Mad Money

Money has been on my (mad) mind a bit…you know, ever since I upped and quit my job last summer.  Sure, I got a new job (with a handsome boss) but the pay is lots less than what I was making before.  And in truth, money has always been something I’ve thought hard about, even as a little girl.  I can get all ninja psychoanalyst and tell you the root of why I feel the way I do, but let’s not waste your time.  Since you’re already here though, I thought I’d start a running conversation about some ways I am trying to cut spending, save greenbacks, but still live life in between.

Last time we chatted, I talked about going down to one car not only to save money, but also to pay for our very spendy move to Colorado.

Today’s topic:  Using stuff up

Deep, eh?  Although a seemingly indifferent undertaking, using stuff up has actually allowed me to save a tinkle of coin.  You see, the moment we decided to move, I started obsessing over our stuff.  I began sorting, donating, trashing, paring down and last but not least, using stuff up.  My main goal was to move a little as possible.  But, lets be real, I *still* moved expired food – wth is wrong with me?

Anyhoo, the three main categories this using-stuff-up applied to:

  • toiletries (fear not, I still restock toothpaste)
  • crafty goods/deliciousness
  • food (obviously I still buy staples like waffle mix)

For example, take a gander at my lip candy collection:

These products are all in various stages of being used up and although I’ve been oogling everything under the sun at Sephora, I’ve made a pact to use these *all* up before repurchasing anything new.  Same goes for lotions, body sprays, stickers, craft paper, etc.

Using stuff up is not really the key to my money saving strategy.  But, the process has changed my buying habits.  I no longer peruse the Victoria Secret semi-annual sales, Michael’s clearance racks, and Bath and Body clearance events to stock up on great deals on more stuff (most of which I didn’t even know I wanted).  For now, I’m holding off on buying anything until I am actually out of it.  It’s not rocket science and kinda aligns with my OCD tendencies, so I feel like this is a good exercise for me now.  Are y’all doing anything, rational or obsessively, to save money these days?

20 thoughts on “Mad Money

  1. Great sage advise!!

    I just started reading Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. I was going to read a chapter before going to bed, 45 minutes & several chapters later I had to force myself to put the book down. He talks a lot about discipline regarding spending; like the kind of discipline you’re doing. So far, I love what he has to say (and would even recommend the book to a stranger on a bus) :-)

    • Even a stranger on a bus trying to make his way home? Dang, I’d better pick that one up next time I’m at the library – I’ve heard many good things about it but I’m officially sold if it has Tai’s blessing!

    • That is nothing short of brilliant. I’ll do the same and pray that we don’t get in an accident together and horrify the hospital staff! :)

  2. I love these small, money saving approaches. Not only can we save some cash by using up what we’ve got (and more importantly, by not buying new stuff), but there’s also a sense of empowerment that comes with these conscious decisions to save.

  3. I second the Dave Ramsey recommendation! My husband and I read the Total Money Makeover a few years ago and paid off everything except the mortgage. We even called into his radio show and got to yell “We’re debt freeee!” I’m so glad we did it though because we reduced our income substantially after Brady was born and wouldn’t be able to live on this without being debt free.

    • Teresa, how awesome that you are debt free, especially now that adorable Brady is along for the ride! I bet it wasn’t easy but it’s worth it – keep up the good work!

  4. I am consciously using up fresh food before it spoils and before I buy more. I am using up everything in my freezer before I buy more. I have always been good about bringing lunches to work, but on the weekend, I am just silly about going out and spending money on lunches that aren’t even very tasty. Keep it up all of you. I am proud. lv mamap

  5. I like it and have been trying to do the same, especially in the bathroom and kitchen. Let’s just say one weekend the fridge was looking a bit bare so I had to go get groceries as ‘there was nothing to eat’ in the house and the hubs and I both thought the fridge looked odd for us, a bit too bare. Though, we still have to tackle the 5+ options of bbq sauce we seem to have a problem with….I need to hit the bathroom a bit harder, I think I have some makeup in there that I haven’t touched for 5+ years, probably best to just toss as I know I will never use it!

    Good luck to you — now go pucker up those lips and apply all the gloss you want, its ok to mix flavors if you desire as well!

    • Good job using stuff up – it feels good to have a fresh start sometimes! Layering my lip products is a good tip, I don’t know how in the world I ended up with so many!

  6. My New Year’s resolution was to save money by bringing lunch to work at least 4 days a week, and only eating out on weekends twice a month. In addition, I started using up food and toiletries. I plan all my meals and shopping list with lunches in mind and try to make meals out of ingredients I already have. I saved enough money in January and February to buy an Ipad. Of course, there is no food in my house for snacking, but who needs to snack? I’ve lost 2 pounds.

    • Betsy, I like how you think! I *really* need to do a better job of meal planning – luckily, you raised a creative son so he is excellent at using up food in the fridge and crafting them into delicious dishes! The fact that you bought an iPad with all of the green you saved makes you the coolest MIL of all time!!

    • Exactly, Becky! It’s making me take a hard look at what I have vs. what I want instead of just buying things because they are a good deal. :) Almost finished off one of those lip glosses already! :)

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