About a year and a half ago I wrote a post giving 6 examples of how we consciously save money around our home so that we can travel more. That post is still one of the most read posts on the site. This got me thinking – what else do we do to save money? I know that there are more ways we save money around our home, so I found them….
Here are six more ways WE save money to travel more.
1. WE buy a more expensive light bulb, to save money. It’s true. Here is how. The electricity used over the lifetime of a single incandescent bulb costs 5 to 10 times the original purchase-price of an LED bulbs? We think LED bulbs are worth the up front cost. I’m also a bit of a tree-hugger, so the fact that LED bulbs save us money and our environment has me sold.
2. WE write notes, not cards. I attended 3 baby showers this year, celebrated at least 10 birthdays, 1 anniversary and said “thank you” in writing 4 times. That is 17 times that I wrote down my thoughts to celebrate the events listed above. Instead of spending $2 to $7 dollars every time (Yes! I checked before writing this! I found a birthday card for SEVEN dollars, which is just stupid!), I buy 50 blank cards for around ten bucks and they last me for years. In fact, because I have these cards readily available, and I know they are only pennies, I find myself writing more thank you notes, more “just-because” notes to friends and more “I love you” notes to Mike. I am a big fan of personal thank you’s and it seems like they are going extinct these days. Save money and say thank you more ; it is a win-win.
3. WE believe that if it’s not broke don’t fix it. But if it is, try to fix it yourself before you buy new. I can say that I am blessed with a husband who has a great understanding of how things work. Our favorite (and free) handymen, Mr. Google and Mrs. You Tube, combined with Mike’s brawn and brains, are big money savers for us as home owners. If something is not fixable, or just an easy DIY, we choose to have the item fixed by a professional, instead of replaced, when possible. Maybe I will have new kitchen appliances at some point in my life, but as for now, Mike fixes them. Plus, that trip to Patagonia is on my mind a little more than a stainless steel fridge and granite counter tops.
4. WE try our best not to waste anything. “Waste not, want not” are really important words to live by. I hate wasting anything, but especially food. I do not like the idea of having too much while others have too little. However, the greedy side of me also hates to see money get thrown away. Remember how I told you in my earlier post that I take a list with me to the grocery store so that I do not buy too much? Well, we eat what I buy, all of it.
On the occasion that we leave for the weekend or have an impromptu dinner date night (both, I’m happy to say, happen often) I do not let perishable foods spoil. I cook it and freeze it before it goes bad or, if we are leaving town, I pack a cooler and bring it with us. Hello! Why spend more money on snacks if you already have food in your fridge? The principle of not wasting what you buy extends to other items in the house too. Cleaning supplies, water and beauty products are all examples. Use every last drop and save pennies and dollars where you can; they add up.
5. WE seek free or inexpensive hobbies and entertainment. Nothing in life is free, but we try. We have kayaks; they were not free. We love going out to dinner; that is not free. We do spend money on entertainment during the weekends – we are not hermits. BUT, we do gravitate to free or cheaper versions of entertainment as a way to save money when we can. Our favorite is the beach. I also frequent a donation-based yoga studio and Mike loves to run the miles and miles of paths and sidewalks in our neighborhood. Check out your town’s scene. Are there free movies on the lawn? What about free art festivals or concerts? I’m not condoning sitting around and watching TV to save money, I just think you should get creative and find the free or cheaper forms of fun near you.
6. WE limit the amount we are willing to spend on TV and Internet. Cable and internet are flippin’ expensive. It boggles my mind what these companies are charging. But, alas, we do like the internet (Hello! I have a blog to run!) and our cable is rolled into our monthly community costs (which urks me beyond belief – but that is another issue!). We are a kind of “forced” to pay these bills. That being said, limit your services where you can. If you want to save money for travel, consider letting go of all 700 TV channels or downgrading the amount of data you buy.
These are six more ways WE save money. Some might work for you and your family, others might seem outrageous and just plain crazy. The idea is the same as in my first post though: if travel is something you want to do more of, make sacrifices where you can, save your dollars where you can and make it happen! I can’t say it is easy, but I can say that it is worth it.