This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series Consume Less, Spend Less and Save More

Cutting CostsSo the last post was about controlling your behavior.  Everyone has a struggle with that one.  If it was easy we would have gotten there -out of debt before now!   The end goal, we all know would be less stress.

I am going to give some examples of ways you can start today on saving money.  First part is going to be paying off your debt.

Debt is a horrible four letter word.  I like to think of it as a swear word.  It controls you in so many ways!  Many Americans are working more than one job and leading lives that they never choose because they have racked up so much debt.  As Americans we buy more Christmas presents than we can afford.  We buy entertainment when we can’t afford it!  Why do we keep making our lives such a roller coaster?

 

 

Christmas Presents

Last year, I did something crazy.  I made all homemade Christmas gifts.  This took a little more thought than going to a store.  But all the time wasted in a store, I think I was actually time ahead by making the gifts at home.  A while back I got involved in an organization called Tiny Hands International.  I found out about horrible situations that women were forced into human trafficking.  I also got involved with Operation Christmas Child.  Both of these organizations made me realized how spoiled I was as an American.  More population around the world live in poverty.  Some children have never received a present in their life.  Other women live in prisons.  Why are we worried if we got the right color of sweater for our mother for Christmas?  Why do we buy for people who already have more than enough things?  I told the people near and dear to me, that I didn’t want presents anymore.  I wanted them to donate to the organizations that were near and dear to me.  This wasn’t so well received.  So far only one person has donated for my birthday and Christmas.  But I decided that I would lead by my actions. I would make homemade Christmas gifts.

 

I am still working on my own family to be okay with this idea.  This was a start for us.  Our Christmas budget is way down from what it use to be.  We give some of the extra money to the organizations that we feel utilize the money well.  My husband and I feel blessed when we pray for the gifts we send.  This is our example of Christmas.  You have your own family and traditions.  Christmas and birthdays are a huge area towards money saving if you observe your spending habits and change them.

 

Another place that I started with was in the area of food.

Restaurant

We use to go out to eat… a lot!  We ate at expensive restaurants.  The first thing we did is we started eating at cheaper restaurants and did this fewer times.  We still eat out but we eat more value wise and less often.  We drink water instead of buying sodas and get a couple of items from the dollar menu rather than the combo meals. For my husband, he usually saves at least a dollar per meal ordering four items from the dollar menu instead of one combo meal, if is only orders three items that becomes two dollar savings.

We eat more wholesome food.  I bought a book on how to make your own mixes.  I have bulk cooking and baking days.  This saves a lot of time. I am not making meals and wondering what I am going to make for supper each and every day, just once at week or so.  Buying bulk raw ingredients are extremely reasonable and besides being more economical they are also better for your health!  I also buy a lot of produce and meats.  For example, making your own hot wings are a lot more cheaper than buying a package of frozen hot wings.  They take just about as the same amount of time to make either way.

I have shown you three ways of starting to reduce your expenses.  First off make a plan of two or three areas in your life that you can start saving money.  Write down a plan and discuss it with your spouse.  The faster you can both get on board, the faster you will be getting out of debt. Start with an amount that won’t overwhelm you but still challenges you. Stick with it and you will see results.  Make sure you aren’t spending money you don’t have!  Why go more into debt?  Hope these are obtainable for you.

 

Cut Costs Photo Copyright Tax Credits
Christmas Presents Photo Copyright SheepGuardingLlama
Restaurant Photo Copyright twicepix

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