My parents didn't teach me how to save or economize. They didn't tell me to save at least fifteen percent of my pay checks. It wasn't until I was in my thirties I even heard about putting a portion of my income away into a savings account. They also never suggested to me to wait for sales to buy clothing, vehicles, food or anything for that matter. And, how many of us have ever heard the words don't buy what you can't afford? What we do hear plenty of is buy with credit. We're inundated with that message.
When I was a kid growing up on a farm, whenever my parents needed extra money Daddy would sell a hog or two. Unfortunately, I don't have that option today but I have learned to not buy what I can not afford.
This brings me to my list of things we do to save.
- There are no credit cards in this house. Nothing is purchased with credit. What would happen if we did then found ourselves without jobs? Think about it because in today's world losing a job is more likely to happen than not.
- We paid off our car early. Yes, I did say I don't buy what I can not afford but few of us have ten thousand dollars laying around to buy a used car.
- That's another lesson I learned: Don't buy a brand new vehicle. Think of the money lost in interest and car value when you drive it off the lot. I saved at least ten thousand dollars (not including interest) buying used instead of new.
- In a past post, I wrote about using coupons. Wait for the coupon. We NEVER buy glucosamine at full price nor do I buy supplies for my hobbies at full price. We wait for the fifty and forty percent off coupons. In truth, we use coupons for everything from dish soap to oil changes.
- Our bank offers the opportunity to save when we use our debit card by rounding up the dollar amount then putting it into a special savings account. At the end of the year, they match the savings up to $250.
- When I saw our bank was charging us a minimum balance fee, I called and threatened to change banks. We pay no fee what so ever.
- We mow our own lawn, turn out lights, keep the thermostat at sixty eight during the winter and eighty during the summer.