Jazaks to sister Aysha for this awesome blog in these difficult economic times. Allah is the Best of Providers, but we should definitely be doing our part too
I’m Aysha. I am very excited to have the opportunity to guest blog for Jannah. I’m going to talk to you about a topic I personally love sharing: saving money. Who doesn’t like to save money? Since we are on a blog right now about the road to jannah, I figured why not see what the Qur’an has to say about saving money or not being wasteful.
“But spend not wastefully (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift. Verily, the spendthrifts are brothers of the Shayaateen (devils), and the Shaytaan (Devil-Satan) is ever ungrateful to his Lord” [al-Israa’ 17:26-27]
So let’s talk about ways to not be wasteful and save money:
1. Free entertainment. There are many ways to have fun for free. My personal favorite is free movies. Over the past year I have watched tons of movies for free. A few nights ago I got to see Knight and day for free. Best of all, I got a chance to see the movies before they were out in theaters. Now some might want to know how this is possible. This is how; many movie companies do free screenings for movies so that they can get people hyped about the movie. If I like the movie, I will most likely tell my friends about it who will actually pay to go watch it.
Well where do you find these free screening tickets?
There are many sites that provide free tickets. My favorite is www.filmmetro.com . There are also other ways to find free screenings, including visiting sites like www.slickdeals.net or www.fatwallet.com . Why pay for movies when you can go with friends for free?
2. There is no shame in couponing. Now I’m not saying start a coupon notebook and spend hours of your life trying to figure out what you can save on. I am however saying that most stores send coupons in the mail. Don’t go to the store without it. Some stores that always have coupons are Macys, New York and company, JCP, express, etc… If you do forget that you have a coupon or you get one in the mail as soon as you get home, you can always go back for a price adjustment later.
3. If there is a reward program at your favorite stores, sign up, you have nothing to lose. A lot of companies are starting these reward programs where you earn points for coupons or money off. These companies include New York and company, Sears, Ulta, Sephora, JCP etc… If you are going to make a purchase from the store, might as well earn points. When you sign up for these programs they usually send really good coupons and most will give you a free gift on your birthday.
4. There is such a thing as free. If someone tells you otherwise, tell them to check out my blog. http://amoorasfrugallife.blogspot.com Many companies are willing to give away sample sizes of things. There are many things that also have the little tag that says “try me free”. These are for mail-in rebates but none the less, it’s still free.
5. Whenever possible, eat for free. IHOP just had this free meal coupon going around on facebook. You just have to like IHOP on facebook and you get the coupon, how easy is that? You don’t always have to say you like a company to eat for free. There is free slurpee day on 7/11 of every year. There is free pancake day at IHOP, national donut day where places like krispy kreme, dunkin donuts and other places offer free donuts. Let’s be honest, most of us are on facebook. Just let facebook update you on free food items you can get.
6. Name your own price. Now we know a lot of the aunties and uncles love to bargain when it comes to buying things. Although we can’t bargain in a lot of stores in the U.S., we can bargain when it comes to traveling. www.priceline.com allows you to name your own price when it comes to plane tickets and hotel stays. It is easy to sign up and very easy to name your own price. You tell them how much you want to pay, and what area you would like to stay in for your hotel accommodations and that’s it. You will know fairly instantly if someone accepts your price or not. If they don’t accept your price then just try again. Be reasonable in the price you want to pay. I have stayed at many 4-star hotels and paid only $50 a night. You can specify your location based on the street you want be on or landmarks surrounding the area. The same goes with the name your own price plane ticket.
7. Opt for buying books online as opposed to the first store you walk into. This is for both people in college/university as well as those who buy books for leisure. The easiest thing to do is a Google search. I will sometimes do a search for the book I want to buy on Google and I will see what the sites are offering the book for. Once a find a site that is offering a good deal, I’ll buy it. If you don’t feel like doing that, just pick a site you like and stick with it. My favorite site is www.half.com I find all the good deals there and they take the lowest commission if you choose to sell books in the future.
8. Great shopping days. Remember there are days that just have amazing deals. January is the best for winter clothing shopping. As soon as Christmas is over, the sales are the best. They are starting to get rid of winter clothing to get ready for the spring selection. If you are brave, black Friday usually has amazing sales. As soon as any holidays are over, there are major clearance sales. Tax free day is also great if you are going to buy expensive items.
9. Clearance racks are your best friend. Now that you know when the best days to shop and you also know the days that have the largest selection on the clearance rack. After holidays and during the change of season there is always clothing on the racks. Yes these items are that seasons clothing but so what? There is most likely going to be items on that rack that you can use later. Example: leggings. Most hijabis at one point will wear a skirt. I wear leggings under my skirts. Also, long sleeve shirts (body shirts) are excellent for hijabis and never go out of style (as long as you get the plain ones).
10. Being wasteful also means throwing away stuff that is useable or recyclable. If you have clothing you don’t want, donate them to goodwill or even to a charity. There are always groups that are collecting clothing for moments like hurricanes, etc. Also, if you have old furniture you don’t want, offer it on sites like craigslist or www.freecycle.org . You’ll be surprised to know there are plenty who could really use that item you were going to throw away. There are also other hobbyists that enjoy refinish old and unusable furniture. Even if it is broken, there is a chance someone might use it. Trust me, even those worn out shoes you were about to throw away, Nike can recycle them and reuse them to help others out. Check it out: http://www.nikereuseashoe.com
11. Lastly, remember to give charity. After all the money you will be saving remember Allah. Allah says “Ma naqasa malon min sadaqa” which means “your wealth due to donations/donating.”
I’m sure I haven’t told you anything new but inshallah we will be able to continue to stay away from being wasteful. W’salaam!