Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Eight Unpopular Ways to Save Money

Sometimes saving money makes you unpopular, especially if you’re unwilling to fork over the bucks for what others think is important.

But, as I’ve said here many times before, we have to do what is best for us and our families.

In the end, it’s all about choices. Find your goal, and funnel your money toward it. Perhaps it’s a larger house for your growing family. Paying off debt. A college education. Buying books!

I’m keeping my eye on our family goal ~ travel. My college professor husband gets a three-week break in May nearly every year, and I’d love for our family of eight to travel to England and Ireland for one of those May breaks. By 2020, I’d like my husband to be able to take off the summer semester and spend twelve weeks hopping around Europe. Do you know how expensive that could be with six children? I’m not really sure because I haven’t checked into it yet, but I’m saving my pennies now. {And I think it's going to take boatloads of pennies!}

How? By making choices. J

  1. No fancy cell phone. We have what is known as a burner phone, the kind where we buy minutes every 60 days. We don’t use it except in emergencies, so the minutes usually carry over and we only buy them every 60 days. We don’t text, and we don’t have internet access wherever we go.
  2. No internet outside our home on the iPad. I do have one mobile device ~ an iPad. But I don’t pay for internet on it outside our home network. If I need internet when we’re out, there’s usually a Starbucks or McDonald’s or Sam’s Club nearby. Most of the time, I’m glad not to have the distraction.
  3. No broadcast television. Quite frankly, I don’t even know what it’s called anymore. Dish on demand? Satellite? Cable? Whatever it is, I don’t need it in my house, either the programming or the ginormous bill. DVDs can be borrowed for free from the public library.
  4. No fancy dinners out. Fancy for us is Steak-n-Shake, and on the weekends, kids eat free. J When we do go out, it’s usually the dollar menu or with coupons.
  5. Shop thrift stores. I wouldn’t mind walking into a clothing store and purchasing whatever I want without thought to price or sales or discounts. But I want to travel more than I want the new clothes.
  6. Combine and align errands. I don’t run out on a whim. I figure out where I need to go and then plan the stops in order to save time and, in particular, gas money.
  7. Limited newspaper and magazine subscriptions. We get three magazines currently ~ Answers magazine from Answers in Genesis and Clubhouse and Clubhouse Junior from Focus on the Family. At this point in time, with all the news available online, we just can’t see a need for any newspapers.
  8. Buy used, particularly furniture. I wish Craigslist had been around when I was a newlywed! We could have saved hundreds, even thousands. I wouldn’t buy someone’s used mattress, but if I need side tables, an armoire, or any number of other furniture items, that’s my go-to site.

Someday soon, I’ll tour Buckingham Palace or enjoy high tea at the Goring Hotel in London. All that saving, all those choices, will pay off.

How do you save money? What is your goal?

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  1. We have always been thrifty especially when we wee younger. We never went to expensive places to eat. We rarely even went to a hamburger place. Now we can enjoy eating at nicer places but we don't go every week. We don't buy real expensive clothes unless they are on clearance. Ha!!! I love hand me downs. However, when you wear long dresses and skirts all the time not many hand me downs come your way. You have to have your priorities in the right place and do what you have to do for your family.

    Good luck on all your travels one day.

    Charlotte Moore

  2. Great tips! Our cable bill is crazy. I would love to cut it off but my family would seriously rebel :). We also eat out far too much. This is an area we could definitely use some work on.

  3. We sound alike, except I need to get better at thrift shopping. With six kids, it does add up. I tried desperately to find clothes for my son at the local consignment and nothing his size. It was frustrating, but I bought cheap clothes at the store.

    We don't have internet on our mobile things. I don't have a fancy cell phone. We don't have television. We do subscribe to Netflix now, but in order to save money on movies rather than purchasing them. We don't generally eat out, but I try as cheap as I can. We don't subscribe to many magazines, only one in fact.

    Love the tips. They are great ones.

  4. Great ways to save money. I have always wanted to get rid of the cable but Hubby is no go on that one. I found thrifting was often a time waster for clothes so I have went to clearance shopping for clothes. We very rarely pay full price on clothes and usually spend less than my thrift shop friends. But household items, etc. I start at the Goodwill or Restore.... thanks for sharing.

  5. We have a Roku box (tons of free channels) to watch tv shows and only pay for Hulu Plus every month. We also share the family plan with my parents on our non smart phones. I shop thrift stores, but I also buy end of season clearance clothing at the big mall stores. We only eat out twice a month because our nearest shopping and food joints are 70 miles away.

  6. I'm with you! Our goal is a bit different (a house we actually own instead of renting, on a small amount of land that we can work), but the result is the same- choices :)

  7. We're pretty close with you except for the phones. We text each other throughout the day and we both are info nuts and enjoy having internet access at our finger tips. We did switch from sprint to the Walmart plan for our phones and saved ourselves almost $100.00 a month. I too check out movies from the lib. New dvd rentals are for 3 days and if you're patient, you can see 'new releases' without the steep cost of going to a movie theatre. I also try and find as many books at the library as I can to save on buying them. If I really like and need a particular art book or reference material, the hunt is on to find the cheapest source possible. Used books are ok by me. Sometimes the book is cheaper than the shipping fee. Long skirts are back in sty;e and I just bought one at Walmart. Yep I get my clothes from the grocery store. Not too many thrift stores carry clothes in my size. I buy family sized packs of meat and then save the left overs for another meal. No Ipads here either. Our phones are a couple of years old. If it's not broken, we do not update or fix it just to have the newest thing.

  8. Money savers unite! :-) Thank you, everyone, for your wonderful comments and great suggestions! Love the Walmart plan for phones, and books from the library are good as well. My difficulty is that I would buy books like some women buy shoes. :-) Keep up the good work!

  9. I'm sure your Irish dreams can come true - maybe even for less buckets of pennies than you think! Sometimes amazing package deals and things can come up. Found this online, although given your extreme thriftiness I'm sure you already have too: There might even be an Irish family who want to visit the States who'd swap homes with you for the duration of your visit or something..anything can happen! Good luck and hope to have you posting your UK holiday snaps soon ;-)

  10. We do all those things - sometimes I struggle with the iPhone bit because it would be sooooo convenient to carry the Internetz in my pocket at all times. But then I take one look at how much it would cost me and I'm like, "Nope! I'm good!"

  11. I do all those things, though my husband just bought himself a fancy phone. He needs it for work. I don't have a phone.


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