Ok y’all. It’s going to get real here.
Despite what your pocketbook may look like right now, it is not endless.
Despite what your best friend’s pocketbook appears to be, or that couple down the street, no ones is endless.
For example, to our family and friends I’m sure we’ve looked like we had a never-ending pocketbook. My husband and I have both worked, and worked our way up in our careers over time. We were young, and less than a year into our marriage, when we started making some big purchases. Since I said we were going to get real here, I might as well call out that this drew attention to us. We were able to buy a new home, and then a new car, and then furnish our home. I mean, we’re not talking a mansion here, but we certainly weren’t bad off.
But here’s the thing… We lived within our means. I cooked. A lot. We didn’t have champagne taste, so what we bought was normally from discounted-home décor shops (Homegoods, anyone?). We bought nearly all our groceries from Walmart. And we didn’t get my car brand-new, it was used and from a discount car retailer.
So, while others around you may appear to “have it all,” just know, they are likely reigning it in in other ways.
Below is my advice on how to get the right mindset, and practical ways to rein it in…
Lesson 1 – Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
We are all God’s children. He loves us all the same. And those people you think have a fairytale perfect life do not. Something I always try to keep in perspective is that you never know what someone is struggling with at that very moment.
Lesson 2 – Don’t Buy What You Won’t Use
Yup, learned this one the hard way. Let’s just say that less than a year ago it was an abnormal day for us to not have a package or two delivered. Yeah… we were pretty bad about that.
But, once we started trying to break the habit we realized how much we’d bought that wasn’t really needed, or is still sitting somewhere in it’s original packaging (Men In Black DVD anyone? Bought it 3 years ago and still haven’t opened it…)
So, I am pretty sure my husband thought I’d lost it when I told him I downloaded the Krazy Coupon Lady app. That was really when I turned a corner in being money conscious, for the first time in a long while. But there are some great apps out there that can either give you a rebate for buying normal products at your normal stores, or even just keep you up to date on the latest sales. (For more on this, see my post here)
Lesson 4 – Try to Share Your Gifts With Others
Yes, give of your time and share God’s love with your neighbor (sometimes easier said than done, am I right?)… but also, know that there are TONS of opportunities all around you to get compensated for your talents, time and effort to help others.
I’m not talking about charging grandma to bring her trash can in on trash day… I’m talking about getting connected with your community and offering your talents to others. If you present it well, you would be shocked how open folks are to it and grateful for the expertise of others. Here are some ideas based on what I’ve seen in my community:
- Give Swimming Lessons to Children
Granted, you probably need to be certified and have some experience teaching swim lessons… but if you are – start spreading the word
- Bake Cupcakes / Decorated Cookies
If you have a talent here, start sharing some pics of your recent work on social media. You’d be shocked how many people will start begging to give you their money in exchange for your pretties. I’ve seen multiple friends start to post pictures of their beautiful baked goods and it naturally grow into a side business. You may be surprised how easy this one is.
- Dog Walk
- Landscape / Plant Flowers
- Oh, and hey, you could start a blog (like me)
I’ll be honest, I started my blog because I wanted to offset the loss of my full-time salary when we become a one income household (fingers crossed y’all!) and I learned that bloggers are not only sharing their story and promoting their message, but can also bring in some income by affiliating with companies and creating a social presence – (here’s the kicker) without being all sales-pitchy. Score! So, I’m giving it a go.
If you are interested, there are tons (literally tons) of blog posts about how to start a blog. The world doesn’t need any more of those & I don’t run that kind of blog here.
I will, however, give my 2 cents as to a great hosting provider – I use SiteGround as my hosting site and have not looked back. SiteGround’s website is fairly easy to use, super quick to get started and their customer service is top notch.
Give it a try! Then share your blog with me, I’d love to read it.
Moral of the story is:
Everyone has a limited supply of funds. Everyone. And it is wise to try to make that supply go as far as possible. And there are SO many ways to do that!
Share with me some of your favorite ways to stretch a dollar. I’d love to hear them!