Example #1: Dinner at a resturant. When you cut the check, who gets paid? The cashier, the cook, Gordon Food Services for their lovely cuisine; you’re paying the cleaning guy, the manager, the franchise owner, and yes- the government wants their share as well (both from the business owner AND from you).
Example #2: A home cooked meal. Who gets paid? Walmart, for their wonderful groceries (no tax on food items- yay!). Unless you raised everything yourself, in which case even Walmart doesn’t get a piece of the pie (no pun intended).
Can you see how saving is another way to “earn”? Especially in a household with two adults, this system works great. You’ve got one person earning, and then the other person is stopping up leaks and keeping that money in the family bank account, whereas a double-income household makes more purchases on items that are being taxed and overpriced to pay the middle man.
Your Job: Holding The Money
A good housewife keeps earnings from growing wings and flying away- to Walmart, to Macy’s, Sears, Younkers, Amazon, Ebay… to magazine and book publishers, to furniture warehouses, random people on Craigslist (it’s okay to pass up a deal), McDonalds, her dentist and even her doctor’s office. It’s okay to spend money, but it’s also okay to not buy things you don’t need. The way you will get ahead as a housewife is to STOP BUYING STUFF. Every other housewife is pinning home decorating ideas on Pinterest, just waiting for the chance to go to Hobby Lobby and bring home a cartload of craft supplies. Or maybe she is thinking about how she "needs" a new couch because their old one is in bad shape- she can't wait until Hubby gets home so they can pick up the "great deal" she found on Craigslist. Why? Not because she fell through the old sofa, but because she wasn't keeping her hands busy and had time to think about what she could buy.
Think WHY Before You Buy
A good housewife thinks about every purchase before she makes it. She asks herself if she really needs the item, or if it is just a passing fancy. Where will the item be a year from now? In use, or in the closet? Is she buying out of necessity, or just to inflate her ego because "everyone else has one"? Is she being manipulated into spending money by health care professionals to have a “check-up” when there’s nothing wrong with her? Is that big purchase really an “investment” or is she just looking for an excuse to start a new hobby?
The different ways to save are far too numerous for me to list in this post, but I would recommend starting with my series about cutting your grocery bill. Some other quick and easy ways to save:
1. Shop sales. Most items have a supply-and-demand cycle that changes with the season. Try to buy when demand is low, supply is high, or both. For example, nobody wants to buy swimming suits at the end of summer. This is when all of the swimming suits are on sale.
2. Buy used. Oftentimes a used item works just as well as a new one. The only difference is price. A prime example is the automobile; buy a new one, drive it off the lot and it has already lost almost 10% of resale value, though it runs just as well as the minute before when you bought it.
3. Stop shopping. Buy what you need, and nothing more. It’s amazing how much stuff you don’t need, and how much money you can save by not buying it. Remember, one of the prime advantages of being a housewife is the opportunity you have to not buy. If you refrain from buying and keep saving, you will be LIGHT YEARS ahead of everyone else.
Next post we’ll be discussing the concept of investing. This is my favorite post of the series- don’t miss it!