Unexpected ways to earn, save, and spend

Just a quick list of ways we’ve saved or earned money which we always view as money to save and invest (and a few things we’ve spent money on that you wouldn’t think we would):

Interesting Income:

So many little things add up, but it takes creative thinking, willingness to learn, and some time to get things rolling!
Photo: www.tradingacademy.com
  • Not eating out (like, ever…) Once upon a time, we didn’t even realize how much we were spending, nothing seemed extravagant
  • Fixing our own cars: how we got started on that here
  • Doing our own home renovations: bathroom, bedroom, kitchen
  • Fixing our own electrical and plumbing (details and story soon!)
  • Handyman work for an elderly friend—we’d do it for free, but she insists on paying something in thanks for having someone she trusts available to help
  • Delivering food for coworkers’ lunches: the coworkers didn’t like the lunch delivery service they were getting—enter in Joseph. Willing to drive out and get your lunch order for only a dollar or two or you buy his lunch.
  • Lessons/gigs: Danielle is a musician and can pick up students or wedding gigs from time to time for a little extra income. It’s how we supported ourselves for the first couple years.
  • Fixing cars or small motors for family: Joseph started by wanting to save money for family members when he learned how easy it is to change brakes and oil. But now they insist on paying him a little bit and we still all come out ahead.
The coworkers wonder how we buy rental houses–and yet they pay us to drive out and pick up their daily take-out lunch orders. Little things add up.
Photo: public domain

Surprise spending:

  • Grocery delivery service: This doesn’t fit in with our lifestyle or model of frugality and self sufficiency, but with three kids and lots of home projects, there was never time or energy in the day to shop for groceries. With a monthly grocery budget of $440, there’s now way we should be justifying part of that as delivery and fees, but last year we started getting grocery delivery and we can’t imagine going back. This is one spot we’ll keep spending for the peace of mind it gives us.

How about you? Where are you spending that you might not have to and where are you saving or making money?

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