I am just trying to learn any tips about getting on track financially. My taste is wine but our bank account says cheese, that's straight to the point I guess. I want to be more thrifty, it just seems hard to get use to it. How long did it take all of you?
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Hi there, I reckon there are several degrees to which individual can be thrifty. Some people can take it to extremes through either necessity or because they want to. Others can just learn to spend (& save) wisely and become more careful with their money and be aware of where it's going. I've been taking our budget more seriously since last year although I've always been careful with money. I'm learning all the time, especially through sites like this :)
This year I've learned to bulk buy non-perishable items (saves heaps of money AND time). I've been shopping around for insurance and saved $200! I've been making xmas presents well in advance and for those relatives where home-made won't cut it...I'll be spreading the cost. It's a learning curve and you can keep adding ways of cutting costs as you go....it might be too overwhelming for a total change first up! I wish you luck :)
I'm still learning how myself. However, I have discovered a couple of things.
You need to pretty much reprogram the way you think. What I mean by that is that you need to sort your desires into 'wants' and 'needs' (i.e. I WANT that new DVD player, but I NEED to pay this bill). Trust me, it's not as easy as it sounds...at least it wasn't for me, anyway. Basically, I prioritize my purchases. Top priority items are groceries, bills and perscriptions (ask your doctor about generics and save BIG). Lower priority things are things you won't miss if you don't get them. Things like a bigger TV or eating out. If I need to buy a new appliance due to the death of the old one, I try to find a decent used one first then shop the sales inserts in the paper. Most people do it the other way around and end up spending more than they have to. All you need to do is find something you need used and in good condition, and you will be hooked. for example, last year I needed a new dryer when my old one died...it was 12 years old. The cheapest one in the circulars was over $250, but I found a Whirlpool dryer that originally sold for close to $400, used for only 6 months for $125 in the local want-ads. My clothes get just as dry as if I bought the new one.
Name brands usually cost much more than a store brand which is just as good. Green beans are green beans whether or not they say Del Monte or Food Lion. This was hard for my wife to accept. I finally had to make a dinner for her where I used the store brands and didn't tell her until she commented on how good it was. Now, that is all we buy and save ALOT doing so.
At the grocery store, start off by buying sale items only of whatever you can. You'd be surprised how much you save.
I have been doing it my whole life, but my husband had to learn the hard way (he is a fast learner!) Sometimes he goes overboard because he is great at mechanics, so we get some questionable finds, but in months they are running and can be used or sold for what we need! I buy used first, and I am picky over it, so he has learned that too. It helps to have "deal" skills, and just keep your standards! If you know how to sew, keep that in mind, and it can save you a lot of money making your own things or buying second hand. A lot is trial and error, and it helps to pace yourself and be a label reader on everything. Like with groceries, would you spend your money on juice or applesauce with lots of added corn syrup, or pick one for the same price that is all natural (or, make it your self if you can!) Sometimes it is less expensive to not make it yourself, which I learned in the laundry department....
Thanks for all of the help..This is going to be a long road for me but I am willing to try thats for sure :O)
You never get done learning so don't be too hard on yourself, especially in the beginning! Reward yourself with a good pat on the back occasionally when you have "mastered" even one small thing that proves to be thrifty for you. Eventually, it will become a habit for you ~ one step at a time ~ and before you know it, you'll have adopted dozens of thrifty habits. And they do pay off! This site is absolutely fabulous for picking up the tips that you can make into habits for yourself. Hang in there!
My whole life has been lived frugally, but sometimes more so out of necessity. Mostly now it's rather like a game to me.
How well can I dress on how little? My style preference happens to be conservative and traditional so I can pay amazingly little in thrift stores and look great. A frequent smile helps my appearance and my attitude.
I love both gardening and cooking so food is never a high-dollar item at our house. I cook from scratch and can add fancy touches from the herb garden.
When the house needs help, maybe papering or painting or tiling, if I don't already know how, I read up on the internet and take a class at the local home center and ask questions.
You can choose to become rich in different ways from spending more money than is available to you.
Well, I'm 37 (also in Ohio), and I dont own a home nor have I ever purchased a brand new car. But I HAVE paid off $11,000.00 in debt and then turned around and did it again to the tune of $15,000.00 a few years later. Only then did I learn my lesson. I no longer use credit cards and I watch every penny. I've read the Tightwad Gazette books so many times I can practically recite them by heart. My family of four has lived debt free for five years. I cant afford medical insurance on myself and I dont qualify for Medicaid (although my kids do and my husband is on Medicare for a disability) but I still even manage to pay off all of my medical bills and have a credit score on the high 700's. So as soon as you have the right mind set, you will do it and see results and then it will become second nature.
My mother says: Cut your coat according to your cloth.
My father, Nick Churchill, said: One needs only three things: food, clothing and a roof over one's head. Eveything else is luxury!
I read a great book (unfortunately can't remember the name of it) that showed a triangle of 'low cost', 'healthy' and 'good for the environment' and showed how these all intermingled to save you money. Anytime you look at the options you can find a less expensive one and that one is often better for you and the environment; such as going on a short jaunt to the grocery store--if you walk instead of drive the mile, you are not wasting gas, you are saving money, and you are exercising! If you sew your own clothes instead of buying them; if you make your own baby food instead of buying it; if you bake a cake from scratch instead of from a mix--it's fun to think of ways you can save money and pollution, and be healthy!
Take a hiatus from spending-that's right! Pledge to NOT spend a dime for an extended period of time (start with a week and work up to a month) Don't go shopping. Obviousiy you have to grocery shop but take a list and stick to it.
I am an avid crafter but have thousands of dollars in unused supplies. I vowed NOT to buy another supply until I had used what was in my basement. It was HARD but I felt good about making that choice.
I'm just starting to become thrifty myself. I try to use a little less of everything...and I only buy when onsale. When using detergent, i don't fill the cup up to the recommended "line" but below it, I only run the dishwasher when full, and I rinse stuff first so I can use less dw gel. I have started buying store brands too. also, I have found some people locally to swap plants with instead of buying new ones.
It helps to look at it as a challenge or a game as someone else suggested. Don't try to do it ALL at once if your not used to it. Try working on one area at a time. If you eat out a lot, cut it down to once a week or so. After you master that, move on to another area until it just becomes natural.
Necessity is the mother of invention - It started out that way for me - but even as my family's income has grown - we still get A LOT out of living frugally. - In fact, practically everything we WANT. We have 2 cars and a boat - nice clothes, a nice stylish place to live and all the electronics we want. But you don't have to pay LIST PRICE for it. ALWAYS look for the bargain first. At first, I didn't have anything - but gradually I learned how to get what I wanted - It's more a way of thinking than any one strategy. If you think of it as a sport or a game, where you are making mental points by outwitting the system, you can get to really ENJOY it (Like finding a $100 electronic keyboard for $5 at a thrift shop which works perfectly well...) At the beginning I read a LOT of books about it - The old one HOW TO LIVE ON NOTHING from the early 50's was a favorite - They REALLY knew how to pinch pennies in the old days aand reading about it gives you lots of good ideas.
I save all my R1 pieces during the year and at the end of the year I have a nice sum of money put away for a family treat.
That way, we have something to look forward to rather painlessly!
well like you, I'm really trying my best to become thrifty. this is what I've learned, I freeze our leftover foods so we can eat them the next day or week. I use coupons when I do my grocery shopping. I buy generic items and buy branded items if they are on sale. learning how to take care of clothes makes then look brand new even though you have them for many years. hmmm what else? I also freeze vegetables milk cheeses anything than throwing them away. I always cook a lot of pancakes, portion them then freeze, I save time energy and money. until now, I still surf internet and try my best to find some thrifty tips.
I turn being thrifty into a kind of game, a personal challenge. Also, I teach my children to hunt for bargains as well - they are so proud of themselves when they do well at it, especially if it's something they can use for themselves. For example, last week my 15 year old daughter found cute messenger bags at WalMart on clearance for $3.00! We were able to afford one for each member of our family. Since bargain hunting is a family affair, we congratulate each other on our cool finds. We learn as we go, & it's fun to support each other.
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