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Top 10 Tips for Saving Money ~ A New Series

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I have always been a saver. I love money! All kinds of money: green, red, purple, brown, coins, bills; it’s doesn’t much matter to me. Growing up in Europe gave me ample opportunity to collect foreign money and I love looking at the coins and bills I have collected from countries that don’t even exist anymore. But I also love collecting American money as well. There’s nothing quite like a nice pile of cold, hard cash. My husband and I are on a massive savings plan. We try to save a full 50% of our income right now for a couple of reasons.

First and foremost, we are self-employed in a pretty volatile industry: home remodeling/building. We never really know when or what our income will be. We budget and project and plan, but still, stuff happens: like oh say the market just vanishes. So we need to have money set aside in case the unthinkable does happen and we are left with no income for a while.

The other reason we’re saving though, is more fun: we’re finally going to build our passive house this fall. We’ve been hard at work on the design and hope to be able price it out soon. I’m sure we’ll have a lot of work to do after we figure out how much the sucker is going to cost. As home-builders, we’re pretty knowledgeable about what houses cost. And unfortunately, things cost what they cost. Just because we’re builders does NOT mean we’ll be able to get it all for free. Sadly. 🙁 When we finally get the house priced out we’ll be faced with some tough decisions, I’m sure. At this point, we’re dreaming big! (Not size-wise, but quality-wise.) And we’re going to need a big down payment to be able to pull it all off.

Saving 50% of our income is a pretty big deal for us. I started thinking about how we do it and decided it would make a great blog series! I need some new motivation to keep me going every once in a while. So, this is a series (at least 10 part series) on the Top 10 Ways I Save CASH: Lots of Cash.

Welcome to PART 1

The first thing I do to save money right now is to STAY OUT OF STORES. I know, right? It’s a pretty defining concept. But I’ve found that even the discount, the thrift stores, and the yard sales add up BIG TIME.

It’s nothing for me to drop $50 at Goodwill on stuff I DON’T REALLY NEED. But it’s hard for me to say NO when the item costs under $3. It’s so cheap! I’m saving big money over retail prices, right? But 20 items time $3 each = I’m up to $60. $60 is a big deal to me right now. So the best way for me to not spend it, is to not know about. And that means not setting foot in the store to begin with and sticking to a good plan when I do step foot in the stores. This does not mean that I never go, but having a plan, focusing on what I need and sticking to that plan helps me save for the times I do head to Goodwill or yard sales.

Stay tuned for Part 2 next week! I’d love to hear from you! How do you save?

Linking up: Frugal Tuesday; Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways; Works for Me Wednesday; Taking a Timeout Thursday; Frugal Friday;


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About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long time green living enthusiast and rural Iowa mom of four. An avid traveler, Michelle has lived on three different continents and has driven all four kids across the entire USA (by herself!). She loves sharing farm-to-table recipes, their family travel adventures, and gardening and homesteading tips on her popular lifestyle blog, SimplifyLiveLove.com.


  1. blankHeidi @Adventures of a Thrifty Mom says

    Wow! Saving 50% of your income is amazing. I’ve recently started aggressively saving to buy a home. Pretty exciting stuff. I’m really looking forward to reading the rest of your money saving practices.

    • blankMichelle says

      Thanks, Heidi! It is a lot. We’ve taken some pretty big steps to get to 50%. Can’t wait to share them all! Good luck with your own saving goal! 🙂

  2. blankDar says

    Great idea for a series – I look forward to reading the rest! I like to hear about the big goals that keep people motivated to spend less and to save, i.e., what is it all for?

  3. blankRhonda H says

    I’m trying so hard to save money, too. My husband died a year ago in Feb. and I’m not old enough to draw his social security or get any help. My teacher salary is just over the poverty level to keep me from getting any help from any outside sources. I am looking forward to your posts.

  4. blankJeanna M says

    I had to do the same thing over the last couple of months. I did actually go back to Goodwill over the last couple of weeks and my spending totally changed. I didn’t buy anything the first couple of times I stopped in and then over the weekend I visited one in a larger town and only spent about $20 and that was mostly for dress pants I needed for when I sub at the local school system.
    Anyway I 100 percent agree. You can get caught up wasting money at thrift stores same as any other store.
    I will be back to your blog and can’t wait for the rest of the series.

  5. blankHeidi @ lightlycrunchy says

    I’ve done the same. I don’t go into stores at all anymore, unless I have a specific item to buy. If I do see something, I ask myself first if I really need it or just want it, if I need it right now, or if it can wait until some time in the future and if it is something that I can wait and find used somewhere else. When it comes right down to it, I always walk away without the purchase – if I don’t need it immediately, I don’t buy it. However, if it is something that I do use, and see it at a yard sale for pennies, I will buy it then to save money in the future (kid’s clothes, canning supplies, etc.)

    • blankMichelle says

      I have to really watch myself at yardsales. I end up spending too much money on too much junk, but I do regularly shop at them to save money.

  6. blankJasmine Pahl says

    Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. This is exactly what I need to hear right now. Great point about the Goodwill and discount stores. A whole chunk of the economy is based on introducing us to ‘needs’ we never knew we have. And you are so right, the best way to pull the plug out of the wall on that whole process is to just avoid exposing ourselves to so much ‘STUFF’. Great post, looking forward to the series!

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