So my spending fast has been going well so far. I did have a moment of weakness last night on my way to bible study—I was starving. So I caved and bought a cheap burger (I know I know don’t go there about the meat thing from my previous post!! Hard to stay thrifty and Green when it comes to fast food).
Otherwise, we’ve been doing well. Here is what I've been up too...
Transfer your High Rate Credit Cards
Aside from just NOT spending, we’ve also been moving things around to help offset further costs as well. For example, we had an offer from the bank to move those “higher interest rate credit cards” to my Visa which they were offering 4.9% on vs. the usual 8.9% its been at lately. They offer this from time to time, but I usually don’t need it because they do it in the form of where you can write a “check” even though its really your Visa.
However, this time was different. We got smart. We have a line of credit thru our bank that we have BEGGED for years now to lower the rate (which is 9.9%, not bad, but not good enough). So since we recently bought new windows for the house and charged the line of credit (not a home equity line of credit btw) our line of credit was really maxed out.
Needless to say that 9.9% wasn’t looking so appealing anymore. So we wrote out one of our Visa “checks” to pay off the line of credit and now we have a 4.9% interest rate on that charge. Works out great for us! We will save about $400 in interest over the next year! That is no small chunk of change!
I highly encourage you to transfer over those high interest credit cards to a much lower rate if you have credit cards. Again IF you have credit cards. Obviously the goal is to have no credit cards, but we understand the need for a credit card at times. Sometimes it’s unavoidable.
So that was a huge weight lifted off my shoulders in the area of interest. Just making my money work harder for me!! Now the highest interest we have is 6.9% on my AMEX (again not a good thing to have, trying hard to get that one paid off first because it’s the smallest amount we owe on Credit). That even includes my car loan—which BTW will be paid off this year!! WhooHOO!!!
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff...
My spending fast the first week was REALLY hard. I’m not going to lie. And here I though I was So good with my money and my spending. I’m good in some areas, just weak in others! Noah needed some warm clothes and it was only getting colder and colder…I felt the pinch. Luckily we did have a gift card left over from Christmas so that helped smooth out some of those rough patches when we needed to spend. Obviously if you NEED something—buy it! But try to think creative about how you can save on your purchase.
Other things I have done with this spending fast is to just avoid the malls, stores, clearance sections, etc. I avoid them at all costs! Why tempt myself?! Obviously I bring my lunch to work (which is a green thing anyway and I’ve done that for years!) and little things like that, but I know my readers are looking for MORE & better ideas on how to save your money.
I go to the library A LOT. Now I know you are thinking, “Exactly how does that keep me from spending money??” Well, for me its like shopping. Although I don’t get to keep it, its like I’m getting something without having to pay for it! Plus, there are DVDs & Videos there. Maybe not current ones, but they are Free entertainment. I like to “trick” myself into believing I’m getting something.
It works for my son too. He thinks its pretty neat.
Be cautious you are returning things on time though! The fee for a late Video/DVD at our library is $1 A DAY! OUCH! Its steep and if you rented like 5 DVD’s ---it adds up.
I like the library for things like Magazines too. Might as well save on those subscriptions by checking them out! Besides, I rarely want to keep my magazines anyway.
Turn off the "Extras"
I turned off all my “extra” services on my landline phone. We have to have a landline phone ( I know I’m one of those rare ones) due to our Security system. Eventually that will change in the future, but for now, it’s a keeper. So off went the long distance service. Our cell phones will work good for that. Now I’m saving about $10 a month off my landline.
Also, one thing I really want to stress is to keep tithing if you have a home church. As many of you have figured out from my blog, we are Christians and believe God is owed my “first fruits” aka: the first 10% of our income. We are big believers that giving back changes lives. And I can say that when I have been faithful in my tithing, we have seen results. If you don’t do it now, do it. All God wants is 10% and that’s nothing. Like I’ve heard said time and time again, I’d rather God blesses 90% then 0%. Try it!!!
I’m sure I’ll have more tips in the next week or so. It hasn’t been easy people! But keep it up!!!