Friday, October 9, 2009

Saving Money By Staying Home

I grew up in a big city, a few hours away from Chicago. When I got my first job in news reporting, I moved to a very small city in a very underpopulated Western state. Downsizing so drastically was a huge adjustment for me. There was no Barnes and Noble to run to on a Friday night, no Pier One Imports to browse through, no Kohl's to shop at, not even a coffee shop to visit with a friend (we now have some--thankfully!). Once I cut the consumerism out of my life--even materialism--I found I could be content with the simple pleasures of life. Living in a small city (although it's now growing) pretty much demands it.

In college, I dated a guy whose parents stayed home every weekend night. I thought that was so boring, that there was no way I would ever do that when I was married. But for the most part, that's exactly what we do each weekend. And I love it! 

By staying home, I save so much money. A tank of gas lasts me a really long time. If I don't go out, my money stays in our bank account. When I do go shopping, I almost always find something that I just have to have. For example, on a small trip to the thrift store last week, I spent $25. Did I truly need any of what I bought? No. I picked up some fun dress-up clothes for the boys, a few nice outfits for myself, and some glass jars. But if I would have stayed home, I would never have known what I was missing out on.

Lest you think I lead a boring life by staying at home the majority of the time, let me assure you I don't!
There are many fun and free things to do each day. Taking a walk outside is one of the greatest simple pleasures. You get fresh air, sunshine, and exercise, and it's free! We go to the library (it's a short drive from our house). We walk to the park. We make play-dough at home. We bake. I believe it is very important to raise children who are able to be content being at home, who are able to find their own amusements without relying on commercialism and jumping from activity to activity to entertain them.

That's one of the biggest ways I know to help save money. What are some of your favorite tips? I'd love to hear your thoughts! You can also read more ways people saving money here.

1 comment:

  1. We are always trying to save money. It's hard when you stay home, and don't have that extra income any more. We try to stay home by making pizza instead of ordering, buying ice cream and toppings instead of going to DQ, making our own snacks, and cooking almost all of our own meals. I am in the process of learning to make my own bread. WE dont have cable, and we have a pre paid cell phone for emergencies. I recently bought a nice camera that should last years, so I dont have to take them in to get their pics made anymore. We dont have car payments, and are going to drive our cars till they are dead :0) I give my whole family haircuts, and cut/color/ perm a lot of other peoples' hair for a little extra income. We do a TON to try to save money. WE have fun as a family, and go out, but usually dont spend money. The kids love to be outside. Thats the best play ground of all!