Updated: Jan 25, 2021
Ben was listening to a tech show and they were talking about the cost of some piece of equipment. The speaker said, “It’s so cheap; it’s not even a thousand dollars.” We laughed at his idea of cheap. Relative to other tech equipment, it could be considered cheap, but to most other things we’re used to spending money on, it is enough to at least consider the decision before making the purchase. In our household, we generally don’t think too hard about purchases under a hundred dollars. But I got to thinking, “What can we do with $100?” I decided to brainstorm a list that I can use for reference the next time I’m tempted to spend $100 like it’s nothing. Here’s what I came up with, based on our current expenses:
A week’s worth of groceries
A night at a hotel
An annual membership or subscription
Large gift for a family member or charity
A date night (sitter, meal, entertainment)
A minor car repair
A month or more of lessons or a class
Two months or more of diapers
Three or more gas fill-ups
As you can see, $100 can get spent quickly and in many different ways over the course of a month. A lot of these are already covered in our monthly budget, but some are fun extras that I would like to have. In order to make room for one or more of those, my next question was, “What am I willing to give up to save $100 this month?” Some ideas include: setting the thermostat a little more conservatively, canceling subscriptions we don’t use or can live without, buying snacks, drinks, and treats in our weekly groceries instead of making stops at a convenience store, vending machine, or fast food restaurant for these items, choosing a less expensive phone plan, and combining errands and appointments to reduce the number of trips I make in a week.
Besides saving on our current expenses, I can also ask, “What am I willing to do to earn $100 this month?” Generally you can find something to sell or charge for a service you provide. The opportunities here are endless, but for me, some that came to mind are: selling clothes my youngest boy and girl have outgrown (I like to utilize our local consignment sale for this), picking up some files for Rev.com where I am a qualified transcriptionist, enrolling a new financial coaching client, or using cashback apps while grocery shopping. There is always the opportunity to learn something new and find a way to turn it into income. If you feel stuck at your current income level, a coaching session can be useful in helping you make a plan to get you moving forward toward your goals.