I decided a while ago that my new motto would be “Make Money by Saving Money”. I felt funny at first and my friends laugh at me sometimes because of my obsession in finding bargains and spending as little as I can on things. It hasn’t always been this way though. I haven’t always thought about saving money at the magnitude I do now. I have been through my spending days and having more debt than I needed to have on the plastic. I used to “want” more than I “needed”. I used to be a working mom (outside the home…that is). We had extra money to spend after all. Boy, do I wish I was as wise then as I have become now and socked that money away. I worked up until my daughter was about 8 months old. It wasn’t until I stopped working that I started to really value money. Becoming a one income household was a choice, a sacrifice and a blessing.
So, what are some of the things we have done to “Make Money by Saving Money”?
1. We decided to live debt free (except for the mortgage.) We decided to not carry a credit card balance and pay them off monthly (after many years of paying off those little boogers). Of course, this takes discipline to not spend more than you can afford to pay off each month. I am like many and like nice things but I refuse to pay full price, if I have my way. Buying things 50-75% off is my ultimate goal. And the search for bargains starts!
2. I LOVE to use coupons and do coupon matchups with sales at stores. I can’t tell you enough how much this has helped me “make money by saving money”. I love to get cheap stuff, free stuff, samples of stuff. I take surveys online for extra money. I use Ebates when shopping online to get money back.
3. We choose to not go out to dinner often. We maybe treat ourselves once every few months or so. When we do, we try to have a coupon of course 🙂 or use our great Restaurant.com certificates that we buy for cheap.
4. We have chosen to not “just go out shopping”, which is hard sometimes, even for me. I try to only go out when I have something I need to buy. That way I don’t get in trouble. I shop at TJMaxx and Marshalls as much as possible. I have been learning to go out with my friends shopping and not buying ….just to be with the girls. I do occasionally get weak….but it has to be a great bargain. Maybe a gift for someones birthday or other occasion or getting a head start on that Christmas list. Always looking for those, remember.
5. We have learned to do home repairs and renovations ourselves. We moved to the Northeast in 2005 and into a house that needed a ton of updating. So I have painted loads of trim white (and still painting), removed wallpaper, pulled up carpet, painted every room in our house. We have ripped out two bathrooms and learned to tile (I ran the monster wet saw), put in toilets and do some plumbing. I did our tile backsplash right after that since I had become a wet saw master! We do our own housework and yard work . I love to ask for Lowe’s or Home Depot Gift Cards for every occasion I can! 🙂
6. We have chosen not to take lavish vacations. We use our vacation time to visit family in NC. We have a blast going to ocean here, which is just 45 minutes away. And to the mountains here, which is just 45 minutes to an hour away. Or into Boston for the day. Utilize what is around you for inexpensive fun!!
7. I re-evaluate our insurance premiums, phone bills, cable bills every year. I keep checking to make sure I am getting the lowest price available. You can save A LOT by doing this every year! I saved us $80 a month by changing insurance companies and getting different cable and phone plans. It’s amazing what a company will do if they think you are going to cancel your service with them. Which is the avenue you take when calling them…”What do I need to do to cancel my account?”, you ask. “Why would you want to do that?” they ask. and then they say “Do you mind if I see what I can do for you?” Try it…it’s great!!!
8. At lastly….for now. We try to just have fun!!! Enjoy what we have and see the blessings in all that we have. Life is busy and just too darn short!