A youtube friend of mine made a video the other day asking how we save money. For the life of me, I have tried posting a video response about seven different times but for one reason or another I can’t seem to shoot a video without interruption. So instead of shooting a video, I wlll post ways here that my wife and I have saved money over the years.
Basically, our philosophy is if you can do it or make it at home, you’ll probably pay a lot less. This manifests itself in many ways. First of all, I have owned an espresso machine since my college days and (thankfully) there are plenty of websites that feature recipes from jilted ex-Starbucks employees! So instead of paying $4-$5 per drink at Starbucks, I can make the same quality beverage at the house for pennies on the dollar. When we are out shopping and get the urge for Starbucks, we’ll go to the local coffee house instead of Starbucks since their prices are cheaper (usually by $1 or two) and their product is just as good. We also make our own bread which allows us to control the ingredients and make it as healthy (or unhealthy!) as we’d like! We have used the “make it yourself” philosophy in all areas including laundry, baby food, baby wipes, wine, beer, pizza, chicken wings, etc. If, by chance, you’re addicted to energy drinks, Big Lots usually sells the big ones (over 20oz.) for less than a dollar each which is CRAZY savings when you compare them to the price you pay in gas stations or grocery stores!
Another way we have saved money is by having a certain percentage of each paycheck automatically drafted into a savings account. That way, it’s not up to me to set it aside myself! Just contact your HR representative and provide him with the savings account information and the percentage or amount you want deposited. Easy as that! Out of sight, out of mind! I know many people do this and use the money they accrue to go on vacations.
Getting rid of unnecessary services is another way to cut back. We got rid of our weekly trash pickup a few years ago. Instead of them picking up our trash, my son and I take it ourselves on Saturday mornings. So not only have we been saving $32 for the past few years, but that time has also been a great way for us to have fun together! On Friday nights, he always asks me if we are going to take the trash in anticipation of some time with dad. Other services to consider getting rid of would be DirecTV or cable, home phone service, internet, daily newspaper (who reads an actual newspaper anymore?).
Finally, I suggest getting rid of things you no longer use. I do this all the time by selling on eBay. To me, things are just things. Items can be replaced, if needed. This obviously doesn’t pertain to things that have been handed down to me or given to me that are sentimental in nature. I’ve sold XBOX360′s, Wii’s, guitars, televisions, etc. The main thing is that I want to own my possessions, I don’t want them owning me.
So these are a few ways my wife and I have been able to save some money. I might make another post or two about saving money in the future.