Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Save Money, Give Money

Flop…Flop…. I walk out of the store to Renea’s side of the car to buckle her into her car seat. Flop… Flop… Now over to Evan’s side.

Great, I think. My flip flops are missing the flip. The sole is falling apart—the fourth pair of shoes to do that in the last month, and I still have two more stores to go to finish my grocery shopping.

I’ll have to return to the shoe repair guy who sits in front of a store on a small stool. Broken shoes pile up in front of him as he sews them back to life one by one.

My January budget is trying to recover from December’s spending, with no room to buy shoes. But it costs the equivalent of just 50 cents to get a shoe fixed.

Nearly three years into this term (and that long since I’ve bought decent shoes), he has become my hero.

This ability to repair or refill broken or empty things is one of my favorites about Indonesia. I buy bagged refills of lots of things—body soap, dish soap, laundry soap. They are cheaper, use less packaging and in this area of my life, at least, I get to conserve.

I can also get clothes altered for real cheap to grow or shrink around my life. Throwing up all the time from early pregnancy? No problem, just resize those pants to fit with the emaciated look. Hubby now fully recovered from last term’s constant sickness? Take his pilot pants to the tailor to increase a size, and grow my smile.

Yes, I love to save a rupiah.

But I also am learning how to hold loosely to what I’ve worked hard to save. In today’s economy, it’s easy to get stingy with money. To hold tight to what we aren’t sure we’ll even have tomorrow. But when I save hard and give easily, I get the duel thrill of conserving something to watch it grow into someone else’s life.

What are your ideas for conserving and saving money? How do you like to turn your savings into generosity?

Check back in next week to see how I like to save money, time and calories in the kitchen.


  1. One of my favorite ways to save money is to skype! Should we set a skype date?

  2. I was just thinking about that this morning! Do you still have Tuesday evenings free? If so, you wanna talk next Tuesday evening (the 31st) your time?

    1. oh...tonight would have been great. Next week I'm in Chicago and that will be tougher but maybe possible. Should we pencil it in and hope?

    2. How long will you be in Chicago? We could also try for the following week??


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