Save money and have a large family at the same time! It is possible!! Right now my large family is in Money Saving Mode. What does this mean? We are being more diligent than ever about implementing all our money-saving tactics!
My family is in the process of building a house for cash. We sold our last home of 20 years and invested every dollar we made into building our new home. Now that we are out of money from selling our last home (and since we don’t want a mortgage) we are scrimping and saving everywhere we can think of so we can invest it into finishing our new home.
We own a business that my husband still works in (remotely plus trips every few weeks to the physical business) so our income is still fairly regular. Our plan is to put the money we used priorly towards our mortgage (plus any money we can save) into finishing our home plus any extras we can save. That’s why I’m focusing on ways to save (and make) money!!
So, to get right to it. Here are some of my best money-saving tips!
I know. You’re sick of hearing this. I was too. However, it truly does save a ton of money, especially if you incorporate grocery pick-up into your planning.
You can learn how I meal-plan in less than 5 minutes a week in this blog post!
2. Sell Stuff
As we are unpacking we are finding that even though we decluttered a ton before we moved there is still more we can get rid of. There are many different avenues for selling items.
I’ve personally been using Mercari (coupon link), but you can also use Craigslist and FB Marketplace pretty easily. In the past month alone on Mercari, I have sold over $700 worth of stuff we didn’t need! That translates into three pretty cute farmhouse-style doors for my house! 😉
The above coupon link will give you $10 off your first order and $20 when you make your first $100 selling on Mercari. I highly recommend them!
3. I’ve been cutting down on beauty expenses
I’ve never been one to go to the salon much as I just hate to spend that kind of money. However, I like my hair and makeup to look nice. So, thanks to YouTube University I’ve learned how to highlight my hair like the pros.
If I want my nails to look nice for an event or date night with Ed, I use these glue on nails from Wal-Mart or Amazon. They cost me $5-$7, last two weeks, and look pretty good. When Therese got married I actually bought a set of nails for all of my girls. Everyone had beautiful nails for cheaper than one of us to have salon nails.
I’ve also been experimenting with E.L.F. cosmetics and find them to be of higher quality than I expected. I use this brand for my powder, foundation, and eyeshadow now! The link I put for their eyeshadow isn’t actually eyeshadow, but contour! You get more powder and the color is perfect for how I prefer to wear my shadow. I’m trying their eyeliner next. <3
4. We Created a Budget
This part was a little bit difficult for us, I admit. For some reason, money can be a touchy subject, even though we both view money in the same way, as a tool. Pretty soon I plan on writing an entire blog post just on this subject.
My husband is very electronic-based. He basically hates paper. I, on the other hand, am very paper-based and need projects directly in front of me to be able to mentally compute them, if that makes sense.
He wanted YNAB, I wanted the Budget Mom. We bought both. 🙂
To be honest, YNAB was a bit hard at first. We had to watch a ton of videos to really grasp how it worked. Most of our arguing probably happened while trying to figure out how it worked.
But, once we figured it out it has helped us get a really good grasp on our finances, and are now saving a ton! We always have enough for those big bills that are once or twice a year and even are able to save up for the ‘extras’ we want, like a pool liner or back porch! <3
While YNAB is all electronic and is available on the computer as well as on our phones, The Budget Mom offers a budget on paper as well as a FB group for added support and information.
I purchased her printable workbook and love it! Having the visual in front of me has helped me be able to see our numbers better and see where we can improve. Even Ed likes her workbook and sees the benefit of using both of these systems!
5. We purchase as much as possible 2nd hand
Whenever we need something we do our best to purchase it second hand. Again, FB Marketplace, CraigsList, and GARAGE SALES (I loovvveeee garage sales!!) are excellent sources as well as the regular thrift stores. I also find things at discount stores but I try and stay away from them until I’ve given the second-hand options a try.
This also goes for vehicles. Always buy used and take the time to shop around.
We take forever when picking out a ‘new’ vehicle. Our last car took me three years to decide on. Embarrassing but true. However, we found a used Lexus that I just love for the same price as a Subaru of the same year. It was worth the wait and saved us a ton.
6. I also just try and do without
Right now we are in an era of minimalism. Everyone is into it! Just how badly do you need another shirt or coffee cup? Well, coffee cups are hard to pass up but another shirt? We all have more than we need!
The Wait 48 rule should apply. If you find yourself ‘needing’ something, just wait 48 hours and see if you still ‘need’ it! Most of the time you can get by without it. Now you don’t have the extra clutter AND you have more money. Win-win!
7. Pay down your debt
All the money you save and any extra money you make should be used to pay down any debt you have, especially credit card debt as they usually have huge interest rates.
Paying off your debt gives you such a free feeling! There is something so liberating about knowing that your possessions are truly yours. Plus, who wants to pay monthly for transactions that happened in the past? Let’s keep our sights on the future! <3
YouTube University! Recently we have been using YouTube for learning everything! Some of our own personal uses for YouTube have recently been:
- Restaining/Repainting cabinets
- Building a basement
- Sewing instructions
- Knitting help
- Diet/Exercise education
- Minimalism tips
- Homeschool organization
- Budget tips
- Installing a new awning on our 5th wheel
- How to ferment foods
- And so much more!!
When I need to update or replace something in my home my first inclination is where to buy it for the best price. I’m working to change my mindset to now think of how I can get around using what I already own and maybe just adapting it to better suit my needs.
For example, updating those old kitchen cabinets we were gifted (I know I keep bringing them up but updating those old things have saved us a ton!!) has totally changed their look and made my kitchen and our offices actually look pretty!
- Repainted a pink picture frame to tan. Since the frame held pictures of my husband in my office, pink just didn’t seem like the best color!
- Repurposing canning jars as flower vases, paint brush holders, utensil holders, etc. I even painted some of them a farmhouse tan and sanded them a little to give them additional character. I love how they turned out!
- We were gifted an old dresser and some matching wood. My husband took it apart and built a co-sleeper bed with a chest of drawers underneath it that we’ve used for three babies now. It is so beautiful and durable that we could have never purchased anything even close to it in quality. <3
This is just a few examples. If I just walk through my house I would find many more examples. Our home is full of them.
These are some of the best ways my family has saved money and now, largely due to these practices, we no longer have a mortgage.
Since we haven’t 100% finished building our home, we will continue with these practices so we can complete our home and stay mortgage-free. This is a dream we’ve always had and have now seen our dream to fruition.
Please give some of our ideas a try.
You will find they will help you save money as well as find a few dollars you didn’t know you had!
What other ideas do you have on saving money? Comment below as I’d love to hear them!
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