Most military moms find themselves pinching pennies, and Lord knows it’s hard to maintain a budget that meets the demands of kids, pets and personal needs. Luckily, there are minor changes you can make to everyday life that aren’t difficult or embarrassing and do not require extreme sacrifice when it comes to the quality of your life.
Use Your Military Discount
There are many national chain apparel retailers, restaurants and even auto manufacturers that offer discounts to military families. Research businesses that offer military discounts in your area before you shop! many military magazines and websites offer helpful resources for finding discounts. Dailyfinance.com mentions a few places known to provide discounts.
- Home Improvement: Lowes offers a 10 percent discount.
- Apparel: Old Navy also offers a 10 percent military discount ever Monday!
- Auto Manufacturers: Chrysler and Toyota give active-duty members and reservists $500 off the price of a new car. Volvo and Audi offer discounts to military members stationed overseas. GM offers service members up to 13 percent off the suggested retail price on some models.
Save Money When You Drive
Changes to the way you drive can radically save you money on fuel and extend the life of your vehicle. Fueleconomy.gov offers some basic tips with big saving advantages.
- Drive defensively. Rapid acceleration, ridiculous speeds, and abrupt stops waste fuel. When you drive defensively you can increase the fuel economy of your vehicle from five to 33 percent. That’s $.19-$1.24 per gallon!
- Speed limits are your friend, not your enemy. Speed limits are deigned to regulate traffic congestion happens when people do not obey these laws. Gas mileage decreases at speeds over 50 mph, so leave the house 15 minutes early and take your time.
- Remove extra baggage. Fuel economy declines in a vehicle 2 percent for every 100 pounds added to a vehicle. Clean out the clutter and only drive with what you need.
If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, consider one that’s fuel efficient. You don’t have to sacrifice style, safety, space and great features to own a hybrid or electric vehicle. They have become much more affordable too. Models like the hybrid-engine Insight from Honda start at just $18,600 and the Chevy Volt electric car starts at $31, 645.
Save on Water and Energy Bills
Simply put, turn off what’s not in use. You will be amazed by how turning down your heat or AC will can save you for a month. Change your attitude toward electricity and water to a must need only basis.
- Make it a habit to turn off lights in a room when you exit.
- Unplug electronics like TV’s, phone chargers, small appliances, lamps when you leave your home or they aren’t in use.
- Wash clothes in cold water and dry on low as it uses less electricity.
- Lower the water heater temperature to 120 degrees. According to a budget-related article on Examiner.com this is still hot enough to clean dishes but reduces energy and will prevent your kids from accidental burns.
- Use LED bulbs instead of traditional lights. It’s possible to find bulbs for $5-$10 that are nearly identical to traditional lightbulbs.
- Conserve water with 10 minute-max showers.