On Saving Money and Spreading Manure
As you may know, the mission of this blog is to discover ways to save time and money every day. You help me by sending me your tips, hacks, and ideas. I help you by boiling it all down here. That answers the “what,” but what about the “why”?
Why should anyone be concerned about saving money? Have you ever thought about that? Why do you want to save money? How to save money? Who cares? While you’re pondering that for yourself, let me share with you how and why I save money and the ultimate reason that saving money is so important to me.
Let’s define terms
“Saving money” has two definitions, which many people use interchangeably:
- Spending less than I would have because an item is on sale or it’s a particularly good deal as in, “Wow, I just saved $37 on these cute boots that were regularly priced $225, but were on sale for just $188!”
- Accumulating money in a safe place as in, “I save $200 a month by having it automatically transferred to my savings account.”
Technically, unless you take that $37 you “saved” on the boots and stash it away in a place where you keep it, so you don’t spend it, you’re not really saving anything. You’re just spending less than you would have if those boots had not been on sale.
Why do I save money?
I see it as a tiered proposition. First, my goal is to spend less than I earn so that I have money to save for these purposes:
- To fund my own emergencies
- To prepare for the future when I will no longer have an active income
- To give away as much as I can
There it is. That is why I look for every possible way to save as much money as possible. I guess you could say that I look for ways to save so I can save.
Another pair of hands
Author Bruce Larson once said,
“Money is another pair of hands to heal and feed and bless the desperate families of the earth. In other words, money is my other self. Money can go where I do not have time to go, where I do not have a passport to go. My money can go in my place and heal and bless and feed and help. A man’s money is an extension of himself.”
That’s true of your money only if you’re willing to part with it. Thornton Wilder put it this way, “Money is like manure. If you let it pile up, it just smells. But if you spread it around, you can encourage things to grow.”
Two thin dimes
I have no idea how many of my readers have taken to making their own laundry detergent, which is better than any brand name I know of and a lot cheaper, too! It must be tens of thousands given the feedback I’ve received. Those who do this save at the very least about $.20 with each load of laundry. Sounds like peanuts, doesn’t it? Two thin dimes.
Do a rough calculation to see how many loads of laundry go through your washer every week. For me it’s least five, or $.20 x 5 = $1.00. Multiply that by 52 (my case: $1 x 52 = $52). That’s respectable but doesn’t make any of us gasp.
Now, let’s say that 10,000 readers are making their own laundry detergent, each of them not spending $52 each year as they once did on a commercial detergent: $52 x 10,000 = $520,000. I knew the answer, but still, that makes me gasp.
Spread it to do good
My point? Never underestimate the power of saving money—both in spending less, and stashing it into a safe place in order to spread it around to do good in the world.
Good point. I’m blessed that these were lessons I learned from my father who has lived all of this out. As a dairy farmer, he has spread a lot manure in his lifetime, both the literal and metaphorical stuff.
Since you just mentioned making your own soap…..I think I remember you telling us sometime back….but could you tell us AGAIN how to do it….Thanks Bonnie
Sure! Here it is …
How to Make the Best Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent
How to Make the Best Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent
One tip for saving money is to cut toothpaste tubes (lotion tubes, etc.) in half when you can’t squeeze out any more product. It’s amazing how much more product is in there!