Live a little life, save a lot

A smaller footprint can make for a bigger bank account

Sometimes bigger isn’t always better and that can include the scale of your life. This is true for me personally as my husband and just downsized from a three bedroom, two bathroom ranch to a two bed, one bath bungalow (it’s super cute BTW).

By society’s standards the location is less desirable and the size is worth snubbing—but who cares? For us it’s an improvement. For one—the character has me smiling ear to ear. From archways to 1900’s glass doorknobs and a large Jack and Jill bathroom—this property has everything we’ve ever wanted.

So, while it might be small to some, it’s a castle to us… and I can see our quality of life improving before my eyes.

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This year’s life lesson = gratitude

Throughout the hustle and bustle of this year’s holiday season, I’ve sat silently and observantly, watching the attitudes and spending behaviors of others and then looking inwards at my own life. Measuring my performance in some ways.

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Don’t underestimate the value of used

Simple savings can yield BIG benefits

For years I’ve donated or tossed out my old, used and no longer wanted clothing items. I would ask myself… “Would anyone really pay for this or should I just give it away?” Much of the time I would just give in to the convenience of donation centers and throw bits and pieces out at a time. Over the years I’ve gotten rid of gently worn dresses, skirts and other wardrobe pieces I no longer wore or wanted without thinking much about the costs that were lost. And what lends to an event worse feeling is that stores like PLATO’S CLOSET and Buffalo Exchange weren’t that much of a help either. I always felt scammed when I left those stores with little cash in hand and knowing how much money was likely left on the table. They’re out for profit after all.

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Pack, pack, pack it up (as in your lunch)

How brown bagging can put better food in your belly and leave more wiggle room in your wallet

You don’t have to be back to school or starting a new job to consider packing a lunch. Maybe you’re looking to tighten your belt in more ways than one and need cheaper, more nutritional options to get there. If that’s the case then toting along your lunch everyday can really benefit you.

Pack, pack, pack it up! Brown bagging - not so bad when you're saving some cash!

Pack, pack, pack it up! Brown bagging – not so bad when you’re saving some cash.

Let’s talk costs

Most everyone knows dining out can cost big bucks. Just think about the costs of doing that every day over the life or your career. A simple $7 lunch eaten out every week day, plus or minus a $2 tip depending on where you go, could mean as much as $45 a week spent on a mere five meals.

Now take that times 12 months and wow! That’s just over $2,300 spent in a year on lunches alone…and you still have to eat at other times of the day – breakfast, dinner, coffee breaks anyone?

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Ready, set, SAVE with secondhand

Secondhand savings can bring big smiles to hunters on the prowl for a good deal.

Spending money can be fun for some, but for me – SAVING money is really what brings on the excitement and personal glow. For me, saving dollars here and there offers an AMAZING sense of joy and accomplishment. Endorphin’s anyone?

In previous posts I’ve outlined some of the ways I enjoy saving the most, and a big one I discuss is realizing savings through the purchase of secondhand items. But, in this piece I want to focus on the potential savings that can be realized by shopping at thrift stores and using these venues as a main destination for meeting some of your basic clothing and household needs.

Here’s just a couple of ways you can save even more, when shopping secondhand

Think their item is overpriced? Ask for a discount. If you ever find yourself in a thrift store or consignment shop and aren’t quite sold on the store’s asking price for a certain item, feel free to go ahead and ask for a discount. Embarrassed at that thought? Don’t be. How else will they know they’re turning off potential buyers with off-base prices?

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Live simply and cut out what holds you back

Simple is fine by me. After all, my first home was a tiny house.

I have a habit of moving. So do a lot of people. Anyone who has gone off to school, taken their career to a different city or moved for the sake of love, knows what it’s like to pilfer through their belongings to determine what they would want and need the most to make their next chapter a seamless page turn.

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Need a lift? Try thrifting

Shake that piggy bank!

When money is tight and your budget is bursting but you still have things you need in order to get by – there’s no better place to find such things, than in a secondhand store.

Yep, that’s right, I’m telling you to turn to used stuff if there’s really a must have on your to-do list.

So maybe you’re new to thrift store shopping or yard sales — have no fear. Sure the stores aren’t always located in the most prime locations or up-to-date strip malls, but to each her own. These stores are jam-packed with tons of items to pilfer through. You just have to be willing to open yourself up to this kind of shopping experience if you’re not so adventuresome (also a little patience might help).

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