Having trouble enough paying your mortgage or rent?
Last week my post on saving $250 a month and putting it towards increasing the tithe caused a lot of stir. The stir didn't take place here on the blog or on Facebook, but I heard about it never the less.
Some were concerned that I was paying (though not advocating) tithing on my net income after taxes rather than my gross. After a lengthy debate, the question came down to how much tax one pays. If I pay 10% tax, I can probably afford 10% tithe on the gross. If I pay 60% in tax, a 10% tithe leaves me with just 30%. If I have a 90% tax (like France), I would have -0- left. Even with that, I don't advocate anyone reducing their giving to the net amount, and I do advocate using 10% as a starting point, not the finishing point of giving back to God.
Others were concerned about the idea that I would suggest saving the money to pay, rather than trusting God to provide. God says that we are to be good stewards of what he provides. Thus reducing expenditures that are serving almost no benefit, would seem like a great way to use my talent to improve stewardship which in turn enriches the kingdom.
Therefore, here is a follow up with 5 more ways to save. And I think there is another $250 a month in this set of ideas. That, together with last week, would be $500 a month. I would love to hear from anyone who has done these things successfully, and especially if you used the savings to improve your giving.
- Shop your car insurance. I recently was able to chop $350 a month on my policy by switching carriers. We have 4 drivers on the policy, so your results may vary. I went with Costco. You should also review your other insurance policies annually to make sure you have the coverage you need, and to see about savings on rates.
- Speaking of Costco. The savings by purchasing your groceries and other items at Costco are real and significant. Costco marks up all items by 15%. What they buy for $10.00, you pay only $11.50. Most discount department stores mark up from 50% to double. So you would pay $15.00 - $20.00. I know you have to buy huge quantities. I have found nooks all over the house for storing commodities. I have an extra freezer, too. Small cost for huge savings.
- Amazon Prime. When it isn't a Costco item, why not buy on Amazon Prime?!? Pricey toothpaste, supplements, household items and more are almost always cheaper on Amazon than at Target or CVS. And there is no freight and no auto expense. When you need more, you have a record of what you bought.
- Get rid of any high interest credit card. Use the savings from these other suggestions to first pay off all credit cards with interest rates higher than your mortgage interest rate. The only good use for a credit card is to build credit. Pay them off every month.
- Get rid of one expensive, useless or worse, habits. Smoking, buying booze in bars, fast food, gambling (including lotto.)
Do you have other slam dunk methods of saving that won't ruin quality of life? Let us know in the comments.