As a culture, we place a high premium on convenience. If we think of something we want or need, we choose the fastest and easiest way to fulfill it regardless of the expense.
My number one tip for saving money? Be willing to wait.
This year’s landscaping is a perfect example. We “needed” a combination of mulch, river rocks, and plants to add some curb appeal to our exterior, but with our commitment to minimalism in all aspects of life including our finances, I couldn’t justify the expense. I’m going to pay how much for fancy dirt? Spend money on plants? Things that the Earth naturally produces? Nahhh. Not anymore.
Previously, I would have woken up on a sunny Saturday and decided I would tackle the garden and off to Lowes I would trek. The trunk loaded with mulch and flowers and my bank accounted unloaded by a few hundred dollars.
This year, I still desired an appealing exterior but there was one difference. I was willing to wait.
One day, while walking with a student from church to the grocery store, I spotted some hastas by the curb of a neighbor’s house. After knocking on the door to confirm they were free, we hauled two trips of plants home. Later that night, Nate planted the 10 mature hastas in our gardens.
Two weeks later, I lucked upon a post on my local Facebook Yard Sale page for free river rocks. The next day, Everly and I made two trips to collect the rocks. She also offered me free stepping stones so I left with five. The work was tiring but rewarding.
That same day, a woman who lives a few developments over posted an entire yard of free mulch she had leftover from her delivery. Three trips later and all of my garden beds were covered with a thick layer of free mulch.
We had three medium sized stumps in our backyard from trees we cut down two summers ago. Not willing to pay $115 to rent a stump grinder or pay hundreds to a landscaper to remove them, I watched YouTube videos and went at it with a shovel, hatchet, and clippers. After three days of hard work, all three stumps were removed and I did it entirely by myself. I am woman hear me roar!
I understand everyone’s situations are different. Maybe time is a premium for you and you’d rather spend your free time with your family or friends and not driving around town to pick up free mulch. I get that. My point is, with patience and ingenuity, there are ways to save money but they key is checking your mindset of convenience.
- $25.50 (yard of mulch, I called the landscaping company she used)
- $118 (Stump grinder rental at Home Depot)
- $100-$200 (10 mature Hastas, prices vary)
- $25 (5 stepping stones)
- $75 (estimated 15 bags of river rock at $5 each)
Next time you have a purchase to make, ask yourself if you can wait in order to save money. Check Craigslist, wait for a sale, try a DIY or ask around to see if you can borrow what you need from a neighbor. If you put this into practice consistently, the savings will surely add up leaving you money for what matters to you most.