Sunday, July 30, 2017

5 Money Saving Habits

Most people would like to have more money. I find that if I can save more, I’ll automatically have more income. I have developed several habits that help me stretch my income without compromising the quality of my lifestyle. My objective is to be a good steward of the income God has entrusted to my family. Here are five habits that have helped me:

• Eating in - Buying food on the way home is so tempting. I have decided to count to cost so I can convince myself that eating in is efficient. How do I do that? I look at the price of different foods and I calculate how much it’d take me to make the same dish. I’m telling you: it is effective to learn how to cook the dishes we like. There’s also the internet for rare ingredients as well as local ethnic stores for spices. Eating at home has a positive effect on my health as well. How so? I know exactly which ingredients are in my dishes. I also enjoy sharing the joy of cooking with my husband who is excellent at it. I often tell him ‘I don’t know why we go out, you cook better than most restaurants we go to!’

• Car Cleaning - this one is also up for debate but it works for me. I went to the dollar store and bought a few car cleaning supplies. The first time I cleaned my car I timed myself. It doesn't take that long, and I successfully convinced myself of this money saving habit. I believe I’ve saved close to $400 dollars in the past 4 months by being the car wash. I also burned $1,632 calories by washing my car. It’s been hot outside so it does feel like cardio!

• Starting Cheap - when I shop for groceries or for a party, I start at the cheapest store, then I proceed to the most expensive grocery store. I often start at Aldi then I move on to a traditional grocery store. I save a lot at Aldi but there are a few items such as organic rice that I can’t find there. Recently, while planning my daughter’s birthday party, I started at a dollar store (King Dollar) then I went to a more expensive place like Party City. The savings were incredible! If you have a neck for DIY and Pinterest is your friend, start cheap when it comes to your shopping. It only means more money in your pocket!

• Recycling clothes - I know this is not for everyone but it has worked wonders for me. Take my latest jeans purchase for example. I went to a second-hand store and I saw some this cute pair of jeans. I bought them for $6. Apparently, they sell for an average of $200! I do not look for brand name stuff, I stick with quality, color and the way an outfit makes me look. I wouldn’t have spent $200 in jeans but knowing that I can find quality clothes for a good price is wonderful. The other day I went to a different second-hand store and my friend told me certain items were on sale for $1. I scored a cute jacket and I wore it to a speaking engagement. I also have friends who have clothe exchange parties and I try to be a part of it when I can. Again, this is not for everyone but honey, it works for this woman.

 Free Fun - for every kid activity out there is a free or cheaper option. When my son turned one, a friend of our family made balloon animals for a donation at his party. There are free summer camps for kids. I know that my readers who live in smaller towns are thinking “I wish this was available where I live!” You have to remember that you can make it happen. Getting together with two other friends and using your strengths is the same thing as offering summer camp. We just have to work together. The public library has wonderful, free of charge, educational programs. There are free splash pads out there as well as rivers and parks. I am thankful that a wonderful childhood doesn’t require a fat hedge fund. It requires love and a bit of creativity from all parties involved.

These are a few of my money saving habits. How are you saving money these days?

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