Now after reading Part 1 of this article, you may be thinking my family doesn’t have a life, or any fun, but I assure you we do and these are some of the ways we stretch our dollar further so we can occasionally indulge.
I live a Pay it Forward life
We give away that which we don’t need and in return, we often receive things we do need. There are pages on facebook for this in my state as I’m sure there are in every state, but you don’t have to only swap and share with strangers. Friends and family often have things they don’t need that you might and this is a great way to expand and update your wardrobe when you swap with friends.
We trade services
My husband is a landscaper and I was a personal trainer in a former life, so wherever we can, we trade services with others. We know so many people who are in all different fields of work and quite often people are happy to trade what they are good at for what you are good at.
We buy in bulk to save
Bulk meat is a big one. We save a fortune by budgeting to spend big money at a wholesaler on meat once a month. One month will be chicken and seafood, the next lamb and the next beef and so on. Each month I buy enough to break into little meal sizes to last for months. This involved some initial cost as we needed a decent size freezer and we bought up big in the first month to have a full freezer to start, but now we always have plenty of meat and we have at least 2 months a year where we don’t need to buy meat as we have enough to get us through.
We shop at our local co-op
Cheaper, fresher fruit and veg and I volunteer for four hours a week and get a voucher towards our food bill. It is a great idea to hunt down your local co-op if you have one and see if it can save you money.
The entertainment book
If you have kids, like to go out occasionally, do grocery shopping or buy fuel, I cannot stress enough how valuable this little book is. As a household we save hundreds, if not thousands a year, by using this at every opportunity. If we go out for dinner, we choose somewhere from the book, part of our food shopping and all of our fuel is done on Woolworths cards purchased through the book at 5% off and we always try to use it on outings with the kids.
Barter for a better price
I don’t ever accept the price given for things like insurance, gas and electricity, mortgage rates or big purchases like cars, whitegoods or electronics. You can save a fortune by being willing to haggle and negotiate, so it is a valuable skill to learn. Just last week I saved another 10% on our gas bill by playing one provider off against another and all it took was one phone call.
We pay our debts weekly
Anything where the interest is calculated daily, like your home loan for example, is best paid weekly. Paying your mortgage weekly will shave thousands and years off your final debt as it drastically reduces the interest you pay over the life of the loan.
I work from home
Yes, I write for SAHM and I love what I do, but there are lots of work from home job opportunities that can help contribute to your weekly expenses. Our budget does not include what I get from my little part time, at home job, this is purely income for us to play with and if we don’t need it as play money it goes straight onto our debts.
I wish to stress, that this life of sacrifice doesn’t work for everyone, sometimes there really is no choice but for both parents to work, but if you truly want to stay home with your kids and you’re willing to sacrifice and live within your means it can be done for most people. Don’t be discouraged if you have to work, if you can work from home that’s great, but if you can’t that’s OK too.
Just remember the 2 simple rules…
- Make good choices
- Live within your means
Are there any great things you do so you can afford to be a SAHM that we haven’t mentioned here? Share them with us!