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I just talked to a friend who was complaining that she has to come up with $1000 every October and she has nothing saved up. I asked her if she could save $19.25 on a weekly basis. She said she could, if she cut out her morning coffee and took her own to work, and if she also skipped eating lunch out one day a week. I told her if she did that each week for a year, she would have her $1000. Actually if she put it in the bank, she would have a little more with interest. So, tomorrow she is going to schedule $19.25 to come directly out of each paycheck and go to her Credit Union Account.
That's a good reminder that we all need, to save small amounts toward big bills. I do it on a monthly basis for bills that are due every 3 or 6 months like the newspaper, house insurance, etc. I divide the yearly totals of each by 12, and put that amount aside every month to save. When the bigger bills finally come, the money is there to transfer back to checking, and if there were a true emergency where we had to have the money, it would still be there.
Now if I could just make myself go make a list of all the household appliances that wear out every 10 years or so, and put THAT money aside. Can't afford to put that much aside in reality, but I can work on one or two. I've found that if the money is in my checking account, it's GONE, but if I don't have it there, I can do without a lot of 'wants' that I would otherwise have thought were 'needs'.
My husband and I have never had a lot of money. Our whole married lives, we have had to watch and constantly be careful. We were married and started our family very young, and neither of us has a college education, so things have always been somewhat difficult for us financially. We found out quickly that, contrary to the old romantic saying, you definitely can NOT just live on love. However, I know our love for each other has carried us through many hard, hard times in the past 27 years. I hope we get AT LEAST 27 more together!
Considering all that, I thought I would share some of the things that I have done and some that I am still doing to help save money, both while we had children at home and now that they are both out on their own in their own homes. One of our daughters is not married yet, but does live on her own, sharing a house with 2 roommates. Our other daughter is married with her first child. I keep hoping that I have passed some things on to them that I have learned over the years.
First of all, when our children were small, we did not use things like baby wipes for diaper changes. My daughter's pediatrician said to use plain, white warm washcloths at diaper changing time. I washed wash cloths and saved some money doing that. If you can, I would recommend cloth diapers to save some money. My daughters did not do well in cloth, so it was necessary for me to use disposable. However, moms have an advantage now that I did not in that there are many different brands of diapers out there and lots of times store brands are just as good as the expensive name brand diapers are. It's definitely worth a try. You can make a lot of your baby food. I don't necessarily suggest that starting out, but as your baby gets used to eating baby food instead of just bottles, you can incorporate some of your food by blending it or using your food processor. Also, if you can, I would recommend breast feeding over formula. My daughter was not able to do that and I was not either, so I know there are exceptions, but if you can, you will save a ton of money. Also, don't spend a fortune on buying brand new baby clothes! I highly recommend watching garage sales, consignment stores, Goodwill, etc., as well as swapping clothes with friends and family. Babies grow too fast to justify spending so much money on their clothing, and frankly, they don't care where their clothes came from. All they want is to be comfortable and loved.
As our girls got older, we wanted to home school them. We are lucky to live in an area where many people are doing this, and we have a Homeschool Assistance Program, run by accredited teachers, that has a lending library that you can avail yourself to. It was so nice, because we could borrow books for the year. They also have a regular reading library that the kids could go into and check out books for themselves to read at their leisure. They offered classes sometimes by accredited teachers and also offered field trips which were very fun and educational for the kids, as well. They offered all these things plus any help or encouragement and supervision that you might need. It was nice to home school for many reasons. For one, I got to spend a lot of time with my girls. We did not have to buy 'school clothes' every year, though we did have to buy supplies, but the cost was always minimal as many of those supplies carried over from year to year. We did not have to buy school lunches, and we did not have to worry about what our kids were learning or not learning. By the way, both of my girls were on the Dean's list in college and my youngest made the President's list which is for GPAs higher than 4.0. I would say they definitely learned well.
Other every day things I did then, and I still do now, are simple things like hanging laundry out to dry instead of using the dryer. I now have clothes drying racks that I use if I can't get outside to hang things. I still occasionally have to dry some towels or bedding in the dryer, but I never put anything else in there, and I only do that when I absolutely have to. I don't always use a whole cap of soap either, the same with fabric softener. If your clothes are not truly dirty, it takes very little soap to actually get them clean.
I don't run lights and a lot of electrical things during the day. I open blinds so the sun can come in and that provides plenty of light. Our central air conditioning is set on 76 degrees in the summer. If I get a little warm, I can use the ceiling fans which we have in every room in our home except the bathroom. If the temperature outside drops to below 85, I open up the house, and if I'm still a little warm, I run fans. In the winter, we set our thermostat at 60-65 degrees. If we get chilly, we put on a sweater or cover up with a blanket to watch TV in the evenings. I find that those temperatures are actually quite comfortable, especially once you are used to them.
Something my girls and I did while they were growing up and still do today is paper routes to generate a little extra income. It was good for my kids to learn responsibility, and it's still a good thing for my husband and I, as we make a little extra money, plus it gets us some exercise. When it comes to grocery buying, I always watch the weekly ads and try to plan our meals from there. Groceries cost more for the two of us today than it did to feed our family of 4 years ago. However, I would rather pay more for good ingredients and good quality, healthy foods than pay for doctor's bills, because I did not take care of myself or my family properly. So many of our health problems in this country are because we do not feed our bodies properly. That was a hard lesson to learn, but it's so true. You will pay either in groceries or doctor bills. I know which I would rather do. If you can, combine as many trips to the store as possible. It will save you so much money on gas as well as wear and tear on your vehicle. If you live close enough to the store and are buying a small enough amount that you can carry the bags, I would recommend that you just walk there and back.
You can save money in so many more areas even than what I have touched on here. Hair cuts can be done cheaply. Our son in-law cuts my grandson's hair himself. A nice set of clippers can be bought very reasonably and save you lots of money on hair cuts. For the ladies, try using a beauty school if there is one close by. If not, call around and check prices before you go.
Grow your own food! I don't have room for a great big garden, but I do container gardening and that provides us with much produce for the summer. We share with others, and others share their bounty with us. It also gets us out in the sunshine, which we enjoy very much. Growing your own food provides a big savings at the grocery store. Whatever you are able to grow on your own, you don't have go buy. Also, check out your local farmer's market for good deals.
We have two dogs. We are careful to keep up with their annual shots, etc., and they have been very healthy. We do not buy super expensive dog food, but we also do not buy super cheap. We have gone with a name brand, middle of the road pricing dog food, and they do well on it. We have chosen a vet that is reasonably priced in our area. He has been kind to us and our dogs, and he has not been pushy about us doing things to our dogs that are not necessary.
I could on and on about different ways to save money. If you talk to people and read sites like Thrifty Fun and other good web sites about saving money, you will find a wealth of ideas out there. I enjoy reading "My Frugal Life", because I have gotten ideas from reading it as well. I hope these things have been of some help to someone. There are many, many ways to save money if you are only willing to look for them. Happy Saving!
Thank you so much for sharing! I felt like I was on my Gammas lap listening intently to every word! :)
I decided to write another post to help others out since my first post was a success. I want to share my opinion on stuff that works for me.
With each task I perform during the course of a day, I think of ways that I can save. Small amounts saved each day add up to large savings at the end of the year.
One instant budget breaker is impulse buying. Stores create displays that are so enticing it's hard to resist wandering over to them and buying something that is most definitely not on the shopping list. Spontaneous shopping is seldom a good choice.
I encouraged a friend to start a savings account. She had no savings and had to charge emergencies when they came up. She said she did not have money to start a savings account with and could not afford to add to it if she did. I told her to save her pennies and put them in a clean empty plastic milk jug.
I belong to a weekly creative writing class that costs $9 each week for the class. We are now on two weeks break from the class, so that is $18 that I save for that time.
Money saving tips and strategies for saving money in the new year from the ThriftyFun community. Feel free to post your ideas!
"A penny saved is a penny earned," said Benjamin Franklin. However, what good is a penny saved if it's spent on something else? Think of it like this: if you purchase a pair of pants on sale for $6 off the ticket price, where does the $6 go?
When I enter an amount taken from my checking account either by check or debit card I always enter the correct amount in the ledger but I round up the amount I deduct from the checking account.
Sometimes it gets a little tight waiting for payday, so I go into the money stashes I have to ease things just a bit. The stashes include my piggy bank (I do have one), and other coin receptacles.
When visiting a mall, there is one thing that makes me want to spend, spend, spend! That is the sight of another shopper with lots of lovely designer store bags in her arms.
Reduce chaos in order to save money. Live like a natural disaster is coming. Make life simpler in order to de-clutter the mind and the living environment. Many people enjoy primitive camping and leave the luxuries of home.
Doing your homework can save a lot of money. Yes, studying hard in school could land you a job that drives home in a sports car, but it's an easier type of homework that saves money right now.
The irony of saving is that it is more important now than ever, yet it's harder to save today than it was a few years ago. What's the method of savings some extra money without cutting back on the things that you love?
The first thing I do now is look at the fliers for the week and plan my menu around the sales. I give myself one hour a week to do this. No need to make it complicated by spending hours at it. Also I have started a stock pile.
Have everyone in the family put all their quarters, dimes, nickels, pennies into a "bank" on a regular basis. (daily, or weekly).
I was reading an article about the retail business I thought I could pass around. If you are in the market for some of the "big ticket stuff", try this when you go shopping. I read where these businesses are so hard up for a sale, you can get at least 10% off a purchase.
Saving Money at Kroegers on Gas Tip. You can save 10 cents per gallon on gas at Kroger fuel centers when you are a Kroger Plus shopper, apply in the store for a Kroger card. It's not a credit card! It is like a coupon card, there are absolutely no fees ...
Right now we are living on one income as I am unemployed. We are a family of 5: me (41), hubby (38), son (16 no permit), daughter (14), and son (11). It isn't easy but we have made a strict budget and are sticking to it!
Saving money is easy! Try some of these tips and you'll see how much difference it makes to the budget. I only shop now once a month and we go without nothing.
Some time ago, we needed some cable to connect a computer to the router and it seemed quite expensive in the store. I checked online and finally bought some for about half what the stores wanted for name brand cable.
When shopping, I get the total, write the clerk check and then offer the coupons. The cashier then gives me cashback after deducting the coupons which in turn goes to a saving account for special projects.
Have everyone in the family join in. You must use "survival skills". Make due with what you have on hand. Be creative in being thrifty. You may want to start with two weeks and see how it goes. Make a game of it!
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Strategies to help people save money. Post your ideas.
There are a couple of ways to look at this. You can either bank what your raise is (or even in addition to this idea). I have always been a very poor saver. (Right now I am disabled so haven't been able to do this and miss it terribly.) While I was working and single it was a struggle for me to ever have anything extra. I even worked for a bank! Well, I got paid every 2 weeks. I would always save at least $7 and some odd cents at least every paycheck...if I had a windfall or felt better off that paycheck I would deposit more to my special savings account that I had started. ( A brand new one.) I did this because I intended to never touch that account no matter how tight it got some weeks unless there was some dire emergency. Well, I lucked out and that dire emergency never happened...or even if things got a bit tight, I still left the account alone. The account was drawing the big 1% interest, lol. A couple of different times I needed small loans. So, I had my savings account secured as collateral and they did the loan for 2% over the savings account interest rate. One time I needed $700 for example, so my loan interest was like a big $10..so I repaid like $710. I thought that was great!! I was newly divorced and needed to build a credit rating anyway, and got my money by having a secured loan. Finally after 2 years I moved out of state....that nest egg that I had saved (over $1,500) became the down payment on the trailer we moved into!! When I get my social security disability approved you can bet I will go back to this methodology of saving. Also, I used to buy the 2 dollar bills when they came in the bank and they added up slowly...well over $1,300. It's had to be used for repairs, etc since my husband is the only one working. I also will start saving the 2 dollar bills again ASAP. Get you a nice hiding spot, like a locked sentry box, and put them in there. Good luck every one.
How do you save money when you find things to buy?
By meggiedoodle from Thornton, CO
FYI Walmart will honor most competitors sale ads if you bring them to the register! Saves on gas running to several stores!
In a few weeks my fiance and I will be moving to Des Moines to start living in the "real world". He is graduating from college and I will be continuing my education in the area.