Are you getting bogged down with trying to save money on EVERYTHING?? Does it sometimes feel like a THANKLESS job?
If your answer was "yes" to either of those questions, here's an idea for you. Try thinking of your frugal ways as a very small, part-time job. Keep a tally sheet on the fridge, or in your smart phone of your savings. I don't think it's worth your time to track every single penny you earn, but the general numbers of your penny pinching is nice to know.
There are a couple of methods for tracking your savings.
1. You can go back into your own financial records a few months (or years) and see how much you USED to spend on certain items like food, eating out, gasoline, car payments, rent, and clothing. List these numbers on your chart and see how far below them you are keeping your current spending during the month.
2. Or you can look up on-line to see how much the average American family that is the same size as yours spends in these same categories (i.e. average monthly food budget for a family of 4 in the the US is $600). Track your spending compared to these averages and see how much you can save.
Any money you've saved is your "earnings" on this new part-time job you've started. Being able to see total dollars saved in a month is a big boost to your confidence that you are making a difference for you family and your commitment to keep it up!
When you think of yourself saving a couple of hundred dollars (or more) on all your combined purchases in a month, suddenly taking the time to clip coupons or drive to Sam's Club or wash your own car begins to look like a good use of our time. Most of the ways we save money don't really take that much time, but they do take some and that time is definitely worth the money!
Turns out Ben Franklin was right, "A penny saved is a penny earned."
I'd love to hear any numbers you'd like to share! We're all in this together. . .
May I mention also, what TERRIFIC ideas our readers share in the comments! If you don't read that part of the blog, you should! We've got the smartest group of readers out there. You inspire me every day!