I don't think I am alone in that recently, finding ways to save money has gotten a little tricky. My bills continue to go up (I am on the phone trying to figure out why my car insurance went up as I type) and our income remains the same. So in getting ready for this post I considered all the small ways that Jason and I work to save money. Nothing incredible, nothing any average person couldn't do, but things that I don't believe everyone does. I love reading lists on the internet of ways to save money. Occasionally I pick up an idea I hadn't thought of before. So here is my list of small ways we save money in our household.
1. BUDGET, BUDGET, BUDGET. I can't stress the importance of having a working family budget. Knowing how much you have coming in, how much is going out and where it is going is key. Planning where each and every last dollar of your income will go will ensure you don't end the month wondering where all the money went. There are multiple sources around to help you put together a good budget. We like Dave Ramsey. We have been able to radically change our spending habits, pay off two car loans, all credit card debt and save for an emergency fund thanks to Dave Ramsey, but the most important thing he gave us was a budget.
2. Compare prices. Yes, this does require a little delayed gratification and yes, it is work, but you can save money. Whatever the item may be, find out if you can purchase it somewhere else for less. We are currently doing this in our hunt to find Isabelle a swing set. Look around. The internet has made this incredibly easy, you just have to be willing to work and wait.
3. Along the same lines as above....be willing to wait for a sale. One thing I NEVER buy full price is scrapbooking supplies. I know if I wait long enough I can find what I am looking for at Hobby Lobby for 1/2 price. They always have sales and as long as I am willing to wait I can find what I am looking for at 1/2 price. Most groceries will go on sale, clothes go on sale, shoes go on sale, you just need to be patient.
4. Buy used when possible. This rule only applies in so many areas! The first thing we will only buy used is our cars. I get that some people like new cars, but the savings are so worth having a gently used vehicle. Another area I try to buy used is kids clothes. I recently scored big time at the Just Between Friends sale in Tulsa on name brand clothes for the girls like Gap, Gymboree, Hannah Anderson, Childrens Place and Tommy Hilfiger.
my last money saving tip of the day.......(I saved the best for last)
5. Tithe. That's right, I said tithe. To save money, give 10% of your income to your church. To some this idea is going to sound downright ridiculous. You will say, "How can giving money away help you save money, dummy?" And you may think you are right, but you are wrong. Tithing works. It is a biblical principal. Which means I can't explain it except to say this....nothing belongs to me anyway. It is God's. He provides us with an income. It is His. He gives it to us and asks for a small tenth back. With that He promises to bless our finances, and He does. I have never doubted this and never will. It works. In fact the bible almost dares you to try. Malachi 3:10 says, "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it."
So that's it...five easy ways our household saves money! Questions? I would be happy to answer! Leave a comment and I promise I'll get back to you. I am also willing to share our budget and how it works with anyone interested.