A Message From Heidi...

For more than two years, I’ve shared my tips, real-life stories and other tidbits of information with you on this blog. Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by each week and provide feedback when something resonated with you. As of today, we’re transitioning to a blog on our main website that will cover a variety of topics, and we invite you to visit the Live Smart. Bank Smart. Blog every Friday for valuable information from various subject matter experts throughout Mission Fed. Writing the mPower blog has been a pleasure, and I look forward to keeping in touch with you on our new blog.

Don’t Pay Others—DIY

I’m tired. Between my rewarding job, beautiful family, amazing boyfriend, wonderful friends, adorable dog, dirty car—yes, I’m in an “adjective” mood today—and everything else during the week, I don’t have much spare time. While I love that my life is so full, it definitely makes it hard to add more to my plate. But, while it may be easy to have someone else do things for me, is it really worth the cost?

Here are a few things that, while on occasion I’ll pay for, I try my best to do on my own, or as inexpensively as possible:

  • Making coffee. Fancy coffee shops are such a temptation—there’s a drive-thru that I pass on my way to work every morning. But that’s about $3 that I could be saving for something else. Plus, I’ve come up with my own iced coffee concoction that tastes great to me. I take my 16 oz. reusable plastic tumbler, fill it with ice until it’s almost overflowing, add two original creamers and two French vanilla creamers, then top off with the free coffee provided at work. Voila! Stir and enjoy. I make it at work and at home.

  • Washing my car. When I realize that Mother Nature isn’t going to wash my car anytime soon (especially since we live in San Diego), and I’m tired of my white car being a dusty brown, it’s time for a wash. Washing your car at home can be time consuming, but much cheaper than taking it somewhere. So, if you have the time and the energy, wash it yourself! Since I’m usually pressed for time, though, I typically run it through a drive-thru car wash for $5-$7 and only get a really good (and more expensive) cleaning two or three times a year.

  • Making my lunch. It’s so easy to walk downstairs to the deli or drive down the street and choose from one of the fast-food restaurants. I work in a very food-available area—both a blessing and a curse. I can bring a frozen dinner that I bought on sale for about $1.50, or I can get a sandwich for $5. The choice is mine, but so is the money. For the most part, I try to make my lunch at least 4 times a week, and treat myself with a lunch outing the other day. This goes for dinner, too.

  • Hair and nails. This one’s mostly for the ladies, though some guys spend a pretty penny on their haircuts, too. The one thing I am willing to fork over some cash for is getting my hair done. I visit my lovely stylist about 5 times per year—there’s no way I want to mess with highlights or a haircut on my own. I did that once in 3rd grade and I still haven’t lived down the half-mullet I had to rock at school as my punishment. Manicures I take care of on my own. Unless it’s for a special occasion, my at-home salon works just fine.

These are obviously just a few things we can save money on. Some of you may be hesitant to break expensive coffee habits or get up a little earlier to pack your lunch. I understand, but it’s not like I’m telling you to whittle your own shoes out of wood or something—yet.

< Going Green—at Work and at HomeDon’t be a Spendthrift—Spend Thriftily! >


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Recently my kitchen garbage disposal needed replacing. Because my fiance & i were too impatient to wait for an installation appointment, we did it ourselves & ended up saving approximately $245. Not bad, huh!

Submitted by Heidi on

That's awesome! Quite the savings, and you learned how to do something new at the same time! Glad it worked out for you. :) Thanks for stopping by the blog!

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
online banking login