There’s a simple thing you can do to save money that a lot of people forget to do.
If you’re serious about saving money, take a day or a weekend and simply stay home. Now, I’m not suggesting you skip out on work or school. You’ve got to do those things. But if you don’t have an excellent reason to leave the house, then don’t.
When my husband and I were first married, we lived less than 5 minutes from everything. If we weren’t thrilled with what was in the fridge, we went out to eat. If we were bored, we went shopping. The temptation to spend money was always right there. It was an expensive way to live.
Now we live in the country, where the closest town with any real shopping is 27 miles away. It’s no longer a quick trip to go out to eat. It’s a two or three hour excursion. We never go to town because we’re bored. We only go with a list and a purpose.
And guess what? It saves us a ton of money.
When you don’t have the luxury of running to the store to pick up one little thing, you end up making do with what you have. When it costs gas money to get to a restaurant, you think hard about whether the food is worth the time and money.
When you live in the country, you’re forced to really think about what it is you really need. There is no such thing as a quick trip to the store. And because it takes time to get there, you plan your shopping and errands so that you can make the most efficient use of your time. All that planning means less money spent on impulse buys.
When you stay home, you get creative about what to do. Entertainment could be playing board games with family, inviting friends over for a potluck dinner, watching TV, reading, or cooking and baking. You may decide to finally declutter those closets or dust off your treadmill. Your options for entertainment at home are much less expensive than most other things you could do out and about.
And here’s the thing. Anybody can stay home and save money. You don’t have to have a long commute to do it. You just need to make the decision that you are going to stay home. If you want, you can challenge yourself to a spending freeze. And then, just stay home and save money.
I find that staying home is easy when you keep your home clean and uncluttered. Make sure it smells nice (or at least, no smell at all!). Keep your freezer and pantry stocked with good things to eat. Make sure you’ve got frugal things to do. (Online shopping is off limits!).
Make your home a haven, and you will enjoy spending time there instead of spending money elsewhere.