I just get a crazy feeling in me when I save money, don't you? Like spending it too! I'm not gonna lie! I am a free spirit naturally when it comes to the delight of a day of shopping.
Well that "me" has been squished down and shoved inside a tiny little decorative box I got for .50 at a yard sale now! HA!
Since we decided I'd stay at home, we've learned a thing or two about saving our money and spending on what we have to (and occasionally what we want). ;)
I normally post about teachery stuff, but this summer, I thought I'd devote a couple posts to you gals who are thinking about staying home and wondering how in the cotton-pickin' world to do it! (Listening to some Alison Krauss right now and feeling extra southern.) :)
If you're interested in being a SAHM (Stay at Home Mom- didn't know what that meant until two years after I was staying at home), check out my post on that here. (Now, it's more like WORK at home mom these days. I actually know very few people who can actually afford to stay at home without working a bit. So, check out part one about saving money for some things we do to help us MAKE IT!
So Saving Money on ONE INCOME--- How do we do it? Here's some more...
1. Packing your Lunch- When we eat out at a restaurant, we pack the kids' a sandwich. Many people might frown at that one, but for places like Panera Bread (which we just marked off our list because even for my husband and myself it was too expensive!) we usually pack the kids a sandwich. Why pay extra for them to eat PB & J there? Hello? IF we are at a place while we're out running around and I didn't have time that morning to pack them a sandwich, we just let them share sides or eat off our plates. Usually restaurants give you way too much and there's no reason the little bitty babies can't share off ours. If you're going to run a lot of errands, pack a stinkin' sandwich! Save your money, Momma!
2. Reuse it! - I quit buying ziplocs a few years ago (and have recently fallen back into the trap). Instead I bought little re-usuable sandwich bags with zippers (one for each person). They are lined with plastic and clean easily. I also invested in plastic containers and we pack our lunches in those. (I do not buy paper products anymore. I wash my dishes.) Paper products are convenience products and they eat your grocery money. (Yeah, you didn't know they did that, but while you weren't looking, there goes $10 + of your money.)
3. Ten Cents Sale- We wait until Walmart and Staples put their school supplies on sale and load,up, Baby! Our Boxer dog literally eats our crayons, so we will be buying extra this year, but we also get all our copier paper then too in a big case. I only buy the school supplies we actually need. You'd be surprised what you don't really need if you're homeschooling.
4. Gas Money- We buy gas mostly only at Costco because it's so much less! We schedule our running around during the school year to one or two days per week. Everything can wait until the day it's supposed to be on. It also helps that we live within spitting distance of the Aldi, the Walmart and our church. My husband only has to drive 10 minutes to work.
5. Consider the Costs- In a way, we actually cut down on expenses when I quit working. I wasn't driving 45 minutes, didn't need as much as a reliable of a car, didn't need expensive professional clothing anymore and didn't have to spend money on lunches.
6. Replacing Things- We replaced our gas mower for a battery powered one and don't have to buy gas for the mower now (but we wait until our first mower croaked over). When replacing things, consider the upfront cost and then how long it would take you to recoup the money you'd supposedly be saving with that item you want. You can really over spend quickly for the month that way.
7. Pay yourself- We have been through the Dave Ramsey class a couple of times. We do what we can. We cannot work a ton of jobs right now because we don't want to sacrifice family time. We do try to pay our savings account, he calls it an emergency fund. If you pay yourself something each month, you will be surprised how fast you can save and pay off debt! Plus, if you have a car repair, appliance break down, etc. You have the money! Once you have that in place and continue to restock it when you have to use it for an emergency, you feel a lot better about other purchases you might want.
8. Car Buying- I said before in my post about saving money that buying an older model (and I mean older) vehicle can be a money saver because you're still paying less on here and there repairs than you would be on a monthly car payment. If you're looking for a car, buy a gas saver that's safe, reliable and buy it the evening of the last day of the month. You'd be surprised how far you can negotiate when the salesman wants inventory off his lot! ;) If you can wait until the end of the year, even better!
9. Keep it Simple- You do not have to buy a bunch of decorations you don't need in your house! Fresh paint goes a long way. Have you ever checked out the returned paint counter at Lowe's? How does $7 a gallon sound? Get rid of your designer desire! You don't need it. You need practicality. You need extra money in your pocket too.
10. Bring in the Side Bacon- Save money by brining some in. All men like a wife who can help out with the income, but if you've decided to stay home, at least offer to embark on a small part time income maker from home.
I hope these 10 things are helpful! Now, get busy saving!