People are always curious as to how I’m able to live in my own place, pay off debt, save money, and afford certain luxuries. This is my answer:
1. I make my own food, laundry detergent, cleaning products, and beauty products from inexpensive items I buy at the grocery store (or grow myself).
2. I participate in clothing swaps and I shop at thrift stores.
3. I grocery shop once a week, and I don’t go back to the store until I’ve eaten everything in my fridge and cupboards.
4. I never buy frozen, instant, canned, pre-chopped, or pre-made food.
5. I tithe.
6. I budget according to my needs, not my wants, and pay off debt using the money that’s left over.
7. I don’t use credit cards or take out loans.
8. I rent free books, dvd’s, and cd’s from the library, and I don’t have cable.
9. I trim my own hair, I give myself manicures and pedicures (without using nail polish), and I don’t wear makeup.
10. I review my bank statements every month and cut from my budget monthly.
11. I ONLY seek financial counsel from people who are currently living the way I choose to live. (I mean, you don’t go to the guy who still drinks to learn how to get sober… right?)
This lifestyle takes practice and, although I don’t do it perfectly, my responsible financial habits are becoming more comfortable the longer I practice them.
What are some of your favorite money saving techniques? What do you consider necessities? What do you consider luxuries? Do you tithe? How often are you reviewing your bank statements? Do you know where your money is going every month? Do you spend according to a budget?