Darci at SUCH THE SPOT recently posted about ways she saves money. This is more about what I am willing to spend on to save in the long run. My saving and frugality are more a work in progress....
1. Like Darcie, we do not eat out more then once a month (but Richard does bring home the occasional sushi treat) and we do our own cleaning (even bought my own steam cleaner....love this) and gardening and the exercise we get comes from walking the dog, swimming (in the summer), biking and chasing a 3 year old around. I also make my own coffee at home and only splurge on Starbucks when given a gift card. I do run out for an afternoon McDonald's iced coffee about 3 times a week.
2.We do not have subscriptions or memberships to anything besides NETFLIX, which is a great way to save on movies. Although I like going out to the movies, I like the cheap snacks, being able to pause to go to the bathroom, the comfy couch to lie on and the GORGEOUS man that holds me tight, that are available at home much more.
3. I grocery shop with a list and most stuff is the generic brand. I do buy tons of fruit which can be expensive, and toilet paper and tissue are not coming next to my skin unless then are cottony soft. We do not buy bottled water, but have a Brita Water Pitcher instead.
4. We do pay a home owners association fee, but along with keeping the neighborhood looking nice it gives us access to a great pool that's just across the street and a rent-a-cop that patrols at night.
5. Living in the high desert of New Mexico it gets very hot and very dry, so I do buy a lot of moisturizer, and get pedicures (once a month) in the summer, but the last time I had a massage was over 9 years ago and I gave up the fake nails when I started changing diapers.
6. We bought a yearly family pass to the Zoo/Aquarium/Botanical Gardens for $79.00. Every time we went to the zoo it cost us $17 and I felt like I had to stay all day to get my monies worth. Now we can go anytime we want, for just a couple hours and we don't have to pack food with us. This year we've already gone 5 times (aquarium once and zoo four times). If you do the math $17 x 5 = $85...we've already made our monies worth and the summer hasn't even started yet.
8. We do have a handyman that I call on about twice a year (because my very handy, general contractor, brother, Mark decided to move to California...love you!)....don't want to throw anyone (sorry Richard) under the bus, but some jobs we either don't have the time for or are beyond our skills (installing doors, electrical, AC change over, plumbing etc.). I save a little each month (and we use our tax return money) and we keep a running list of jobs that need attention and then get them done all at once. They are really more like upgrades on the house, because Richard does do all the heavy labor: moved 3 tons of rock, paints, installs blinds, fixes fencing, trims trees, etc.
9. I love clothes and shoes, but not the money you have to spend to get someone's name on it. Thankfully, I realized early that I can have a lot more clothes for the same price if I am smart with WHERE I look. I love when people compliment me on how I dress and I can say, "It's from SAVERS (like GoodWill)," or "I found these at PayLess." I love consignment stores, second hand places, yard sales and Craig's List. The less I pay for something that looks nice the better I feel. This also goes for furniture, rugs, toys, books....anything really! I do have a few favorite stores in the mall, but I always look on the sale racks.
10. I'm done apologizing for not being overweight and having been blessed with good genes. So, being a tiny person (5' 2"), I do have to spend a little more then I like on pants in my size (size 2-4, depending on the store....thank you very much). Not all stores carry small sizes. Yes, poor me! I love stores with petite sections.
12. We decided a long ago that we would never have more than one car loan at a time (Our goal is to pay off Richard's car by next year and then start putting that car payment amount away in savings.). We do buy new cars (my husband is a car salesman....and a damn good one!), but they are Hondas so they are super reliable and safe, have great gas milage and wonderful resale value. We are still paying on our house too.
13. We do have a great credit card that gives us airline miles, but we pay it off each month and do not carry any credit card debt.
14. We originally bundled our cable and internet and then switched to dish and got rid of our land line when the cable skyrocketed.
15. We SAVE WAY AHEAD OF TIME, for vacations and expensive items (refrigerator, furniture, Christmas, etc.).
HOW TO YOU SPEND TO SAVE?