15 General Principles We Use To Save Thousands of Dollars Every Year
Money is a part of all of our lives, it can help further our goals in life, it can be used as a tool to help bless others, or it can break us down, if we become too occupied with the obtaining of wealth.
So it is so very important to have a handle on money, and basic principles to guide our lives and finances, so that we can be a help to others, and our family.
Here are 15 General Principles my family and I use to bring peace to our home, savings in our pockets, and fruitfulness into the future.
The 15 Basics
1.Buying Bulk Foods
We must all eat in order to provide sustenance to our mind and body, and because of this we must have a plan in place, that will help us to spend wisely, if we are not yet growing the bulk of our foods in a garden. Buying our groceries, in bulk, and even home goods, is very cost effective. It may require an increased up front cost to get a larger bag of an item, however, the cost breakdown will be significantly less, than if we were to purchase a small pouch of the same item. For example, we buy 50 lb bags of oats, wheat berries, and more from a Bulk Food company called Azure Standard. In doing this, we save multiple dollars per lb, and have a larger supply to last us for several months. Of course, when buying, in bulk, you must have a good place to store your foods, so that it will remain fresh, and insect free. So consider bulk purchases, and make sure you keep them well.
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Here is my AZURE STANDARD Link below, if you would like to start ordering from them. Thank you so much if you use the code, as it will be a blessing to my family, in getting a discount of $25 dollars off of our order.
My Code to Use for Your First Azure Standard Order: MoniqueAdu1
2.Making Personalized Gifts:
Every now and then, there comes an opportunity, where we would like to give someone a gift. When that time comes, it may start to cost us a significant amount of money, if we purchase gifts from the store. So, it is a great practice to be able to make your own personalized and special gifts for people. Not only making something personalized, but also saving money in your pocket. Some of my children, know how to crochet and sew very well, and they have made some adorable toys and gifts for family, that are much more appreciated than any store bought gift.
3. Gardening/Growing Your Own Food:
Gardening in and of itself, has multiple and countless health benefits, and the benefits keep on growing "literally", when you are able to pull from your garden freshly grown organic and delicious produce that you can enjoy and share. Growing your own food, and maintaining your own garden, saves you thousands of dollars, just right there, by avoiding having to buy the bulk of your groceries outside. It also is highly impactful, in keeping you healthy, by avoiding harmful pesticides, chemicals, and preservatives that often come with store bought massively produced foods. Start small, and begin your own garden. The cost of seeds, is so minute, and pales in comparison to the abundance you will receive of food and health.
4. Making Our Own Body Products:
Many of us like to have a nice jar of body balm, a bottle of lotion, or cream, but it takes money out of our pockets, often each month, to keep up this want. Moreover, often times commercial body products have chemicals that can often be absorbed through our skin, exposing us to unnecessary toxins, that we could have avoided. So, my family and I make our own body balms, lip balms, salves and more, from organic ingredients, herbs, and essential oils, that are not only luxurious in fragrance, and soothing properties, but also so much better for our health.
5. Remaining Satisfied and Content with What We Have
It is so easy to be distracted and intrigued by the newest gadgets out on the market every year. However, if your gadgets: such as your phone, computer or camera for instance, are working just fine, it is wise to develop an attitude of being satisfied with them, unless there is something that is just not working well for you. Even then, if there is a problem, is it that big of a problem, that you would need to spend another several hundreds, or even thousands of dollars to replace it? A question like this is important to ask ourselves, because there is often the pull from advertisers to get us to buy, but we don't have to fall for the pull, if we are content with what we have.
6. Not Taking Expensive Vacations Each Year
We are often flooded by pictures of seemingly "happy" people showing their latest trip across the world, and how much "fun" they had during their vacation. However, what we don't often see is just how much debt they have incurred to go on this vacation, and how much unhappiness they are left with after all the chips fall, and they are left with a large bill to pay off. If you are trying to pay of debt, and save money, you have to allow yourself some "delayed gratification" and avoid trying to be like the Jones'. It will give you more heartache in the end, by trying to do things to0 fast. You can always enjoy yourself, but do it at a better time, when you are better prepared. Instead, try enjoying a "Staycation" at home, and make it special with simple things, like a special meal, or family get together. You can also look into inexpensive day trips, that you can take your children to. Making memories together, rather than spending money, is truly the better and more meaningful experience.
7. Simple Wardrobe Options & Shopping the Clearances
Keeping a simple wardrobe of "timeless" clothing items, and shoes, made to last long, from durable materials, such as 100% cotton, will pay us back in multiple ways. By having a few neutral items, that can be used for several occasions, that look elegant, and classic, will allow us to feel good in what we are wearing, while keeping our accounts in good shape. Try buying well made clothing, and keep only a few pairs of shoes on hand (for me about 3 pairs of shoes; including a boot), that work well with multiple outfits. Also, don't feel to proud to shop the clearances. I have found some beautiful, dresses, tops, and skirts, on the clearance racks, that I wear and wear even today, because they are so well made, and pretty.
8. Avoid Buying Take-Out/Restaurant Foods
It is so easy to grab something from the drive-thru, or restaurant pick up. However, it is so very costly to our health when we do this because, often times the foods are not prepared in the healthiest of ways, and the additives, oils, sugars, preservatives, and mode of preparation, can literally make our stomach turn when eaten. It is then best and healthiest, to avoid take out all together, saving us money to the tune of hundreds per month, and preserving the health of ourselves and family. Instead buy the basic ingredients you need for your favorite dish, and the seasonings, and make it yourself at home.
9. Buy Well Made Products That Have Longevity Potential
It is a good practice to look for and buy products that are always well made, even if costing more upfront, vs. buying a cheaper product, that often has to be replaced in a short time afterwards, and even several times over. For example, buying a solid set of wood furniture, can last through generations, and will less likely, need replacing. Better yet, if you or someone in the family are handy, you can even obtain some good pieces of wood, and make a long lasting table or set of furniture yourself.
10. Investing in Our Health
Investing in our health, is one of the best and most cost-effective practices we can do. Our health is so much more precious than our wealth. It is way more costly to pay for medical bills, than to purposefully eat, and live in a healthful manner. Keeping a mindset of health promotion in all we do; from the body, mind, soul and spirit is of utmost importance. If we invest in these areas of our lives, we will be happier, healthier, and with much more peace. Avoiding, in great ways, illnesses that often times bring people into debt, and drain their savings away. Also, if you have children you are still caring for, investing in your health, is a must, so that you can be strong and able to take care of them and watch them grow up.
Many of us may not think about this area, but homeschooling our children, is not only one of the best things we can do for them, but it will also save us thousands of dollars in school fees, babysitter bills, and daycare costs. Not to mention, the other miscellaneous costs, that may come up over the years. Investing in our children, by teaching them, and tending to their personal needs as their own teacher, will pay off in great dividends, as we are able to protect them from potential harmful influences, and really nourish their potential strengths, and paths in life. We can spend as little or as much time on a subject, and really delve deep into topics of interest throughout the academic year. It also does not have to be overwhelming, and we need not try to replicate the public schools. Homeschooling, is a vastly different experience than the 4 walls of public schools, and it can be a thrilling, and rewarding experience for the parent and home students.
12. Saving 10% of Your Income in Order to be a Blessing for Others
Saving 10% of what we make every month, is a great habit to have. It can be set aside as a resource of money that you can use to bless someone in need, if ever the time arises, and it is a faith building practice, if you are setting this apart in honor of the Father, as He blesses your family, with the ability to obtain income. Why not then, pay this forward, and set aside some funds that can be used to bless others.
13. Embracing Minimal Living
It is so important to be able to work with what we have, and really embrace the idea of minimal living. Learning to live within our means, and not collecting, "treasure upon treasure". Having the basics of what we need, will not only help bring clarity to our home, as well as order, but it will save us countless amounts of money and stress, as we are not worrying about what the next thing is that we should buy all the time.
14. Planning Our Spending/Budgeting/Make a List and Sticking to It
If having to go out to make some purchases, always try to have a plan in mind, and a list of the things, as well as budget you want to spend. When you do this, you are less likely to make impulse purchases, for things you did not even need. Keep a money envelope and pay for your purchases in cash whenever you can. Avoid at all costs, using your credit card, if you don't have to, because this purchase, comes with double spending: the cost of the item, and the interest that may be potentially charged, unless you immediately pay the card off again.
Keeping a simple list and cash envelope has been a great help to me, as a mom and homemaker, making it easy to avoid unnecessary purchases, and keeping our pockets stable each month.
15. Use the Library as Your Resource
As a homeschool mom, and in general, I really enjoy reading and learning new things. I am particularly interested lately, in the use of whole and ancient grains, sourdough, fermentation and bread making. Now, if I were to purchase all the books, that suited my interests, I would end up spending a lot each month. So, what I do, is put the books I want on hold at my local library, peruse them at my leisure, and then if I find they are a great book to keep, I will look for a used copy that I can then add to my book collection. Otherwise, I read the books and return them, saving me hundreds of dollars each month.
I hope these tips have been a starting point, and a help for you!
All the best with being a good steward in your home, and investing in the areas that really matter.
Dr. Monique Adu