Spending Money To Save Money

There is an unspoken rule between Jerry and I regarding our money. No matter how it is made, any money we bring in between us goes toward paying the bills and other household necessities. But, if it is gift money, we are allowed to spend it any way we want. That’s just how it is.

Unless we’re flat broke. Which is always. And then the gift money pays the bills.

I’m usually able to preserve my stash, however, by hiding it in my sock drawer. Out of sight, out of mind, right? And somehow, the bills still get paid. Amazing.

Anyways, I do have a point I’m getting at.

I could buy a lot of things with my gift money. Clothes. Girly stuff. That Nikon I’ve been dying to get my hands on. But instead, I try to spend my money on something that will save us money.

For example…

I’ve bought Pyrex containers with lids so that I don’t have to buy Saran Wrap anymore. I haven’t bought plastic wrap in almost two years.

I’ve bought a bread machine at Goodwill so I can learn to bake homemade bread. And I’ve bought bread pans to bake my loaves in.

I’ve bought cloth diapers so I don’t have to use disposables.

I’ve bought rechargeable batteries and a charger, so I don’t have to keep buying new ones.

I’ve bought a dehydrator, a wheat grinder, a couple of canners and canning supplies.

I’ve bought seeds or plants so that we can grow more food and herbs. And I’ve boughtΒ  soapmaking and cheesemaking supplies.

Perhaps I’ll buy a new water heater soon, since our current one is leaking.

Why do I buy these things? Because I know that each of them will replace the need for me to spend money on something else. Every year, when my birthday or other special occasions roll around and I get money, I put it toward something that will benefit my family.

Which is probably why I’m still wearing clothes I’ve had since high school. And I just turned 30. (Oh yeah, last week I celebrated my 30th birthday. Happy Birthday to me!)

I guess I felt like sharing this tonight ’cause I have a nice wad of birthday money stuffed in my drawer between a pair of ankle socks, and I’m considering how to spend it.

Maybe this one time I’ll splurge and go to Goodwill to look for a new skirt, or two. ‘Cause seriously, I need clothes. Although, I really am more interested in finding ways to benefit our family as a whole.

My loved ones keep trying to treat me to getting my hair highlighted, or my nails done, or a massage or something. But I mean it with all of my heart when I say I have absolutely no interest in that kind of stuff. It’s a complete waste of money to me. Nope, I’d rather splurge on reusable canning lids, thank you.

Although… I do keep trying to rationalize with myself that if I get a nice camera maybe I could make money on my photography skills. Hey, it could happen!

Anyone have an old Nikon they wanna give me for my birthday?

Anybody at all??

*crickets chirping*

Okay, back to my point. The next time you have gift money to blow, maybe it’s time that you think of how you can really be the best steward of that cash and use it on something that will profit you more in the long run.

This simple trick has snowballed into some real savings for us. And the less we need to spend, the less we can live off of, and the less dependent we are on others for our well being.

And that’s the ultimate goal.

28 thoughts on “Spending Money To Save Money”

  1. I save change… A neighbor was throwing out an empty gallon of olive oil.. I snatched that beauty right up! In little over a year I was able to say $300.00 in mixed change and am starting on another can. I’m a young 67 year old raising a 14 year old granddaughter and we live very frugally… bills get paid first, gas in the truck next for the month.. grow as much veges as I can in pots, broken ice coolers, little kids old wading pools… I don’t care if it looks hillbilly-ish… it’s fresh organic food and I can, dehydrate or freeze the excess. I have friends that hunt and fish and they keep us supplied with fresh game and fish for the freezer. Sew most of my own clothes or by at thrift stores or yard sales.. The granddaughter picks her clothes out from them too.. A few new clothes for school , etc..Gkean fruit trees in exchange for a few jars of preserves as payment. I’m CHEAP, no if ands or buts about it but we have love in this house, good friends and family and I have no complaints about my life.

  2. I have to say I really admire you for that. My husband and I certainly aren’t rich (far from it) but bills are paid and we have money left over, and we have savings. I’m considering a new vehicle soon since we are trying to start a family which means me staying home and I’d like a more reliable vehicle and to not have to worry about the costs of one in the future.
    I do ask for items for our family for my birthday or christmas but I’m definately not as selfless as you. I’m almost 21 and most of my clothes aren’t from highschool LOL!

  3. You do think just like I have lived for years and years. My friends and children are always wanting me to do things like my nails, hair, new clothes and reward myself, but I just cant see my way to splurge continuously as they might. But as you stated to be able to put back or save for an item that benifits the entire family is “living life to its fullest”! I do sew for myself and my daughter a few new dresses a year and my husband likes that. But in all, our life is more about enjoying the simple things and appreciate the moments spent together! God bless you in your efforts!

  4. Happy belated birthday!

    You mean I’m not the only one still wearing clothes from high school. (32 yo) πŸ™‚

    I know the sewing machine can be quite intimidating but there is something so special and rewarding about sewing your family’s clothes. I think you would really enjoy it. And it is not difficult, just takes some time. Then you can take old clothes (people give me clothes and fabric too) and make new garments out of them. There was even a time when I decided to change all of the girls pants and shorts into skirts and dresses… I always have piles of unfinished garments. And just when I thought my crazy creations were embarrassing my dh, out of the blue he smiled and told me he likes the silly skirts I made/make.

  5. I knew I liked you. My birthday was the 13th and I always, ALWAYS spend my birthday $$ on stuff for the greater good—and totally because it just does NOT occur to me to spend it any other way. Last year I bought TWO EXCALIBUR dehydrators (from their scratch and dent section!) , and tons of junk silver on EBay with gift cards that my aunt thinks I spend on trinkets like china and doodads (she doesn’t get it, but hey…gift cards spend on anything!)

    I so identify with you on this…and last week I counted my generously given gift cash and began eyeing that super duper pressure canner that I have coveted. The one like you use in your cute video! I swear, if I buy this new one, it could be considered an investment in life saving! The old one I use is just a HAZARD. πŸ˜‰

    And as for not buying new clothes….**LECTURE ALERT****>>>>>>>


    You don’t need a new dress for every day that ends in “Y”, but sister, PLEEEEZ….you need to look fresh and pretty for that hard working man, and you need to set an example of CARE FOR YOURSELF to your children.

    One can take sacrifice too far.

    ***But hey, good on ‘ya for still fitting into those clothes you been rockin’ since high school. Not many can say THAT at 30. Show off. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ ***


    • LOL… thanks, Upcycled πŸ™‚

      You guys are right, I do need to make sure I’m not frumping around all the time, lol. Most of what I wear is cute, it’s just that I feel like I wear the same outfits every day! Something fresh would be nice. I’ll work on it πŸ˜‰

  6. Kendra, this was a great post! Another thing you could get is a good pair of clippers to cut your own kids hair with. I’ve been doing that since my oldest (now 19) was little. Yes, there were a few bad hair cuts, but I think I can do a fairly good job now :o)

    Also, have you heard of Listia? It’s a place where you can auction your gently used items for credits and use those credits to purchase something else-kind of like a cross between eBay and a trading forum. I’ve auction some of my stuff and have used my credits to purchase amazon gift cards. You could possibly find a good camera on there as well.

    Hope this helps!

    • Shannon,

      Yes, we definitely do ALL of the haircuts around here! My hubby just shaves his head with the clippers, and I cut the boys’ hair. Us girls are easy, ’cause we have long hair and don’t need a trim very often. But that’s easy enough πŸ˜‰

      I haven’t heard of Listia. Thanks for the recommendation, I’ll check it out!!

  7. You are obviously very wise with your money. Your family is very lucky they have a mama that thinks of family first, and in my opinion, mama will probably be happier also. Being blessed with traits like that, I always thank the Lord for. When I read your last post and I saw the picture of you and Elias, I thought what a natural beauty you are… beautiful hair, beautiful skin and features. Also, God given gifts. So, in my opinion, you don’t need to waste any money on highlights, etc., maybe you can sneak a few hrs. to yourself to do something for yourself without being interrupted. Hope you had a very blessed 30th!

  8. I always ask for practical things for my birthday and Christmas (the two are very close together). But the crazy thing is, the practical things I ask for bring me real joy! Last year I really wanted some metal measuring cups and spoons and some wooden spatuals (I’m trying to rid my kitchen of plastics) and I absolutely love them! Each time I use them, I am thankful that my family actually listens to what I want, and that I am now able to make nourishing food for my family with a bit less plastic. As my husband and I are expecting our first baby in March, we have asked our parents to get us a car seat and stroller for Christmas, and maternity clothes for my birthday. Not glamerous by any means, but it’s definitely something we really need!

  9. Hi Kendra,

    I’ve been a quiet fan for a while…but you are sounding so much like me. I, too, had a bday & got my dehydrator & a useful book. I often wonder if everyone gets to a point in life when we outgrow past expectations. And since we are all on different journeys, our points are here early. (my hope) Wouldn’t it be nice to get to this point? To think of our families, & our friends & neighbors, & worship our God πŸ™‚

    But one thing you said that totally SHOCKED me…you still fit in your high school clothes????? I wish πŸ™‚
    Take care

  10. Kendra,

    Do you sew? Maybe a sewing machine would be nice if you don’t have one… you could learn to make some cute skirts… and simple pants for the kids… or quilts.

  11. Happy Birthday, Kendra! Believe me when I say, it just keeps gettin’ better!

    I’m a lot like you in that I’d rather have practical things than manicures or hair treatments. Hope you find some cute outfits at the thrift store. Enjoy your shopping!

  12. Terrific post- you do a great job at thinking outside the box. Hopefully, you will get a Nikon soon! I got my Canon DSLR by my hubby doing computer work on trade for a local shop. We waited many months till he could work it off, but when I finally got it, it was that much more special to me.Blessings to you!

  13. I’ve been where you are…focused on paying the bills and clawing my way out of debt. It took 6 years 11 months but it did happen for our family (with God’s help). It had to be a painful process so that we would not get into debt again. How do we know God as provider if we have never had a need?

    Fast forward 10 years and we are doing very well. Got hit with an unexpected $3500 bill and there were funds to pay it, no stressful husband/wife argument…just verbal thanks to God for making a way ahead of this bill.

    So here is the main thing I wanted to share: Sept. was my birthday and hubby was on a business trip at the time. When he returned he said, “Let’s go to dinner.” I said “Let’s not. You were very good to me on my birthday.” He asked “What did I get you?” And I replied, “Two hundred pounds of pinto beans!” I told him going to dinner one night would be a “cheap thrill”, but these beans would feed us MANY future meals. He nodded okay.

    I don’t HAVE to live like this…I CHOSE to live like this. If I said I wanted a dozen roses and ear rings from Zales, I could have had that too. I’d be more thrilled with a book on How to Raise Chickens (see you’re ahead of me because you already know how to do this!)
    Those lean years taught me how to live simply. There is joy in that. The art of being content. (I’m not like Paul yet…content in prison)!

    I’ve bought two “outfits” this year…one for church (winter) and one for church (summer) and both came from the Goodwill Store. Yes, I could go to the Mall and over-pay, but I’m not going to do that.

    Some might call me a tight-wad. No, I give generously to the works of the Lord because I LOVE how He takes such good care of me and I am THANKFUL!

    Most clothing I purchase used, but I do buy new bras, underwear, shoes, drugstore makeup. Do not deny yourself genuine needs. As a retired nurse, I know that caregivers need to care for themselves in order to be exceptional. Your family so depends on you…you are irreplaceable. Take care of your needs. God will bless you with an occasional want that will knock your socks off! He knows the desires of your heart because He gave you those desires.

    I think I understand what you are saying. It is not so much that you are denying yourself, you are wisely stretching every dollar and giving your family the highest quality of life possible with the creativity and resources available to you at this time. As you are faithful with the little (and you are) God will let you be faithful with much. He gave you talents and you did not bury them, fearful of losing them, but rather you have been a good steward and have sown and multiplied what He has given you.

    So to this season of your life I speak PEACE. God sees. Stay the course. He provides and it will get easier. Every good and perfect gift comes from Him and He will supply all your needs according to His riches and glory in Christ Jesus!

    So with all that being said…Atta girl Kendra!

  14. Great post. I ask for thing that I can use in my kitchen,for canning, baking and cooking from my other half & family. And when friends ask what I want as a gift, and I always tell them a gift card for stores I shop at Tractor Supply,Lowes,our local grocery stores,food gifts or something they have made themselfs. Those gifts are the best. I have 1 friend that will bring movies & spend the day with me watching them as we cook up a meal together. I love that gift a girls day drinking coffee & chatting.

  15. What a great post, Kendra! In the long run, you will be really glad you spent your money so wisely (although I know you’re glad now, too). Let me encourage you to spend just a small portion on a pretty blouse or skirt. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it should be something that is perfect for you. And you can even find it at the thrift store. But pick one thing and do it for your husband.

    No doubt he is very proud of your frugal eye when it comes to spending his hard earned money wisely, but you might find that it lifts him up a bit to know you have a little something. Many may joke that husbands never notice anything like that, but I bet Jerry does, especially if it’s been a REALLY long time since you had any new clothing items.

    I know, because I did not buy one single clothing item that I can name for the first 7 years of our marriage because money was so tight. I did buy some fabric to make a couple of dresses (but fabric was not so expensive then), but I didn’t even buy new underwear for all those years! My husband lit up like a Christmas tree when I wore a new dress to his seminary graduation. I think it made him feel like he was providing. (Does that make sense?)

    P.S. Thank you for such a warm and encouraging comment you left on my blog!! May God continue to cover you with His grace and blessings as you raise your beautiful family!


Leave a Comment