Today I got my mini van back after 6 months of only having one working vehicle in the family. Yippeee!!!!!
The short story is hubby's truck needed some major work, we didn't have the money to have the repairs done, so... he took my mini van and the truck sat in the driveway for 6 months.
Since my hubby drove the van to and from work 5 days a week from 4:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day, and I am a stay at home mom this plan worked for our family.
With no measurable savings, we needed to save up and pay for replacement parts for his truck a little at a time.
Here's how we came up with the money for some expensive vehicle repairs.
Quit Eating Out
We got in the habit of eating out every Wednesday night before we went grocery shopping. We cut eating out and I fixed something quick and easy at home before we left for the store. Saving us $10-$15 a week or $40-$60 a month.
No Unnecessary Spending
We cut out everything that isn't a necessity. Basically, we only paid for bills, groceries, and gasoline for hubby to get to work. That meant cutting non-essential school activities, classmates' birthday parties, new clothes, and most importantly driving anywhere we don't need to go. We even cut down on visits to friends and family -- even local ones to save on gas costs.
We stay home most of the time. Eating meals we cook together as a family and do fun things around the house like playing board games, going for walks, and watching movies we already own with some popcorn.
This is a big money saver for us. I plan our meals every week.
Each week I make a list of what we will eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner each day including snacks. I make sure I have all the ingredients needed or add them to my shopping list. Next I search online for any coupons that could save us some money. Finally I stick to my list at the grocery store.
Stretch Things Out/Make It Last
Lastly I save us money by making what we do have last as long as possible. Clothes are mended and patched when possible. I routinely trim hair to spread out the time between haircuts. We use just a little bit less of everything from shampoo, ketchup, electricity, and water because every little bit adds up to big savings.
Sought Help From Friends
Luckily, We have friends in the automotive field that helped install parts onto the truck. We also asked relatives to drive us to the kids' doctor/dentist appointments. Friends and people online have even helped by finding coupons to save us money.
Basically, we had to prioritize our money so we spent it on the most important things to us, and staying strict to our food budget gave us the opportunity to save up for the necessary repairs.