Note: For the first couple of weeks I’m posting Sara’s (Single Mom’s Ask Sara) journey through the Balance Up program. I will be including some additional posts during this time too and then later in January you will see a little more topical structure with my posts. Enjoy
Stop watching the Joneses
Those darned Joneses! They make us keep thinking we need more and more. When will they stop consuming?
In all seriousness, it’s not the Joneses, it’s our continuous materialist sweet tooth that is causing our debt obesity.
As we learned from Bryan, we need to think of our expenditures in terms of monthly payments, the hours we must work to pay for them, and what that money costs us over time. It’s not easy to manage these ideas at first, but as will any lifestyle change, the turtle wins the race.
Start slowly, but keep going. We discussed giving to others on Day 7. Today we are encouraged to pay ourselves, and to do it first. I know that is so very hard when you don’t have enough money to get to the end of the month. Even if it is $5 a month, set it aside for yourself. Do you best. You will just feel better.
Now, how can we impact our monthly expenses?
Do you have a mortgage? Bryan encourages us to consider a bi-monthly payment, or an extra payment over the course of a year. Either of these approaches will take years off your mortgage.
Can you decrease your electricity? Changing to fluorescent light bulbs can decrease your lighting costs by 75%, not to mention decreasing your lightbulb replacement costs. The price of these bulbs has decreased enormously over the years and it is no longer a burdensome purchase.
Turn off and unplug. You can save up to 8% in electrical costs by turning off lights, and uplugging and other electrical appliances such as TVs, computers, and chargers when not in use.
Change your showerhead. Switching to a low water showerhead, or even toilet if you are able, will decrease your water costs, and you won’t even notice the change. (I grew up with a well as our water supply, and the water bill is simply one I just hate to pay.)
Do you pay for voicemail? Even if the voicemail is only $1 month, over 20 years that will cost you $240, if the rate never goes up.
Bryan has even more tips for Day 9, and none are the least bit painful. Remember, every dollar you save per month on your regular bills, is money you can save, use to pay debt off, or buy some great shoes!
Bryan has offered to give away Balance UP to one visitor of Single Moms Ask Sara, and to a friend of that visitor. To enter, simply go to my Money Saving Tips and leave your favorite tips for my readers.
All caught up! Today is tip day! Bryan offers a series of money saving tips. Today I am going to give you a few of his, and a few of mine.
I have to confess that I am feeling much more relaxed and much more confident about money. It is a relief to know that I have been on the right track, it was a shock to look at my finances across the long term, and it is encouraging that Bryan thinks that no matter where you are in your financial life, you can get on track.
Bryan: Don’t grocery shop hungry, and shop from a list.
Sara: Make your list from a menu. For a downloadable menu and shopping list, check my Free Downloads page.
Bryan: Use coupons. Check Bryan’s site for great coupon websites. (scroll down tot he links section)
Sara: If the house brand is cheaper (and it often is) don’t spend the extra money to use the coupon on the name brand item. Be sure to sign up for your store’s discount program.
Bryan:Don’t waste food. Make larger servings to use for other meals or to take for lunch.
Sara:Incorporate leftovers into your menu. Today’s leftover roast is tomorrow’s beef and noodles or roast beef sandwiches.
Bryan: Save money on clothing by buying at the end of the season.
Sara: Shop with a plan. Put together your wardrobe in a logical way. Click here to see what Clinton and Stacy recommend for wardrobe basics.
Bryan: Go to www.gasbuddy.com to check gas prices in your area.
Sara: Make sure your change your oil regularly, and your tires are inflated to the proper amount. Both of these can affect your gas mileage.
These are just a few of the money saving tips available at Bryan’s site: MyFinancialLifeCoach.net.
Interested in learning more about Balance Up? 32 online lessons taken over a 42 day period for only $29.99.
Let’s hear your comments…1) What are your 1 or 2 favorite money saving tips? 2) Have you stopped over at Sara’s website to post your money saving ideas? All money saving posts will be entered in a drawing to win a Balance Up program.
Related Articles – (Note from Bryan – Along with some of my articles below I also included some articles from folks who I read on a regular basis…enjoy!)
Phantom Electricity – My Financial Life Coach
New Money-Saving Holiday Strategies- Smart Money – Smart Money
Are You Eating Your College Fund? – My Financial Life Coach
My Financial Life Coach, LLC
My Financial Life Coach is a provider of financial education, coaching, web-based training,
and seminars for individuals, businesses, and non-profits.