The old saying “A penny saved is a penny earned” has been around for generations. This saying still proves to be true. Saving money not only comes in the form of putting money aside to accumulate for a future need; saving money also comes in the form of changing spending habits to simply spend less.
With proper attention, everyone’s spending can be cut in most, if not all areas, of our finances. James 1:5 says “if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who give generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” Asking God to help open your eyes to areas that can be cut out or reduced in spending is a crucial first step in helping to save money. Although praying for wisdom is critical in all areas of our lives, it is especially true for financial areas. Our needs and spending trends change, so godly wisdom needs to contantly be applied.
Even when there is not a major financial shift, such as a job change or job loss, it is always a good idea to periodically review the areas of spending and see if costs can be shaved off or changed. Some areas to examine would be:
- Insurance policies. Review health, life, auto, home and any other insurance plans periodically to make sure the coverage is suffient and that there isn’t over coverage. Over coverage results in higher than necessary premiums. Mulit-policy discounts may apply if more than one policy can be carried by the same company.
- Homes. Looking at interest rates on home mortgages and other financing and comparing to other current rates may make a refinance a wise decision due to a lower interest rate available. Check into minor repairs with your local lumber yard. Many have carpenters that can do smaller tasks at cheaper rates than contractors. Check into getting energy saving appliances as well as energy tax credit that may help in paying for repairs like new windows, doors or insulation.
- Entertainment. Make a concerted effort to change modes of entertainment. Look for coupons for restaurants, attend free concerts, look for theme park savings by attending toward the end of the day when the rates drop, or pick recreational activities that require no fee like biking or hiking. Rent DVD’s instead of going to the cinema.
- Groceries. Groceries and food buying is a major component. Even if you’re not a coupon-clipper, looking at a store’s ads can curb some of your choices in buying. Buying the generic brands rather than name brand, not shopping while hungery and making a list ahead of time and sticking to the list can save alot at the checkout. Buying bulk items of things you use alot of can create a savings; just make sure you do the math to make sure that it’s cheaper per unit than smaller quantities.
- Eating Out. The area of dining out can be very expensive, so in order to help with savings in this area when picking a place to dine at, look for coupons in the newspapers or internet. Many places offer buy 1/get 1 specials as well as dollars-off coupons. Instead of eating out, try packing a picnic and eating at a park or simply on your living room floor for a different feel. Try packing a lunch from home instead of eating out at work. If specialty coffee is your fancy, try to make your own brew at home and put it in your own insulated cup.
Spending less can become a way of life. But keeping open to God’s leading is crucial. After you’ve asked for wisdom, then believe and not doubt His leading (James 1:6) as he shows you how to cut back or cut out because spending less is a valuable way of saving money.