"Usually, saving money also involves some kind of spiritual
tool, be it self-control, creativity, bitachon, self
reliance or doing a mitzva for someone else."
[We continue from last week's excellent ideas]
13. I once spoke to a bus driver who had bought apartments
for four of his children just by saving the child allowance
he got every month from National Insurance (Bituach
Leumi). Families who are blessed with many children may
not find this practical, but they can put aside small
portions of the allotment for some future event like a bar
mitzva, marriage etc. This can be done in a bank savings
plan or through a monthly bank deposit order to a Free Loan
14. Save for something you want, as opposed to paying it off
later. Just putting away a few shekels a day in a cookie jar
can help you save up for a vacation or a special
15. Reward yourself for saving money by using some of that
money to treat yourself or your family to something. You may
be spending the money you saved, but you're reinforcing
saving behavior and eventually it will get to be a habit.
16. Give your children allowances. Not only is this
recommend by Rav Hirsch and Rav Shlomo Wolbe for
chinuch, but that puts the onus of some expenditures
on your children and you thereby limit some areas of
spending and leave it to their discretion. This, of course,
has to be realistic and agreed upon with the child a
priori as well as renegotiated as the child gets older
and legitimately needs more spending money.
17. Grow things in your garden or on your windowsill (in a
few months, or sprouts even during shemitta). Growing
some vegetables or flowers may only save you a little bit of
money each week, but every bit helps. Eating fresh fruits
and vegetables is a real treat and putting your own flowers
on your table gives you a feeling of pride. You also have
the opportunity to learn and practice halochos
related to home-grown produce.
18. Don't keep things you use only once a year. Make an
agreement with neighbors who may use something only once a
year that you use frequently. For example, I bake only for
Yom Tov, so I don't need a flour sifter in the house. I can
borrow one from my neighbor. On the other hand, my neighbor
doesn't have a computer or a fax machine, so I can type a
letter for her on the rare times she needs one typed, or
19. The first time I heard this, I thought it was insane,
but when shortly after it worked for me, I became a
believer. If you need something, you don't necessarily have
to buy it. Pray for it, tell people you need it, or just
leave yourself open to receiving it and I'm telling you, it
almost falls from heaven at your very feet.
20. Buy at `dollar stores' [I guess the Five and Dime or
Woolworth's is the non-Israeli equivalent]. "Hakol
bedollar." There are many different types that stock a
wide variety of things. Good for stocking up on small gifts
21. Shop only with a list. Do not buy anything else! Also,
don't exceed your budget for that item.
22. Weddings, bar mitzvas and birthdays, you usually know
about months in advance. If you don't wait till the last
minute and buy something nice when the opportunity presents
itself, you'll not only save money but you'll probably buy
something more appropriate and thoughtful. You don't have to
bring a large check to every simcha.
23. Anything expensive should be relegated for Shabbos
consumption or use. Haagen Daz ice cream, your best china,
your nicest clothes, anything that is either a luxury or
would cost a lot to replace should be used in helping to
bring sanctity to Shabbos. I know this is almost impossible,
but junk food should be consumed only lekovod Shabbos
or when you have guests [not your kids' everyday guests!].
This also helps cut down on dentist bills.
24. It is my personal prejudice that people should go to
natural doctors (naturopaths, reflexologist, homeopaths).
Although this costs a lot more money than going to your Sick
Fund, in the long run, your family will be, be'H,
healthier and will have less need for doctors and
25. As much as possible, frequent the same stores. Loyalty
to shop owners is rewarded by special treatment and
discounts. If you always patronize the same clothing, toy
and stationery stores, you'll save money and make
26. Pay in cash immediately. Credit cards, post-dated checks
and paying in installments on your credit card all end up
costing more than paying in cash and set up a cycle of
27. Be in as little debt as possible to as few people as
possible. Debt draws debt, money draws money.
28. Anyone still not shopping at bazaars and gemachs,
besides spending a lot of extra money and losing out on a
mitzva, is missing out on fun. I love going to
bazaars because it makes me feel rich. It's the once place I
can walk into and buy almost anything I want. I've found
some real nice stuff at bazaars and the clothes I buy there
usually get more compliments than the ones I buy retail.
29. If you must borrow money, pay it off as quickly as
[Final part next week. Hopefully by then, some of the
readers will have sent in their own bright ideas so that we
can keep this column flowing.]