Do you ever feel like saving money is out of reach?
It could be that in our days of technology where things are fast and furious, we’ve forgotten how to slow down and keep things simple. Turns out, living a simple life actually leads to money-saving too.
Even our phones have turned into this huge expense. There’s the device themselves and then all the apps we just “can’t live without.”
I often talk to my grandmother about living a simple life. Maybe it’s the era she grew up in, maybe it’s that money never came easily, but she fully embraces simple living and has passed on that wisdom to her family.
The 1950s were often a simpler time. Sure, we didn’t have all the conveniences we have now, but it seems, these conveniences often come at a price.
Saving Money like it’s the 1950s
Eat at home
It sounds simple enough, but with the advent of fast food, restaurants on every corner, and even gas stations serving up full meals, you don’t really have to plan meals at home anymore if you don’t want to.
Eating out is expensive though.
It’s possible the internet, Pinterest, and fancy cookbooks helped us complicate meal time, but cooking doesn’t have to be so fancy or convoluted.
You can serve your family beans and cornbread. It can be simple. If you want to get really fancy, you can even whip up a salad.
Keep dinner simple. Make a meal plan that considers your busy days, and pack a lunch anytime you can to avoid eating out.
I also like to keep snacks in the car. It’s saved me so much money when we don’t get home in time!
Back in the 1950s, there was no internet, no infinite reels and videos to watch, and TV looked way different.
Families sat around the radio, watched the one TV in the house together, and often ate dinner around the table.
It was nothing to have a child’s friend over to play outside with your own kids. Or better yet, to let children play outside for hours.
Kids were allowed to be bored, play games, and interact.
Adults spoke to their neighbors rather than staring at screens.
All these simple activities saved tons of money.
There was no Pinterest. Vacations were simple. Homes were simple. Entertainment was simple.
Okay, so maybe the Depression-era drove hoarder tendencies and encouraged people to never ever throw anything away.
While there’s a fine line between repurposing items and saving too much, it is a good practice to be in so one can save money the old-fashioned way!
Rather than going out to buy something you “need”, first see if you can repurpose something else. Get creative!
Sometimes it’s fun to challenge yourself to not spend any money and make do with what you’ve got.
Grow a garden
It takes a decent amount of land to be fully self-sufficient. Although, you can still save money by growing some of your own food items.
Every year we grow tomatoes and cucumbers. We grow enough cucumbers to make pickles for the entire year. That many pickles may sound weird to some, but we actually spend a decent amount on pickles if we don’t have any canned and put away This saves us money on our grocery budget!
Take note of what you like to eat, and try growing it instead! Even those in a small apartment can often grow lettuce on a balcony.
Embrace the DIY
My grandmother made dresses for my aunts. They were amazing. I don’t have that skill, and honestly, with dresses costing what they do now, it wouldn’t be worth the time anymore.
Yet, you can still save money the 1950s way by making other things you would normally buy.
We bought our first chicken coop. In an effort to save money, we are planning to repurpose some wood and build our second.
When things break, use the modern wonder of YouTube and learn how to fix it yourself. You don’t need to be an expert. It’s like having a stand-in teacher right next to you showing you how step by step. Don’t be afraid to try!
Second-hand is your friend
Back in the 1950s hand me downs were the norm. Granted, clothes were sturdier back then, so they lasted longer at times.
Shop secondhand. Look for quality-made items that have years left in them.
My kids only wear used ski/winter coats. They are often made with high-quality materials and most kids don’t wear the same size long enough to really wear them out.
I’ve found small kitchen appliances, like our bread maker or mixer, at a second-hand store for a tiny fraction of what they cost new. They were even more expensive brands! I simply plugged them in at the store and made sure they worked before checking out.
Learn how to sew on a button, fix a loose hem, and patch a hole.
Buy quality shoes and then use a cobbler to give them new life once they are worn.
Mending your items prevents waste and saves you money, something that has been more common for generations before now.
Borrow from a neighbor
I don’t know why, but it seems as we gain more technology, we isolate ourselves more and more. First, if you don’t know your neighbor, bake some cookies and go meet them!
Then, borrow from them! Seriously. You don’t have to own every power tool, baking supply, or whatever item you feel like you need.
Save money like our grandparents by TALKING to your neighbors and borrowing items from them. Then, in return, share what you have as well.
In our younger years, we were often the ones borrowing more than loaning. We simply didn’t have that much. So we gave back with our time.
For example, our older neighbor always allowed us to borrow his log splitter. In return, we helped him process his wood for winter too. It was a perfect trade-off and it saved us THOUSANDS of dollars on needing a new tool.
Ditch credit cards
Credit cards really started to take off in the 1960s. It was new in the 1950s, and people were more wary of borrowing for everyday items.
Save money and ditch the credit cards. Learn to live within your monthly budget. When you do this, you save money on interest. You also have a more real idea of what you’re spending when it’s not a simple swipe of a card.
One popular trend in the 1950s was the use of a “Christmas Club” at their local banks. These Christmas Clubs allowed patrons to save money for Christmas each year, without going into debt. There are still some local banks and credit unions that offer this service, but it’s not nearly as popular now. Debt is definitely more the norm!
Simplify your entertainment (see above), stop shopping for fun, and embrace a more minimalist lifestyle. This will save you oodles of money.
Be social (the old-fashioned way)
You don’t have to go out to eat, to some big entertainment venue, or even out for drinks to be social.
Save money like they did in the 1950s and be social the old-fashioned way! Have people over for a dinner party or drinks. Have a potluck.
Play yard games with your neighbors. Meet at a park and picnic with friends.
Put down the devices and have a long conversation with another mom or grandma on a park bench.
Seek out connections over expensive activities and you will save money.
Save money like good ole’ days
Technology is such a blessing some days, but with it comes a loss of economy. We pay for cable, apps, and fancy entertainment. There’s always an invention that can do the job “better”.
Simplify. Save your money. Connect with others. In addition to embracing a bit simpler life, you’ll also be adding money to your wallet!