Financial security is more than just what you save. It's also about how you spend your hard-earned money.
AARP’s money saving expert Jeff Yeager recently joined us on a tele-townhall where he shared dozens of his money-saving ideas. His YouTube channel, The Cheap Life with Jeff Yeager, also offers great suggestions about how to live the good life, only at a fraction of the cost.
Each week Jeff shares tips and tricks for how you can pay less for just about everything, reuse just about anything, and get the most out of life and your cash.
One family we know recently took on one of Jeff's money-saving ideas and participated in a week-long "money fast." Other than the necessary daycare and gas expenses, they were successful in not spending any additional money throughout the course of an entire week.
By taking this approach, they quickly discovered how easy it is to spend money without realizing how much it adds up. This particularly hit home when it came to food. Rather than eating out for lunch, they packed leftovers. For meals at home, they used a little creativity to replace those last-minute runs to the grocery store. Extra spaghetti sauce was easily transformed into pizza sauce for the next day's meal. Food lost in back of the freezer was discovered and the aroma of homemade bread filled the house. For entertainment, they checked out movies from the library and hosted a family game night.
In the end, the family said that while saving money was important, perhaps the greatest lesson they learned was that less really can be more. More nutritious food, more family time and more great memories.