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Just Because You Do Not Work Does Not Mean You Cannot Contribute To Household Savings

April 21, 2010 · 39 comments

in Personal Finance

Since my kids were born, I have mostly been a stay-at-home mom (SAHM).  When at least one of the kids was still at home, I felt like I was ‘contributing’, as I was busy with him all day long.  However, when my youngest child went off to school full-time, I kind of felt like I was ‘in-between’.  I was still a mom, but for 7 hours a day, there was not a whole lot of mom responsibilities going on.  It was then that my role shifted – to ‘Mom Who is Also the  Ultimate Money Manager’.  (That’s my own made-up title.)

I have always run the family finances, but with the kids at school, I had more time to really focus on the household money.   I learned how to grocery shop wisely.  Once I really started paying attention to what products actually cost, I knew when to take advantage of a sale and stock up.  I would say that by becoming more familiar with prices and combining sales with coupons, I cut my grocery bill by 40 percent.  Plus, we had more food in the house, ironically enough.

In addition to grocery savings, there are many things that you, as Ultimate Money Manager, can do to reduce your monthly costs:

  1. Look at the cable bill.   Can any ‘add-ons’ be cut?  Another thing I do every 6 months is I call my cable supplier and tell them that I can get cheaper service elsewhere.  (Which is true.)  They then always cut my bill by 20 dollars a month, and it is a 6 month deal.  It has worked every single time.
  2. Evaluate the age of your car and what type of insurance you need for it.  A new car and a 10 year old car have different insurance needs
  3. Do you even need a home phone?  If you do, consider bundling it with your TV/Internet service if it is available in your area.
  4. Inspect your credit card bill every  month.  Several times a year, I am double charged for something.  Last year I was charged twice for a kayaking trip we took on vacation.  Catching that snafu saved us 140 dollars.
  5. Don’t spend what you don’t have.  Who wants to waste the money they earn on interest payments?   Next time you want to make a purchase that will end up as a credit card balance, picture yourself taking the  money you would pay in interest and putting it through a paper shredder.  Whether you pay it to a credit card company or shred it, the net effect is the same- you no longer have that money.
  6. Pay close attention to when bills are due and create a system for payments.  The only thing I hate more than wasting money on interest is spending money on late fees.  Always, always, always pay your bills on time.

So if you do not work outside the home, instead of feeling guilty about not bringing in a paycheck (like I did), focus your attention on making your household money last.  The list provided above is just the beginning.  Over time, watching your money becomes part of your life.  You will hate buying anything that is not on sale.  You will laugh when you see displays at the store that try to make you think those products on sale, but you will know better.  Your brand loyalty on certain items may go out the window.  You will find you are not making as many impulse buys on clothes, food, anything.  Once you truly commit to stretching that dollar, your spending habits and mindset completely change.

As always, if you have any exciting ways that you save money every month, please leave a comment so everyone can benefit!

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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Guide Guy April 21, 2010 at 11:24 pm

Marvellous post – and good domain by the way!

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Carmen Araneta April 22, 2010 at 2:17 am

I agree with you completely on this. And our husbands should appreciate what we do.

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Beth April 22, 2010 at 10:29 am

When I was off for FMLA with Connor, I was a coupon addict! I was getting things for free or almost free (my goal was less than $1 per item) just by matching up my coupons with sales. It was so fulfilling to bring home bags of groceries for pennies on the dollar! I’m getting ready to do it all again soon!

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Joe May 14, 2010 at 4:58 pm

This is SO true. My wife is a SAHM, and she considers it her duty (her words) to save as much as she can on the grocery bill. She works hard at it too, clipping coupons, and planning meals around sale items. It’s really paid off too – we routinely save 20-40% off our grocery bill, and there is no sense of resentment that she isn’t helping to keep our financial boat alfoat!

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