Over the next few weeks, I’d to share some of the ways that my husband, Bernd and I save money, thus enabling us to live the lifestyle that we do.
Some of you know that we have chosen the path of being debt free. And we are currently debt free (besides our house) which we are in the process of paying off. I don’t often think about the things that we do to save money because many of them I just do naturally. Part of that is because of the way I grew up and part of that is because it is in my nature.
When you have a goal to do something, it becomes the catalyst for you to push hard and you become willing to make sacrifices that you might never do otherwise. I truly believe that if we didn’t do some of the things that we do to save money, we would never have been able to pay off what we have. *
*As I am sharing my tips, I would recommend that you don’t try to put all of them into practice at once. This is not meant to be condemnation, but rather a list of ideas for those who are looking for a change.
Today, I will share 5 keys to save money:
Luke 6:38 (NIV) “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Yes, I know that seems silly and totally irrational, but I can say with all honesty that time and time again God has supplied for us. I truly believe it has to do with giving.
For example, in the last two-three months, my husband has seen a 30-50% drop in his income. Honestly, if he hadn’t told me I wouldn’t know. That’s not because I don’t know about the finances, we work together on it. I don’t have any other answer for that but God. He truly supplies our needs.
- Use Cash
This seems so simple, but yet profound. And for those of you wondering, does using your debit card count as cash? The short answer is yes (because you earned it). However, actually holding cash in your hand is more motivating because when it’s gone, it’s gone. I would find it highly embarrassing not to have enough money to pay at the end of my shopping trip. Along with using cash, I believe it’s highly important to have a budget. To learn more about budgeting you can check out these posts: Budgeting-Why, How, and When Part 1, 2, and 3
This post talking about Cash vs. credit mindset from the Chicago tribune.
- Minimalist Christmas
Several years ago, Bernd and I choose to start scaling back on how much we spent at Christmas. We didn’t really start this to save money. We choose to start doing this because we wanted to make Christmas about Christ’s birth instead of just about the kid’s getting a whole pile of gifts.
As we usually do with most decisions, we communicated to our children what we were thinking about doing and why. They have become completely used to this and think it is great.
We also choose to begin to celebrate their birthdays much more radically, basically doing the swap from Christmas to birthdays. We have found our Christmases a lot less stressful and our pocketbook a lot less empty. Mind you, we do choose to give to different charities and organizations at Christmas (and other times of year) so we aren’t completely saving every cent.
- Think about it before you buy it.
I have heard Dave Ramsey talk about this several times. I have personally experienced that often when I think about it overnight, (or for a couple of weeks) it often turns out that I don’t really want it that badly after all.
- Don’t go shopping for something to do.
This is one of those things that was impossible for me to do before internet shopping as I live in a small town. These days, if I wanted to, I could shop just about any time I wanted to.
Sometimes people say that a little window shopping can’t hurt anyone, but I disagree. Even if you don’t end up buying something, I have experienced that it can usually end up making me discontent, which in the long run makes me spend more money.
Those are my first 5 tips for saving money. Stay tuned for the next five.