Avoid Overspending By Following The Rule Of Half

trees 20

Now that the holidays are behind us, I’ve been working like crazy around the house to get all of our glorious decorations tucked away for next year. That sounded really good, but in reality I moved our decorated Christmas trees into our storage room, minus the balls :) I like to work smarter, not harder. Ha! That being said, I’ve also been getting every corner of our house back to tip-top shape. Being a minimalists, it’s very difficult for me to see stuff all over the place. Mission has finally been accomplished! The house is clean and in order and as I put the last load of laundry into the washer today, I realized how little laundry detergent I use compared to the manufacturer’s recommendation. At that moment I coined a new phrase: The Rule of Half. 

The Rule of Half, Defined.

The Rule of Half is something we strictly adhere to in our Mad Money house. Manufacturer’s inevitably want you to use more of their product than is absolutely necessary. If you use their product based on their instruction, you will need to purchase more of said product which increases their bottom line. Since we’re in the business of increasing our own bottom line around here, we use only what we deem necessary for each product. Laundry detergent being an excellent example.

It Can Be Used For Anything

Hump Day 3

Mr. MMM and sharing a Burlington, VT brew.

We use The Rule of Half in nearly every aspect of our lives. If Mr. MMM and I go out on a date, sometimes we will order one beer and split it. FYI – we’re not big beer drinkers, so obviously this won’t work if you really enjoy a nice cold one. We only occasionally enjoy beer, so this is perfect for us. We will also split a soda at the movies – when we go as a planned date or family outing. This is never a spur-of-the-moment decision. We plan out all of our expenses – especially the fun stuff!

Case in point, last week we had planned to have a nice celebratory dinner out at one of our favorite restaurants for New Year’s Eve. This had been planned for months and I had an envelope with a set amount of cash, not to be used without care. Once there, we carefully made our selections, enjoyed our meal and time together, gave our server a hefty tip, and still left the (very nice) joint with a 20 spot in our pocket. #win This was accomplished by splitting an appetizer and dessert, sharing meals – that meant one person ordered the surf and turf while the other ordered a more reasonably priced dish, and skipping drinks altogether. Our bill was still $100, but it easily could’ve hit the $200 mark had we not controlled ourselves and shared the appetizer and dessert. We always employ this rule when we’re consciously spending money on entertainment – and everything else.

Try it for things like:

-Toiletries – excluding toilet paper, of course – we’re not sickos :)

-Cleaning Products – this one is really a no-brainer

-Internet Speed –  you might be surprised that the next level down isn’t noticeable at all

-Cable TV – keep reading

-Wine – try drinking water in a wine glass for your second round – this really only works at home :)

Use A Substitute Or Nothing At All

papertowels

Our rag bin that sits above our washer and dryer

You can easily take this rule to the next level and substitute a different product or use no product whatsoever. Think: paper towels. We rarely use paper towels. Instead, we use old worn-out clothes that we cut up for rags. Did you know some people actually buy rags? Blasphemy! 

 

Other examples include using half the amount of milk you think you need in your cereal. C’mon, how many of you have milk leftover after you finish that delicious bowl of Fruity Pebbles? It’s okay if you’re drinking it at the end, but if you have kids and you have watched them toss it down the drain, try The Rule of Half.

The point is that you can likely use less of the products you frequently use, substitute something not as expensive, or cut it out altogether. How many of you still have cable TV? This is the perfect substitute item. We substituted Netflix, YouTube, and other free streaming services for cable and barely noticed. Read all about it here.

If you do this for items here and there throughout the year, you’ll notice a difference. Plug in some numbers and see how much you’ll save over 12 months just by using half the laundry detergent you currently consume. Unfortunately, overconsumpsion has a tendency to destroy our world and our wallets. So next time you throw a load of laundry in, try The Rule of Half.

We would love to hear from you in the comments! Let us know what you cut back on to save a buck.

Pets 4

Mad Money Pup – Winter Style

As always, Mad Money Pup encourages you to read Our Story and use the super convenient social media buttons to spread the LOVE!

Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!  You can also Sign Up For Emails so you know exactly when we hit PUBLISH!

 

 

20 thoughts on “Avoid Overspending By Following The Rule Of Half

  1. I’ve realized I only actually need about a 1/4 of the toothpaste I usually use…and my boys could get away with about 1/16 of what they use! :) Yeah, I think you’re spot on with this rule of half.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love this! Not only does it save money but it’s better for the environment and our health :)

    My mom has long preached that you only need half the laundry detergent recommended on the bottle. Her argument was that, if you’re putting that much in, the washer has to get that much more out of your clothes.

    Definitely helpful to look at other things we use to see if they can be cut in half as well.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ordering him as much in restaurants probably in the checkbook and the waistband. One time I had a bottle of hair shampoo that stretched out over the course of a whole year. Instead of using a quarter size dab of shampoo, I used a pea sized dab. It probably would not work for a woman with long hair, but it worked out just fine for me.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I love this! I also love your rag photos. I grew up in a home that turned leftover towels and tshirts into dust clothes and cleaning clothes. We skipped a lot of the rule of half and went straight for removal. With the leftovers we definitely try half.

    I rarely eat my full meal so we we’ll split things and then I’ll still end up with a lunch or dinner :)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yep! I love splitting stuff and reusing it. Anytime I can avoid spending money on things like cleaning products, I’m all about it! I love that you split meals and still have leftovers. That’s a true testament to how much waste is all around us.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great ideas here… I thought I was the only one who did water in a wine glass! It’s such a good trick – I find that the joy of drinking out of nice bar ware helps to curb the apetite for more wine! Haha – not always but sometimes. ;)

    We also do splities when we go out. My BF and I almost always split a meal. When he goes out to fast food with his sons he always gets a kids meal – the purpose is two fold to save money and calories. Of course, it doesn’t help that the boys get adult meals now!

    Last year I cut back on my electric usage by unplugging the tv/cable/wifi router each night before bed and when I leave the house. It helped me to stop using screen time in bed (I didn’t want to blow through my data) and save electricity for the 8+ hours we are sleeping plus when we are away at work. It totally made a difference!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have always heard that unplugging results in significant savings, but I never actually tried it. You gave me something to consider for 2017! As far as fast food – oh, how I love it! – when I do occasionally allow myself to indulge, it’s usually using the dollar menu or kids meal option. It’s an awesome trick. Like you said, it saves cash and calories. Win and win. You guys rock!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. We are a “Rag Household”, too! We use rags in varying stages of use, too… They start out in the kitchen, and end up in the garage in the Car Rag bucket! A whole life, planned out and executed…

    I haven’t bought paper towels in a decade or more because I enjoy my rags to much!

    For the power saver folks – plug your nightly Unplug items into one power strip for easy disconenction in one fell swoop! I have the TV, DVD player, and Game Console all plugged into one power strip that efficiently turns them all off when we are done watching the movie… Same thing in the bedroom, above the headboard is a strip that has our phone chargers and nighttable lamps plugged into it. Upon rising, we flick that switch while we are making the bed! Quick and simple.

    I have always loved the Rule of Half for meals – as then you get a more broad variety of dinner when you and your honey order different things and then share! More fun and less cost!

    Great article! Thanks for sharing!! Happy 2017!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the compliment! And thanks for sharing your unplugging story. This is something we have talked about but not implemented. You’re the second person to bring it up today in the comments. I think we’ll need to revisit it :)

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great article!! I’m definitely going to try to use rags now, versus paper towels. Those things are costly!! I think we have some old shirts waiting to be donated, that I may just cut up and reuse as rags!! What a great idea!!
    I need to do more investigating into the unplugging thing. Does that actually save electricity?
    Ha, cable!! I’m so surprised when people still have that, and I see how much that is when I get those ads from Comcast or Verizon on those phone/internet bundles!! We definitely make full use of our Netflix account!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love using old clothes for rags! You definitely need to try it.
      As far as unplugging to save on electric, this is one I haven’t personally done but I’ve heard from many people that it is a major cost-cutter.
      Cable is so ridiculous. But again, we aren’t big sports people, so we don’t miss it and we can get what we like to watch through other avenues. Three cheers for Netflix and YouTube!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s