Homesteading Savings Challenge

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I had been thinking about going to town to find a job since the daycare has been kinda slow the past few months. But was really not wanting to so, I decided to sit down a do a pros and cons of working in town. What I figured out was I really couldn’t afford to go to town to work. By the time I buy gas, clothes, the wear and tear on my truck, take out food ( especially on the days I get home and don’t want to cook so I pick up something on the way home), the increase on our grocery bill since I won’t have the time or energy to make everything from scratch, and not to mention the increase in our taxes.

I do have to admit I have talked my self out of daycare jobs. I would sit down with some of my daycare Mom’s and do all the math of them working and figure out they could stay home with the kids and save as much as they make by working ( I know this isn’t always the case). And yes sometimes you do have to make a few sacrifices but it is worth it to be able to stay home.

A few weeks ago I read an article at The Blue Birds are nesting you can read the entire post here. Here is a portion of the post

Now as for keeping track of your savings here is what I do:
Many people only see the value of a paycheck we earn and not our value at home. When I left the workforce I decided my full-time job would be to save money. I wanted to see if instead of spending a 40 hour work week check if I could save it since we would be essentially losing my income. So I thought if I do things to save and my husband’s paycheck covers the bills and we could have a little surplus things wouldn’t change much. It was the best decision I ever made. I also decided that since I am a visual person I need to see if my efforts are really saving us and what those dollars and cents amounts look like? Maybe it’s a throwback from having a pay stub all those years? I do have to say not all the saving efforts are mine. When I showed my husband my “records” the first time he started and still does bring me receipts or give me a value to put running tally.
First let me point out it doesn’t take a lot of time even though it may sound like it does. It’s no different than entering totals in a checkbook. And you can use a notebook, a pretty journal, a folder or a binder whatever works for you.
Last year at the end of the year when I added up my totals we had saved over $15000.00 yes thousand dollars. Other years have been higher and when I was first learning lower. I devised a system to put most of that towards debt and we are now debt free even if it took a few years. I looked at those dollars and cents as money still in the bank that didn’t have to be touched thus increasing the bank account instead of depleting it.
Everything counts each week! Small things add up at the end of the year!
Things that I include:
I cut my husband’s hair = $10 we are not paying the barber
If I pay a bill online or over the phone = .47 per stamp not used+I am not using a check from the checkbook either
I add the difference in my savings from a sale price versus full price I pay for an item
I add the difference between full price and a clearance price
Any extra money made that was not from my husband’s work check because the extra money is tax free!
See a penny pick it up! More tax free money!
Items we have bartered for.
If I buy things at thrift stores throughout the year I allot a lump some for buying used and not “new”, but I keep the values realistic.
Money I have saved using coupons
Gift cards I have earned or are given, more tax free money
Things that are given to us. If they are new and never used I allot the full price if something is used I give it a yard sale value.
Any produce given to us fruits, vegetables, plants for the garden or flowers, canning jars, pantry food or food that can be given to the animals. Someone paid for these items before I was blessed with them so again I don’t add in a used value versus new value.
If I get something like buckets I add a dollar in my book because I would pay at least that much at Dollar Tree.
Homemade birthday cakes or cupcakes or pies or rolls or anything like that I base on the price at the store minus the cost of my ingredients.
I put in a value for all of the foods I grow and can, dry or freeze and base it on how much I have added to the pantry so it varies.
If we recycled anything for money that is added.
If I got a free sample(these do save) I a lot at least .25, but if it’s a travel sized one like they sell at the store I
give it the store value. Examples: laundry soap=the soap is free for 1 load, pet food samples, deodorant, toothpaste, etc.
Anything I get from online sampling programs and the value of them. Example: I get a free pizza coupon to try and the pizza is $4.99 I add that into my savings since I am not paying for pizza.
One of the biggest is if we do things ourselves that saves immensely so I add a value for the cost of labor we saved.
Gas savings, either from not having to drive much or fuel rewards like $1.60 off a gallon up to 30 gallons
Oh I could go on and on, but I think you get the gist of it. So if you keep track of just how money gets saved in your household you get a better idea of just how much it all adds up. Everything counts from hanging laundry on the line(no electric used there) to you gave the dog a bath yourself instead of a groomer, doing your own hair and nails how much do you save there? Maybe you use the library instead of buying books your saving.
Here is a good example: The other day I had to take my Mom shopping. I had $5 and some change to spend. The 2 stores are across the street from each other. I had a coupon, a promotional gift card and store rewards between the 2 stores. I got: a girl’s lip gloss set , 2 girls tops, 1 girls pants and 2 infant clothing. So with the coupon and gift card I saved $20. But wait most stuff I bought on clearance so let’s factor that in as well which =$29.50+$20 and then the other store I got 3# lemons free store price $2.99 each, a loaf of bread free=.99 and 2 yogurts free=$1.29 so I spent $5, but saved $60.75 total. That will go in my savings book! It all adds up!

So this made me want to start keeping track of how much I save by being home and doing most everything myself. Hence the “Homesteading Savings Challenge” Anyone can join this challenge even if you don’t have a homestead or a farm., even if you do work and want to see how much you save by doing things your self instead of hiring it out or buying it.

I am always trying to figure out how much I can save by doing things myself so by doing this and keeping track I will be able to have an exact number of how much I can save by doing things myself.

I am going to start this week keeping track of all I can save and will try to post it once a week. I am going to get a notebook and try to keep track of everything so I can see the savings at the end of the month then add up the savings at the end of the year. It will be very interesting to see the totals

If you want to join you can add your savings in comments every week By sharing our savings we might be able to give someone else an idea that they may have not of.

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