==> Cut eating out! Even eating out as frugally ast you can adds up. If you must be out, take sandwiches or snacks along. Otherwise, make a commitment to be home for meals.
==> Cut soft-drinks and juice! Drink water! No only is it better for your health. It is much better for your pocket-book.
==> Got room for a flower bed? Flower pot? Grow a mini-garden! Grow a few vegetables. Not only is it yummy and more healthy, but it will help your budget.
==> You may not LIKE It… but, hang out your clothes instead of using the dryer. Save electricity drying the clothes and cooling the house…and get the laundry done faster too. Don’t have a clothes line? Have a deck? Yep! Hang them out–in just a bit they will be dry and ready to put away!
==> Simplify meals! Cindy has always helped with our budget by making hearty dishes that go far like red beans and rice, homemade chili with red beans and turtle beans, spaghetti, soups, etc. I really like those foods better than eating out. It has been amazing to watch her spread a package of meat for a whole week in dishes like that. Not only is she spreading the meat, she is spreading our finances further as well.
==> Contrary to popular belief.. You don’t HAVE TO HAVE a cell phone…or cable TV…or a phone. Buy a pre-paid phone. Cindy only spent $49.99 on her phone and only tops it up every month-two months with $20.00. Her phone bill went from $100.00 per month to minimal amounts. Cringe over the TV thing? We don’t do without entertainment. If you want entertainment, check out your library. Ours has videos that can be checked out for free. Get movies at the library and plan a movie night with your family. Or…read more!
==> Get rid of those car payments! Making car payments? Talk about a noose! Sell those cars! Get a $2-3,000.00 car. I have been all across the country in my $2,000 truck. No monthly payments. I save money every time I crank it up with its gas efficiency. Plus! Every month, I save on my insurance since I do not have to have comprehensive insurance to make a bank happy.
==> Kids and teens can save too! Don’t make this just a “parent-thing” in your family! Kids can save too! They don’t have to have a cell phone–in fact, going back to pre-paid cell phones, they are actually safer for your children. We bought the least expensive model for each member of our family. They do not take pictures or send/receive pictures. Yes, our teens are surviving this! Actually, Cindy was in a Bible study at church when she learned that several teenagers in the church were upset about a friend who had let a young boy take a picture of her nude. The first thing the boy did with the picture was forward that picture to all of his friends. Think YOUR children aren’t doing this? Won’t ever see anything like this? Well, Matthew was in charge of some teens at a church event several months ago. He caught several of his teen boys were sharing porn pics from the internet. Long story short, you not only SAVE their purity, you also save on your budget. Also, keep those teens HOME! Bring their friends into your home with video nights…game nights…paintball in your yard…food. Also, give them great ideas for inexpensive outings with their friends. Let them be a part of your attack on debt!
==> Cut going! Each trip for our family to town costs us at least 2 gallons of gas–that does not count going a lot around town in traffic. We already have several commitments in town per week with church and business. We have cut any extra going and limited it to only the times that are on our schedule. Not only does this save our precious time with our family, but it helps our budget drastically each month.
==> Be accountable! Write down your budget and chart all expenses on paper. Let the whole family see it. There is just nothing quite like seeing the little “foxes” that steal from the budget. Our teens would much rather have a regular family treat than drink soft drinks. They would rather see us invest in big expenses than drink a soft drink or chit-chat on the phone. Also, it helps us make better decisions when we know that we have to show our children what we are spending our money on–hard to buy junk when they are sacrificing at the same time! Not only that, it is also an amazing testimony for our children to see God’s blessing upon our finances in meeting our needs and also shocking us with the desires of our heart. They have a “history” with God that has been charted through their childhood. Hopefully it will build a legacy for them and their children and their children’s children.