Easy Ways to Save Money Fast
- Are you looking for ways to save money? Well, why not start at home? So a big part of winning with money, is actually having cash in the bank. Because, you guys, this helps you avoid debt. Last episode we talked about how terrible debt is, and if debt is not gonna be part of our lives, saving is our only option. Because if you think about it, saving and debt are kind of opposites. 'Cause with debt, you pay interest, with saving, you earn interest. With debt, you owe. With saving, you own. With debt, you're taking on risk, savings lowers your risk. Debt steals your future, savings secures it. So they're opposites you guys. So, what our goal is, is to save for a thousand dollar emergency fund. This is kind of your started emergency fund. Then you're gonna work to get completely debt free. Everything but your house, using the debt snowball. And then after you're debt free, then go and say three to six months of expenses. So this is what we call your fully funded emergency fund. Can we just take a deep breath? I mean, really, could you imagine, having no payments, and three to six month of expenses saved in the bank. Like if anything were to happen, you're taken care of! You don't owe anyone anything, and you have a ton of savings! Like this puts you in an incredible place, not just financially, but emotionally as well. And why this is so important, is because actually, a top financial fear for most women, is the lack of security. So you wanna make sure you have that safety net. And another way to have a great safety net is to make sure you have term life insurance. So no matter what baby step that you're on, you need to make sure that you have it. And if you already have it, then go and reevaluate your life insurance needs, because you can save a lot of money by ditching your whole life policy for a more cost effective term life policy. Now I recommend getting 10 to 12 times your annual income, with a 15 to 20 year term policy. And if you've paid off a lot of debt, you may not need as much coverage. And if things have changed in your lifestyle, that can lower the cost as well. Winston and I personally use and love Zander Insurance. So make sure to go to Zander.com, or click the link below to get a quote today, or to see if you can get a better rate. Now if you're looking to save some money, lemme tell you. The number one thing that you can do to start saving money, is doing a budget. Mm hm, that's right. You know I was gonna talk about a budget. I do every episode, I love a budget. But I didn't love a budget early on in my life. In fact, the first budget Winston and I did together, as a married couple, almost eight and a half years ago, was a disaster. So when Winston and I got married, I'll never forget it. We had been married, probably a few months, and I knew we should be budgeting, like, when you get married. Like that was grilled into my mind, growing up. I mean, if I heard my parents say this once, I heard 'em say it a thousand times. It's like, when you get married you have to be on the same page, you have to budget together. I mean, I even remember our pre-marital counselor sat down with us and one of our sessions, she was like, you all should do a mock budget together. I was like, did my dad pay you to tell us this? Like, everyone told us, and I knew it. Again, but just doing it, I was like, eh. I don't really want to. And so Winston and I had been married about, it was like four or five months, and we hadn't done a budget. And I remember one day he was like, Rachel. We're in our condo in Knoxville, Tennessee, and he was like, Rachel we need to do a budget. Like, we've gotta figure out where all of our money's going. And I was like, ugh, you're one of those, aren't you? I thought, okay. I know we need to, but I don't want to, but let's do it, let's do it. So I remember we sat down with the yellow pad, on this old dining room table, it was like a hand-me-down table, and we did our first budget. And I'll tell you guys, it was a disaster. Like you would think I don't know the cost of food or something, because I think I budgeted like, 50 dollars, for food that month. Which obviously is not a reality. And I was like, oh gosh. It was just bad, like, nothing worked. Like, all of our numbers were off, it was terrible. And so the second month, we're like, okay, we can do a little bit better. Now we kind of know, okay, let's do it. The second month got a little better, there was still things we had to change. The third month, honestly, was working. There was like two or three things to change then. And by the fourth month, it was like clockwork. It started working. And so for you guys, trust me. Give yourself 90 days, for those of you that have never budgeted before, or you've tried the budget, and then you quit 'cause it didn't work the first month? You need to stick with it. Give yourself 90 days, and download everydollar. It's our free budgeting app, and it is amazing! It's all right there, and it's so easy. But I promise, this is the fastest way that you're gonna have a great financial turn around. In fact, people that do zero based budgeting, which is what we teach, and that's what everydollar is set up for. They pay off 53% more debt than people that don't do zero based budgeting. And they save 5% more. So make sure that you're doing this, and being purposeful. It's the quickest way you're gonna save money at home. I promise. All right, so let's head into the kitchen to look at some great recipes that are going to save you money. Now another great way to save money by doing something at home, is to cook! You guys usually save a lot of money when you cook versus going out to eat. So I cannot wait to share three of my favorite recipes that are so easy, so inexpensive, and they're fantastic. And this whole segment is brought to you by my friends at Home Chef. So, first up, we have a white bean, chicken chili. This is one of my favorites. Like, I have people eat this, and they text me the rest, they're like, Rachel, we want the recipe. So, I'm giving the lowdown to you, the secret. Super easy, you need a crock pot. Get a crock pot liner, 'cause it makes it such easy cleanup. Okay, some of you kinda freak out with like, plastic and stuff. If that's you, you don't have to use it, but I love a crock pot liner. So you get this, then you get two pieces of chicken. And the best thing about this recipe, is that they can be frozen, 'cause I have so much frozen chicken in my freezer. Put 'em in frozen! That's all you gotta do. Then you're gonna take three cans of white beans, and I like the great, great northern white bean. That's the best. So get three of those. Get two cans of Ro-Tel. And depending on, like, your spice level, this is a great place if you like spicy, get the hot Ro-Tel. Or just one can hot, one can mild, you know, mix it up. Two cups of cheddar cheese. And I saved just a little bit, because we'll use it at the end. So just keep a little bit there. And then one onion, and I usually get like a, mediumish onion. One onion. And if you don't like onion, still do it, because the flavor of it, it is delicious. And then if you have cumin, that's another great place, just do some, as Sharums would say, open up your spice cabinet! So, all you do, that's it, you guys. That was it. And you mix it all together, stir it all together. Put the lid on, and cook for six to eight hours, on low. And I'm telling you, it is the best, white bean, chicken chili you will ever make. And everyone's like, how'd you do it! It's like, four or five ingredients, but you just tell 'em, oh, don't worry, I just slaved over a hot stove all day, I'm so glad you like it. Really easy. Okay, and then the finished product, oh, it's like, so warm and delicious. And I love to put, like a thing of sour cream, like a little dollop of sour cream, Frito's, I love hot sauce on it, I mean, all of it, it is so good. It's so easy, and in fact, if you want this recipe again, make sure to click the link in the description below, and you'll get it all written out, beautifully, so you can make it and impress all of your friends. All right, there would not be a cooking segment with me, without pizza. You guys know my love for pizza. It's like, God, Winston, my children, and pizza, I mean, it's just, it's one of my favorite things in the world. So, and it's so easy to make your own, homemade pizza. So what's fun about this is, you can like, get your kids involved, it's great. So if you go to your local grocery store, it could be anything, usually like, most places like, in their bread section, or their deli, like in something like that, they are gonna have homemade dough, pizza dough. So you can get it, roll it out, this what I make Winston do, you need some, some muscles to roll it out, 'cause sometimes it's kinda tough. So, just prepare yourself. You roll it out, and then, one of my secrets that we do in the Cruze household is get like, olive oil, like a light tasting olive oil, or a grapeseed oil. Because what you do is you put it on the base of the pizza, and go all the way to the ends of the crust, because, when you bake your pizza, that's what's gonna make it all crispy, the crust. Instead of more, like, bready, it's crispy, so make sure to give a good, solid layer of some oil. Then, marinara sauce. I'm not picky about this. So if you wanna go organic, you wanna go super cheap, you wanna go store brand, doesn't matter, but you spread some marinara sauce. And I actually like a lot of marinara sauce. And go all like, I like to go close to the edge. Not quite on the crust, 'cause you still need crust, but, just generous amount. Next you, mozzarella. So you just spread some good amount of mozzarella. And then, next up I do a little bit of white onions. And then banana peppers. Oh, I love, I love banana peppers. There, I like green peppers, and I like to chop them little like this, versus slicing 'em. So you just sprinkle some green pepper. And then the meat. Salami, good old trusty pepperoni, and the last but not least, bacon! You guys, look, the finished product! It is so beautiful and colorful and wonderful! It's just so good you guys. And these are so inexpensive. Like you can do this, and again, everyone love white bean chicken chili and pizza, they're gonna be crowd favorites, whether it's your kids or friends coming over. So, some great, inexpensive meals to make. All right, last but not least is a crispy orange chicken. And this is from our friends at Home Chef, and if you haven't used Home Chef before, you need to. Because, they are amazing. You get a box delivered to your door with all the ingredients already pre-portioned out, everything you need. And this is a great thing you can do, instead of going out to a restaurant for a date night. Send the kids to grandmas, or put 'em to bed early, and you guys can cook together, as a couple, don't worry about the ingredients, it's all right there, and it's like you're going to a restaurant, 'cause this food is so good. So with this recipe you're gonna cook jasmine rice, you put the rice in a pot with a cup and a half of water, let it simmer for 18 to 20 minutes. You're gonna get the broccoli, cut it up into bite sized pieces, put it on a pan with aluminum foil, put some salt and pepper, do a little bit of oil, which is so good. And you just stick that in the oven, it's so easy, let it roast for 14 to 16 minutes, or I like to say, 15 minutes. I love when recipes give you like, two times. Always go in the middle, that's what I do. So you roast the broccoli, and then you do the chicken. So the chicken's going to come in chicken breasts, so you're gonna cut it up into like, an inch pieces, just like this. And then you're gonna get the flour that it comes with, and the flour you'll put into a separate bowl, and you're going to mix water with the flour, take a fork, stir it up, and it's gonna create this like, paste type thing. And then you're gonna add the chicken to it, and then you just mix it all together, into the flour mixture. So you mix the chicken with that, and even before you do that, you can take the canola oil and put it on a pan, on the stove, let it heat up, 'cause you want your pan to be hot. And then once this is all mixed, you just fry your chicken, it's like a minute and a half on each side, that's done. And then while that's cooking, you can do your spicy orange sauce, and it comes with it. I mean, hey Home Chef. How cute is this! I love all the little, pre-portioned packets. And then you do your sriracha sauce, in there. Get a fork, spoon, mix that all together, and then once the chicken is done, you mix it with the sauce, and then you plate it. So put some jasmine rice, your broccoli and chicken there. And it's like you've been out to a restaurant. And Winston's favorite part of Home Chef, is that the clean up is so easy! Seriously, you just throw away the things you wanna throw away, recycle things you wanna recycle, and there's not a lot of dishes. It's marvelous. So to check out Home Chef, make sure to click the link below, or go to homechef.com/rachel, and get $30 your first order. Ways to save money at home, you guys, look. You guys, I swear by those three recipes, they are so good, so good! All right, here are 11 different things that you can do at home to actually save you money. Number one, make snacks. So instead of buying the little individual packs of your kid's snacks, buy the big thing at like, Costco, and then put it in little bags. This is what I do, it's kind of a pain, I know, but listen, you're gonna save so much more money doing that, I promise. Number two, have everyone bring a dish. Yes, so if you are hosting a big party, have everyone bring something, so you're not the only one cooking and spending all the money on food. Number three, learn to turn a wrench. Preaching to myself here, people. This is good, I've learned to do a couple of things, and it actually saves you money if you can fix things like, you know, your toilet, or if your air filters, you can change those out. Different things like that can save you a lot of money, versus calling someone to do it. Number four, learn to sew. And I'm not talking about some elaborate, beautiful smock dress, even though I love those! I'm talking about just like, fixing a button, or something that's torn, sewing it up so that you don't have to go buy new clothes. Number five, organize, organize, organize. Yes, when you start to organize things, you'll find that you don't need half the things you have, you can throw it away, or even sell some stuff, get some money that way. But also, in the end, you're just gonna feel more refreshed, and more organized, versus going out and spending more money on stuff that you don't need. In fact, I did this, I took the minimalist challenge. If you don't know what that is, check out the other episode with the Minimalist, because it was amazing, and I threw out and sold so much stuff, you guys, and it was incredible. Trust me, I, when I say to organize, I love it so much. Number six, always negotiate. Winston is famous for this, calling Comcast like, every quarter of the year, to see if we can get a better rate on our cable. So, when you get prices like that, don't just say, okay, we'll take it. Ask if you can get a better deal. Number seven, hang dry your clothes. Now, you might be a little bit iffy on this one, but trust me, when you actually don't dry your clothes, and you let them air dry, the quality of your clothes lasts longer, so you don't have to pay for new clothes as often. Number eight, share baby gear. Now, I'm not talking about like, you know, old bibs and that kind of thing. I'm talking about like, swings, like the big stuff. My sister and I did this, the way our babies have lined up, we don't need a swing. Like, I don't need the swing, so she takes the swing. And when she doesn't need a swing, I take the swing, 'cause I end up having a new baby. Like, it works perfectly. So, if you can find those big things, find a mom in your area, do that. That will save you a lot of money. Number nine, don't pay full price for kid clothes. Listen, they grow out of them so fast, especially if you have little babies, so, do some things like swapping with other moms in your area. Swap clothes, or even do consignment sale. My spiritual gift. I always find the best things at consignment sales, I love them so much. And you save a ton of money. And number 10, learn to say no to fundraising. When there's a knock at your door, or the doorbell rings, it's always some sweet middle school kid, trying to sell you things. And some of you, it might be your sweet middle school kid, so there's a part of all of us that wants to help, but when you're dishing out 20, 30 bucks for every kid that knocks on your door, you're spending a lot of money on stuff that you're not gonna use. So, learn to say no to certain ones, and have some boundaries, it's okay. All right, last but not least. Save money on checking your insurance. This is huge, and I'm talking about like, your home insurance, your auto insurance, all those things. Most people forget to do this, they just set up their insurance and they don't look. But go and see if you can get a better deal. Go check out endorsed, local providers. In fact, people that do this? They save on average, $731 a year! That's a lot of money! So those are some quick, easy ways, 11 ways in fact, for you to do things at home to save you money. All right, coming up next, are five, easy, kid's Halloween costumes, that you can make at home. Halloween is less than a month away, and kid's costumes are always on the forefront of parent's minds, always. So I decided to bring in Sarah, home editor of Woman's Day, to help us here, create our own, make our own Halloween costumes.