Photo by Bruce A. Stockwell

Thrifty Tips for the Modern Milspouse

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We know how much MilSpouses love to be thrifty and fabulous. In keeping with the goal of frugality, here are a few tips we’ve compiled to help you save your hard-earned money.

Skip that trip for fancy coffee drinks

For the cost of three coffees from your local gourmet or trendy coffee shop, you could buy an entire bag of gourmet ground coffee. True, those coffee shop chains have perfected the art of decadent coffee and with some offering a drive thru, they are indeed hard to resist. But you can beat temptation by getting creative. Experiment with coffee blends, flavoring syrups and flavored creamers, all of which are still less expensive in the long-run. Alternately, treat yourself to a fancy coffee only once a week.

Tuck away $10-20 each week

Develop a savings goal such as a CD, an IRA or a mutual fund. Your savings goal should represent something that will grow, not like a new dress or a trip to an amusement park.  Small splurges may be worthwhile, but saving little-by-little with the goal of investing in a mutual fund will allow you to add more over time in addition to building up the earnings and dividend returns with no work from you.

Menu planning

It sounds so simple, but when you literally write out your weekly meal plans, you get a very clear idea how to budget for groceries. Drawing out a weekly budget plan will also help you strategize coupon usage, items that can be bought in bulk and sales taking place at your local grocery store.

Get creative when it comes to gift-giving

Homemade gifts are awesome.  Why buy something for a friend or acquaintance that they don’t really need or want?  One easy and tasty option is chocolate-dipped pretzel rods. Add a few sprinkles, place them in a mason jar with a ribbon around the top, and you’ve got a tasty hand-made gift for next-to no money.  Just remember, everyone loves food. This tip, even under a tight budget, will take you far. Check out more DIY ideas on our Pinterest boards!

Patience

If you’re thinking of making an unnecessary purchase, wait for a month and then re-assess the decision. If you have your eye on an expensive new picture frame, a trendy pair of heels or that cutting-edge hair straightner, just be patient. For some items, the desire to own it will pass. If you still want it in a month, find a way to work the item into your budget.

Cancel your landline phone

In an age of cell phones, the need for landlines is nearing obscurity. If you can’t think of a specific personal need to keep your landline phone, then cancel your services. Another option is to give the people whom you contact most via landline phone your cell phone number, then you’re free to cancel your services.

 

 

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