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A penny saved is a penny earned…for the longest time I had no clue what that meant. I thought that it was only referring to savings, as in putting it in the bank, and so the true meaning was totally lost on me. It wasn’t until after years and years of scrimping and dollar stretching and throwing everything we could at our house to get out from underneath it, that the meaning finally clicked in my brain and I want to do my best to share with you all what it means to me.
Basically, a penny saved is a penny earned, means that for every penny that we aren’t spending, it’s one more penny that we can put in savings or buy the large things that we really want…it gives us so much more control of our money.
For my family, the meaning may be a little different than yours, but the advice behind it should ring true for most families.
A penny saved, by driving our cars until they die, means no car payments and having that much more wiggle room each month. Are you cool enough to drive a car that you can actually afford? My rule of thumb on buying a car is that if you (as in me and my husband) cannot pay cash or pay it off within six months or so, you can’t afford it! So what, drive a clunker while you are saving up to pay cash for something better. Yeah, you may get a little guff from some shallow friends, but if they’re not going to make the payment for you, then don’t worry about what they think. Shouldn’t we all be encouraging each other to make good financial choices rather than putting someone down because they are trying to live within their means? If only peoples debt-to-income ratio’s were plastered on the back of their cool cars…wouldn’t that be eye-opening? lol.
A penny saved, by telling myself no regularly (yes, learning self-control is the biggest thing that you can do to save money…no one needs every single thing that they want and I promise that you’ll still live), by buying mostly only what we need, it really stretches our money (it’s ok to have a little wiggle room, but it should not be more than you are putting towards paying off debt or in savings). Buying second-hand makes it so that there is actually money to put into emergency savings or a retirement account. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people never tell themselves no and then wonder why they are in the financial state they are in (I can say this, no I’m not picking on anyone, because I used to be this person too). Always worry about tomorrow, not just what you want today. You may also like my post series “It is possible to become an at-home mom”…we do a lot of financial compromising.
A penny saved, by buying gently used (we even did this with the house we just bought and saved at least 40k plus the cost of finishing a huge basement), stretches our money to cover sometimes twice as much, which means that the money that we would have spent by paying full price is more money to do with what we want…like paying our house off super quickly, buying a cabin, or paying cash for our next car or vacation, or getting our savings accounts where they should be (1k in emergency and at least six months worth of expenses set aside).
A penny saved, by buying in bulk, means that we are working on our food storage, saving money on all the things that we use regularly means that we can actually buy more with the same amount of money. It doesn’t hurt that it also reduces our carbon footprint by having much less packaging.
So, a penny saved is a penny earned, means that for every penny that we aren’t spending, that is one less penny that we have to worry about earning again to live just as comfortably. Because no amount of money will ever be enough if you aren’t smart with what you do have.
Now I’ll hop down off my soap-box, but just know that I have years and years of experience of saving money and getting out of debt (our house is our only debt and we are working toward paying it off very quickly) so these are basically things that I wish someone would have told a younger me…but then again, if I hadn’t learned things the hard way I wouldn’t be able to share what I know with all of you.