The next time you’re thinking about shopping, look around at the abundance of your life and think of swapping some of what you have for some of what you want instead. Then bank the money you would have spent.
You can have a toy swap. Invite moms with same-age kids over, and tell ‘em to bring two or three toys that you can exchange. You’ll arrive home with fresh playthings for the kids, and you won’t have spent a cent.
Clothing swaps are another great way to save money. Whether you’re sharing your grown-up clothes or you’re doing it to get the next size jeans for your Mini-me, swapping means not spending.
You can do at-home bulk cook-ups and then swap the results so you have some new-to-your family meals to try on those busy nights.
You can swap your cleaning skills for some else’s sewing skills.
You can even swap kids. Well, for a few hours anyway so that you each have time to run your errands or head to an appointment without hauling the little monkeys along with you.
Swap coupons. Swap accessories. Swap plants from your garden. Swap books, DVDs, and CDs. Find things you have or that you can do, and swap for things other people have or can do and save. But make sure you don’t forget the “save” part. Whatever you would have spent has to go right to your emergency fund, kids’ educational savings or your retirement savings. Keep track of what your swapping is gaining you in savings and that’ll keep you motivated to keep swapping and saving.