Friday, July 6, 2012

Making The Most of What I Have

A few months ago I wanted a bigger house in a "better" area.  The grass was greener and I wanted it.  Now I'm staying at home, raising my kids in a single income family and I'm learning to want exactly what I have.  Most people forget what they chose and why they chose it, so they move on to the next want and it keeps going on into forever.  So staying at home means cutting costs and choosing to remember and appreciate what I have.

My husband and I bought our 1,800 square foot townhouse when we were 25 and 24 respectively with no help from anyone- something I'm still proud of.  Do I wish we had 3 bedrooms instead of 2 of course, but I know there is a whole finished basement with full bath that could easily be an enormous master beenroom with the addition of a closet.

I live in a beautiful mountain town with absolutly bupkiss in the way of big business so the nearest shopping center is like 45 minutes away.  Good thing I've discovered tactic #1 Shopping at Home

No I'm not talking about shopping online.  I'm talking about looking around the house for those items I need before I have to go out and buy it.  People have been super generous with hand me downs so when the kids need clothes or shoes I shop through my reserves in their bedroom and nearly all the time I find I don't have to buy a single thing.  So now I use that rule when it comes to almost everything.  Out of handsoap, well I have dishsoap, I have bodywash I don't particularly like, problem solved.  I keep small reserves of personal hygiene items I get super cheap because I combine sales with coupons.  Out of bodywash, check the cabinet, no need to drive to the store.  We're going to the beach this weekend, sure beach toys are cheap at the dollar store but in 10 minutes of looking outside and through their toys I found several beach toys we already bought our kids and beyond saving a few bucks I won't be adding more clutter to my house, which brings me to my next money saving tactic -

#2 Organize your home.  Since I find myself with the time, I try to make it my mission to organize one section of my house at a time.  I hunted down all the medicine from various locations around my house - on top of my fridge, and under two bathroom counters and organized it in one location and you know what I found, multiples of all types of medicines.  It seems like every time someone gets sick the first thing we do is run to the store to get medicine.  We would have saved a ton of money if we knew what we actually had at home first.  With everything in one spot we know we only have one place to look for medicine and can use up what we have before spending any money on more.  So I'm working on organizing more sections of my house.  Next up and a bit scary is the junk drawer.  The catch all of all lost and miscellaneous items.

If I don't have something and can't borrow it, I employ tactic #3 Figure Out How to Get It For Less.  This doesn't just mean clipping coupons, it means only using a coupon when it's an item you'll actually use in the next few months and the item is on sale for a good price and stocking up with enough till it goes on sale again.  This is how I never pay more than $1.50 for a bottle of laundry detergent and never pay anything for toothpaste.  Then when we use up a bottle or a tube there's another one waiting and I don't have to pay full price.  I'm not talking crazy stockpiles just what you can actually use in the next few months.  I'm finding that with a little searching you can find coupons for most anything.  I even found a coupon for my birth control.  Beyond coupons there is always borrowing, bartering, and buying used.  Craigslist and Ebay have saved our family money and sometimes we've been able to get new items in the box for half what they cost in the store.

The way I see it if you work hard for your money then you should work just as hard if not harder to keep it.  I also believe that if we spend more time wanting what we have then we won't spend money on the next want because it's a treadmill you can't slow down so I've decided that I'm just going to walk my neighborhood instead.

No comments:

Post a Comment