Thursday, August 12, 2010

Money Madness

So, this weekend, we were supposed to get these...

....but instead, had to "tune up" my car.

Saving money is hard. Very hard. We have been saving up for our future home in the county. You would think, as long as we have been saving, we would have a mansion. No, friends, that's not the case. We are working hard, but we are not millionaires by any means. This summer has been very frustrating, as my hobbies of shopping, and "beautifying" myself with manicures, pedicures, haircuts and color, facials, etc, have all been put on the back burner. You see, I have been putting all my favorite things to do on the back burner in order to save, save, save. However, I know that money is better saved up in our account for that beautiful house I have in mind one day with lots of little feet running around. Of course I would love that new fall Lilly dress, Tory burch flats, a manicure, and a nice spray tan, but do I really need a new dress? A manicure every two weeks? No. I would love it, but I dont need it. And I've come to realize the difference between want and need. So, I've searched online to find some activities to keep me busy while still saving up for the future. I thought I would share with you all, as I know everyone is budgeting these days....

1. Check out your local calendar. Even on Facebook, there are sites to "like" that you can get updates on. I currently "like" 365 things to do in Baltimore. Some events you may have to spend money, but with the many updates they send, I have found many events to attend without any or much expense.

2. Visit your community library. Not only do they have books, but also CDs and DVDs. If you have children, this is a great place to take them for story time. It's air conditioned, free, and educates the kiddies! You can also rent a movie for just $1 at your closest Redbox (which is usually right in the grocery store)

3. Community Sports. I don't know if your town is like ours, but there are always games going on around town. From softball to kickball there's something for every season! Even if you don't want to play, you can always take a walk around the park with the pup and watch for a little while!

4. Bake!!! :)

5. Play board games.

6. Organize your bills. (I know, sounds like fun, huh? But, you will get it done and it will be worth it in the long run so you don't have any overdue bills that would make you spend more money!)

7. Clean out your garage or basement. Get everything together in piles for the Goodwill or for a yard sale. Great way to earn a little extra cash, plus your home will thank you for the cleaning and organizing!

8. Organize a potluck dinner with your friends! Even better in the summer, you can have a deck party outside!

9. Cook some meals for the week. This way, you won't be as busy during the week and have a little time for some R&R after a long work day!

10. Learn to quilt, knit, or needlepoint. This hobby can turn into many lovely gifts for friends and family. But be careful, this can become an expensive hobby, too!

11. Get all those home maintenance items checked off your "To Do" list! It will be easier to sell your house one day with everything kept up to date. Plus, you won't have to put all the money into upkeep at one time, if you do it periodically.

12. Organize all your photos in albums. If you are like me, you have a million pictures, photo CDs, etc hanging out in some box. I always say, "one day I really need to do this." As Nike says, "Just Do It!"

13. Read a book. Go to the library to check one out, or have a swap with friends to share great reads. (Or even a swap with your Nook books!)

14. Catch up with old friends. You know that friend you have been meaning to call? The one who you know will be a forever long conversation that you just haven't had time for? Do it now. It will make you feel so good inside that you spent the time catching up.

15. Deep clean your house. Scrub from top to bottom. Even steam clean the carpets. It will look great the next time you have guests over and you won't have to run around with your head chopped off right before they come.

16. Make homemade cards.

17. Puzzles.

18. Volunteer at the local hospital, or a place of interest for you. Bring the kids along (if it allows) to teach them a valuable lesson.

19. Make Christmas lists. This way, you can buy the items when you see them on sale throughout the year.

20. Write a letter to your future children or grandchildren.

21. Sharpen all those kitchen knives that you have been meaning to for months.

22. Visit with the elderly. Family or not, this will boost their spirits in no time!

23. Start a book club, or join one!

24. Take the kids to the playground. Or offer to take your friends' kids. It will give your friend some time to themselves and you will get some exercise playing!

25. Clean out your closets. Make a pile for the Goodwill, or have a swap party with friends.

26. Go on a hike. Research your local trails and try it out with a friend.

27. Go on a bike ride and enjoy your local scenery.

28. Take a long steamy bath and pamper yourself at home. Who needs a spa? Just pour yourself a glass of wine, lock the bathroom door, and don't come out until you are ready. (Just make sure you have someone watching the kids!)

29. Play with your pet.

30. BLOG! Start, or work on your own blog, or blog hop to see what great things others are posting about!
*Newlywed Note: Times may be tough, but as long as we work together and have similar goals, I'm sure the outcome will be worth it!


  1. i totally agree. There are things I WANT but don't NEED. It's especailly hard when you have 2 teenagers!

    I have been married 17 yrs and I tell ya, it's all about compromise. Marriage has to be selfless..... Your hubby sounds like mine. If he does something for himeself, he ALWAYS says, go do so-in-so or whatever. He always wants me to be taken care of. I don't always do it, just like you said. But thank GOD he wants me to!

    Good Luck and I think you're off to a great start!

  2. This is an amazing, all-encompassing list! I love it all, especially the "playing board games" one. You are so thoughtful to continue to save. My husband does the same thing, lots of social time with friends and golf, but I splurge a little here and there, so we can call it even. It makes me feel a little better, because he's enjoying himself too. :)

    Good luck on getting your dream house!

  3. I am seriously considering sending this to Bryan to read. He would probably pick you up, spin you around, and plop a big kiss on your cheeck for posting this. (I think he thinks my time online encourages me to shop;) We are in the same situation as you guys! Tying to save money is so hard to do. I always find a little thing here, or a dress on sale there. We have literally sat down and said, "Let's try to only spend X amount this week and see if we can do it." Sometimes it is a crazy low amount, but it can actually be fun! Wonderful post and newlywed note!

  4. These are all great ideas! I have a hard time saving, but I'm getting a lot better distinguishing between my wants and needs! I just keep telling myself it will pay off in the long run :)

  5. I found your blog through Bethany's Friday Follow. This is a great list! I have a problem with accurately designating something as just a want. But your list and savings goal are inspiring me to be more truthful with myself. Be careful with #10. I'm a needlepointer and I shudder to think how much money I've spent this summer alone on things. Belts, watchbands, wallet, the list goes on and on. :-)

  6. Thank you for this list! We are definitely heading towards "saving mode" (right now, we're still in "survival mode!"), and these ideas are great!

  7. Great list- thanks for posting! I really need to take advantage of DVDs at my local library this winter when the snow starts to fall.