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Extreme Money Saving Tips When You Are Just Trying To Get By
It’s a scary place to feel like you’re barely hanging on financially. You feel so worried and anxious that you are downright desperate to do whatever you can to trim the fat from your expenses NOW. What would it feel like just to be able to breathe again?
Before you go any further I’m going, to be honest with you, these things will not be easy. I won’t blame you if there are days where you feel like kicking, screaming and crying all at the same time (cuz lord knows I did). But I WILL promise you this, it WILL make a huge difference with your finances. It WILL be worth it. This season of your life will not last forever.
Become A One Car Family
It still amazes me to this day how our family was able to swing this for 5 whole years. The day before my oldest son turned 5 we bought a second car and honestly if it hadn’t been for the fact that he was starting Kindergarten (and that we didn’t live within walking distance of the school) we could have lasted so much longer. Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t always rainbows and butterflies because, well you know, mama was home a lot.
Even though there were many times I wish I could have run errands and went on playdates like a normal person our family just flat out couldn’t afford another car payment. Not having an extra car for those years not only helped our monthly expenses but we saved so much more by not needing to pay for gas, maintenance, car insurance, and registration. It also taught me to be more resourceful with the things already around me like learning appropriate substitutes when I didn’t have an ingredient on hand and even when it came to entertaining my kids.
Ditching Your Cell Phone
I can’t think of anyone anymore who doesn’t have a cell phone. It’s still so insane to me seeing elementary school kids walk around with better phones than me. But alas it is a reality in this world today and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Between upgrading your phone with monthly installment plans, watches, and other gadgets that add to your monthly bill it’s no surprise it adds up so quickly. When we became a one car family we also became a one cell phone family. I mean it made total sense considering I didn’t have a car. Instead, we used Magic Jack which is a phone service using your internet to make/receive calls. It works exactly like a regular landline and it ended up being a little under $3 a month which compared to paying $130+ for 2 smartphones it was a massive savings.
Stick To 1 or 2 Cleaning Products
I proudly stand by the notion that there isn’t anything dawn dish soap can’t clean. Maybe it’s because of all the free bottles of dawn I got from couponing at CVS back in the day or maybe its because dawn + vinegar is absolutely holy grail but whatever the reason is dawn dish soap totally rocks for so many things around the house. I know it’s probably not the best for toilet cleaning (is that even safe?) so for that, you would definitely need something else but hey, that’s where the vinegar could come in again. If you really prefer to have traditional cleaning products finding 1 or 2 things that can clean everything will save you so much more money in the long run even though I know how fun trying all the new stuff can be.
Repurposing Your Kids Clothes
I don’t know about you but it always seems like my kids grow out of their clothes in length long before they grow out of them in size. It always felt like such a waste of money getting rid of perfectly good clothes just because they were getting a little short.
Leggings that are too short can be used as capris in the spring/summer. A casual summer dress that is becoming too short can easily become a tunic if you add a cute pair of leggings or shorts underneath. Heck, even a pair of jeans would work if the dress was short enough. For boys using jeans as shorts in the summer (ha, boys are so much harder). I even use older shirts that have seen better days as bed shirts instead of buying actual pajamas.
Living In An Apartment/Condo
It’s not ideal to live the apartment life with kids. No one wants to be that tenant with the kids jumping up and down above them but in a desperate situation, it might be the one thing that saves you. Most of the time apartment living can be a lot cheaper than renting a home (think about how cheap the utilities would be). In addition to the savings in rent, you don’t have a lot of the additional expenses associated with a house like water, sewer, and garbage.
Are you an extreme money saver? What tips would you have for stay at home moms looking to cut back in a big way?
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