Money Saving Mom Basics
So, what does it take to be a money saving mom these days?
You have to be committed to your family and to the goal of saving as much money as you can in order to get your family to where your goals lie.
For example, there can be many reasons why you are endeavoring to be a money saving mom. Maybe your family is one of modest means and this is what you need to do in order to make ends meet.
Perhaps you have ambitious savings goals or are looking forward to sending your children to college, or maybe it’s a desire to retire at 55 or even to just retire without worrying about ending up poor in the process.
There are tons of things that you can do to be a money saving mom, and I am not so presumptuous to think that I can tell you EVERY way in one blog article, but I can provide some food for thought which may help you on your journey.
These tips can make sense for ANY homemaker or stay at home parent, whether male, female, married or not, and whether there are children in the equation or not.
Anyone can benefit.
Money Saving Mom Ideas
Money Saving Mom Is a Couponing Queen
One great money saving mom idea is couponing. Yes, coupons are there for manufacturers and stores to liquidate merchandise and to drum up business. It’s their offer so why not take them up on it? There are extremely skilled couponers out there who are able to go to the store and spend zero of their own money on a shopping trip. That’s some serious skills, and it makes you wonder what such skilled people could do if they set their minds to starting their own blog or something similar. But, I digress. What I am saying here is that any money saving mom can save a boar load of money by cutting coupons regularly. Of course it takes effort, but anything in life that provides value does. You can learn a lot from any of those couponing TV shows that may still be on the air. The only drawback is that when you look at the shopping carts of these women who do this, you see lots of boxed and preservative laden foods. It’s great for paper goods and other goods that you’ll buy anyway, but those who spend zero of their own money are sticking solely to the couponed items, which are usually not that healthy when they fall into the food category, and you know how expensive fresh foods are. It’s a trade off. I care about my readers, so I wanted to point that out. If I am going to recommend something, it’s going to have the good with the bad, but when it comes to couponing, there are still LOTS of goods that a money saving mom can save money on that she’s going to need to buy anyway. The thing with couponing that I see is patience and not falling in love with one brand. You have to see what’s being offered and be willing to try out new products since you won’t always have the same ones that have coupons week in and week out. The great thing is that if you’re flexible in this way, you can save LOTS of money for your family while still buying quality products that they’re going to need anyway.
Money Saving Mom Does Once a Week Grocery Shopping
Any money saving mom worth her salt keeps a running tally of what her household inventory of crucial items are. What is a crucial item? Things like toilet paper, toothpaste, baby formula, basic foods that comprise the majority of meals… You know, the core basics. It doesn’t help to just keep a larger running list that can be updated regularly, but at least have the basics on there. The point here is that if you keep a list then you don’t have to run all over the home doing it last minute and grocery shopping doesn’t become a stressful mad dash of an event.
Okay, so that’s practical advice, but where are the money savings here?
I’m getting to that.
When you are disciplined and keep to a list of what you KNOW that you need, and of course combine that with the previous step, couponing, where appropriate, you WILL end up saving money.
Grocery shopping can be a big money drain if you do it in small bursts when you get the chance, several times per week. You lose focus and give in to impulse buys and buying things that you ,may use, but don’t need. There’s a subtle difference there if you look. Just because you’re buying things that you and your family use, doesn’t necessarily mean that you need those things and can’t live without them. Consider the items that you are buying and making a list and doing your shopping once per week with that list will ensure that you stay disciplined and on track with your grocery spending. As I said earlier, when you combine that with the first step of using coupons intelligently, it has a synergistic effect and compounds your savings. A smart money saving mom makes a list, sticks to it, and keeps her shopping to a once per week event. (within reason and barring emergency and holiday shopping)
Another tip is never do the shopping on an empty stomach. You’ll tend to buy food items that you don’t need and aren’t on your list based solely on the growling in your stomach. Have some lunch or a snack at home BEFORE heading to the grocery store or supermarket to avoid these wallet sucking temptations.
Money Saving Mom Learns How To Do Clothing Repairs
Moms of generations past knew how to do this as a matter of course, and modern people have lost much of these skills. Many are relearning certain related skills through the popularity of knitting and crocheting, but simple mending is a skill that can save you lots of money in new clothing purchases.
Understand me here. I am NOT saying to make your family wear rags, but there are plenty of items that can be mended because they have small tears, missing or hanging buttons, and other small issues that can be easily fixed that will keep the item in faithful service without having to buy new stuff all the time. Have you been to the clothing stores and see how expensive things are lately? You’d think with the off shoring and the fact that these items are mostly made in places with wages that would make the poverty wages in first world nations look wealthy in comparison would add up to reasonably priced clothing, but quality will cost you no matter where it’s made. Cheaper stuff rips and wears out more frequently, and even the older or higher quality things can tear from time to time. The object here is to take care of your clothes and make them last longer so that you save money on clothing and buying it less frequently. With men’s active trousers running $50 per pair and up, and women’s clothing being many times the cost of that, this tip alone can save you HUNDREDS of dollars.
A money saving mom gets a small sewing kit with needles and various color thread and learns how to do the simple mending that will keep the clothes in service longer. With the advent of the internet and sites like YouTube, there are tutorials everywhere that can teach you how to do anything. The knowledge is there for the taking.
Money Saving Mom Doesn’t Over Wash Clothing
Okay so what am I saying here? Wear dirty clothes? Not really, but be smart about it.
Washing and drying your clothes, especially when using modern tumble dryers, takes a lot of fibers out of the clothes. What do you think that dryer lint is? It’s parts of your clothing. Over time, the clothing loses volume and becomes more susceptible to tearing since this weakens the fibers over time.
So, be smart about it. If it’s winter time and people aren’t perspiring into their clothing or doing dirty work in them, perhaps they don’t need to be washed after every wearing. Do the smell test. If they need to be washed then they need to be washed, but in certain climate and usage conditions they can be quickly ironed and put back into service until after the next wearing. Reducing the volume of your laundry in a smart way will save on water, detergents, electric, and clothing wear. It’s common sense so just do it that way.
A Money Saving Mom Makes Her Own Soaps and Detergents
Again, the internet is your friend. With some basic ingredients that can be had very cheaply, you can experiment with making your own soaps and detergents and save big money on these expensive items. Have you seen what laundry detergent and soaps cost these days? Another benefit is that you can eliminate the fancy chemical perfumes that can cause all sorts of contact dermatitis and allergic reactions. You can still scent it with natural items that can be had reasonably. When you make your own soaps you are taking another step towards being frugal and also taking yourself out of the dependency loop that so many modern people are trapped in, paying exorbitant prices for items that they think can only be manufactured by the large corporations that are making and selling them.
This tip alone can save you hundreds per year in laundry detergent costs.
Money Saving Mom Makes Her Family’s Condiments
Have you seen how much simple items like ketchup, mayonnaise, and mustard cost? What about relishes and things of that nature? Being a skilled money saving mom means learning how to make these simple items when you need them and once again becoming independent of being dependent on large companies who make them. Another benefit to many of these money saving skills is that you eliminate the chemicals that are in the foods and contributing to all sorts of health conditions, including metabolic syndromes and cancers.
With some jars and ingredients, you can whip up your own condiments in usable batches WHEN YOU NEED THEM. You can do it simply from basic ingredients that you can easily find on the thousands of recipe sites that dot the internet. The expense of the ingredients is minor and won’t add much to your food bill, and the money you’ll be saving by not buying the overpriced chemical laden condiments will more than make up for the cost of basic healthy ingredients needed.
A Money saving Mom is a Gardener Who Preserves
Part of this will be limited to those who have the property to grow a garden, but even if you don’t have a garden, you can find budget produce sellers. I hope that you aren’t reliant on large grocery chains for your produce needs, but whenever you are dependent on stuff like that, it’s hard to save money. Do your best.
If you have some land to grow a garden, you’re in business!
A modest to large sized garden can produce so much produce that you could be giving it away for months on end and still have enough for your family. That is what many people do in order to prevent much of it from going to waste. I’m now in the position to tell you that you won’t have to be so charitable since you can learn the art of preservation and pickling. A money saving mom can jar lots of this produce and use it all year long. You can use it to produce your own relishes and so many other things. The more that you grow and preserve is that much less that you have to buy in the grocery store, and when you grow it yourself without chemicals you know it’s as organic as you can get it. Generations past had to do this to survive, so it wasn’t an option back then. They didn’t have produce coming from the other side of the world and filling modern supermarkets, so people had to do what I am telling you to do, just to survive. Here you get to relearn these lost arts in order to get healthier and save money at the same time!
Driving Only When Necessary Saves Money Saving Mom Lots of Fuel
Think about how many times the average vehicle owning person goes out on various errands. Do you know that a minimal amount of pre-planning can save a lot of fuel? The way to do this is to quickly make a list of what you need to do – where you need to go – and see which ones are closer or maybe chart a route amongst them so that you can get to all of them in one or smaller groups of trips rather than making individual trips. When you drive out to all of your errands in separate trips, you may be in the vicinity of the others, so doesn’t it make sense to plan it out in advance and benefit from the fuel savings? If you get into the habit of doing this it becomes second nature and you will stop wasting so much fuel.
There are other benefits too.
Not only will you save money, but you’ll be polluting less, producing less carbon emissions and acid rain, as well as creating less wear and tear on your vehicle. You know how much your vehicle costs and how much it can cost to repair and maintain. Having less of those repairs and maintenance costs starts with using it less.
A Money Saving Mom Keeps that Thermostat Low
I’m not advocating freezing your family out, but a few degrees cooler in the winter or warmer in the summer (for central a/c) can save lots of money over the year. In the winter you can dress warmer around the house. You know, people don’t have to be able to walk around in t-shirts and shorts as if it were summer. You don’t need to keep the thermostat way up. Of course you want it high enough to not freeze your pipes.
In the summer, try keeping the air conditioning a few degrees warmer and see if you can get used to it without being too uncomfortable.
The average American family spends about $3500 per year on home energy costs, which accounts for heating in winter and cooling in summer, hot water, electric, etc.
By keeping a watchful eye on the thermostat, you can save several hundred dollars per year, every year. That alone can turn you into a money saving mom.
Money Saving Mom Learns How to Make Clothes
Again, most modern people have lost the old traditions, with the advent of the Industrial Revolution and specialization, we no longer need to know how to do everything, since we all specialize and rely on each other for things that we cannot create ourselves. This is one of the hallmarks of a modern industrial society. The problem is that you have to pay what the market bears for such items, and if you disagree with the cost and can’t find it elsewhere cheaper, then you have to do without.
The Doomsday Prepper communities are re-learning how to be self sufficient in case of a societal meltdown, but those of us who don’t harbor such apocalyptic beliefs DO realize that you can save lots of money by re-learning such lost skills and arts by becoming free from having to be held hostage by corporate pricing models.
I’m not suggesting that you make all of your family’s clothing needs, but if you can learn how to do simple things beyond repair, like maybe making dresses if you have daughters or maybe stuff for young children. This may not be practical for everyone, but there are a certain segment of the money making mom market out there who will see it as a worthwhile endeavor and jump in with both feet.
Sticking to the Budget is a Money Saving Mom Trademark
Making a budget is one thing, but sticking to it is quite another. This section is to just reinforce what you probably already know. You have to stick to your budget if you hope to save money on a regular consistent basis. Stay focused! Get into the proper mindset and maybe join some online forums related to this subject and contribute while letting others get to know you. A sense of community is something that acts like a support group and it will keep you focused and honest in your efforts. I probably could have made the online support group thing a section in and of itself, but really it’s a support thing and meant to get you to your goal of being a money saving mom, and keeping you there, so I believe that it belongs here as a way to help stay focused and provide a way that will help to stick you to your budget. It’s called “motivation”.
A Money Saving Mom Doesn’t Use Credit Cards
Buying things on credit can be convenient in some cases, more secure with safety measures built in in other cases, and downright disastrous most of the time. You really have to watch your use of credit because it’s so tempting and easy to tap it time and again, and then you end up not only owing money but interest on top of that. I would recommend that if you have a credit card, keep it to one and only use it on occasions where you KNOW that you can pay it back quickly, and then DO SO. If you are of the type who can’t resist and will abuse it, it’s just better to go without. I’ve been in debt before and I can tell you it’s NOT FUN. If you want to be a money saving mom, then you really want to think twice about whether you need the temptation of credit cards.
Paying Bills on Time Helps Money Saving Mom Stay Financially Strong
Even if you want to shun credit for obvious reasons, it’s always good to keep your credit rating sound. You never know if you’ll need some kind of quick emergency credit or loan, and paying your bills on time is something that you should get in the habit of. Even if you are not using credit card style revolving credit, you have bills that need to be paid regularly. If you don’t pay doctor bills and other bills on time, you will be reported to credit agencies and your credit rating WILL suffer. Don’t go there if you don’t have to. Keep your credit rating intact and stay a credit worthy money saving mom.
Money Saving Mom Uses Savings to Her Advantage
Not everyone has enough left over at the end of the month to put money into savings, but a money saving mom is saving lots of money from being frugal and smart, so she has savings, and that savings can initially be saved in labeled envelopes or something like that, but eventually it should go into a bank account. I urge you to use a bank account because it’s safe and insured. Short of a total economic collapse in which cash will be useless anyway, your money is safe from robbery and things like fire when it’s in the bank. Why not use separate savings accounts for separate goals? There’s not rule saying that you can’t, and with bank interest being so low as to be a joke, it’s not like you’re damaging your earning potential by having your principal amount split up in different accounts. This will enable you to save for different goals and know what is there for each. You can have one account for holiday savings, one for education, and maybe another for other things like car repairs and other emergencies. A money saving mom can really use multiple savings accounts to her advantage and help to meet savings goals.
Money Saving Mom Transitions to Money Making Mom
The ultimate win, the highest coup d’etat that any money saving mom can reach is not just saving money, but making money. You can only save so much. You can only pinch and shrink and stretch so far before you have hit maximum savings. It’s a goal worth reaching and if you do then pat yourself on the back. The biggest things here are to locate what you want to do and what you might be good at and then take action daily to make it a reality.
If there are things or skills that you need to learn, then use some of that savings to invest in yourself and get crucial skills that you need to move forward. Investing is not the same as regular spending.
I still can’t help but mention that you should consider, if you have the time and the energy and ambition, to start some sort of business venture or money making endeavor. There are lots of work from home things out there now with the internet, there are ways to make money.
First you have to assess is your skills and what you are willing to do and also how much you want to make. You can trade time for money in the form of a job, or you can decide to make and sell stuff, or services, online, in order to make a nice profit.
There are so many moms doing this today online. Everything from Ebay and Amazon store fronts to people with special skills like graphic arts are selling goods and services online. It enables you to work from your home and not have to go into an office, which is great for the money saving MOM. Many moms are rediscovering what it means to be home with their kids, and they don’t need to forgo having some sort of earning potential as they had to in years past.
Just look around at all of the ways there are to make money and choose one.
There’s also so many network marketing opportunities out there as well. Many a money saving mom is making a great second family income by getting people to buy goods and join their sales teams inside the various network marketing companies that sell everything from vitamins to cosmetics and diet shakes. It’s not limited to that, either. There are plenty of other products and services that are sold in that way. You literally have hundreds, if not thousands, of things to choose from in that industry. I also write articles about how these network marketing people can blog in order to drum up business without having to rely on the old “bothering your family and friends” methods of decades past that many people still surprisingly promote. I also show them that they can give up the old tactics of corralling and tricking people to go to hotel meetings and also shift that to blogging to people who are already looking for what they are offering.
I have many interesting topics on my blog, so please look around and check out some more articles on everything from how to reach retirement in style to converting an old notebook computer into a first rate blogging machine.
I hope that you found some value here.
Until next time…