in the long term (and the environment!).

2. Cut Cable

I am hoping to action this budget saving tip very soon. Myself and my kids have everything we need with Netflix, Disney Plus, and Amazon Prime Video.  The only thing I need to figure out how to stream is hockey for my husband…

The best part of Prime Video streaming, is of course it’s included in the Amazon Prime subscription!  Amazon Prime has been used in my household more recently as they have expanded to more mainstream options as well as some interesting channels. 

One channel in particular that I am considering to add to my streaming (and to subsequently be able to cancel my cable) is Stack.  It’s a Corus Entertainment channel that includes most of the cable that we watch (hello Survivor channel!).  

I do not consider Prime part of my cable budget, so all streaming options totalled are approximately $30 – compared to my $80 cable bill that would be a $50 savings a month!

Interested in Prime Video?  Click below and try the 30 trial for free!

3. Meal Plan

I keep on making meal planning a goal that never materializes, but I am determined to make it work this year!  In the last year I have had huge success with grocery shopping online.  I find that it at least makes me buy what we need, and not just because I am hungry!  

Also, since joining the Pinterest world a few months ago, I have had great inspiration for meals and I am now refocused on making budget friendly meals at home and for lunches in 2020 with all these ideas!  

4. Cut Down on Expensive Groceries (for example meat)

My family loves meat.  I, on the other hand, am someone who is a little squeamish with some meats, and could go days without it.  

Regardless of our preferences, meat is the most expensive part of our meals, so it is something I have to be conscious of when planning our meals.  Not only is meat expensive, the effect on the environment livestock impacts is not something that can be ignored anymore.  

Dedicating a few main meals a week to a meat-free alternative will save you some money and you will be doing your part in lowering harmful emissions.  

Along the same lines as meat, produce that is not local costs more and has a more harmful effect on the environment.  Consider local and seasonal produce and even freeze fresh fruits and vegetables for the off season!

5. Find Your Side Hustle

I am still a work in progress with my side hustles.  Right now, I do little things here and there to contribute to savings.  Here’s what I have in motion currently:

  • I am still putting away a decent amount from reselling items on Varage Sale and Facebook (especially the outgrown kids clothing, books, toys, etc.). It off-sets the expense of buying kids necessities –  on average I make around $100 a month selling my unwanted items!
  • I always use Rakuten (formerly Ebates) when I shop online, and that definitely adds up. For the last 4 months alone, I have earned an extra $60 using Rakuten on purchases that were being made anyways! 

Interested in Rakuten?  Sign up here.

Read my post Rakuten:  Make Money Shopping Online.

  • I also spend as much spare time on Swagbucks as I can and the earnings from the surveys I take help pay for my Amazon purchases.

Read my Swagbucks review here to learn more!

6. Skip the Starbucks

I have been great at bringing a coffee to work – but as a coffee-aholic I was always guilty of getting my mid-afternoon coffee at Starbucks on my work days! How did I solve this? My coworker and I bought a Keurig Mini for our shared office and it makes a huge difference on my budget!

Keurig Mini Amazon
Currently priced at $59.99 CAD

7. Buy Used

Anything from used kids clothing to furniture can be found online.  I find that Varage Sale and Facebook Marketplace are the most useful resources for myself when buying items from other moms.

I cannot justify spending $80 on a new winter coat for my kids when I can buy one in excellent condition on Varage Sale for $10!  Yes, you have to spend some time looking for the gems in the pile of junk sometimes, but it is worth it for the savings!

8. Be Conscious of Your Spending

As someone who always makes purchases and pays my bills through my credit card, keeping an eye on my spending is crucial.  It is so easy to just tap your card and not be conscious of what you are spending, but if you want to get ahead of your spending and save, you should keep a clear budget.  

How can you make a budget for your credit card spending?  I use Mint – an app that tracks all of your accounts in one place and shows your spending habits very clearly. For my husband and I for example, Mint showed that our food spending was over half of our general budget for the month of December – huge problem!  Which makes me aware that I have to action my budget tips 3, 4 and 6 in a major way!

9. Think Before you Buy

Easier said than done.  The way I manage to “think before I buy” is plan my purchases.  I never buy anything at regular price other than some essential food items.  For instance, if I am eyeing an item of clothing, I will watch the price, and more often than not, it will go on sale.  Interestingly, waiting also may make you realize you don’t need the item in the first place!

I also have monthly purchases pre-planned on my Amazon Family Subscriptions (included with Amazon Prime).  This way I pre-budget and save between 5-20% on things I need on a month basis including diapers, wipes, non-perishable food items, hygiene, etc. With 20% off diapers and pull-ups, Amazon is the cheapest option for diapers, and you don’t even have to leave your house to order them!  
Amazon Family Diapers
Example: I buy these Huggies Pull-Ups every month and save 10 cents apiece!

10.  Try a No Spend Month

I just read a great article from Making Sense of Cents explaining what a no spend month is and how to achieve it.  To not spend anything extra other than necessities and bills is no easy feat, but it is achievable and it will surprise you how little you need of all the extras!
My daughter’s birthday this month, so realistically I am hoping to try a no spend month in February (I’ll report back on how it went!)
Any other ideas on how to budget and save in 2020?  Comment below and let me know!

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