Mind Your Pennies
Who wants to save some money honey? You know save those pennies, so you can spend your dollars! Because as the old saying roughly goes by William Lowndes, “Watch the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves.” Or in trusty old Benjamin Franklin’s version, “a penny saved is a penny earned”.
Either way you say it, what these wise men and many others before and after them are trying to tell us is this: If you mind your money on a fairly consistent basis, have awareness towards where your money is going and save when you are able, then you will ultimately get the money you need to accomplish what you really want in life. Whatever that looks like to you.
Goals Look Different For Everyone
So make sure to set your intentions and goals after reading the blogs and listening to the first three podcasts: Rake The Rut, Panning for Golden Thoughts and Goal Digging. These will help you to know what you are truly saving your dollars to achieve, because this will look different for everyone.
For some people, these dollars will be used for security and reserves. For some, these dollars will be used for traveling the world. For others, they may be used to start a business and leave the corporate life. Some people may utilize their dollars to create a debt-free, minimalist environment. Heard of tiny houses anybody? Still for others, their dollars may be used for living in the lap of luxury, while others may go completely off the grid and live in the great wild like the original Native Americans “huntin’ and fishin’ and lovin’ every day,” like Luke Bryan sings about. To each their own.
Spend & Save Based On What Is Best For YOU
There is no right or wrong answer on what you should do with these saved dollars. It will be based on…you guessed it; yourself and your own inner guidance. And how people choose to spend their dollars is not for any of the rest of us to pass judgment upon either.
Just because you don’t want to live in the Boondocks and forage berries spending all your dollars on camping equipment doesn’t mean this is wrong for the person who does want this life. Or if you wouldn’t leverage every dollar you own and invest a truck load of money in a start-up business you believe in, this doesn’t mean it is a bad decision for the person who is taking this risk. Each person must do what is best for them with their own dollars.
So whether a person wants to donate a million dollars to a charity that is close to their heart or buy a million dollar heart-shaped diamond, it is not for any of us to judge. Judge how you utilize and capitalize on your own dollars! This is what is most important for your own bottom line. Try not to worry about what others are doing with their money (ok maybe with the exception of a spouse, LOL).
Honestly there is no benefit to dedicating your time and energy concerning yourself with others peoples’ business. Instead use this valuable time and energy to build your own wealth and reach your own goals!
Money Saving Hacks
Ok now for some money saving hacks so we can save those pennies and save (or spend) those dollars:
1. Use Money Saving Apps
There are many great money saving apps out there! After researching these, most are pretty legit without any major catches. The biggest one I think we’ve all heard of where you get cash back on your purchases is Ebates. They are well-known and well-liked for their convenience of use. I was also pleasantly surprised by how many additional companies are out there offering cash back for everyday purchases such as groceries. I encourage you to do your own research on these types of apps. This is just free money sitting out there for you to grab for purchases you are already making
2. Utilize Credit Cards Rewards (At Your Own Risk- Continue Reading)
The category of credit card rewards is similar to money saving apps, but is associated with using a specific credit card. This makes this category a little more risky depending on how self-disciplined you are with paying off your monthly balance. So many credit cards have amazing rewards programs, which means you can actually get paid for using the card if you work it the right way. However keep in mind if you do not payoff the balance each month, your savings will quickly be outweighed by the interest you will end up paying on the card. So know yourself and your own self control to determine if this is a good option for you.
3. Try “Compare To” Products
So when it comes to purchasing items, I’m a big fan of “compare to” products. These are off-brand products which are labeled “compare to” on the packaging; thus comparing the product to the brand name version of the same product. So what this means is that they basically have identical ingredients. However buying the “compare to” off-brand is often much more affordable. I find this strategy great for items such as over-the-counter medications like vitamins or other common medicines. This can also be a great alternative for baby products such as formula for any of you parents with little bitty ones out there.
4. Test Off-Brand Products
There are many great companies and brands which I’m loyal to, and I will spend a little more to continue purchasing their products. However to me, brand name does not necessarily equate to better. In fact, there are many off-brand items such as food items which I actually prefer the taste of the off-brand product better than the brand name counterpart. And the cost savings is just an added perk! Try out off-brand items of items you commonly purchase and see if you like equally or better and watch the savings add up over time.
5. Value Vs. Cost
Here’s where I might sound a little conflicting to what I just said about branding, but I kind of roll this way so just hear me out, LOL. As much as I believe brand doesn’t always make better, quality is important in my opinion. So I personally am willing to spend a little more on items of quality over a cheaper version because I know in the long run, the quality I paid for will outweigh the small discount I saved up-front.
For example if I buy a piece of clothing with quality material and pay more up-front than a similar piece of clothing with less quality material, I’m ok with that. This is because I know I will ultimately get more use, durability with washes and longevity with the higher quality version. So even though may be more expensive, the quality is worth the extra to me. In my experience, you save money with quality in the end because you don’t need to replace quality products as often. They last longer.
5. Food Savings
So we all know how expensive a trip to the grocery store or a night out for dinner with the family (or the new love thang) has gotten. So there is definitely an opportunity for savings in this area! First off, I highly recommend farmer’s co-ops if you have one available in your area for your produce. These are a highly cost effective way to purchase delicious produce and also support farmers. Win win! Each program works different, so check out what is available in your area.
Another option for good produce, health food options and great wine (hey just sayin’) at affordable prices is the grocery store Aldi. Other local grocers will also have great specials on produce and other products each week, so watch out for the mailers they send to your home to scope out savings.
So what about eating out? I’m someone who believes that almost everything is ok in moderation. However the more you eat out, the more you will spend. Meal prepping and bringing your lunch to work or school for you or your kids will definitely save you money. Plus this is often times much healthier if you do it the right way. Save money by meal prepping, making meals at home and packing lunches more.
6. Be A Mad Scientist With Cleaning
Another great hack has to do with cleaning products. You can save money on cleaning products by channeling your inner mad scientist and making your own concoctions with some well-known household items such as vinegar, rubbing alcohol and baking soda. You can even throw in some essential oils for some aromatherapy. Oh yeah, go crazy! There are many formulas for your mad science experiments you can look up online. Not only will you save money, but these self -creations are also chemical free and work like a charm.
7. Maintain, Repurpose & Sell Unused Items
A few more quick hits include proper maintenance, repurposing items and selling unused items.So remember to practice good maintenance on items and take care of what you own. Proper maintenance (such as an oil change on your car) helps keep items in good shape so you don’t have to pay to replace.
When you are needing a new item, you can also repurpose old items and make them look new at a fraction of the price. Furniture is a big one on this list. I know many people who have bought old, used furniture for super cheap and then reworked to look absolutely beautiful.You can also sell your old items on buy/sell/trade sites or other online vendors to pick up some extra cash. Just make sure to be safe when meeting up with potential buyers and utilize police designated sale spots in your area for added safety.
8. Be Aware Of Impulse Buying
Last but not least on the savings hacks. Remember to follow a budget and watch your impulse buying. Read the blogs Budget Doesn’t Have To Be a B Word and Own It or listen to the podcasts of the same names for help with spending choices.
It can also help to ask yourself the following questions before purchasing an item:
- Can I afford it?
- What do I plan to do with it?
- Where will I store it?
- How often will I actually use it?
- Do I really want it?
- If so, can I borrow it instead?
This practice of examining your purchase patterns with these questions will help you determine if a purchase is something you really want or is just a potential impulse buy that you should maybe walk away from for a hot minute to regain your composure, LOL.
This is actually another strategy that sales people don’t appreciate which is to walk away and sleep on a possible purchase before pulling the trigger (especially if it’s a large purchase). If you still want the item just as bad in the morning, then go back and buy it. But often times once you walk away and sleep on it, you wake up thankful you still have your money instead.
Quote Of The Day
Financial expert and writer Emily G. Stroud wrote, “Don’t think of saving money as a punishment. Think of saving money as a lifestyle change and a means to freedom.”
Love this mindset to saving!
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