3 Ways I Save Money
I love finding practical ways to be frugal and while these ways to save money are not going to radically change our finances, they do help. They stem from a mindset that will hopefully and prayerfully lead us to financial independence. The idea is that making sacrifices now, will lead to security and stability for years to come in the future. Hope you find this helpful, or at the very least interesting!
Hair cuts. I am not a stylist or skilled in beauty, but I figured it out how to cut my own hair and it works. I have curly hair which leaves a bit more margin for error, but I am still confident that most people can do it. I never found that hairdressers gave me the style and cut I wanted, and after paying around $50 each time I thought there must be a better way. I bought a pair of haircutting scissors at Sally Beauty, watched some YouTube tutorials and was sold. Sadia from Pick Up Limes has one of my favorite tutorials if you are looking for a good one. You might read this and say that’s great for you, but definitely not for me, I like my stylist and I love having someone shampoo my hair - and I hear you. It is glorious to have your head shampooed! Even if you try a trim on your own and go to a professional for every other cut, you are making a difference in your savings, and if it's not for you, it's not for you!
My Cell Phone. I have a pre-paid cell phone plan and a refurbished phone. Yes, pre-paid phones still exist! It was a pain to switch from a regular plan with at&t to a pre-paid one, but it is worth it. I pay $42.50 per month and get 6 GB of data that rolls over, which I never use up because wifi is everywhere. I don’t pay for minutes like the old school plans, it has unlimited talk and text. If you are not concerned with the latest and greatest when it comes to phones you can save a lot as well. I bought my current iphone 4E, which is a few generations behind, refurbished from Walmart for less than $300. I cannot fathom financing a phone- I don’t know why so many are sold that way! If you can’t pay for your phone upfront in full, you probably can’t afford it. An added bonus, is that since my phone is a little older, it actually fits in my pocket! There are so many carriers, my bet is that you can find an even cheaper prepaid plan with a “less brand name” carrier.
Car payments. You don’t need to be wealthy to avoid car payments. There is nothing wrong with driving around a quality older car. About 6 years ago I got a 1997 Geo Prizm, which is a model manufactured by Toyota and therefore one I trusted, for less than 4 thousand dollars. It around 100,000 miles on it at the time and is a champ. It’s got roll up windows and not a great amount of pick up, but we love it. It’s small, and though old, had been very reliable over the years. The biggest repair we’ve done was fix the AC, and that is definitely not a necessity. We went through two summers without it, but when we brought a baby home we thought we probably shouldn’t overheat him.
Our second car we purchased a few years ago and is a 2011 Honda CRV. We wanted something a little larger, newer, and of course long lasting. We spent a little bit more on this one, around 12k, but if we didn’t have it all in cash you better believe I would have been searching craigslist for another car in the 5/6k range.
While I love learning about saving money I want to remember to stay focused on what matters. I'm keeping my palms wide open because I know that all we have is a gift. God has trusted us with so much and I am constantly asking Him to guide us in stewarding it well. I’m sure I will be forever learning this.