Learning how financially saving in everyday purchases and your household’s needs will impact your life is a positive aspect of managing your money well! In this day and time, it’s important to know how this fits into your life. Also, knowing what you are comfortable with employing in your finances can be very valuable.
Being able to save when necessary on purchases that are inevitable is a skill that will come in handy sometimes. There is a lot involved in knowing your finances, from tracking your expenditures to the bills you are responsible for. It’s also important to know what you have to spend and what your budget is capable of. Even just understanding how a budget works and where your finances are at is a good place to start.
Saving money is not only about not spending money. Making your wealth spread further is so valuable and can really change the outcome of your finances. Here are 5 ways to help make your income count.
Secondhand and Thrift Shopping
Thrift shopping or buying secondhand for some of the necessities in life is a great resource and an amazing way to start saving parts of your income. This can provide some of the items you need, but don’t want to spend a large amount on.
This could be in clothing and/or accessories, physical items that you need such as baking ware, utensils, kitchen gadgets, pieces of home decor, and more. It just really depends on what you need and when you need it.
My Husband and I did this for most of the furniture we were in need of while buying our home. We knew we needed these items sooner rather than later. As soon as our offer was accepted I started searching through Facebook Marketplace for the pieces we needed. (There are other good places and sites, this one is just the most convenient for us at the moment).
A Dining Table
A dining table was a major need for us. We had a small table that was my desk for school, and then a dining table for our first apartment. After our offer was accepted though, we knew that it was small for the space we would have and it only sat 4 people at max.
Even with the pandemic going on, I knew that between our family, and the possibility of working from home we needed our table to sit at least 6 people if not more. I started looking at new tables to get a feel for the market. I also did this to really find the style of table that would work for our needs, space and wants.
Then I took to the secondhand spaces to find the perfect fit within the financial space we had. I had a budget of $300 for a table that sat 6+ people and had the ability to extend as well. We wanted a simple table that was a dark-stained wood and I lucked out!
We found this table in our search for only $250! There were no damages and it came with 6 chairs AND had the ability to extend out each side! I had been finding that many secondhand tables only came with part of the chairs, or no chairs at all and they were still right around my budgeted limit, so when I found this one, I jumped on it!
It was about an hour and a half away and oh boy was it an adventure! My dad came along and helped me pick it up. It turned out to be the perfect table for our home!
Living Room Sectional
Due to our floor plan and home layout, we really were after the perfect sectional to fit the space and create a divide throughout the downstairs. As you probably know, sectionals can be really expensive, especially for the size that we were hoping to find.
I didn’t even look at the new market for sectionals, because I knew that it would be too much for the budget. We had talked about saving $1,000 for a couch but we knew that even that was too much for our finances. We never set an actual price range for this, but instead focused on under $1,000, and in my head, I was shooting for $500.
I looked and looked, but there was always something that didn’t fit. With all the colors, shapes, configurations, sizing – it was confusing to shop thru the secondhand sites. This was along with making sure that the couch fit our wants and more importantly our needs. It was also important to make sure that along with its current location and the environment that the household keeps was up to our standards.
While searching through many many listings there was many that I thought might be the one, until I stumbled upon this sectional that that happened to be right around the corner in the neighborhood next to us. The seller was asking $650, and she was willing to hang onto the sectional until we moved into our home the following week!
Between the location, price, and storage till our move date, it was the perfect opportunity for us. And, it turned out to be the perfect couch for our space and our needs and it’s turned out to be very comfortable too!
A Bookshelf for my Mini-Library.
I have been looking for the perfect bookshelf since about the middle of November now. After we moved in and I figured out the space that I had, I started learning the market. After unpacking my books, I knew how many I would be keeping, I got a little more serious, but I couldn’t find just the one. The bookshelf to be the right size, color, height, to allow it to fit how I wanted.
I actually finally found this bookshelf just last weekend! It’s just perfect for the number of books that I have kept. It’s also the perfect height for our tv in our bedroom so again, it’s worked so perfectly. It’s very similar to the rest of our bedroom furniture so it fits in well. It also isn’t huge and overpowering for our bedroom, like a full-height bookshelf would have been.
Not only did we save money on these items, but we were also able to buy a few of the bigger ticket items. Some of these purchases are our Shark IQ Robot Vacuum, our Amazon Alexa SmartHome Systems, and we were able to replace all the carpet.
Buying secondhand definitely provided that extra room we needed. It allowed us to do all the things we wanted instead of just one or 2. The furniture honestly is just as good as if we had bought new! No regrets here!
Using a 0-Based Budget
Utilizing a 0-Based Budget allows you to name and give purpose to each dollar of your income. Creating a purpose for the money that you worked so hard for can help you to stick with your budget, instead of spending it elsewhere.
Budgeting in general is a smart tool to use when working with your finances. While it’s a challenge, it is worth it! Budgeting allows you to really look into your finances and see where your money is going. Knowing where your money is being spent is powerful. That one aspect allows you to decide if that is where you want your money to be spent.
This may not seem like a way to make your money count, but really committing to budgeting your finances out for 6 months could change your perspective. You will be amazed at the things you find and observe! It’s an adventure!
What are the things that are currently being paid that are not necessities of life? Necessities are your four walls – food, shelter(including utilities), clothing, transportation. These are the things that you must have to continue living and being able to work and create income.
Paying for subscriptions when your four walls are either not being met or are barely being met might not be the wisest decision. If you are serious about changing your finances, canceling any subscription that wasn’t necessary would allow you to really see your income.
Utilizing Free Resources
Utilizing and enjoying activities that are free in your area could be a great way to enjoy an outing! Finding resources and activities that are free to the public could be a great outlet. This could be the library system or a park adventure – there are so many possibilities! Saving the money that you would have spent on outings is a great way to make your income count in the financial game too!
30 Day Rule
This is for that thing that you REALLY want. Before spending your hard-earned money on something that isn’t a true necessity though, put them back and leave them there. Let 30 days go by and if you still want it then factor it into your budget.
I say to factor it into your budget because if you haven’t met your necessities, then your money should have another purpose. There shouldn’t be room to spend on other things.
If it is something that you still really want after the 30 days, then look at your budget and see if there are dollars that can be assigned to it. Even if it will take a few pay cycles to be able to save enough up, you are on your way to getting it.
Saving money and being financially smart are both necessary things that you will most likely need in life. It’s good to remember that we may not always need to employ these strategies in our finances. When you need it though, it’s good to understand it and how it fits into your life!
My Husband and I are very thankful that we were able to take the time to utilize secondhand shopping to find the items and the prices that we felt good about and were able to sustain. It was a very encouraging experience for us and it allowed us to make our income really work for us and save more
Using a budget, cutting out subscriptions, utilizing free resources, and employing the 30 Day Rule are all great ways to make your money count and really work for you. Feel them out and see what fits best in your life!