Saturday, October 16, 2021

Ain’t Got None


There are so many articles and lists about saving money and they all have one common flaw, they assume you have money to spend. But how do you save money when the only place you spend is bills and groceries. Here are a few tips that might help add a little padding.

1. Tithe. Yes, I know that sounds a little crazy to some because your whole life is built around serving the church but tithing is an exercise that has always made our money go further. 

2. Plan. One of the biggest expenditures with a family that doesn’t have a lot to go around is often groceries. Make a meal plan and take into account the amount of time you’ll have to prepare meals so that you don’t get caught coming home after a long day of church, committee meetings, and loving on people just to realize you don’t have the energy to make that 3 hour prep dinner you had planned. It’s okay to plan to eat convenience food from the grocer. 

3. Freeze it. If you have the space, buy things on sale or bulk and then put them into storage so they’re ready when you are. We would often buy milk on sale and then freeze them. Frozen vegetables can be delicious, often cheaper, and no fear of them being forgotten and tossed in the fridge. 

4. Read emails from service providers. Our electric company sent an email out asking if we’d take a survey about our house in exchange for a kit to help us save money. The kit ended up having several led lightbulbs, among some other cost savings items. The lightbulbs not only save us electric but we saved the initial investment as well. You never know what they may have hiding in those emails.

5. Look at your usage. When we have phones, streaming services, and the likes sometimes it feels like unlimited May be the best choice. But often we’re paying for things we don’t really use. There is no benefit for keeping your accounts open to things like Hulu and Netflix if you aren’t currently binging a show. You can buy a month and then turn it back off. There are also several different phone carrier options for cellular service that are owned by the large companies but sell under off names. These companies offer a deep discount for month to month plans that may fit your needs. For example, there’s a $10 a month plan with unlimited texting, 200 minutes of calling and gig of data. This is perfect for someone that spends time around wifi and prefers to text or video chat. 

6. Less is more. Sometimes, we think we need to have all the things in order to enjoy our family. The truth is less can be more, especially in this fast paced world. The simple act of sitting together and breaking bread every day is enough. Our families don’t need fancy vacations, expensive dinners out, or is in a sea of debt. They just need us. 

7. Gifts are gifts. We always had a steady income, even in the years it wasn’t quite enough. During that time, we decided that instead of relying on cash gifts that accompanied things like funerals we would use them as gifts to our family. So they would be used for a nice meal, clothing, a new book, any number of things. It was always for extras. That choice allowed us to graciously accept them regardless of their size. And even now, almost twenty years in full time ministry, those gifts are still a blessing. 

What ways have you found to save a dollar or two?

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