6 Unexpected Things You Learn While on a Budget

Since money touches every aspect of your life, you learn a lot about yourself when you start to set some ground rules and tackle your money goals.  It teaches you what’s really important to you and to your family.  Budgeting teaches you what you can live without and how to be frugal.  You learn how to look at the big picture and you don’t even think about buying that little trinket at the store.  Most of the time I’m pretty serious here on EPB but I thought I’d liven things up a bit. Here are six unexpected things you learn while on a budget. 

You NEVER find money in the dryer anymore

Truth!  I use to love finding money in the dryer, it was like my own little stash.  Not anymore.  Both Dallas and I hold on tight to our hard earned cash.  Since we’re so frugal now, we don’t often have money laying around and when we do it has a firm purpose.  Heck, we get excited when we find anything higher than a nickel and I am not above picking up spare change in a parking lot!  Which grosses Dallas out, by the way. 

Pro Tip: When you budget every dollar, your money doesn’t get lost in the store or in your pockets!  Need help setting up a budget?  Subscribe here at EPB and I’ll send you my budget templates for FREE with instructions on how to set one up.

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You find new uses for older food in the pantry (and leftovers!)

I was such a baby about leftovers before we started on this journey.  And that older pasta in the pantry, no thanks!  Not anymore.  We tend to use everything up to my dismay! It ends up saving us quite a bit and we’re not wasting as much.  I guess we’ve also become a lot more creative with our cooking so that’s a win! 

I see a lot of folks on social media do no spend challenges and part of it is using up everything in their fridge and pantry.  Incredible!  I keep thinking we need to do that but question if I have the strength!  

Pro Tip: Create a grocery budget and make a list and stick to it!  This has been a big money saver in our home.  Also, pay with cash – it will revolutionize the way you spend money at the grocery store!

Related post: 7 Tips for Saving Money at the Grocery Store

The noises your old beater car makes can be drowned out by the radio

True story, a coworker told me the other day, “I think you have an exhaust problem, your car is louder than I usually hear them.” I had been blissfully ignorant until he mentioned something and come to think of it, my beater car is running a little loudly!  Yes, Dallas is on it, thank goodness for a handy husband!  But I truly hadn’t noticed.  I guess a 2009 with 118k miles on it might have some trouble at some point!

Pro Tip: DIY as much maintenance on your vehicle as possible but keep it up to date on services.  It will keep it running sound for a long time if you take care of it properly.

 Your new indoor wardrobe in the winter is three layers of sweats

We live in Colorado and winters can be awfully cold, plus Dallas is ALWAYS cold.  My answer, put on some sweats, don’t turn up the heat!  The heating bills can add up quickly so I try to keep it at 67 degrees or so.  Full disclosure, this is more about my hot flashes than it is about saving money but hey, it takes care of both so that’s a win!  

Pro Tip: Get programmable thermostats in your home to regulate the temperature for you.  If you have temperature wars like we do, the programmable thermostat will save you some money!  

You turn lights off like it’s your job

Who’s with me on this one?! You leave a room, you turn OFF the light!! We didn’t grow up in a barn, right?! This one is funny to me because I could have cared less growing up.  I remember my Dad turning off the lights mumbling something about how I would understand when I grew up.  Dad – you were right!!! I totally understand now.  Dallas is actually a champ with turning off the lights, almost to the point where I walk into a dark house ALL THE TIME!  But, we’re saving those pennies.

Pro Tip: Teach your kiddos to turn the lights off like it’s a game.  They may be more aware and into it if you make it fun!

You start looking at stuff around your house as sellable items

If you’re getting impatient with your current goal like we are, you start selling stuff!! We (and by we, I mean Dallas) has been a selling machine lately.  Seriously, nothing is safe in our house and it is amazing to me what people will buy!!! We’ve been selling stuff like crazy and it’s really paying off.  Don’t love something?  List it and get rid of it.  Minimizing junk around the house and boosting our savings at the same time, totally worth it!

Pro Tip: Try selling stuff on Facebooks Marketplace.  We’ve had great luck with it, have a name and a face to the person we’re interacting with and it tells you what similar items are selling for in your area.  It’s been awesome!

Related Post: Side Hustles You Can Start Today! 

I hope you enjoyed this lighter article.  Stay tuned Thursday for another killer guest article!

Until next time, spend safely!


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