While I am thrifty in comparison with a majority of Americans, I still feel that I could do better. And, recently am convicted to make the effort to work harder at it. So, I'll be posting regularly on what I'm going to change (this motivates me amazingly!) and how it works.
* First of all, I'm going to reinstate something I used to do and got lazy about when we had a little baby in the house and that is washing out ziplocs and minimizing the use of disposables like plastic wrap, aluminum foil, etc... If I can put it in something washable to save or freeze, that is a savings. Or, if I wash out the ziploc and re-use it, that is also a savings.
* The next thing I am going to do is switch all of our aut0-pay bills to be paid on our Discover Card. I know, you are wondering how this will save us money - here's how:
- We are absolutely committed to pay off our credit card every month, so we will not pay a penny in interest on any of these bills. We simply deduct the amount from our check book and then know the money is spent, when I write one check for the Discover card, I don't have to deduct it from the balance left. I am in no way encouraging the misuse of a credit card to pay bills!
- We get a bonus from our Discover Card that will allow us to receive cash back. So, my plan is to save this all year and use the money to do Christmas and gift shopping throughout the year. This will not only make gift giving more fun, it will also essentially make the gifts free.
- We will watch for special bonuses available from our Discover card. For example, through the end of March, they were offering a special 5% rebate on any medical expenses or health related expenses. So, I paid our entire global payment for the coming baby and we got a great bonus on that.
I know that there are tons of ways I could become more thrifty - but I'm going to start with these. When we were first married, I had just finished reading The Tightwad Gazette books and was extremely motivated to try lots of new ideas. I thought I would try a new idea each month. However, then I found out I was pregnant and did not feel like doing much of anything. So, now I am hoping to get back to this and try to implement at least one new money-saving idea each month.
Please feel free to join in or pass on ideas you have implemented in your home for making the money stretch further!
Update: Well, as nice as the idea was to put our bills on the Discover, it is not working out. The electric and mortgage companies do not accept credit cards for auto pay and the water company does not accept Discover. The only one that is going to work is the phone/internet bill, so I'll just be satisfied with that and keep using the card for everything else that I can.