30 Day Money Challenge: Learning to Live on Less

This is the first post in the 30 Day Money Challenge where I will be sharing how to spend less, being content, and only buying things we need not want!
 
Yesterday I was at a bachelorette party with some of my favorite people and we got to talking about how I became a christian and how I have completely changed into a new person. It made me really think about who I was and how I learned to live on less but live more fully. So here are some ways I have learned to live on less. I hope to inspire and challenge you on your journey!

Be thankful and content for what you already have. The best way to learn to live on less is by realizing what you already have and being content with it. Pray that God would help you be content.

Stop being a consumer (or be less of one): We believe we need lots of stuff because that is what this world tells us. Advertisers tell us we need to buy their new product because it will make our lives easier. But does it?

  • Learn to make things on your own like homemade products. Not only is it better for you you will save a lot of money.
  • Try to purchase less pre packaged things like food items. Learn to make them yourself.
  • Fix things when they brake before you just go out any buy a new one.
Is it a want or a need? Don’t give into temptation just because you want something.  I have a confession. I have had this terrible urge to get an iPhone. I know I don’t need one nor do we have the money to get one. I always have this desire in the back of my head. We need to learn to not give into our temptations just because want something. It shocks me when people talk about how they are having trouble paying their bills but yet eat out all the time. You need to pay your bills, and you just want to eat out. Big difference!
If you really need something try to pay for it in cash. As Americans a lot of us have this instant gratification problem where when we want something we just go and buy it with a credit card. If you can, try to pay for most things with cash so you don’t have to pay extra for financing. Its a good thing to learn persistence and saving money to buy something rather then just going to get it right away. My parents always tried to buy their cars with cash and I never understood why but know I do. Although we do have one car payment we did get a great deal on it and got 0% financing. But if I were to do it all over again I would try to save up for it.
Learn to be good stewards with our time and money!
Challenge Time.
For the next 30 days the hubs and I are going to do a challenge where we don’t buy anything we don’t need. This means no eating out and no buying things that are not essentials. For my husband thats hair gel :), eating out, etc. For me its clothes and special food items. Everyone is different. We did this last year when we first got married and it really helped us realize what was a need or a want and how to fight temptations. I will be blogging about this experience through out the month and I encourage ya’ll to try it with me. Maybe you only want to try it for a week. Thats cool.
Do you think you could go 30 days without spending any money on things you don’t need? Are you going to try this with me?This was part of the Homestead Barn Hopthe Morris TribeSew ChattySew Can DoCraft-O- ManiacHomemaker on a DimeFrugally SustainableThrifty DecoratingReal Food Forager, Jam’s Corner, String Town Home, Deep Roots at Home

Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    Love this! I practice several of these habits with my kiddos every day. Also, when my kids were small they got birthday money from relatives and they just HAD to spend it…we shopped but did not buy until after a waiting period…usually 24 hours or so…to see if they truly care about the new goodies. The first few times, they completely FORGOT about them after one day! So, they kept their money much longer, of course. After doing this for a few years, they each have a habit of holding on to their windfall moneys for a meaningful purchase. Also, they shop around and online for the absolute best deal and save up for their more expensive wishes.

  2. says

    I really need to do this. I spend too much money on food and other things that I don’t really need. And when I say food I mean going out for lunch (even if I have brought my lunch to work with me) and then my boyfriend and I go out for dinner at least once per week. I would like to challenge myself to this! Newest follower via GFC. I’d love for you to check out my blog and link this up to my Marvelous Mondays party. :)

    Julie
    http://www.jamscorner.com

  3. says

    Wow! You made so many good points…. we do live way beyond our means/needs… I think our society as a whole does, and I think that’s what “justifies” it in our minds… I, too, am going to talk to my hubby about doing the 30 day challenge. I think it’s time that we get back to the basics… :) Thanks for the great points, and for sharing at my linky party!

    Have a great week!
    -Heather
    Stringtown Home

  4. says

    We are pretty good about not spending money on things we don’t need. We live well below our means and have for several years now. We just kept living like the poor graduate students we were when we met with a few splurges now and then. Tonight I finally went and bought a lamination machine that I’ve been wanting to buy for a little over a year, but just couldn’t bring myself to spend the money on it. I decided the desire is still there after a year and it really will be helpful with our homeschooling so it’s worth it.

    • says

      Thats funny because thats exactly what I am a poor graduate student :)! I think if you have wanted something and know it is useful after a whole year than its definitely something you can splurge on little on! Thanks for sharing your story!

  5. Anonymous says

    for your husband you could whip up flax seed hair gel….i use it and love it. Just google it and there are many tutorials and recipes.

  6. says

    We practice this daily. We are not big on consumerism, we fix what we have, make things ourselves, garden and eat locally, use the library and live a simple country life. We still have nice things, but we use them for as long as they are useful – like, we have a perfectly good tv that we will use until it quits (it’s about 12 years old) and then we will upgrade. All of our furniture was bought used, but most of it is antique and was bought at auction for pennies. We live comfortably, but spend only about $600 month for food, household items and clothing.

  7. says

    Dear Amy,
    I love what I read here. It blesses me that you are a witness of the contentment found in Christ. Would you consider contributing regularly on DeepRootsAtHome.com Wednesdays “Encourage One Another’ link-up? There are many women who are seeking to find just such encouragement and come to the link-up to read. They may not always comment, but they go away with a seed planted.

    Thank you, new friend :]
    Jacqueline

  8. says

    I love this challenge! We live pretty frugally though being in a consumer culture, we’re unconsciously influenced to buy stuff. I see it with my kids all the time. I’ve started talking to them about what we can buy with money when they come to me asking for stuff. They don’t always listen and understand, though I can see glimmers of understanding.

    • says

      I am afraid for when we have kids and they will always ask for stuff. I have realized that since we don’t have TV only netflix a lot of my desires for stuff have disappeared since I am not influenced by the advertising! One day your kids will appreciate all the talks you had with them!

        • says

          Yes us too! Doesn’t make me want unnecessary things! Also, not seeing tons of skinny tall actresses has helped increase my view of my own body image. Funny how tv can do that without us knowing!

  9. Jessi says

    Amy, thank you so much for posting this. It was just what I needed to read after getting into another conversation of friends asking me why on earth I don’t have a smart phone. I admit when you are in your 20′s, newly married, and see all your friends getting these gadgets, latest fashions, and going out to pricey events it’s easy to start wanting these things as well. This was such a nice and important reality check for me on not giving into temptation for getting more “stuff” and the importance of living below our means to achieve debt free living. The most important desire to have is a oneness with God followed by my desire to be a good wife sister daughter friend and hopefully someday mother. Thank you Amy, I am truly humbled by your good advice. :)

    • says

      Im so glad I could help and I couldn’t agree more with your comment! Temptation is one of the hardest thing to overcome especially when it is all around us! Thanks for sharing I loved your comment!

  10. Anonymous says

    Once a quarter, sometimes more often, we do a 21 day spending fast. We pay bills, buy groceries, and put gas into our vehicle. Absolutely no additional spending. It has saved us quite a bit in the last year and a half, since we started doing it.

  11. says

    I loved this post Amy and it was especially timely as our pastor just talked to us this last Sunday about “living a life with margin”. Basically a call to us to live our lives and spend our resources only to a point where you still have enough to give if someone is in need. It helped me think about my resources as not just something that serves only me and my family but others as well. Thanks for the great tips on how to do this.

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