Saving Money

Family finance tips

At Gerber Life we know the value of a hard-earned dollar. And when you're raising a family, it becomes even more important to stretch that dollar as far as it can go to help you save money. Our family finance tips can help you make smart decisions for spending your money as well as help you make use of opportunities to save it. Whether it's clipping coupons before grocery shopping or throwing a do-it-yourself (DIY) children's birthday party, our family finance tips can help you think outside the box, so that you can put more money into saving.

  1. Summer Savings Ideas

    Summer Savings Ideas

    Wasting Money is Never in Season

    Although summer is a time of freedom, fun and adventure, our pursuit of a “good time” can sometimes cause us to spend money in ways we normally wouldn’t consider logical – such as dishing out $10 for a few two-scoop ice cream cones when we can buy a few gallons of ice cream for less money at the grocery store.

    This doesn’t mean never going out for ice cream, but rather spending smarter. Instead of a second trip to the local ice cream shop, make the shorter trek to your own freezer to dish out the frozen delights from your own scoop. And consider these other summer savings ideas, too!

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  2. 8 Ways to Minimize Warm Weather Electric Bill Shock

    Lower Your Electric BillMuch has been written about avoiding electric bill shock in cold weather, but fewer savings tips for the summer heat are available. Until now. Here are some tips to help you lower your electric bills during the summer and early fall.

    8 Ways to Minimize Electric Bill Shock

    1. Get the right window or room air conditioner. ENERGY STAR® publishes guidelines to help you learn what size unit to install based on your room size. You shouldn’t use one more powerful than you need since you’ll waste energy.

    2. Have a technician fine tune your HVAC system. Even slight problems can reduce your system’s efficiency by up to 20 percent. An annual check up by an experienced technician can eliminate this energy waste.

    3. Keep your filters clean. If you have central air conditioning, change your filters regularly. A monthly cycle should be sufficient. Window units usually have washable filters that should be cleaned whenever they clog with dust. Central and window units lose efficiency and, therefore, work harder (as in using more electricity) when air flow becomes difficult with clogged filters.

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  3. Mother’s Day Gifts with a Low Cost and High Impact

    Low Cost Mother’s Day Gifts Since mom is always right and may always say “Money doesn’t grow on trees,” show her how much you’ve learned by giving her a gift that stretches your love, not your budget. Here are four great gift ideas:

    1. Make a meal she loves – There’s no doubt you’re going to have a special meal on Mother’s Day, but going out to dinner can be expensive, especially if the whole family is coming along. So, why not make mom her favorite meal? To make the experience seem more like going to a restaurant, be sure to provide an appetizer, main course and dessert. For an added level of realism, have the kids play the role of waiter or waitress (but don’t let mom leave the tip
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  4. Saving Money Can Be Fun

    Saving Money TipsSaving money is often a daunting challenge. However, as every money saving expert will tell you, it is simply a habit you adopt. If you can make it fun and personally rewarding, the saving money habit is much easier.

    Pay Yourself First

    The easiest and most fun way to save money is the “pay yourself first” technique. Here is the short version.

    Treat saving money as you do other recurring monthly bills. Ask the question, “Who or what is more important than me?” Answer: No one and nothing. Why not pay yourself first every month? Here’s how.

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  5. How to Adopt Frugal Living Hobbies

    Frugal Living HobbiesFrugal living habits need not be unpleasant. Put some fun into money saving hobbies by enjoying some of these off hour pursuits.

    Budget-friendly Hobbies

    When your monthly budgeting efforts require tight cash controls, these hobbies will not destroy your financial plan. In some cases, they even result in saving benefits.

    Grow your own fruits and vegetables. Gardening, whether for beauty or food, is a relaxing, satisfying hobby. If you work at a stressful job, the psychological benefits are even greater. Getting physical exercise while watching your plants grow and mature is both easy on your budget and personally rewarding.

    Reading. Become a regular visitor to your local library to have access to a universe of reading material—all at no cost. If you have a strong sense of history and tradition, browsing smaller bookstores may bring you titles you’ve longed to read and own at low cost.

    Sewing and crafting. Both of these hobbies are psychologically calming and generate pride in your workmanship. Additionally, these hobbies give you the opportunity to create unique, handmade gifts, jewelry, and home décor items at a fraction of the cost of buying them—if you could even find similar items—from a retail store.

    • Cooking. You needn’t become an exotic, gourmet chef or have your own show on the Food Network to enjoy this wonderful hobby. You, your family, and your guests need to eat anyway. Trying new and healthy dishes and surprising diners with new variations on classic foods is great fun—and achieves your goal of frugal living.

    • Entering sweepstakes is a fun—sometimes, monetarily rewarding—hobby. Sweepstaking is an inexpensive—usually, free—hobby that can sometimes result in winning money or luxury items that would be budget-busters if you bought them. If you’re new to the world of sweepstakes, you’ll be amazed at the number and variety of contests available online. The only danger: You could spend most of your free time finding and entering sweeps. Beware; this hobby can easily become habit-forming and great fun.

    • Photography. Sure, photography can be quite expensive—if you want it to be. However, the many fabulous and low cost digital cameras available have made photography a hobby available to everyone. With advanced zoom capabilities in most digital cameras and no film purchase or developing costs, you can have fun with this hobby and remain living within your means.

     

    Frugal living is not only about cutting bills, saving money or restricting your lifestyle. Living on a budget is merely a good habit to adopt. Having fun hobbies that cost you little but yield great rewards, relaxation and psychological excitement is an idea you can enjoy forever.

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