Want to Save Money? Stay Home!

I find that usually the weekends are the only time I have to do any sort of shopping, whether it be for groceries, clothes, stuff for the house, or pretty much anything we need (or sometimes don’t need). But the majority of our most recent Saturday was spend lying around the house and watching tv, which is actually something that we don’t get to do very often since we usually have plans or are working on a project of some sort. But I was itching to get out and spend some money. I found myself suggesting that we go to Home Depot or somewhere similar to price out some items that we plan to buy in the future. This kind of trip usually results in spending money on something we don’t need at the moment and since our budget is tight right now, that wouldn’t have been smart. So we ended up staying in and relaxing and it kept us from going out and spending money that we really needed to keep.

This was actually hard for me because I don’t really like relaxing all that much. It sounds odd, but I’d rather be accomplishing things and getting stuff done. Somehow, I often equate getting stuff done with spending money. I definitely know it’s a thought pattern I need to change, but it can be hard. So our lazy Saturday was a bit of a challenge for me. It was nice for us to take this time to relax though because we’ve both been fighting sickness and rest was really helpful for us. And the lack of spending money was really helpful for our budget. I had to remember that fact when I got the urge to go out and spend money.

I didn’t want an entire weekend to go by without accomplishing something and being productive, so instead of going shopping I worked on some house projects — cleaning the house and the yard and finally taking down our winter decorations and putting up the spring ones. It’s amazing all the stuff you can find to do at home when you won’t let yourself follow after the distractions of shopping.

Now there is nothing wrong with shopping on the weekend or spending money when you need things, but there are those times when the budget is tight and you don’t need anything, yet if you go to any store, you will be tempted. That’s where I was this weekend. I desperately wanted to shop, but my budget desperately needed me not to. So I decided to avoid the temptation and stay home. It’s hard because I wanted to get out of the house, but the only place I had to go was to a store since the weather wasn’t nice enough to go to a park or take a walk.

The other way we usually save money by staying home is inviting friends over to our house. It can be easy to meet friends at a restaurant or movie theatre or even Starbucks, but we often have our friends over to our house so we’re not tempted to spend extra money. We’ll often watch a movie and make dinner from food we have in our refrigerator and have a good time without costing us a fortune (like dinner and a movie out would).

Again, spending money isn’t always a bad thing, unless you are trying to stay within a budget that is running dry. If you are trying to stay within a budget and save more money, the best thing for you to do the next time you are tempted to spend money might just be to stay home!

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6 Responses to Want to Save Money? Stay Home!

  1. Will says:

    Your post makes a valid point. I slightly disagree though. I think your need not to spend money got the better of your desire to. I mean in this day and age, spending money is easier than ever. If I were in your exact situation I would probably have just gone to the Home Depot’s website and spent some money. You didn’t do that. Instead, not only did you stay home, you found stuff to do around the house that didn’t involve spending money. You deserve more credit than you think you do.

  2. Not long ago, my husband and I spent most of our weekend time running around buying stuff. It is indeed amazing how buying stuff can feel like getting stuff done. Lately, we’ve been spending more time just knocking stuff off our to-do lists at home and it’s amazing the difference that makes! We keep asking ourselves how we’ve suddenly found the time — but reading this I realize that just staying home more and shopping less has been huge for us.

    We still have some stuff we want to buy, but we’ve been putting that on another to-do list. As a result, we don’t feel like we have to buy anything urgently “just in case”. We’ve even stopped making so many long grocery store trips. Instead, we’ve started eating down what we have and buying just the occasional few things here and there. We even have time to walk to the grocery store sometimes.

  3. I agree about staying home to save money. In fact, even when you go out but don’t buy anything, you are still spending money – gas, wear and tear on the car, the things you use (cosmetics, clothing, etc.) in order to go out, all equate to spending money.

    For the past year, I have been consolidating all my necessary outings as much as possible – grocery shopping, going to the bank, post office, hardware store, etc. I now go out about once a month to do my grocery shopping and banking (my sister and I work at home), and we’ve only had to buy gas about 2-3 times in the past year.

    For anyone who is interested, I recently wrote an article on my blog about this with some tips. Home is Where the Money Is.

  4. Debbie M says:

    I have a similar problem. I have to keep reminding myself that the reason I buy things is to use them. Sometimes you need to stay home and use the stuff you’ve bought, or what’s the point?

  5. I’ve been using this strategy for awhile and when I do have to get out these days I’m often hitching a ride with my young sons while they are out doing their errands! 😀

  6. Jo says:

    Staying home on my day off is easy enough for me to do. I am fortunate enough work in the same shopping complex where there is also a Target, grocery store and my bank, which happens to be in the grocery store. Then, for gas, there is a gas station on my way to and from work.

    Since my work requires tasking and keeping me on my feet during my entire shift, by the time I am through with work, all I care to do is go home. I will, however, stop to pick up items I need before heading home. This way, when my day off comes up, I have no desire to go out again and shop, yet again.

    Method to the madness, given the cost of gas nowadays.

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