Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Being Thrifty.

So it's been over 6 months since I last blogged! Yikes! I guess I have had a lot of other stuff to do, or I haven't thought anything was interesting enoug to blog about, either way, I am going to try and be better about that.

So this blog, about being thrifty, is something I have wanted to write for a long time, but I know people get weird when talking about money. I am not sure why, but it makes people feel uncomfortable, anxious and sometimes, down right upset when talking about money. I have never been one of these people. To me, money is money. You need it to survive, some people have a lot, some people don't. But as long as you do the best you can with what you have, why should you embarrassed of that? Idk, today, I consider myself a part of the  middle class America, when it comes to family income. Although, when you google salary of middle class American salary it tells you something way higher than what we have, so maybe I'm a lot poorer than I thought? 

Anyway, I feel like it's okay to talk about money, because if have hardly had any before. In college, and immediately after,  I worked several jobs just to make payments. I recall several times where I put 50 cents- 1$ of gas in my car so I could make it work without running out of gas,just so I could use all the tips is made that night into a tank of gas. I used to go to laundramats and not use dyer sheets, because it didn't want to pay 5$ for them. Back in the days when people didn't have passwords on their wifi, I knew every place in the house that I could sit to steal the neighbors wifi. I would eat a left over baked potato from work every night for dinner, because that was the only food they would have to throw out at the end of have nights and I could get it for free:) Now, I wasn't destitute or anything, I just learned how to live life REALLy cheap! I saved where I could so I could occasionally afford the things I wanted to. 
Although, I don't have to scrimp anymore, I still really like to save money where I can. It gives me a thrill to know I paid way less than someone else for an item. I love it when someone compliments my outfit and asks when I got it and I say "the thrift store!" . I love admitting to someone that I scored an awesome deal on something, or that I got it used. I am not ashamed of being cheap At All! Now, I do spend money on things, but saving the small stuff makes me feel better about spending on the important things. So, here is a list of ways I save money, and please comment on this blog if you have any other great money saving ideas!

1. Like mentioned above, go to thrift stores! I really do like to shop, and when I really feel like buying something I just visit my local thrift stores. Yes, sometimes there is just a bunch of junk in them, but searching for good stuff is part of the fun! More often then not, you can find a great deal on everything! Plus, most thrift stores/ second hand stores profits go towards some sort of charity. So not only are spending way less, you are helping someone else out too. Plus there are some awesome thrift store apps I use to buy clothes for Max and myself. My favorite one is called thredUP. It has lots of womens and kids clothes for great deals!

2. Facebook yard sale pages. These are great because you can request that you are looking for something specific, or you can just browse around. Plus, you can negotiate on pricing. Being a military spouse, pretty much EVERY single base has at least 1 Facebook resale page, it is super easy, plus I know every community or city/ town has them too, just search for your town and I'm sure you'll find a ton! These aren't just good for buying, but also for selling any used item you have that you are not longer using. Take advantage of these sites people!

3. Do your research. If I am looking for a specific item, I always look around online first. The search up always starts with Amazon.com for me. I scour reviews from other buyers and the when I decide the item will work for me, I immediately browse around online to find if I can buy it anywhere cheaper. Usually Amazon wins out as the cheapest, but not always. Speaking of Amazon, if you are a frequent buyer (like me) sing up for Amazon prime. It is a yearly subscription that allows free shipping on a lot of items! Really worth it if you buy even just a few things a year! Also on Amazon, (can you tell how much I LOVE Amazon!) they have an option called "subscribe and save" where items that you usually purchase on a regular basis can be automatically shipped to you with a pretty good discount. This is an awesome service for things like diapers, vitamins, or food that you buy all the time. Cheaper and it just come to you in the mail as often as you want! If there is something you get often, check it out on Amazon subscribe and save! So I could go on and on about Amazon and their services....I just love them!

4. Coupon. Ok so I am not a crazy couponer. I don't have a stockpile or get most of my groceries for free. I do however, think saving a few bucks every week at the grocery store really adds up. It can be difficult to get started and I'm not always the best couponer, but I work at it. For me, I only use coupons for things I would regularly buy anyway. Maybe I'll switch a brand name here and there if it's a good deal. On average, I save about 10-15$ bucks a grocery store run, so maybe 35ish$ a month that I saved. That's 420$ a year! That's your MOT and ROAD TAX for the year if you love in the UK!  Coupons rules vary per store and state, and getting coupons is different too. If you're interested in couponing just google it for your area and I'm sure you'll find tons of info of how to save!

5. Spend money on things that count. For me. I'll spend a good amount of money on things you are going to use for years! I will always pay good money for a good pair of jeans. How often do you and will you wear a pair of jeans? A lot! How often do you wear that cute 40$ tank top? Maybe a few times? No comparison. It's the same with kids stuff, which we all know can cost an arm and a leg. Spend a money of a good quality car seat that you can use for many years, don't spend 100$ on a brand new baby swing that you will maybe use for 4 months. Those are the things you can buy used. Send money on things that are important to you. For me, I get my hair cut and colored often. I mean I get my hair cut every 6-8 weeks and colored every other time. For some women that seems like a lot, and it does add up with costs. However, my sister used to say, "Your hair is the only accessory you carry every single day, so take care of it". I like splurging on my hair, and because I save else where, it makes it ok. Now, I am sure everyone else has things that are important to them to spend money on and that's ok too. Just think about what is most important to you to spend money on, and go down the list. The bottom stuff you can either go without, or buy used. It's pretty simple:)

Well, that's my basic list, thanks for reading and I look forward to hearing other ways to save!

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