5 Ways to Cure Financial Butterfingers

Whether you area teenager making a few dollars a week on household chores and babysitting, or a 20-something pulling in regular payckeck, you should be saving money and giving generously. The only way to do it is by not spending all you make.

When I was a teenager making money babysitting, teaching a handful of violin students, and doing seasonal landscaping, I started saving money. I saved a nice little pile, although it could have been more had I started budgeting sooner!

It is so easy to just earn it, then spend it. I mean, it’s fun, right? It’s enjoying the fruit of our labors! But there are some things even more fun than spending money on ourselves:

Giving Money to Others and Saving Money.

If you have ever struggled with overspending, and had trouble keeping your finances- even small amounts of cash- in line, I know the feeling! It is way to easy to let the money slip through our fingers instead of strategically placing it where it needs to go.

Today I want to share with you 5 Tips to Cure Financial Butterfingers:

  1. Track it! You must track every single dollar you earn and spend. This way you can look back and see where your money is actually going, and change your gameplan if need be.
  2. Watch the little expenses. Coffee is a big one for me. It is way too easy to stop by the coffee shop and grab a scrumptious drink. But the truth is, I can make my own delicious coffee at home. I choose to never buy coffee out unless I am meeting up with a friend, taking out a family member, or going for work (even that is limited, as the library also has free wifi and quiet.)
  3. Always pack lunch. When shopping, my mother taught me to always pack food. The RARE times we would actually get frosties at Wendy’s or lunch at Chik Fil A or a yogurt at the health food store were so much more special because they were not a regular occurrance! And we saved hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars as a family by nearly always packing food for traveling, shopping, and other outings. When I started working away from home as a teenager, I didn’t even entertain the idea of going to Subway for lunch like my employer sometimes did. I automatically packed lunch. Now, in my 8 years of working away (landscaping and hotel) I have never once bought lunch. I pack every single time. I would rather save my money to be able to take my mother out to a fancy restaurant for lunch, or give extra money to a missionary, or send a package to a friend, or put more money in investing.
  4. Create free experiences, outings, and gifts. Not every gift or special time has to cost money. You can give coupons for birthday gifts, etc. I am going to do an entire post on this next week, so stay tuned!
  5. If you are tempted, don’t go there! I absolutely love a certain consignment shop in the city near us. I used to go there often, but now I rarely go unless I have a specific item or list of items I need. It eliminates the temptation to buy un-needed things.

Well, I’m signing off for now, friends! What would you like me to write about next? I have posts on investing and giving coming up, but I am open to other ideas, as well!

-Allison

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12 Comments

  1. Hi Allison! It was interesting for me to hear that you have done landscaping work! My oldest brother owns and runs a landscaping business and I am able to help him out (and earn a paycheck 🙂 by doing bookkeeping and making lunches. (a big AMEN to #3) However, my brother prefers that I not get out and work with him on the job for several reasons: femininity, “gender roles,” and the overall hard and strenuous nature of the labor. He does occasionally ask me to help him with a big planting job, but I’m wondering what sort of landscaping work you did?? Also, how did you get your violin students? I play violin and would like to begin teaching, but I don’t really want to advertise??? Thank you for your advice!

    1. Hi Clara!
      How great that you get to work for you brother!
      In answer to your question: I worked for a professional landscaping company. Being a farm girl, I have always loved dirt, heavy lifting, and hard work. Some days my landscaping work included lighter jobs such as pruning and planting small annuals, but many days I was digging out or planting larger plants or small trees, or lifting and applying many bags of mulch. I remember one particular day when I lifted out of the truck and transported to the gigantic flower bed several hundred 30 pound bags of mulch. I loved it!
      I never felt at the least as if my femininity was at risk with a job that included hard manual labor. I think that in the Proverbs 31 woman we see that physical strength is actually virtuous. I would encourage you to do a study of that chapter. You might be surprised to see the physical strength and business savvy of this woman given to us for an example. I don’t think that hard physical labor is blurring the gender roles or damaging our femininity at all! I encourage girls to workout and embrace physical strength, not in an obsessive way, but in order to be strong, sturdy women who will be up to whatever challenge comes their way!
      I hope that answers your question!
      blessings,
      Allison

      1. Thank you so much for thoughts, Allison! Wow, that’s a lot to think about. I hope you don’t mind if I ask a followup question? 🙂 So, what are your thoughts on where to draw the line between men’s work and work that is appropriate for women? Also, do you think the distinctions are different for single women vs. married women? YES, I believe in hard work, but I also believe that the work we do and the work we pursue can have an effect on the meek and quiet spirit that we are to cultivate. What do you think? Of course, I am NOT trying to get out of work 😉 I love to work and to be productive, but I am just wondering what your perspective is! Thank you, Allison!

        1. Hi again, Clara!

          I think I will actually do a post in answer to this question.:) I would love to go a little more in depth in answering it and exploring what the Bible has to say. Be looking for a post on this within the week!

          blessings,
          Allison

      2. Hello Clara+Allsion!
        I have appreciated your thoughts, Allison. My dad owns a Mowing business and I have been able to assist him in several aspects, but this summer in particular going out with him+my brothers and doing “the actual dirty work.” When Dad needed to be doing other work(fertilizer applications, bookwork, etc), I would take the mowing truck+trailer+my younger brothers and we would be the mowing crew for the day-now me being only 17, sometimes it got interesting=) but it diffently was a great experience. I have always loved outdoors work on the farm or garden-digging in and getting sweaty+dirty. And even out mowing I never felt less meek+quiet or unlady-like in any way, actually working with Dad helped me to grow In the meek and quiet character quality. I feel like that no matter what situation we are in; out mowing/landscaping, working at home, etc. we can shine for Jesus as Godly young ladies.
        Thank you for your posts Allison!

  2. Yes to #3!! It’s crazy how much some of the people I work with spend when they go out to lunch. Not only that, but they’re always getting really unhealthy stuff to eat.

  3. I’d love to hear how you deal with “homesickness” from missing siblings when they’re gone/grown. I have to admit, with my older sister gone so much, it’s hard not to let loneliness overcome my normal routine and I think it would be super helpful to hear how you manage!

  4. Amen to #3! When I was younger and had a summer job, I regularly bought lunch. After awhile I realized just how much I spent every week on lunch! Since I’ve had my regular job as a young adult, the only time in 1.5 years I ever have bought lunch was once when we didn’t have power. Doing that alone has saved me probably over $400. So when you’re tempted to buy that little thing for lunch, look at the big picture!

I'd love to hear your thoughts!