Thursday, June 30, 2016, AM | 1 Comment
When you think of frugality, images of an old unhappy miser pinching pennies and existing on scraps may come to mind. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.
Our consumer culture has pushed us into buying and consuming habits which make us want more, better, newer, faster. People are encouraged to live above their means as evidenced by the plague of consumer debt.
True wealth is about how much you keep, not how much you earn, and it certainly isn’t about “stuff.”
Here are 4 simple ways to save money each month by learning to think and create, rather than buy and consume.
Drive a used car
When you buy a new car, it loses a full third of its value the minute you drive it off the lot. If you took out a loan to pay for it, you are now in the not-so-enviable position of paying interest on an item that depreciates every single day that you own it. That’s not smart.
Buy a car that is off-lease, less than 2 years old. You’ll get a car that looks and drives new for a fraction of the original price, while someone else takes the financial hit for you.
Or save your money and pay in cash when purchasing a new vehicle to avoid costly car payments every month.
Don’t pay a mechanic $60 / hour for routine fixes
Learn to do simple repairs yourself to save a ton. Everyone has had the experience of taking their car to a mechanic for something routine and leaving a few hundred dollars lighter in the bank account.
Buy your parts at an online parts store like Reggie’s Garage, and then do the work yourself.
Grow your own food
Farmers markets are the new thing, especially in urban areas. So why not take it to the next level and grow your own? A few hours of work, and less than $10 in seeds, and you can have a food plot that will create over a hundred pounds of fresh produce each season.
Growing your own food will virtually eliminate your monthly grocery bill. And the satisfaction that comes from doing so is immense.
Make your own household cleaners and soaps
Store bought cleaners are poisonous. Period. If you wouldn’t drink it, why would you be willing to put it on your body or clean your house with it? Plus, at $3-$10 an item, store bought cleaners add up quickly.
You can easily make your own with natural ingredients such as lemon juice and baking soda. There are many herbs like ginger and rosemary that have natural antiseptic qualities, too.
These are just a few ways to save on the biggest expenses that crop up on a regular basis. Imagine life without the burden of monthly bills. That’s a level of freedom that most people never get to experience.
Making a small change is the first step in creating that life.
The real value of learning to be self-reliant isn’t just about money. It is the feeling of accomplishment that you get from tackling projects yourself. Both your mind and your pocketbook will thank you.
There is a tremendous amount of intrinsic satisfaction that comes from learning how to be self-sufficient, and that feeling cannot be bought.
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She also enjoys being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan also enjoys researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.