How I save money: things I buy and don’t buy

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How I save money

Why should we save?

We save when we want to reach financial goals in life. Maybe you want to retire, buy a house, buy a car, have kids, put the kids through college, emergency fund, travel or what ever else you want.

We as people forget to make a plan in life. You will only make so much in your life time, unless you figure out how to make endlessness amounts of money. If you don’t figure out what you want out of life, life will choose it for you. Many people make the mistake of wanting too much and never being realistic of what they can truly afford. Some live their life like “Oh I really can’t afford this, but I’ll buy it now, because I plan on making tons of money next year.” Which is dangerous especially if you are bad at planning.

I do not doubt that you can make more money next year, but if you live you life like that, and it doesn’t happen, it can hold you back. Buy things you can afford now with the income you have currently. If you do make more money next year, then you can always upgrade if that’s what you want.

Don’t try to have it all. Only pick things that matter the most to you and make sure you realize you will have to make sacrifices to get there.

What are things I want the most out of life when it comes to money?

Pay my mortgage off, financial freedom and never have to take another loan out ever again, retirement and travel. These are my top. There are other things that I might want later down the road, but these come first. If those are accomplished then I can move on to other things. Some things might not be able to accomplish right away such as retirement, but if I’m maxing out my investments, then I’ll move down the list to the next.

paying off house How I save money

How do you find out what you want?

What are the things that are a MUST for you? If you think it might or maybe, then it isn’t your top. I might want to do some home improvement on my house or even sell it and buy a new house.  In order for me to do that, I want to pay my house off first. If I pay my house off, then that money can go as a down-payment on the next home and it saves on interest payments. I also have extra money every month that can go to home improvements if I have my mortgage paid off. These are my maybes.

Reasons why I might not buy another home especially a new home

I think I’m more leaning on home improvements instead of buying another home. It might be cheaper in the end. The more money I save, the more that it can go to my traveling expenses. We bought our home for 62k, put 20k down-payment and currently owe about 25k left. It is cheap and in good condition. That is why I feel like it might be smarter to live here forever and just upgrade it.

Even if we ran out and bought a new house which starts at about 170k, we probably would come ahead with our current house. I would be surprised if we put another 110k into our house! There isn’t that much more we want to do to this house anyways. Also with a brand new house at 170K, they are only putting the basics. There is no custom work, so it really isn’t much different from my current house except for the fact that it is newer. Just because something is new doesn’t mean it won’t have problems either, so that could be another expense too.

Will I change my mind?

Is it possible that I could change my mind in 10, 20, 30 years down the road, maybe. If my goals change, my life changes, if my circumstance, if I have more money, yup it is possible I could change my mind. And that is okay, life doesn’t always work out the way you think it will sometimes. Sometimes it gives you something better. My goals only fit what I’m doing right now in the present and what we are currently making. I can’t predict the future.

Who knows, my husband’s business could be a multi million dollar business one day and if so, we might just move to the mountains at that point. But right now, we have to work in the “now” and what we currently have. We can always upgrade if that does happen. Right now, I’m okay living here and traveling to the mountains.

I’m also not buying another house unless we have 100% in cash for it too. I really don’t want another mortgage payment ;).

How I save money

So now that we figured out what we want out of life and have a plan, lets figure out how to save money in places that we don’t mind sacrificing. I’m going to share what I do and maybe it will give you ideas how you might be able to save money in your life. Do you have to follow everything I do? No, just pick things that will work for you. I’m just here to share my experiences, and how I save money.

Things I buy and don't buy

I cut my hair and my husband’s hair. He was getting his hair cut twice a month and after a tip, spending $20. I would get my hair cut about 3-4 times a year and after a tip spending $40. It might not sound a lot, but the more you cut out the more money saved.  I just watched a whole bunch of YouTube on how to cut your own hair and that is how I learned to do it myself.

I haven’t worn makeup in a few years and I’m okay without it. If you would have asked me to do this 10 years ago, I wouldn’t have done it. I’m past that stage in my life and not wearing makeup anymore does not bother me and saves me tons of money. I felt like make up stressed me out more than I enjoyed it. It is nice going out in the rain and not freak out, but just to enjoy the rain hitting my face!

I use to have a cleaner, a toner and a moisturizer. I stopped doing this when I learned that are skin problems come from what is happening on the inside of our bodies not the outside. Since I’ve stopped, my skin has improved so much. I didn’t realize how much that stuff damages your skin. Gosh, they are good at their marketing game. They fooled me! ha

The only thing I use is shampoo and every once in while conditioner. I don’t dye, mouse, gel, straighten, blow dry, or anything. That stuff damages your hair and waste more money. Plus, I no long have to spend money on drain-o since I stopped dying my hair. That stuff makes your hair fall out. I’m glad I stopped a decade ago.

Meat cost a lot, so I have cut back a lot. I still buy it here and there, but it is once and a blue moon. Plus, not eating meat has expanded my cooking too especially since I’ve gotten into vegan cooking many years ago.  I put a lot of bean such as garbanzo beans, avocados, sweet potatoes, and other veggies.  Not using meat in every dish is how I save money.

I try to stay away from anything that is disposable as much as possible. Buy things that you can re-use. Just buy some micro fiber towels or wash your hands in your sink if you need to clean them after eating.

Vinegar is cheaper. Add this instead of fabric softener.

In order to remove a stain and it needs to be dealt with right away. Do not rub it. Go to the sink and put on the hot water. Then put your item under the water and bam, its gone!

Netflix is cheaper and can be cheaper than going to the movies every weekend.

If you have a Smart TV like I do, you can also watch YouTube which has tons of movies, documentaries, and more.  I tend to watch YouTube way more than Netflix.

Aren’t they cute? I melt every time I come into contact with them. I would love a dog, SOME DAY. After I complete other things FIRST. A dog from birth to death will cost about 12k. That isn’t on my top list yet.

I bought a smartphone at cricket for $39 and it works great. I’ll probably keep it until it dies.

Coffee and water from my faucet is good enough for me. I don’t drink pop or juice and rarely drink alcohol.

They’re expensive. Vinegar and baking soda will get most jobs done. For those tough, I have a SOS pad and a harder cleaner, but I rarely ever use them. Toothbrushes work great when working with cracks.

If I don’t need anything, then I don’t shop. I already have the basics and no holes in my socks yet! lol  I have bought a lot of my clothes from Khols in the fitness department.  The long sleeve shirts and T-shirts last forever and it is cheap!  I think I got them for $7.99 years ago!

I haven’t been sick in 6 years. Why? Because 6 years ago, I realized somethings that I was doing was making me sick. If I’m laying around a lot, I always get sick. So I make sure I’m always moving and maybe go outside for a walk. I also eat better, drink less alcohol, stress less, sleep better, mentally better and give myself productive things to do, so I stay depressed less…lol

Another thing I also don’t do is watch the news or politics, because I feel like negativity can cause sickness. I use to stress myself out so much more than I do now. This is an area I have been working on for years and still try to improve further on.

You get sick, because of inflammation due to weakening up your immune system by unhealthy behavior. I’m around sick people all the time and still don’t get sick, because I have a strong immune system built on healthy behavior. Next time, when you are sick, pay attention to things you are doing that could be causing yourself to get sick. Ever since I’ve done this, it has worked so far!

If you have a sweeper like I do, use micro fiber towels and throw them in the wash machine. This is how I sweep my hard wood floors.

Prepaid is cheaper. We were on a grandfather plan at AT&T which was a little over $100 a month for 1 smartphone and 1 basic phone, 4g of data, unlimited min, unlimited text, but can’t make calls international which is a problem for my husband who runs an internet business. We made the switch to Cricket who uses the same AT&T towers for $80 per month. We both have smartphones, unlimited data, min. and text and international included. I really liked AT&T service, but wanted cheaper and Cricket was the one who had both.

A lot of people, when taking a lunch break at work, will go out for lunch. Instead, I just eat my oatmeal which cost me $2.39 every 3 weeks and my $.95 cinnamon which last forever. And I really do love oatmeal, so it isn’t hard for me to do this. I have been doing it for years! Plus it keeps me full and I don’t crash nor get hungry until I get home.

If there is something I want to buy, I will wait on the idea. Usually when I do this, I probably won’t buy it. If a month goes by and I still want it, I’ll buy it, but usually I forget about it meaning it wasn’t that important to me in the first place.

DO a Down-payment or pay in full if you can. Most people will have to take out a mortgage for a house. The bigger the down-payment, the more you save on interest. The faster you pay it off, the more money you save. A brand new home  at 170k for 30 year mortgage can cost about 100k just on interest. That is money thrown in the toilet. Don’t give all your money to those banks, put it in your pocket and buy the things you need and want with it.

Get a discount plan! I use to have Aflac and then I discovered DentRite. I think the price might have gone up, but I was paying $25 per YEAR and I am saving about $100-$120 each time I go in to the dentist to have a normal 6 month check up after I canceled my worthless dental insurance. DentRite also covers vision too.

Be responsible, and it will help you save too. Instead of putting my bills on my debt card, why not put them on my credit card and collect the reward points. At the end of the year, I use it to pay the balance. It is like I didn’t have to pay one of my bills that month. Always pay these in full every month!

Is there ways that you save money that isn't list here?

Comment down below and share your ideas. I’m always up for some improvement! For more blogs about money check out How to be financially responsible and how I grocery shop and save money.

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