Hey family, how are you? I hope you are doing awesome!
I wanted to share something that was on my mind this past weekend and if you have been paying attention to your inbox, you may have already read it. Feel free to soak it in again and to share this post on if it has inspired you too. Enjoy!
As we are heading back from picking up the rest of what I had in storage in Ohio, I started thinking about how I got to Ohio, all the things I did in my short stint there and what brought me to New Jersey.
Those moments and many before them were on a shoestring budget to say the least, even before I was a single mom…
I didn’t come from a wealthy family and while I almost hit the low end of the middle class a few times in my 36 years of living, I was usually in the lower class and currently am as I write this.
That meant I had to have grit and I had to figure out how to be smart with my money, something I wasn’t taught 100% growing up either and something I struggled with in my 20’s, especially when I got married to a reckless spender.
But even when I was married to a reckless spender, I started doing things to find ways to be able to save and pay for the things that were important for my growth and wellbeing.
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What were those things? And how did I do it?
Health, wellness, mindset mastery, spiritual oneness, fitness, spending time with family and working on my terms were my big goals.
– Buying more healthy all natural and mostly organic foods were a big part of my health quest. I took up couponing, shopping sales, buying in season, learned to forage for wild edibles and hitting up farmers markets. I also rarely ate out, cooked mostly from scratch and if I did go out to eat, you best believe I had coupons, a certificate or some other deal. 😉
I didn’t have access to an affordable gym, I worked out at home with DVDs, utilized shows on TV and/or via online training, played outside with my daughter, took hikes in nature, etc. And even when I did have gym access, I still utilized all those other opportunities to take care of myself. Fitness doesn’t have to break the bank and can be completely free. 😉
I also wanted to visit my family more, so I made ways to cut the cost. For instance, we drove as it was cheaper than flying, used our vehicle even though it was older, higher mileage, etc. instead of renting one and stayed with family when we could vs. getting a hotel room, etc.
– When we visited family, I’d offer to cook for everyone, which everyone enjoyed and enabled me to feed my whole family for a several weeks stay, which was about the same price as two dinners out would have cost at a decent restaurant.
Heck, we would even pack lunches, snacks, fill up water bottles, etc. for the road! We also found free places to check out to sightsee and would have off the grid adventures too. 🙂
– I also cut costs of living by buying things from yard/garage sales, estate sales, thrift stores, clearance racks, discounts, etc. Rarely did I ever pay full cost and I often saved 75%+ off of retail. I also did my best to only get what I needed.
I even got nice pieces of furniture for free from places lke Craigslist.com or that were on the side of the road to be thrown out. I didn’t have a truck or big SUV, but you’d be surprised what one can haul off when determined and armed with some basic rope in a car. 😉
– If I needed extra cash, I would clean out and declutter what we weren’t using and sell things on Craigslist, eBay or have my own yard sale. I’d even sometimes hit up the thrift store on its dollar days to find items to resell. I even found things to resell at some of the places I shopped listed in the cut the costs section above.
When I freelanced, I’d always let my clients know I was available for extra work. At one time, I was working an online job, freelancing graphic design plus copywriting and also doing internet marketing just to make it all happen while being a stay at home mom with no helping hands.
– I couldn’t afford a ton of courses or books to study to increase my skills, mindset or spiritual awareness, so Google became my best friend. I researched a lot to learn and increase my knowledge in skill in whatever area I needed at that time. When I could buy a course or book, I did invest in myself and since I had done so much research, I always knew what to save up for.
When I client asked if I knew how to do something and I didn’t, I’d be honest, but also tell them to give me a few hours to research it to see if it was something I could learn and help them with. 9 times out of 10, with a little extra diligence and a willingness to learn and grow, I was able to help them out and if not I’d find them someone that could. 🙂
My clients appreciated this and considered me there go to helper for more than what my skill set was originally, because I had a willingness to grow, learn and help.
– If I needed to cut the fat in my bills and expenses more, (a lot of the above hints to most of the ways I did this on a regular basis), I also did things like live without a cellphone for a year, which included not having a home phone and using my internet connection with google voice for inbound and outbound calls… If I had an emergency while out and about I used pay phones. I cancelled satellite or cable subscriptions (still cord free, Halleluyah!), comparison shopped every 6 months or year for auto insurance, health insurance, etc., found ways to save on energy and water bills and more.