Friday, June 17, 2016

Finding Deals Everyday: Today I Made at Least $29/hr Tax Free!

Once a week, I go into town to do some shopping. This time of year I go on a day that there are garage sales. I stop at a number of garage sales, making sure I have cash in my pocket to spend in case I see something that I could use. 

Today I hit a number of garage sales. I got a number of items we can use. In addition, I stopped and got a haircut. I used a pre-paid card that I got last winter. Every winter, our area Great Clips has a deal that you can buy as many pre-paid haircuts as you want for $9.99 each so I buy enough for the year.

Aside from the garage sale deals and a hair cut deal, I also looked for deals at Wal-Mart when I went. No matter what store I shop at, I scan the clearance and mark down areas to see what I might find. Today I hit the jack pot on meat!! I have never seen prices this low, so I assessed how much space I had in my freezer (in my head) and bought everything I thought would fit in there. 

I bought two turkeys that were $25.77 each for $6.33 each. .48 cents a pound! These are ready to cook turkeys. They were marked down because the handles on the bags were broken. Use by or freeze date on these was all the way out to 1/18/18! 

Duck was marked down from $2.84 a pound to .50 a pound!! I bought four ducks. Use by date on these is more recent, but I am not worried as it is only a use or freeze by date. 9/24/16. 

Boneless Turkey Roast was $12.23 and was on sale for $2.98! I bought three of these. I knew I had to quit as space was limited.  The use by date on these was all the way out to 06/14/17. 

So all this meat would have cost me $157.87 and only cost $33.88!! 

Add to that, I checked the clearance aisle. I am not listing everything but I got 2 of these bottles of  25.4 fluid ounce shampoo for $2.00 each plus they have coupons for free styling products that I will get next time I am at the store. 

If I count only the meat I got today and nothing garage sale savings or clearance savings, that is a savings of $123.99. Let's just guesstimate and say I saved $50.00 more on other items (a low estimate). That is $173.99 in one day and I spent about 6 hours out. That's $29.00 an hour tax free! I save like this on a regular basis by simply keeping my eyes out for deals.

Happy Savings!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Changing Your Think into a Thunk: Deciding to Work or Stay Home

There are many factors involved in whether to stay home with your children or work outside the home. First, there are your own personal values to consider. Is being at home with your children uppermost in your list of values? If so, it is good to consider how much it really costs you to work. It costs a surprising amount of money to work a job. Assuming you have a spouse who will bring home one income, let's consider some of the costs of working outside the home for a second income.

1. First, is the cost of child care. Child care costs are very expensive.  

The average cost of center-based daycare in the United States is $11,666 per year($972 a month), but prices range from $3,582 to $18,773 a year ($300 to $1,564 monthly), according to the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (NACCRRA).

 2. When you stay at home, your food costs are much lower. You won't need nearly as much convenience foods and stretching the budget is much easier. 

3. You won't have as much expense for automobile costs as you will be driving less and, if your circumstances allowed, could possibly even get buy with one less car.

4. You won't need to spend as much on clothing. Plus you will have time to shop at thrift stores vs just running in and out of stores buying what you need as fast as you can. 

5. You will pay less in taxes. This is a real cost when you consider hourly pay.

6. You will have more time for thinking of how to be more frugal in every area of your life.

7. You may find yourself feeling content with less since the friends you have will have more of the same frugal mindset than dual income couples.

8. You may be able to come up with a way to create income from home. 

Here is a stay at home calculator. (I haven't personally used this but there are many such calculators online and you can find one to fit your needs!) Using this, you should be able to calculate whether you can afford to quit your job or not.

For me personally, I felt I couldn't afford to not stay home with my children. It was something I deeply wanted to do. Having done so, I learned to be very frugal. It was such that, after my children were older, (and since I wasn't paid a huge hourly wage!) that working more than 20 hours per week actually cut into what I was able to make, because after 20 hours, I wasn't able to be as frugal as before because my time was spent at the job rather than doing frugal things. 

This is a very personal decision for every couple, but I think you would be surprised at how much it actually costs you to work and that you just might be able to quit and make it much more easily than you thought!

Happy Savings!