Does money grow on trees?

does money grow on treesPerhaps money doesn't really grow on trees, but what if you could see results that were the same as picking money from trees? Would you be interested? If so, please read on...

Recently, I shared tips on how people can increase their income from their home daycare business. Unfortunately, if you keep spending as much as you make (or more) you will not be in any better shape financially. In fact, you could even find yourself in a worse situation. Today's tips will be helpful whether you operate a home daycare or not. These ideas will be helpful for:
  • students trying to figure out how to eat AND pay for books and tuition
  • childcare providers who are having difficulty filling all their spots or making ends meet
  • women who've had their income reduced because they are on maternity leave, are separated or divorced, or for any other reason
  • people living pay-check to pay-check or working one or more minimum wage jobs or existing on government assistance
  • millionaires who want to have more money to give to charity or share with those in need

I care about you, so I'm sharing these ideas to help you change your life for the better! Here are some ideas to reduce your expenses and help you  save money. Let's go...

  1. Pay off any Credit Card or other high interest debt you may have as quickly as possible.

    Why give money to credit card companies or banks that could remain in your own pocket? When you get one card paid off, use the money you save on interest there to pay off another debt. It will take work, but the rewards will be worth it! The sooner you stop using your cards and start paying them off, the sooner you'll be out of debt! Why not today? Perhaps you're thinking, great idea, but how? Please read on. I hope to give you some suggestions that will help you.
  2. Review your spending and set a budget.

    I understand that doesn't sound fun, but if you don't know where your money is going, and you don't seem to have enough of it, maybe it's time to stop and look at things. A coffee here, and a dinner out there really do add up. Perhaps there are household expenses you can reduce such as telephone, television, and computer services. Maybe you need to spend less on entertainment and clothing. All I'm saying is that your overall financial health will be determined not only by how much money you make, but how much money you spend both personally as well as for your daycare business. Setting the budget is only the first step. Sticking to it, and reviewing progress is also important.
  3. Attend free or inexpensive programs and events. Plan field trips that cost nothing.

    Rather than attend events that cost money, do free but fun things instead. Go for a walk to a beautiful park. Go to the library and check out some great books or DVDs. Read magazines there instead of buying them at the store. If you are a high school student, perhaps your local gym, such as Goodlife Fitness,  offers free memberships for the summer.  If you are a university student, perhaps your tuition includes a gym membership. If so, use it! If you're a mom, there are lots of things you can do to keep you and your little ones busy and entertained that cost little or no money. It just takes a little effort to look for them. Check online to see what is happening near you. Some places to look for ideas are the local library, churches, and the Ontario Early Years Centres. Check online or ask friends. I'm sure you'll find tons of free, fun things. If you have children or run a home daycare, why not organize a free field trip? You can contact your local Fire Station or Police Station and ask if you can bring in a group of children to tour the station. They often have programs they do, and are happy to teach about safety. Once you set the date, share it on social media such as Facebook and ask people to let you know if they'd like to join you. Or perhaps you can organize a Teddy Bear Picnic at a local park. The key is to look for ways to have fun for little or no money.
  4. Don’t Buy Things you Don’t Need.

    This tip may seem obvious, but it's not always when it’s a “great deal”.  Buying something for $20 that normally costs $50 is a waste of $20 not a savings of $30 if you don’t need it. Learn to distinguish between your wants and needs. Sometimes, we already have what we need in our own home. Don't buy another pair of shoes or another coat if you don't need them. Check out your own closet and dresser before buying anything else.
  5. Purchase used items or try to get things for free.

    If you really do need something, perhaps you can get it at a consignment shop or a thrift store such as Salvation Army or Goodwill.  Or perhaps you can find someone selling the item online. Thousands of new and gently used items are sold on kijiji, craigslist and Facebook every day. You may even be able to find it for free on Freecycle or on a local FB group where you can post ISO Requests (In Search Of). Garage sales are also a great way to find things you need for far less than retail. You just need to be careful you don't spend money on things you don't need. There are also Clothing Swaps and Fundraisers where you can purchased gently used clothing for as little as $2 a piece. Keep an eye out for them and you'd be surprised at the bargains you can find! Don't be afraid of purchasing something second hand. Once you've worn or used an article once, it is no longer "new" and becomes "used". Household items, toys, books, clothing, and furniture are just a few of the things you can save a bundle on if you are willing to enjoy the hunt, and wait until you find a good deal. To allow your children or daycare children to be creative and have fun, you don’t need to run to the craft store and spend a fortune on expensive items. Look for ways to re-use things you have around the house, or ask for donations. Not only will this save you money, it will help save our planet, as less stuff will find its way into the landfill.
  6. Create a menu plan and grocery shopping list and avoid impulse Purchases.

    Have you heard this saying?If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.Well, this applies to grocery shopping and how you spend your money on things, especially when it comes to food. Make a plan. Stick to your plan. Create your menu plan around what you already have at home, and what is on sale. When  you go shopping, know what you are going to buy. This doesn't mean you can't pick up milk if you realize you need it, and forgot to write it on your list. But it does mean you shouldn't be picking up chips and cookies that you don't need. If possible, do not shop when you are hungry. And also, try not to take your children with you unless it's absolutely necessary. It's harder to focus and compare shop and get the best deals, and they will likely ask you to buy things that you shouldn't be buying.
  7. Purchase food and other items when they are on sale.

    Stock up on things you use the most so you never have to pay full price for them.  However, don’t buy more than you need and will use in a reasonable amount of time. This is especially true with items with a best before date such as food. Also, there are certain things such as luggage and cookware that often go on sale for as much as 60 or 70% off. Never pay full price unless you absolutely must!
  8. Try to use food you have in the refrigerator and cupboard before it goes bad

    Remember, when you throw food in the garbage, you might as well open your wallet and throw your money in the trash. You paid for it right? Well then if you throw it out, you are wasting your money. Plan your meals and snacks to try to minimize waste. Often you can make mashed potatoes out of less than perfect potatoes, or a decadent apple crisp out of wrinkly apples you wouldn't dare eat fresh.  Take a look in your kitchen today to see if there are things you need to eat before they go bad.
  9. Use coupons

    Coupons can save you quite a bit. It is much easier to save money in the States with coupons than in Canada, but even here it can help. However, don't to buy things you do not need - air fresheners and expensive cleaning products come to mind.  You may even want to trade coupons with others, or join a coupon train so you can get valuable coupons you'll use, and pass along ones you don't need.  Also, check that the brand and size you are purchasing are the best value. If the only reason you are buying something is because you have a coupon, don't buy it. 
  10. Compare prices per unit

    When you compare prices, don't just compare one brand with another. Also check the unit price for various sizes. Usually, you are better off buying a larger package, but sometimes the smaller package is the better value, especially if it's on sale. Many stores now put the price per unit on the shelf so it is easier to compare. If you need to , take a calculator, or use the calculator feature on your cellphone.
  11. Price match when possible.

    You can save a lot of money by purchasing things on sale instead of paying full price. By price matching, you can get certain stores to match their competitors ads, and save more money by not having to drive all over the place to get things. Stores such as Walmart, the SuperStore, and NoFrills all price match where I live. Did you know you can even price match meat? You usually have to go to the meat department and get them to weigh and re-price it with the reduced price, or sometimes you take it to the cashier and they call someone from the meat department to take it and do this. Check your store for details. Price matching fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables will save you a lot of money too! Why pay $3.49 or more a pound for sweet red peppers when you can get them for $1.49? Even better is if you can find an item on the reduced shelf that you can price match plus get the discount. For instance, if your store has marked down peppers 30% off, and you have an ad to price match them for $1.49 per pound, then you would end up getting them for only $1.05 per pound. Doesn't that sound better than $3.49 or whatever their regular price is? There are also stores such as Home Depot who will not only match, but give you an extra 10% off. "If you find a current lower price on an identical, in-stock item from any local retailer, we will match the price and beat it by 10%." A great app to use is Flipp. With Flipp you don't need to take all your actual paper flyers with you to the store. You can even enter your shopping list and clippings all in one place.

    I began by asking "If you could see results that were the same as picking money from trees, would you be interested?"

    I sincerely thank you for taking the time to read what I have written. I hope you have some new ideas to consider. Or maybe there are ideas you've heard of, or even practiced in the past, but which you are not currently implementing on a day to day basis. Perhaps it's time to change that.

    I trust that if you apply these tips, you will have more money, just as you would if you reached up and picked money off a tree.

    If this has been helpful, and you feel you will have a little more money in your wallet if you put some of these tips into action, won't you help your friends by sharing this article on your Facebook page or in a group that you belong to? Please share below if you've used any of these tips yourself, or share other tips you've found helpful.

    In closing, remember this quote by Albert Einstein:

    If you always do what you always did,

    you will always get what you always got.


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