4 Ways to Save Money

When my husband and I decided to live a more minimal life style ( I wouldn’t call us complete hard-core minimalists-just trying to cut down on the amount of spending and consumerism we partake in) we started researching and brainstorming about different ways to conserve the money we did bring in, and not to spend on unnecessary or short-lived items.  I stumbled across Caroline’s UNFACY  minimalist fashion blog, and the idea of a capsule wardrobe completely resonated with me.  I’m a momma of two toddlers, and I constantly struggled with waking up and fumbling through the clothes in my closet and in my dresser..still feeling like I had nothing to wear-and then feeling less than confidant in what I was wearing all day.  So this is my #1 way to save money, and I’ll be doing a whole separate post on my capsule wardrobe later on.

#1: Capsule Wardrobe

A capsule wardrobe is basically a collection of clothing (usually under 33 items total-accessories,shoes, and your everyday clothes) that are all interchangeable and therefore can be worn together).  This absolutely changed my life.  I now have only clothing that I love, and I wear all of them.  AND this totally curbs the appetite for more clothing.  I used to be totally tempted to buy clothes that were on sale or that I may have loved…but would have never had an event to wear it to.  It makes life so much easier when you’re a mom, and it saves you a ton of money to not go buying whatever you are drawn to.  It’s a planned out wardrobe that is meant to last for the season, and can be applied to your spouse’s and children’s wardrobe as well.

#2: Meal Planning-Nothing Goes to Waste

This was one of the areas that I noticed was a problem area for us as a family.  I sort of would wing every night’s dinner and end up running to the store multiple times throughout the week and end up buying “snack items” or random things that were on sale.  These extra items added up throughout the months, and so by planning what I was going to the store for, it made the grocery trip faster and smoother PLUS cheaper.  Peace of mind financially and literally. We also plug in a day for leftovers (usually a weekend day) so nothing goes to waste.

#3:  Purchasing Second Hand

This one ties into the capsule wardrobe too.  There are always going to be new or different things that you need especially with kiddos.  They are constantly growing out of clothes and toys, and likewise as us adults go through the years we need to update our wardrobes,  cooking tools, cars, furniture, etc.  Facebook  buy/sell/trade groups and Ebay have been my go to.  Also we are fortunate here in the Wake Forest/Raleigh area there are many thrift and consignment shops, as well as Goodwills that are in wealthy areas and usually have amazing finds.  We rarely buy anything new anymore.  You can clean and disinfect anything you buy, and many times you can even find things that actually ARE brand new or barely used.

#4: Practical Gifts

Families and friends love to be generous when Christmas and birthdays roll around.  Make it known that you and your family are trying to save money and working on your goal to not accumulate things that are not necessary.  Instead, gifts like a dental cleaning or an oil change are inevitably needed and not something that will have to be returned at a later date.  This isn’t a traditional way of handling gifts, but if your goal is to save money for your family, the people that love you and want to see you succeed will understand and oblige.

Let me know what you do to save money or any hacks you’ve learned along the way!

 

-JANA
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Beginning the Debt Snowball

Recently, my husband and I sat down and agreed…we needed to start figuring out a way to pay off our debts. We have two car loans, three credit cards, medical debts, and my school loans from college. We realized that a huge portion (actually most) of our household income was just going to DEBT-things that we had already consumed or benefitted from and that were in the past…and it wasn’t leaving very much (or any really) wiggle room for extracurriculars or to put towards our future. We currently are renting, but would like to use this year as the year to purchase a house. My husband has been aware of this concept for a while now, but when we had first married it took me a while to realize that it really was something we needed to focus on. I’m a stay at home mom who recently started a skincare business, my husband owns his own electrical contracting company. Now we have two toddlers (1.5 and almost 3 years old) and although I love living int he moment with them, I am starting to realize how much we are affecting THEIR future by the choices we make today. In the past week we’ve paid $700 towards our smallest credit card ($1200 credit line that was basically maxed out)-following the Dave Ramsey method. His method is to create a debt snowball by creating little victories for yourself. Start with the smallest debt and just throw everything you have at it. When that debt is gone, move on to the next one until you are debt free. This has only been the beginning of our journey to be debt free, but every story starts somewhere. The biggest thing for us right now is that we are now TOGETHER on the concept. I will admit, i didn’t fully grasp what being debt free would mean for our family and for my husband. The lightbulb has clicked and I’m so excited to see this journey unravel.

What would happen to your income if you literally had NO DEBTS to pay?

-Jana