Guest post from Sarah
My husband and I are debt-free except for our house and live within our means. Until last year that was enough for us.
Then I stumbled upon Money Saving Mom®. One year later I can’t claim to be an expert, but there are a few things I’ve learned along the way.
Saving money takes time.
Don’t expect to be a pro in a few months. Start slowly so you don’t burn out. You can’t change everything about your household expenditures in a month.
Be leery of spending money to save money.
At least when you’re starting out. At first I thought we absolutely had to buy a deep freeze if we wanted to save money on groceries.
We delayed this purchase, and for us that was a great decision. We’ve made our side-by-side refrigerator/freezer work. Sure, it’s a challenge to stack and shove it all in, and sometimes I’ve had to ask family members if I can store a little in their freezers.
That may not be an option for you, but try being creative before you dive in to an investment designed to save you money.
Do what works for you.
I don’t play the drugstore game. Am I missing out on some great deals? Probably, but I’m doing what works for me.
I shop with my kids, and the stress of handing over coupons in a specific order and making complicated shopping scenarios seems like more than I can handle with them in the cart. Although, it is an adventure I’m excited to tackle sometime down the road!
Draw a line, and don’t feel bad about it.
Sure, you can save money by making things from scratch, and I do more of that than I did 12 months ago. But like Crystal says in her homemade tortilla post, some things aren’t worth the effort.
You have to put a price on your sanity and quality time with your family. Don’t waste those precious gifts on saving only a few pennies.
Keep things in perspective.
You have a life beyond saving money. At times I’m making a grocery list or printing coupons and my sons need a snack or help washing their hands.
This can seem like a major interruption. Can’t an 18-month old realize I’m printing coupons?
My kids are my job. Looking for deals is something I need to do as I can and not let it consume me.
A year ago we were content with our level of giving. We wanted to give big, but it was something to do later. After I return to work. After college funds are fully funded. After the house is paid off.
Crystal has challenged those thoughts. We’ve been able to increase our giving over the last year, and I’m excited to see where God leads us in this area in the future.
Sarah is a writer turned stay-at-home mom with two boys, ages 5 and almost 2. In an effort to stay in the writing game, she’s dabbling as a freelancer between loads of laundry, potty training, playing super heroes and saving money.