Everyday Life

Helpful Resources for Home Economists!

Home -
the place where one lives permanently,
esp. as a member of a family or household
Economist -
an expert in economics
Economics -
the branch of knowledge concerned with the
, consumption, and transfer of wealth.

Those of you who know me well know that I am a budgeter. My favorite financial mentor, Dave Ramsey, calls women like myself Home Economists.

Instead of pouting and being down hearted about financial situations, Home Economists find ways to produce income, decrease or maximize consumption, and transfer their knowledge on to their immediate audience (in my case...children!).

So, are there days I am bummed about having to spend so much time clipping coupons and price matching at the register of WalMart?? Sure, but when I take the time to refocus why I do what I do...I am always encouraged to press on.

How do you produce income to meet your financial goal? Don't misinterpret what I am saying here...I am not at all implying that God can't provide for my family. I am simply interested to know what you would do if you knew you could not pay the electric bill next month...or you really want to repaint a room in your house....but the extra funds aren't there... or you are involved in a wedding or trip that is going to be more expensive than what you were originally thinking. What would your course of action be.

first step of action (after I express my dependence on my Great Provider to meet this need) is to look around my house and find something to sell on craig's list or to organize a yard sale...and I keep record of everything I donate to goodwill for tax purposes! you would be amazed how much your junk is worth! (even though tax deductions aren't going to put fast cash in your pocket...they are a very easy way to make money come tax season!) Another great way to make fast cash is to consign kid stuff! This amazes me! For those of you who have kids...keep track of community consignment sales...and get involved - you will be shocked at what you can make!

If that is not enough to meet the specific need...I right away
inventory my grocery bill. I can usually scrimp here. My monthly allocation for groceries right now is under $100, so even if I save here...it isn't much.

The next thing I
inventory is my use of electricity and water. Many months I have been able to spend less here in order to take the remaining money from that envelope and pay another bill.

Finally, I consider my usage of the now excessively high priced gasoline! Last month I was able to make 1 tank of gas stretch all month! That was a huge feat for me...and I did have a little celebration with Titus and Ezra for our major achievement! This takes planning and strategy! I mean every mile counts! So many women tell me they just don't have time to exercise...and I completely agree...but why not use your legs to go places instead of just hoping into the car. I used to not even think about jumping in my car and running around town...but over the last several months...my awareness has increased! I now enjoy getting out the old stroller and using my legs to run simple errands. It takes more time...but the boys love getting outside in the fresh air...and my body enjoys the brisk mile or two (or three) walk! It is also a great way to streamline your grocery store runs...you can only fit so much into a stroller basket!

Another great way is to find out if your chiropractor....dentist...doctor...bank...etc. have special promotions for referrals! I do this with my dentist and have received over $150.00 in gift cards from them! It's so simple...I put a few extra business cards in the credit card section of my wallet and when someone asks about a specific service...I hand them a card and tell them to let the specific office know I referred them.

So, let's hear all the creative ways you all "produce income". Remember this includes both income and saved expenditures!


Mark and Stephanie Stonis said...

Great post! The first things I always cut are food and electric too. I also take advantage of rebates--it is especially fun to combine coupons with items that will be free after rebate! I have also done some free trials where they have given me gift cards for gas or Lowes or sent me checks to use towards groceries and other bills just for trying their service for a month. I have made money using Riteaids and Walgreens rebate programs--saving money just gives me a thrill! :)

Rachel and Jacob said...

like stephanie said-- good post! I think everyone does alot of number crunching in this current economy- huh? I am always amazed when Im in line at the store and I see some one dish out $200 for what i know could be bought at $60-70 with coupons!!! It takes along time at the checkout but I had one guy say "you saved over 50 percent using those coupons-wow!" It's always extra sweet to use coupons on a B1G1 deal!

when I shop online I shop through ebates-- it helps by giving me some cash back... I also love store cards like vistorias secret angel card-lotsa free panties!

Future of Hope said...

I know I am repeating everyone else, but this was a great post!
Have you ever tried shopping at CVS and at Walgreens using their rebates programs/card cash programs. That saved us a lot up north, but now that those stores are further away and gas is higher . . . but I digress.

It helps us out a lot that I can do some freelance writing and editing from home. I can choose my own hours and projects, and the work is portable. I often work at the park, at play places, and in the evening or early morning when the boys are in bed.

Thanks so much for all the good ideas. One question that I am really curious about: where do you all find your coupons? Do you buy a Sunday paper? Do you buy them online?

Also, any good ideas for keeping coupons in order? I know it sounds silly, but I really believe that I could be a better steward of what God has given to us if I began to use coupons when I shop at places besides Aldis.

Bonnie Blakeney said...

I love this too - I pride myself on being a "home economist" though I've never heard this term before. Some stuff I do is: only grocery shop 2x a month, go to yard sales/goodwill if I need something for Todd before going to a store, RELISH hand-me-downs, and NEVER EVER buy wrapping paper/cards/recipe books - make them instead!!

Mark and Anne Brumbaugh said...

Great comments!! Every single comment has given me a new idea to think and work on!!

I will talk about coupons in another post...so keep checking!! I love all these ideas...keep commenting!

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