After losing weight (nearly 30 pounds) and transforming my body, the most common question I receive these days is how I did it. There’s no secret to my success, but it wasn’t an accident either. It was through lifestyle change. I used many of the same approaches that I take toward my finances and put them toward my equally important goal of living a healthier life.
As a Category 5 hurricane was barreling toward our city, I realized that I didn’t have nearly enough non-perishable foods to sustain my family for more than a day or two. Everyone else must have had the same thought at the same time, because store shelves were empty. We survived the storm just fine, but this was an important life lesson. Don’t wait for an emergency to strike, by that time it’s too late. We need a stockpile now.
We all want to have money. The problem is that we can never save enough. We always want more. Saving money for the sake of saving money then, is not something worth valuing. I’ve started to change my thinking. Rather than value saving money, I now focus on setting financial goals that are consistent with the things that are most important to me.
Housing is our largest expense. While we tend to talk about saving money on smaller expenses, like coffee or cable, we don’t want to be penny wise and pound foolish. Here’s how I saved over $100,000 on my home. These tips can help those buying a home, as well as current homeowners who still want to save money.
An air conditioner can be a life saver in the blistering summer. But it is also one of the largest users of energy in our home. One of the most common questions I receive when I give lectures on saving money is whether it is better to turn the air conditioner off when you leave the house, or leave it running.
Food is a necessity. It’s also our largest variable cost each month. My family of 5 has been able to survive on one middle-class income by reducing how much we spend on food and other costs. We spend less than $100 per person per month on food, which is substantially lower than the national average. How do we do it? Here we provide numbers for average US households’ spending on food and break down my family’s grocery costs and meal plans.
Now for some fun! I previously wrote about some of the extreme things I do to save money. But full disclosure, there are some things I omitted out of embarrassment. Today I will share some of my secrets interspersed with some of the extreme things I’ve heard others do to save a buck. What do you think about these embarrassing ways to save money?
When I was a kid, cleaning the house meant getting out bottles and cans of various products. There was a cabinet full of furniture polish, tub cleaner, window cleaners, disinfectant sprays, disinfectant wipes, and even a product for removing dust. Cleaning the house took forever! When I became an adult, it became clear that I didn’t need any of these products or rituals. So what are my favorite hacks to save time and money cleaning?
If you are a spender, the thought of saving may make your cringe. If you are a saver, the thought of spending money might actually send you into a state of panic. But spending and saving are both important. So how do we find balance?
Whether it is products, groceries, a ride, or your lunch, people seem to be ordering everything online. These days, I feel like one of the few people who actually goes to a store to buy stuff. There are a number of reasons I don’t shop online.