How to Save Money So You Can Spend on Extras


Sometimes I feel like i just throw money at all my problems.

Daycare closed unexpectedly? Pay a babysitter.
Too tired to cook for Shabbos? Buy take-out.
Can’t find the time to pack a decent lunch? Run out to the nearest eatery.

So, my question is this: am I throwing money at these problems or am I dealing with them appropriately by spending a little extra money?

I go back and forth in this debate depending on my mood. If I’m in homemaker mode, then I’m just throwing money at a problem because I should be doing it myself. But if I’m in career mode, then I am too busy for small things and need to use the money I earn to keep focused at work.

Don’t worry, this debate doesn’t keep me up at night and it only occurs in my head. It’s something I think about every now and then, so I’ve come up with four easy ways to save money so I’ll have more to spend on extras.

4 easy ways to save money:

  1. Bring lunch from home.  Buying take-out for lunch is a money suck.  Lunch is never less than $10, so if you bring lunch twice a week, that’s $20 extra bucks in your pocket.
  2. Cancel your cleaning service for a week.  I’m not saying to do this often, but it’s an easy way to save when you have extra time and energy to do the cleaning yourself.
  3. Change your commute.  Whenever I work from home I save money on my commuting costs.  I can’t do this often, but once in a while doesn’t hurt.  I’ve also taken the less expensive bus instead of the train, which was totally doable when DH was able to bring the kids to school in the mornings.
  4. Cook from the pantry.  I don’t know about you, but I’m always stocking my pantry more often than I use it.  When you make a menu plan for the week, first look in your pantry and base your meals around what you already have.

By saving money, you’ll be able to spend on something else.  For example, if I bring lunch to work everyday, then I will be able to buy takeout for Shabbos.  If I cancel my cleaning service for a week, then I will be able to pay a babysitter to watch my kids when their school is closed.

Reallocating the money you already spend creates greater flexibility.  You also won’t feel guilty when you spend on items you would normally not have had the funds for.

I know I’m not the only one who sometimes feels guilty spending money on extras. What are the extras you feel are worthwhile to include in your budget?

Until next time,