I gotta be honest I have a hard time earning money. My blog is still in its infancy and doesn’t have the requisite traffic to make any money from affiliate sales or ads, and my book is still brand new to Amazon. I’m totally grateful to be a regular contributor for Hudson Valley Parent magazine, which helps me earn a little money for my family, but in the meantime I’m relying on saving money wherever I can to help my family’s finances.
For me it’s easier to save the money we have because I’ve spent much of my life as a frugal person and I’ve spent the last five years as a SAHM honing those frugal skills. Here’s why I think a penny saved is worth MORE than a penny earned.
1. It costs no upfront money – While there are some side jobs that require little in the way of up front expenses, most jobs cost you money. There’s the interview outfit, clothes for work, gas to get to and from work, money for lunch unless you bring your lunch every day, and haircuts/beauty regimens. Even my blogging gig requires that I have a working laptop and decent internet service. Saving money on the other hand can be done in your pjs, at home, with your hair up in a ponytail so people don’t notice the last time you had a haircut or your roots touched up.
2. There are so many options for saving money – It’s a lot easier not to spend money, then it is to earn it. It requires discipline for sure, but you can be very creative. The best thing I started doing was calling all my service providers to ask for lower rates. Check out my article here. Beyond that I’ve clipped coupons which I can find for free at the dump, at my local library or online. I’ve learned to love thrift shopping for clothes and small household items. You can get items at thrift stores by shopping on special “family days” or waiting for special sales.While we can’t always control the skill set we have to make money, we have the ultimate authority over what money we spend or don’t spend. Even if it’s as simple as creating a budget and telling your money where to go or telling yourself no to that impulse purchase.
3. Saved money isn’t taxed – The money you earn is taxed so you never get the full amount. The money you save on the other hand is yours to do with as you please, tax free because you simply didn’t spend it. You can use saved money to apply to another area of your budget, to save for emergencies or upcoming expenses, or to take a vacation.
4. Lower tax rates – When you live on one-income you get taxed at a lower rate because your income tax bracket is a lot lower than if you had two working adults in your household. Here’s where being a SAHM or SAHD actually works in your favor.
5. No childcare costs – You can bring your kids to the grocery store with coupons, the thrift store on discount days, or reduce your household expenses during naptimes with phone calls or by creating a budget and managing your household finances wisely. Most jobs, aside from work at home gigs, require paying someone to care for your children if you have any.
6. It takes a LOT LESS time – It takes mere seconds to walk over and turn your thermostat down, perhaps ten extra minutes to hang your clothes out to dry, three to five minutes to ask for or do a search for a promotional rate, or an extra minute to check your receipt before you leave a store to make sure everything rung up correctly. Working on the other hand requires hours and hours of hard work. You could employ hundreds of money saving techniques in the time it takes to complete a full shift or day at work. Of course you need an income coming into the household to survive, but if time is money, saving money is worth a lot more in the time bank.
7. Give yourself a raise – Saving money and living below your means allows you to give yourself a raise whenever you want, how many can say that about their current jobs? Even if you work for yourself, getting a raise requires more projects, more clients and more hustling. Whenever you want, you can transfer the money you saved into your savings or retirement account, college fund, or in the investment of your choosing. While you can’t always control how much money you have coming in, there are thousands of little ways you can control what money you have going out.
If you aren’t already a frugal person, I hope this post encourages you to get a little frugal Lasik eye surgery. No, I’m not talking about discounted vision correction. I’m talking about learning to see how valuable it is to use resources wisely, make smarter money decisions, and use your money for the things that are most important to you and your family. If your family works hard for their money, which I’m sure they do, shouldn’t you work at least as hard saving it?
I always say that if you want to change your wallet, first you have to change your vision. If you want a crash course in frugal living check out my book, “So, You’re Broke?: 18 Drama-Free Steps To A Richer Life” for free if you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber or subscribe to my blog and be the first to know when it goes on sale as well as get access to all my money-saving posts.