#4 – Rent from Individuals vs. Corporations
If someone needs to rent vs. purchase a home, it has been noticed that one can generally save money when renting from an individual vs. renting from a corporation. There is usually also more personal attention and the ability for more flexibility with what one can do with the property, which may lead to other savings down the road.
Example 1: A family that moved from a major metro area to a small metro area found that another family was going out on the mission field for a year and needed renters. The Missionary family is renting the 4-bedroom farmhouse, on a multi-acre farm, for only $650 a month. However, one of the bedrooms has the stored belongings of the family out on mission. This is a place that should be renting for about $850 a month.
Example 2: The landlords of another family (we will call them family A) also own the house next door to family A. The house has been vacant for a while. When some friends of family A moved to town (we will call them family B), the landlords were willing to rent the house to them. For only a couple hundred dollars a month plus some upkeep on the house, family B have settled in and are very content with their place.
Biblical Perspective: The renters in both examples do have the responsibility to be good stewards of the home that they are renting and to bless the landlords of the properties with good upkeep and care of the property. 1COR 4:2 Here, moreover, it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
#5 – Steaks and Roasts for $2 to $5 per pound
You do not need to pay $4 to $10 a pound for roasts or $10 to $20 a pound for organic, grain fed, free range beef steaks. There are Internet sites that can hook you up with “local” farmers (even if “local” turns out to be a couple hours away) and some farmers post on Craigslist (Craigslist.org) when they have meat available for sale. Usually you purchase in bulk, so it would be worth the drive to get 6 months of meat for about half or less than what you would pay in the stores.
Example 1: A family found a cow auction within a reasonable drive from town. They went in with some others, purchased the cow, and sent it off to be butchered. The total cost of the meat per pound was about $2.25, including all kinds of cuts of meat.
Example 2: Purchasing $50 to $100 of meat at a time and freezing the bulk of it, a family found a local farmer about 1 hour drive from the city and purchased meat from him as follows: $2.50 per lb for ground, $3.50 per lb for roasts, $4.50 per lb for steaks.
Biblical Perspective: It is a blessing to share your best meat with guests. PROV 31:14 She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
Do you want to travel? How about change jobs, move or start a home business? Do you feel a calling to ministry, evangelism or aid work? Do you want more time with your family or be able to start a family? Do you want to get more involved with you local community or have a hobby you have always wanted to try?
About 4 years ago, I started a blog about saving money, with some added biblical encouragement. I ended up taking the blog down a couple of months after starting it and I did not write for almost 3 years as I was still learning how to be a mom, run a household efficiently, etc… Now that I am back writing again, I am going to re-publish some of the old posts.
#1 – Move to a Less Expensive Area – Housing
Savings: $100’s to 1000’s
By moving just 30 to 60 miles / minutes from a major city, one may be able to save $100’s of dollars a month for rent or $1000’s of dollars off of the price for a house.
Example 1: A family moved from an upscale suburb of a major city to a lower scale suburb of the same city, about 30 minutes further from the city. The rent there is $300 a month less on average. The commute cost increase was $60 to $80 per month
Example 2: Another family moved from a very large metropolitan area to a smaller, but still metro area. The commute is about the same (cost wise) and the wage is about the same. However, a comparative house is about $300,000 less in the smaller metro area.
Biblical Perspective: The Lord calls us where He calls us. If He wants you to live in the more expensive area for a ministry opportunity, He will provide the needed funds and/or help you find other ways to cut costs. If He hasn’t called you to a specific place for a specific reason, consider moving to cut costs and be able to be a better steward of your money. JAS 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall exalt you.
#2 – Move to a Less Expensive Area – Utilities
Although there can be some savings in utilities when moving from a major city, the savings is relatively low when compared with the housing savings. More significant savings can be found in changing how one acquires water, heat, communications, etc… This will be covered in later articles.
Example 1: The family that moved from the upscale suburb to the lower-scale suburb saw about a 50% decrease in Water, Sewer, and Garbage. They also saw about a 25% decrease in Power & Heating.
Biblical Perspective: The Lord can provide what we need if we look to Him to direct our paths. PS 91:2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
#3 – Move to a Less Expensive Area – Food, Gas, Necessities
Generally, the cost of food, gas and necessities goes down as one moves farther from the city centers and moves more into the rural parts of the country. However, savings can also be achieved, for those who want to stay in the major cities, by making planned day trips to the further out areas and stocking up at the markets in the rural areas. Also, there are many things that may also be purchased online for less than found in the stores in the cities.
Example 1: While still living in a major city on the coast, plan a day trip to do the bulk of the shopping for the month. This could include driving two hours to the local farming community to pick up meat, grains, produce, honey, etc… then driving back towards town 1 hour and stopping at a Costco, Walmart, etc… for the needed non-perishable items for the month.
Biblical Perspective: Obviously, we shouldn’t spend too much time worrying about where to get food and things. This is not the focus of life. But if money is getting tight, looking for ways to cut costs can include finding better markets to purchase food from. MT 6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
What has happened to us?
I walk around my part of the world and I see so many of the youth there… but not really there. They are like the zombies they so like to watch in the movies. Occasionally, they will wake up for a second as they look at their Iphone, Android, etc… Then they go back to sleep, standing up. I even see adults like this.
How many people spend their days looking to devices, technology, and media to fulfill them? If it does, it only does it for a minute, and then it is done and gone.
How many times have I checked my email, waiting for something special, something amazing, but nothing comes? I am guilty of looking for life in technology, but technology is not alive and it can not give life.
I know what I really need to be doing and where I really need to be going to get life – to the Life-giver, Yahweh / Yeshua. I need to be spending time with Him, not reading another email or watching another movie. I need to plug into what He has give me to get life from, His Spirit, His Word, and the good remnants of His World.
I also need to look at the simple pleasures of my time here, the simple, beautiful things that God has given me, and gain my life from them. If you are wondering what that looks like, I share some here with you :
Watching my girls twirl and dance to a worship song, full of music and life.
Seeing the first flowers of Spring bloom and bringing a few into the house to decorate our table.
A lovely homemade chicken curry dinner, after three days of eating beans and rice.
Sitting with my church group and talking honestly about where we are at in our walk and where God is taking us.
Sitting outside and feeling the sun sink into my body.
Feeling the Spirit of God speak to me, during prayer, worship, bible reading or meditation.
Watching my girls explore the simple backyard world full of plants and bugs.
The view of the mountains from my back window, snow-capped one day, brown and barren the next.
This is what a simple life is about. Getting rid of everything that distracts us. I haven’t perfected this yet, but I know it is where I want to be heading.
What are the simple pleasures in your life? What keeps you from time with God? What do you find yourself putting before God?
That’s right, this title isn’t just for shock value. I believe that coupons are a con.
They are a con to get us to eat food that isn’t good for us, in the name of saving money.
They are a con to get you to eat “name brand” foods vs. generic foods, even though they cost more many times, even after the coupon discount.
They are a con to get you to purchase things you would not normally purchase.
They are a con to get you obsessed with “saving money” and getting whatever you can for a little as possible, versus actually being a good steward of your fiances, time and resources.
Please understand that I don’t write this lightly. I really wanted coupons to work for me. I wanted what I saw people getting, all that stuff for almost nothing. But instead, I wasted a lot of time, ate junk that didn’t belong in my body, and used a lot of printer ink.
My result: I saved about $6 – 10 per shop.
Considering that it would take 2+ hours each week to go through all of the coupon sources to find some that were useful, this isn’t much of a deal. I also found myself purchasing things that I would not have considered purchasing, had I not fallen into the temptation of the “supposed” deal. The annoying part, is that I usually had $15 – 20 worth of coupons with me when I shopped
I would find that :
- The item wasn’t carried by that particular store I was in that week.
- The generic version or store sale item of whatever it was, was still less expensive, even after the coupon.
- I really didn’t want the product once I read the label.
Now, I do understand checking for coupons on products that I really do use frequently, from the product site. That is quick and can be useful to save a couple of dollars every few months. Outside of that, coupons are another marketing ploy that are causing a lot of women (and men) to stumble and fall.
Here are some better options to coupons:
- Cook your food from scratch – from making your own breads and bake goods, to your own soups, salads and pasta dishes, cooking from scratch is healthier and less expensive.
- Plant a garden – you can can or dehydrate the excess, share with others and enjoy more nutritious foods than (generally speaking) what you can get from the store.
- Get to know a couple of stores well – keep up on their sales and what their standard low priced items are.
- Spend a little more on occasion to purchase local grown foods from local farmers – this will improve everyone’s economy.
After spending a few months collecting and using coupons, my experience was that I felt conned.
What are your real life experiences with coupons? What are you best alternatives to coupons?
Look around your room, your car, office, wherever you are reading this blog post from. How much stuff can you see? Electronics? Food? Clothing? Furniture? What else?
Where did that stuff come from? I don’t mean the store your purchased it in, but where each component originated. And what exactly, is IN each component.
You probably have no idea where 99% of your stuff comes from, I mean really comes from. And you probably don’t know what is IN most of what you have (even things with labels).
What if your stuff comes from a factory that hires children and makes them work 14 hours a day?
What if your stuff contains toxins that will eventually make you sickly?
What if a component of your stuff comes from a place where there used to be a village of people, but now there is nothing but a big hole in the ground?
Wouldn’t you want to know?
As always, I may not agree with everything on this site, but the main idea is worth sharing.