Every dollar counts in the current economy. You can have the best budget plans on paper but if your actions do not follow the plan, it really does not matter how good your budget on paper makes you feel. Too many of us have unexpected expenses that sneak up and surprise us and before we know it we are off track. This can be frustrating at times because monitoring a monthly budget seems similar to herding cats. I want to share with you 3 unconventional ways to save money . The reason I call them unconventional is because they go against the grain of the American society. These three steps are talked about more and practiced less then most of us are willing to admit. Yet, I have found that when I work hard to activate these three principles, my money works better. 1. Reduce Your Exposure to Commercialism No, I am not recommending that you move your family into a cave or that you even throw out your televisions all together. I am suggesting that you empower yourself and your kids to be aware when you are being sold. My 7 year old son is beginning to realize this message with commercials on television. While most of the time we are religious about muting the television during commercials, there have been a few times when the audio is left on. Have you ever stepped back and listened to the actual words of many of these commercials? They presume a lot on our intelligence and even my son has said after watching some of these: “Dad, they are just saying that because they want our money.” I am not against marketing an important product or something that can add value, but at the same time, if you really evaluate the content and the messages we get bombarded with, it really is an insult to our intelligence at times. Limiting your exposure can be a freeing experience. We recently moved our television that is downstairs in the living/dining room upstairs for my son’s birthday party. Now that the party is over, we have left it upstairs because we have had three dinners now as a family without the TV on and it has been such a refreshing change. You often forget how much control the television can have on your time and the quality of your relationships. 2. Allow God to Provide in His Timing This principle has been the single, best teaching opportunity in the life of our kids in the past two years. We are teaching them that you do not just buy something because you have the money to buy it. Patience is a virtue that has to be practiced and lived out. It is such an important principle because many of us have given in to buying things when we don’t have the money. What happens in the life of a Christian is that you cease to allow God to work in your life. Sure, I believe there is a balance to everything. You do not just pray for a free car when you need one and have the means to buy one. Still, you should think carefully before just turning over your hard earned cash. As a boy, I worked one Saturday in my Grandfather’s hardware store. At the end of the day, he paid me for my hard work. I immediately asked if I could buy a certain toy that I had my eye on all day in his store. He wisely said, “Jonathan, let’s wait. If you still want it tomorrow, you can get it.” The next day, I had changed my mind and decided to save the money. My grandfather was teaching me the value of patience. Have you made room for God to provide and work things out? Maybe you should pray and see if God can bring what you need at a cheaper price? He wants to be involved in your financial decisions too. 3. Value Contentment Over Possessions The Apostle Paul in the Bible was such a great example of this value. He said that he had been both rich and poor and what was most important was just learning to be content in the present moment. Contentment can reduce the stress in your life. We want the bigger house, fastest car, and latest gadget. Nothing wrong with having nice things, but I have news for you: you can do without. There was a period of about 14 months when I decided to go without a cell phone. Not because I could not afford it, it was just because I choose to go without. There were times when I was driving alone wishing that my car would break down so I could see what type of adventure I could get into. Having to walk awhile for help or knock on a stranger’s door asking if I could use the phone made me think back to days gone by. While they are a convenience, they really are not a necessity to life. Air, water, food, and clothing are. Sure those other possessions have their benefits, but life does go on. Just make sure that you have a grip on your possessions and that they do not have a grip on you. Have you learned to value contentment? If so, what have you learned? Photo by borman818 Related Articles: How to Teach Kids About Money A Lesson from the Recession: Getting back to the basics 4 Ways to Handle Money God’s Way Teaching Kids About Money & Stewardship The Most Powerful Money-Saving Tip Why Gather Money Little by Little? Jonathan has been blogging online since 2009 and is still in awe that the Creator of the Universe desires to have a relationship with him. He recently launched a new blog with Bob Lotich called Blogging Your Passion . It is dedicated to help bloggers find what it is they are passionate about and turn it into an income-generating blog. The articles on this site are for entertainment purposes and should not be taken as financial advice. Please contact a financial professional for specific advice regarding your situation. Also, many of the CPF articles help us pay the bills by using affiliate relationships with Amazon, Google, eBay and others. Find out more here .
3 Unconventional Ways to Save Money