What if you only ate homemade beans and rice for one year?
What if you stopped buying clothes for one year?
What if you fixed all the broken stuff instead of buying a new one for one year?
What if you only drank water for one year?
What if, for one year, you stopped buying everything except the basic necessities of life?
How much would you save? Could you do it? No? A little too extreme for you? What’s the matter? Are you chicken? Are you afraid of what people might think? Are you afraid that your friends won’t like you any more? What’s stopping you? You’re reputation of being perfect? Or are you one of those perfect people that are exempt from Murphey’s law? Must be nice.
Eleven years ago my husband told me that we needed to pay off all of our debt including the house. (Including the house? Was he insane?) I crossed my eyes, faked a smile and said Okay? Sure? Great? Let’s go?
What put such a crazy notion into his head? It was a radio guy named Dave Ramsey who teaches people to become financially free. My husband and I didn’t take the class, or buy any of his books. We paid off thirty thousand dollars worth of debt in just a matter of a few months.
To make a long story straight, ten years later we had no debt, a paid for house and a couple of paid for rental houses.
Anyway, I put this debt free sticker on my junky looking car in order to prevent people from thinking that I was a junky on welfare. This sticker struck up some very interesting conversations.
I met a few people who told me that they took the “how to be debt free class.” They hoped and dreamed of being debt free, maybe, one day, perhaps, before hell freezes over.
Personally, I don’t like to beat around the bush. I like to get things over with. Who wants to live in debtors purgatory? Not me. I don’t want to give my hard earned money away. Well, I don’t actually have a job, it’s my husbands money, and he gets pretty annoying when there’s not enough money in the bank.
Call me old fashioned, (instead of a freeloader please). I really don’t want to get a job, so I made it my job to cleverly figure out how to not spend money.
So I met this nurse who drives an hour every day just to get to work. She didn’t really like to drive that far to work, but you gotta do what you gotta do to pay the bills. She told me that she wants to be debt free, but doesn’t think it will actually happen. She told me this, while holding a five dollar Starbucks latte in her hand. I say nothing, but I think, “Five dollars every day for a month is $150. Multiply that by 12 months of the year and you’ve got $1,800. That will pay off a credit card. If her husband is spending $5 on a beverage every day, that’s $300 a month or $3,600 a year. You can buy a car on craigslist for that. You could pay off a really big credit card with that. Is coffee in a paper cup really worth it? I’d rather drink cheap coffee in a garage sale purchased porcelain tea cup. It’s far more elegant, and it makes me richer. I don’t like the CEO of Starbucks. I think he’s a douchebag and he’s not getting any of my money.
This is how my mind works. There are countless ways to save $5 a day, and the easiest way is to make your own coffee at home.
If you want to win at the game of making your bank account grow very fat, very fast, you just have to wake up every morning and decide to play the game of getting richer.
You have to put your brain into savings mode every single day. Here are a few rules that I follow. It may sound crazy, but I guarantee, if you play my game, you will get very rich very fast.
Rule # 1: Don’t spend money
Rule #2 : If you must spend money, try and limit it to one day a week, and spend as little as possible
Rule #2: Make your own coffee
Rule #3: Only drink water from the tap
Rule #4: Never eat out/eat the cheapest possible food that you can
Stopping at McDonalds for a $5 breakfast may sound cheap, but my breakfast was only thirty cents. I had two pieces of toast and two eggs. I bought the bread for eighty cents at the bakery thrift store. I don’t think the eggs were on sale. It took me five minutes to make my breakfast and one minute to wash up. That’s faster than it would take to drive anywhere and buy it ready made.
My kids also had eggs and toast. (My daughter will not eat eggs, though, she just had the toast).
Breakfast for six at home: $2
Breakfast for six at a fast food joint $30
Lunch today was subs made with homemade bread. I haven’t done the math on that, but I would guestimate that it costs $5 to feed six people. If we ate fast food, it would cost $30
Dinner tonight will be spaghetti and bread. The whole meal should cost around six or seven dollars depending on how much cheese the kids pile onto to it. It’s still cheaper than $30.
Total food consumption for today: About $14
Daily Cost if we had to eat out for every meal $90
Savings $76 per day (Wow, it adds up doesn’t it?)
If you make a game out of all the different ways you can avoid saving money, it becomes a game. And not only is it a game, it’s really fun. It sparks the creative juices and enables you to use your imagination. You are no longer a clone, blindly going along with whatever sales pitch the big wig corporates pitch at you. They want your money and will stop at nothing to pry it from your wallet.
Just remember. Stand your ground. If someone tries to force you to spend money when you want to save it.
It’s your money. You earned it. Keep it.