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Posts Tagged ‘money’

So, earlier this year when gas prices were still pretty high…..oh, let’s say around $4.31 a GALLON, I posted what I was doing to save money on gas.  Basically, I started filling up once a week when my car hit 3/4 of a tank, and I started buying mid grade.  It seemed to help a little bit.

Now that gas is going down ……mid-grade is $1.72 here (which is nothing short of a miracle.)  I’ve decided to keep the same gas purchasing habbits to see if it really does make a difference, and……….

Back in the old days (when gas was $1.25 a gallon) my habbit was to fill up my car every two weeks when it was on empty and buy the cheapest gas I could find.  In those days, I averaged $47.00-$52.00 a month on buying gas.  I still own the same car and by using midgrade and filling up at 3/4 of a tank, I am now  spending on average $40.00 a month on gas…..which means that if I’d know then what I know now, I would have probably only spent about $30.00 a month in gas.  I was talking to my mom about this the other day, and really back in those days when gas was so inexpensive and you didn’t have to BUDGET for it, we really wasted a lot of gas.  It took paying almost $5.00 a gallon for people to find creative ways to save money on gas and to use less gas…..I’ve decided that I’m going to be a mid-grade user for life.

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Being self employed, I’m feeling the “economic crisis” a little bit more than I would if I was still working….never the less, I know God is in control and that He will take care of our needs.  Using the concepts I talked about in the previous post “God helps those who help themselves” I’d like to talk about some ways to beat or “outsmart” the economic crisis.

First of all, as Christians, our first resort should be prayer.  This doesn’t always come automatically to us, but once we learn this lesson, things go a lot smoother.  So first, I’m in prayer about our finances and God providing Piano Students and people to buy things on ebay (my other money making hobby!)

Second of all, I’m excited that gas prices have gone down almost $1.50 PER GALLON since this summer!  I continue to use mid-grade (it lasts longer), purchase gas where I can use a discount card, fill up when the needle hits 3/4 tank, turn my car off when I’m in the drive up at the bank and stay home more often. (the more I can save on gas, the less I will feel this economic crisis affecting me)

Third of all, I’ve been doing the MAJORITY of my shopping on ebay.com.  I just bought black and white ink for an HP printer and paid $15.90 which INCLUDES the shipping.  The black ink alone at a store like Wal-mart runs 19.99, if you buy black and white there, it’s almost $50!  What a savings.  I also buy DVD’s on ebay……..you can even get new movies on there, people buy them, watch them once and resell them on ebay for a lot less than they are in the store.  Another thing I purchase on ebay is my Mary Kay products.  There are 4 products that I use on a daily basis that are Mary Kay.  I can usually get what I need for $30.00, including shipping (which lasts me about 2 months). One of the products I use costs $30 alone from Mary Kay….another great savings!  Last of all, I purchase my Bath & Body works air freshener refills on ebay.  We don’t have a BBW in our area, so not only does it save me lots of money on gas, but I just purchased 4 sets of refills for 34.00 in the store, they would have been $50.00 plus tax, and my gas to drive to the nearest BBW, which is almost 2 hours away.

I resell Grace’s toys and clothes on ebay and usually, I get almost as much for them as I paid for them (sometimes, I get more for them than I paid for them)

I also shop clearance and thrift stores (you have to take your time to dig through things, but I find her a lot of new things from Gymboree, Gap and the Children’s place at thrift stores) and stock up on things for the next season.  Last year, I bought her several cute winter outfits at the Macy’s 1-day sale, they were $4.99 each (one of the dresses was a $69.00 dress!)

Also, when I was working, I ate out for lunch EVERY day, at the hospital I worked at, I could get lunch for $5.00, which isn’t bad, for a full meal, but that’s $100 a month just for lunch.  Now that I’m home, we only eat out once a week and it saves LOTS of money.

I hope these give you some good ideas.  If you have additional ideas, please share!

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I learned something awhile back that I wish I knew when I was 19……I read an article in a women’s magazine about finances.  It stated some things that have stuck with me and have helped me out tremendously.  We all know that the majority of single moms don’t have lots of extra money (or even extra money) and we all like to save where we can…..hopefully some of these thoughts and concepts will help you in the way that you look at your finances.

#1 It stated that on average, Americans spend $1.22 for every dollar that they earn. (This is possible through loans and credit cards.) This article was written a few years back, so that figure may have gone up since then.  When I read this statement, I was thinking….WOW, and I started analyzing my spending.  I thought that I was pretty thrifty, but as I analyzed my bank and credit card statements, I saw that while I didn’t spend $1.22 for every dollar I earned, my money was flying out the door pretty fast.

#2 it stated that the income from your job should cover your bills/expenses, savings, and that you should find another source of income for spending money, entertainment, etc…..So basically, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket, and don’t depend on your paycheck for all of your income.

                                             

These 2 statements have really stuck with me, so I constantly analyze spending to make sure that I’m saving more money and not waisting money.  It’s not like we never have fun, but I do try to make sure that I’m making more than I’m spending.  The second statement, has made a bigger income on me.  In the past, I got paid well, but it always seemed like money was tight.  Now that I’ve decided not to make my job the only source of my income, It’s amazing how different my finanaces are.  You don’t have to go out and get another job necessarily, (especially if you are a single mom, you don’t have the time to work 2 jobs.) but what are some things you can do to earn money?  Here are my ideas:

  • Ebay
  • Teach lessons (Piano, tutoring, cooking, sewing, etc)
  • Avon
  • Craft shows
  • House sit
  • Pet sit
  • Babysit
  • and I’m SURE there are many more ideas on this topic……

Another finance tip I’ve heard is opening a second savings account, then when you get your paycheck, (Let’s say your check is $782.95)  You put the number before the decimal and the change into your second bank account (from this example, that would be $2.95)  You’ll never miss the $2.95, or what ever the little bit on the end of your check is, but by the end of the year, you’ll have a nice savings to use on Christmas, Birthdays, paying a bill, etc.

One thing that I do is analyze all of my spending and see where I can cut back on it……for example, can I switch to a less expensive minute plan for my cell phone? (even if it’s only saving $10.00 a month  on my plan, $10.00 plus taxes adds up to over $150.00 a year savings in this spending area alone.)  Can I find a car insurance policy that is less expensive?  (I called Geico and saved almost HALF on the EXACT same coverage that I had through my other insurance company.)  Do I NEED cable or satillite? Do I need BOTH a cell phone and a home phone?  Is there a less expensive internet provider?  Could I pay less for rent or for my mortgage?  Can I get a lower interest rate on my credit card?  Can I shop at a less expensive grocery store? Do I have a coupon for it? Can I buy it at the dollar store?  Can I pay my bills on-line or over the phone to save on postage?  Even if you only save a little bit in each spending category, when you add them all together, the savings can be BIG.  The year I started analyzing my spending and trying to save money on all of my bills, I saved myself almost $1,500.00 that year alone……this was all money I was spending that I didn’t need to be spending…….I got the same services or BETTER services in some cases and saved almost $1,500.00 that year.  That right there makes things a little less tight.  I’ll be posting more financial tips and ideas as I think of them…..I hope some of them are a help to you!

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