With for years having only one full-time salary supporting their growing family, managing finances has always been a very important issue. They probably have missed the mark many times on managing their finances but, through the grace of God, they have learned a lot and believe that even in these harsh economic times, a person can make his/her salary work with a little effort and a lot of faith.
1) The number one tip is more than a tip. It’s an obligation. Scripture says that you are to tithe 10% of your income. A tithe should go to wherever you are spiritually fed (i.e. your local church). God may even tell you to give above that 10% but you must give at least that much. In the Corbin home, the first checks written are for their tithes. They don’t even try to calculate the rest of the month’s bills until that tithe has been paid. To Scott and Nikkie, it’s even more important than the monthly mortgage bill. When you are obedient to God, you can then trust Him with the rest of your finances but if you disobey Him, you may find yourself in quite a dilemma.
2) The Corbins also keep a budget. Their budget is recorded both in a notebook that Nikkie carries around and in a spreadsheet on the computer. This takes time and effort but is well worth it. On the budget, they have listed each of their monthly bills (including their tithe). Some bills are the same each month like their phone bill. So, they know exactly what amount to plan for those items. Other bills, like their power bills, vary. For the bills that vary, they plan for a worst-case scenario. It’s better to be prepared to pay more than to only be prepared to pay less and end up short. After calculating these monthly bills, they divide the rest of the salary among items like restaurant money, grocery money, and extra spending. This budget guides their spending each month and once the money is spent, that is that. Sometimes, it means waiting until the following month to purchase something which is better than getting in debt.
3) They watch for sales and coupons. They love buying clothes at the end of a season on the discount racks. They put the clothes up until the next year and then have new clothes to pull out for which they paid very little. And it’s really fun when you are able to mix a sale with a coupon and get things for free. It is possible and saves lots of money. They also order free samples on the Internet all the time. And although these samples are small, they save money.
4) Sign-up for email specials from stores and restaurants. Some restaurants will even send coupons for free appetizers, desserts, and so forth.
5) Go shopping with a list. If you don’t, you'll likely spend more than necessary. For Scott and Nikkie’s grocery list, Nikkie first creates a menu and then creates a shopping list. The list helps her get through the store faster and spend less money.
6) Save on cleaners by making your own. Lots of websites offer recipes for your own cleaners.
7) At a restaurant, share a plate. Scott and Nikkie use to buy separate plates and realized that they were overeating in an effort not to throw the food away, leaving the restaurant uncomfortably full. So, they began sharing plates and now, they leave a lot more comfortable in their stomachs as well as in their wallet.
These are just a few of the tips that the Corbins live by. Follow some of their favorite links for great places/ways to save money