Another Monday of our March Money Challenge, which means I have a guest post for you guys all about how one family saves money. Like I’ve said before, I love learning how other people manage their money. There are so many different tips and tricks, and not everything works for everyone. This post is written by Jessie of www.thenilaughed.com. She is super funny, but also covers some important topics, like fetal alcohol syndrome and adoption. If you get a chance, check out her blog!
|Here is a picture of her beautiful family.
Look at all those boys!
Jessie has been through a lot. A while ago, her entire house BURNED DOWN. I can’t even imagine what that would be like. She now is a mother of 6 and has lots of tricks for you to help make ends meet just a little bit better. She also only uses cash, so her tips are really good for this month’s challenge.
Here is what Jessie has to say:
I am so excited to have the opportunity to be a guest blogger! If someone would have asked me 10 years ago if I could write a post about money matters I would have laughed at them! The only concern I had about money was that I had enough. It’s amazing how marriage and 6 kids can change you. Now managing money is something I think about daily! I’ve become very creative in the ways I save and spend our money. Here are a few of the ways I try to stretch our dollars the furthest!
I make a monthly menu and plan all of our meals in advance. This helps us save in a couple of different ways. First it put an end to us eating out. Seriously with 8 of us eating out costs a fortune! Now if all of the meals are planned in advance I don’t have the excuse of “I don’t know what to make for dinner.” Also by planning our meals ahead I can shop the deals and stock up on items in advance to save us money!
I price match almost all of our groceries. What I do is take my monthly menu and make a spreadsheet/grocery list with all the items I will need for each month. Then I go thru the ads for all of our local stores and find the lowest prices. Once I have a list of the lowest prices I head to Wal-Mart and do all my shopping there since they will match any lower prices. Now I even teach classes on how to price match at our local community college and add the teaching money to our savings. I also provide detailed instructions on how to price match on my blog http://www.thenilaughed.com/ and provide readers with a list of the weekly deals. Price matching may seem like a lot of work but it saves me hundreds of dollars a month. I now have our grocery budget down to about $400 a month.
No credit cards
We said goodbye to credit cards long ago. If we don’t have cash to make a purchase it just doesn’t happen. I refuse to be owned by credit card companies!
I lost my house to a fire right before I met my now husband. I could have rebuilt or bought another home. But I choose to stay in a small rental that I don’t love because it is cheap! I put up with the bad paint job and chipped kitchen counters because I prefer to live debt free. I also appreciate that we are in a small space (1200 sq feet). Small spaces mean less stuff! Having a limited amount of space means we don’t buy stuff we don’t need! Someday we will buy a home again but until then I’m willing to pay a small amount of rent while we finish paying off our debts and stock piling our savings.
I’ve learned to tell myself no and most importantly how to tell my kids no! We don’t need to own every new kid’s movie that comes out and they don’t need name brand clothes. I buy what we need and nothing more. Since I’ve been through losing everything in a fire I have a clear understanding of how little material things matter. In the days after the fire when we had NOTHING I was so grateful for the smallest things. I try to fill our home only with things we need or love!
These are some of the things that work for our family. I don’t know if they will work for you but it’s worth a shot. Until the money trees start growing in our yards we have to get creative and make our money work for us! Tell me about how you save money!
About the Author
Jessie Voiers is a mom , a wife, and a blogger at www.thenilaughed.com. She is passionate about saving money, finding great deals, and living a life filled with laughter.