Happy New Year! However your 2015 went, I hope you have wonderful things coming your way this new year. I encourage you to take the time to set a goal, big or small, for your financial goals this year. We certainly are setting some goals for our finances, but that’s a post for next week. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, let’s talk about the 5 Ways We’ve Saved Money This Week.
Use what we have. We hosted a small New Year’s Eve gathering. Rather than going out and buying more food for guests, I was able to use what we had on hand to serve some snacks and drinks without spending more money.
Homemade cake. Our son’s birthday is also on New Year’s Eve. We always tell him that the whole world celebrates his birthday with him! This year he wanted a spice cake shaped as BB8 (from the new Star Wars movie). Luckily I had plenty of ingredients on hand to make him a cake and decorate it using Christmas candies. It didn’t turn out perfectly, but good enough to make him happy. In my quest for simplicity, I wasn’t looking for a Pinterest worthy cake, anyway!
Besides, you can see from this picture that the cake was so delicious that “somebody” couldn’t wait to eat it. (Special thanks to our little 2 year old taste tester!)
Had patience. Our priest once joked that some people pray like this; “Lord, grant me patience, and give it to me right now!” Clearly that resonated with me for a reason! I struggle with using patience in most areas of life. But it’s such an important way to save money.
We were away at a birthday party that was an hour from home. We were going to be gone during supper time, and I knew the kids would be begging to stop for food. But I also knew that having supper waiting in the crock pot at home (while a bit inconvenient) would save a ton of money. So I packed a box of granola bars and some juice boxes. They didn’t go hungry, and we got home and had a nice hot meal waiting for us.
The habit of planning ahead for things like this is one that I really want to exercise in 2016.
Creative gift giving. This tip only works if you can get others to go along with the idea. But I think many people relish the idea of simplifying, especially at Christmas time. Our families have simplified gift giving by drawing names instead of buying for everyone in the family. People still get the enjoyment of gift giving (or receiving if that’s your love language!), but the expense is usually dramatically lowered.
Another idea we have used is a White Elephant/Yankee Swap/whatever you might call it. You can purchase a new gift to bring, or you can bring something from your home to gift to someone else. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. And with the right crowd, this can be a hilarious way to spend time during your gathering!
Power Outage. Is this really a way to save money? A storm ripped through our area the night before Christmas Eve, and a power line was dropped across our road. We fell asleep in the dark and woke up to no power (still) on Christmas Eve. I had a lot of baking and other jobs that I needed to get finished, but was unable to do those things with no power.
Due to our unusual water situation (which requires an electric pump) we had no running water, either. When you can’t use power or water and going outside isn’t super safe, it simplifies life quite a bit! I discovered that the things I thought were super important (cookies, foods, other traditions) were less important to my family than I realized. We read, we played games together, and had a quiet, simple Christmas Eve. It probably did save money in some ways, and it certainly saved my energy!
Looking for more ways to save? I’m always adding ideas to my Pinterest boards. Be sure to follow me to find tons of different money saving tips (and more!).
Were you able to save money in small or big ways this past week? Let us know about your frugal accomplishments!