$15 Savings on the Clothing and Vehicle Budget

“I love getting those “You have been approved” envelopes and the “Refinance now at only ?%,” because I take them to the shredding machine and jam them in and ‘Cut them off at the pass.’” – Minneapolis FlyBaby

Several years ago, we held the “Less is More” Great Clothing Fling. Over 400,000 pieces of clothing were tossed, recycled, or donated in a two week period. Wow! The best part is, we all found clothes we love to wear.

If you have kids, look out! An outfit you buy may not fit one month later! Take a look at how many clothes your kids have. They need no more than seven pairs of pants, shirts, undies, socks, and PJs, and then one or two “play outfits” for the dirty hard play time, and one or two “good outfits.” You may be amazed by how many $15 pieces of clothing are sitting in your kid’s closets just waiting to be found. Get rid of the stuff that doesn’t fit them anymore, and take inventory of what does fit them. If they don’t need any clothes for the next six months, add that to your ANTI-SHOPPING list.

Open your eyes and let your imagination run FREE. Let’s see if we can find some $15.00 treasure of new money in our closets or our vehicles…

Living off one salary

Well, I have to admit that I cheated a little. DH and I were inspired during the new year to start saving my Payroll SHE salary and live only on DH’s salary. This is in anticipation of my be a SAH SHE after we have babies. Anyway, that means I’ve had a one-month jumpstart in FACEing my finances. Plus we got a wonderful tax refund, which has already been deposited. We spent the entire amount on retirement investing and paying off debt! I wrote the last check this weekend to pay off $1300 on the remaining credit card debt. Then, we’d spent all of February living successfully (and comfortably) on his income. So I could easily write a check today for a double payment on my car loan — this with the confidence that we don’t need that cash as a security blanket. And to think before we were FLYing and FACEing, that whole paycheck was going toward clothes, eating out, and who knows what every month! I’m beginning to realize that one day I will have the choice of being a SAHM and the knowledge that we can live comfortably on one income… without debt, with a backup savings for emergencies, and with confidence that our babies will have a happy, financially healthy home!

Biking for short distances

Hello FlyCrew, I am saving up to $15 this month by using my motorised bycicle when I have to go to the mall for little shopping, like getting my new pair of glasses, and when I go to my journalling date once in a fortnight… This July my DH will be 40, and on his 40th birthday he doesn’t want to have anymore debts… Because he is very busy working I am very eager by bringing our debts down… I still have 1,000 euros to go. We have stopped eating McDonalds and that kind of food and eating at gas stations… already, we take our morning breakfast from home… Thank you for all the help, ideas and inspiration! – Flybaby from Holland

I plan this month to use my bike more. This way I save money, at least $15, keep fit, and care for the environment. – Auckland, New Zealand

Carpooling

I save $20 a month by carpooling just two days a week. I drive one day, and my friend drives the other day. My 30-minute-each-way commute uses about $2 in gas, and it costs $3 to park. By riding with my friend one day a week, we each save about $5 a week, or about $20 a month. Even if you don’t have to pay for parking, you and your friend could each save $15 a month in gas if you drove together four days each week. – Flybaby in CO

Limiting errand runs

I plan on limiting my errands to one day per week no matter what and car pooling when I can to save on gas; at these prices, not having to fill the tank more than necessary I hope to save over $15! – Dousman, WI

I plan to save $15 this month by planning my trips out of the house. Gas prices are up over $2 a gallon for regular unleaded where I live, and I drive a gas-guzzling SUV (it’s paid off though, and no car payments are incentive to keep it).

If I only run errands one day a week instead of venturing out every other day, I will save a fortune (well, at least $15/month) in gas, not to mention the money I will save on bottles of soda each time I go shopping. My sanity will probably also be saved, since my 18-month-old son seems to be getting an early start on those terrible-twos. :-) – San Diego Flybaby

Careful gas fillups and watching mileage use of our cars: payment by ATM costs $.50 at some gas stations. I pay cash. Weekly fillup for two cars = $52 per year. Buying gas from gas station that is $.05 cheaper than the gas station across the street. Weekly fillups: $50 per year. My husband and I trade cars based on who has the longer commute that day. Savings in gas mileage = $75 per year. Running errand trips to favorite shops and farmers market on Sundays after church services = (10 miles less per week. [Mileage is 30 mpg, gas at $1.50 per gallon.]) = $25 per year. This adds up to an effortless $16.80 per week savings. You can get more savings if you shop around for cheapest gas in your area.  – Mountain View, CA

Dividing debt

Hello FlyCrew… What I did last month in prepearation for this month is figured out how to pay one extra month per year on my car and student loans. I am not even sure if my fellow FlyBabies know how to do this but I was just thrilled to find this out and wanted to share. take your monthly bill minimum payment… (my example) $145.00 divide that by 12 (months of year) you get $12.00. Add that $12.00 to the minimum payment (145.00+12.00= 157.00) and if you do that each month for a year you will pay the debt off earlier buy one month. To me, that extra 12 dollars means eating from the pantry this month and not going for that extra treat… Love you all – in PA

Compromises

I don’t really know if this counts, but we saved about six thousand dollars by not buying a truck that we would have to finance. Instead, we found an older truck in very nice condition that we were able to purchase with cash from our income tax refund. It wasn’t exactly what we wanted, but is nice, reliable, and best of all, paid in full. – Flybaby R. in LA

Walking to Work

FlyCrew, I decided to help my heart and finances at the same time. I live 1-1/2 miles from my job, and I walk to work almost every day. It saves gas and wear and tear on my car. I have lost 10 lbs doing this also. – Taking baby steps in NC

Closing Credit Cards

Hi FlyCrew! I am so excited we are going to FACE our finances this month. Besides the clothes flinging, this is something I really need to get a grip on, as most of my credit cards were for (gulp) clothing and department stores. I don’t know what in the world I was trying to compensate for buying so many clothes, shoes, and accessories for me and my three DC. So far I have closed two needless credit card accounts and have thrown away the first of the April clothing catalogs that were sent in the mail to another credit account I have. I have just got done writing checks for my bills, OVER the amount of the minimum due! I am so excited to pay these needless credit cards off and begin saving money. I think the real wake up call was the essay of the lady who could fit all her wordly possessions in the back of her trunk and still have room left over! That essay hit me like a brick. How simple and sweet her life must have been. I know I will never get that far, but I would like to atleast be able to fit all of my possessions in the back of a pickup truck, not an eighteen wheeler moving truck. Thanks again for all your love and encouragement! – Flybaby C in California

This is just a reminder to everyone who has begun to FACE their finances and can see a light at the end of the debt tunnel. When the balance is zero, have a party, cut up the card, and be sure to write a letter to the company who issued the card cancelling the account. Most companies will not close credit card accounts over the phone, you have to send something in writing. Having these accounts closed, except one for emergencies, will improve your credit rating. Should you go to get a loan for a new home or car, a potential lender will take into account that you have so much credit at your disposal, even if all the accounts have zero balances. – Flying in Missouri

Staying Away from Sales

“My favorite clothing store called me to say they are having a big sale this weekend. There is nothing I really need right now, but if I go I know I’ll buy something. While I know I would “save” money by shopping there now, I decided to save even more by not going at all!” – Mobile, AL

Returning things you don’t need

I just went to a mall store where I had gotten some clothes right after Christmas. Yes, they were a wonderful deal, but they didn’t fit me and they were just sitting in my house using up space and causing more stressful clutter. I returned them and got $14.99 back which I will use towards my credit card debt. Thank you for the all of the inspiration — my husband is proud of me because of you! – A FlyBaby in OH

I was getting my nylons through a mail-order company. The seem to last me longer than what I buy at the store. After doing a dresser boogie, I realized I have 13 UNOPENED pairs. That will last me a while, so I cancelled my subscription to them. That will save me $24.36/month. With our income tax return (yes, we already filed and have our return) my DH and I paid off the last $100 on a bill to free up another $80 per month. My boy’s are done bowling (at least until September) that will save us $84/month. Asked the doctor if my boys could get off the high-end epilepsy meds (that aren’t doing any good) and stay on the lower cost one that we know works. He said yes, for a savings of $60/month.  Lastly, we took our high-interest rate card and divided it among 2 cards, one at 5.9% (never increases unless I miss a payment… not happening this time!) and one that is 0% for 1 year. We will be saving about $300/month. This should make a considerable dent in the credit card/medical bill debt.  – Financially Flying in Southern Oregon

FlyCrew: I went to Old Navy for shopping therapy over the weekend. The three tops I bought were too small; instead of getting a larger size, I am simply going to return two of them; the third is a little dressier than I usually wear and I’m trying to upgrade my casual work look. I’m also going to return the purse I bought — I don’t need another purse. Thanks for the encouragement. – FlyBaby in Columbia, MD

Do It Yourself!

To save $15 this month, I am going to start cutting my 3-year-old son’s hair again. I used to do it when he was younger, but he was so squirmy then, the cut would only look good every second or third time! I’m trying to convince my hubby to let me cut his, too! That would save an additional $25. If only… FlyBabe in Frisco, TX

I air dry my clothes when it is nice out. It saves us over $40 per month in our electric bill; that extra is then placed on other bills. This last summer we saved up for a new dryer using this method.

Buy What You Come In For

I know thrift stores & yard sales can be a trap, but I go to this really nice thrift store “with something I need in mind.” The kids need a new coat or out grown there pants, I go looking for that particular item, not buy whatever catches my eye. I stick to that. Many times I have walked out empty handed. When I do find what I need, I have easily saved at least $15 because it would have cost a whole lot more if I had bought it new.

Laundry “Tip” Jar

I plan on using your laundry tip of having a tip jar in the laundry room. In the past, I have always returned money found in pockets to the rightful owners in my home. I announced to them yesterday that I would now consider this left money as a tip for doing their laundry. Since yesterday morning, I have already collected $8.44. WOOHOO!! $15 will be an easy target. (Buried in debt and Buried in snow. Halifax,Nova Scotia, Canada.)

Overpay on Debt

Hi Flylady: I have been looking at this part of the routines and thinking, how can I FACE my finances? I don’t HAVE credit card debt!! Well, that’s because I have a credit card that I pay off in full every month. It has a paltry $200 limit on it. But then I realized, that my debt is in the form of loans. Student loans, grant overawards, and a loan from a finance company that I’m currently paying 29/9% interest on!!! That’s what I’m going to FACE. That is the debt that, regardless of what we have to sacrifice, I am going to have paid off this year. We just refinanced it for another four years. I have already paid the original loan amount a couple of times over!! So this year, its going to be FACEd away… Every month I put an additional $17 on it. I am going to triple that. If I pay more, it will go away faster. And the low interest student loans can wait. Thanks FlyLady… I’ll let you know how I did next March. – Kamloops, BC

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