Luke 14:28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?”
I have said that “more money doesn’t equal more money” but more money can definitely come from spending less. No matter how much you make, the key is to find ways to spend less so you can give more, save more, and pay down debt. These tips are some of my favorites that you can use to help you spend less.
- Scan Grocery Receipts for Cash Back
We all have to eat which means we need to go grocery shopping. What you may not know is that there are several smartphone apps that will give you cash back on your grocery store purchases, such as Ibotta and Checkout 51. If you use the app Checkout 51 you just sign up for the weekly updates. Offers are updated every Thursday. Then you just go shopping and buy the products from any store. You will then take a photo of your receipt to redeem your offer and once you reach $20 in savings, Checkout 51 will mail you a check. It is just that easy!
- Zip Your Pants
If you have a son, I imagine you had to remind him at least once or twice to zip his pants. Just as important as making sure your pants are zipped when leaving the house is making sure they are zipped before washing them, especially jeans. Garments that have metal zippers are like miniature chainsaws, tearing up and ruining other expensive clothing in the washer and dryer. Take a few extra seconds to zip up before dropping your garment into the washer to help prolong the life of all your clothes.
- Invest in Vinegar
Investing in vinegar is actually three tips in one! Tip #1. You can make an inexpensive, all-purpose household cleaner by loosely filling a heat-resistant glass container with leftover citrus peels (think lemons, oranges, limes or grapefruit) and adding equal parts boiling water and white vinegar. Cover the mixture and let it sit for a week before straining it into spray bottles. Tip#2. Trade your bleach for vinegar! Using distilled white vinegar whitens, freshens, and softens fabrics. All you need to do is to add 1/2 to 1 cup of distilled white vinegar to your washing machine along with your regular laundry detergent. I know what you are thinking, vinegar has a strong smell. Don’t worry about the vinegar scent- it will dissipate after drying. Additionally, instead of buying stain removers you can use vinegar on spot stains and collar and underarm stains. I learned this tip back in my old Army days! Tip#3. Replace your weed killer with vinegar. Not only will it be safer by having one less poisonous item around the house, but it is also much cheaper and just as effective at killing weeds. Vinegar is highly acidic and works much the same way as conventional weed killers work by destroying the roots of the weeds so they wither and die.
- Choose Generic over Name Brand
Everyone knows that generic or store-brand products are cheaper than name brands, but you might now realize just how much cheaper. According to Consumer Reports, you can about 25 percent less when you buy store brands. For those who have kids that are picky eaters you can buy the name brand cereal and refill the box with generic once it’s eaten and I bet they won’t be able to taste the difference!
- Get a Free Apple, Onion, or Potato
When buying pre-bagged produce — like a 10-pound bag of oranges or potatoes, always weigh the bags before selecting the one you want to purchase. The weight marked on the bag is the minimum required by law, and some bags will likely weigh more, even though they cost the same. If it’s free, it’s for me!
Steve Repak, CFP® is a Financial Literacy Speaker, Army veteran, and author of 6 Week Money Challenge: For Your Personal Finances (January 2016) and Dollars & Uncommon Sense: Basic Training For Your Money (January 2012). Steve has helped many people turn their finances around with his inspiring financial literacy presentations and one-on-one financial coaching.For more information about Steve, his books or if you would like him to speak at your or next event visit www.steverepak.com
The Life of a Single Mom is a national, faith-based, nonprofit that exists to see that no single mom walks alone. To date, we have worked with more than 1,500 churches & community groups to start or improve a single mom’s support group in cities throughout the U.S. and beyond. We have a large array of books, curriculum, training materials, and online instructional videos to support ministry leaders who lead single moms. Our single mom programs focus on empowering single moms to grow spiritually, emotionally, financially, and parentally through a number of projects including: Single Mom University, Single Moms Across America, the National TLSM Single Moms Conference, and a variety of programs throughout the U.S. For more information, visit www.thelifeofasinglemom.com