I love reading blogs about how people are getting out of debt or how they are saving money. I find them inspiring and helpful in this long drawn out push to become debt free. Many of the things we all do to save money are simple small things. I used to think that these small bits of advice were silly. I needed over $3000.00 a month to just pay my bills and survive, how could not using paper towels help with that? I was behind and depressed and desperate. I needed a miracle.
So I kept to my old ways, and continued to survive, barely. Many years passed while I tried to master getting out of debt. The advise and books all said the same things in different ways. I would pick up a few tips here and there and add them to my financial chaos. Over time and trial and (getting kids through college) things got better. I got better. My number one piece of advice I could give someone that is desperately in debt is you need to pay attention.
There are large things that contribute to debt, that are completely out of our control. Natural disasters, deaths, medical bills, injuries, accidents. I have had every one of these things happen to me that cost me money and financial peace. Some of them took years to dig out from under. Many things that contribute to our debt are not our fault. Is there a magic fairy that is going to come and pat us on the back and tell us it is okay and they will take care of our problem? Let me see ........ NO!
You will get some help in a disaster. You might get food, water and shelter, you may get help from a church or family and friends. If you are a decent person you will get sympathy and kindnesses, but eventually you will be the one who pays the past due light bill. And let me tell you it is the little things that count in eventually getting out of debt.
1.It is the little things that count, and 2.you need to pay attention. So when you read these posts about my money saving strategies, that sound so small and stupid (in and of themselves they are ) Let me let you in on a little secret, I am finally getting out of debt. Do I continue to make dumb mistakes with money? Yes, but I make fewer and fewer of them. Do I continue to have bills? Yes, that is life (grow up) but those bills are smaller and fewer. Do I continue to want? Sure, learning to be content and grateful for what you have is a life long process. When you start to look for the little things, and you pay attention progress is made. So do it for a day, do it for a week, a month, a year, then do it for a life time and you will become debt free.
There is no big secret, there is no one tip or piece of advice. It is all the little things that you can do that add up to big changes. It is opening your eyes to every stupid thing you do with your hard earned money that counts. You work hard for what you get, so why not pay attention to what you do with it? Go ahead and bury your head in the sand and don't pay attention. That NSF charge you just got for not keeping track of your bank account isn't going to hurt you. But when you are at the end of the pay period and your Credit cards are maxed, that $35.00 could put the gas in your car that you need to go to work. All it took was for you to log onto your bank balance and see that buying those new shoes that were one sale and you just couldn't pass up lowered you balance by .15 and threw you into the negative. Yes, .15 cents was all it took to get you a NSF charge, and another charge later for the returned check to the store, but as you call your colleague and make up some excuse to get a ride to work, you look great in those shoes.
Money saving madness July 29-August 5th
1.Ate all but one meal at home
2. Used food from the stock up pantry and freezers for meals.
3. picked blackberries for pies.
4. harvested, corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, squash, greens out of garden
5. put up 12 meals of spag sauce.
6. used leftover plastic cottage cheese and sour cream tubs to take food out to people
7. picked up .26 in coins off ground to add to bank.
8. lowered the water bill, by paying attention to consumption.
9. stayed with relatives while traveling rather than getting a hotel, was it as nice and private? No but it saved us over $200.00 in meals and lodging.
10. fed all food scrapes to chickens
11. Stayed out of stores, did not go shopping in the big city
12. Had to buy makeup so used two coupons printed off the internet and points accumulated to get $59.00 for $23.15.
What did you do to save money this week?
Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.