My husband and I have been able to participate in some pretty good hobbies by altering choices that give maximum payback.
One example of a choice that can alter a life:
A smoker that smokes a pack a day spends about $5.50 a day or $2,007.50 a year on cigarettes (in the area I am in right now). A couple will spend $4,015.00 a year or $334.58 a month on something that burns away. This same pack of cigarettes could pay for a hobby or a dream that seems unreachable. To carry this thought a little further, most of our friends, as they have aged, have upped their cigarette use to more than a pack a day, costing even more.
Neither my husband nor I smoke and because of this saving in our income, we have been able to obtain a dream of ours; a weekend getaway that is a resort town very near the beach. We furnished it from yard sale finds and from our attic in our main home. It has taken 5 years but it is finally furnished with all of the essentials. Really, who needs a stove in a weekend house anyway? We have so much company during the summer! Our co workers love to come with us for long weekends to fish and walk on the beach. The entire time, they ask us how we can afford this on our income while they puff away on their cigarettes.
So my final thought is: Quit smoking and big dreams can be affordable!
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Benjamin Franklin said, "A penny saved is a penny earned." I say a dollar saved is more than a dollar earned because it generates interest and you don't need to pay taxes on it.
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We were featured on a call in radio show about thrifty living; Patt Morrison at NPR affiliate KPCC in Los Angeles, CA. They wanted to know how far someone will go to save money. We asked for your stories and here they are! Post your own unusual or funny stories about adopting a frugal lifestyle here.
By pam munro
One time when my hubby was laid off, we collected aluminum cans for recycling. We walked the ditches at the same time, he on one side of the road, me on the other side. We didn't get rich, but we didn't have to borrow any $$ from family or take out a loan to get by.
Even after the 'counting charge' I ended up with about $100.00 and a friend and I went out for a really nice sit down dinner as a treat :-) It may have taken a few years but those pennies ended up adding up to a substantial amount ;-)
By Ann from Wisconsin
I also refill plastic drink bottles from gatorade and soda to use for cold water to go. I reuse sandwich and storage bags with the zip lock.
By Kelly Penny
Thanks for all the great ideas! Feel free to post your ideas below!
Instead of going to the salon to get my lip waxed or spending on the kits I use the name brand duct tape (the off brand doesn't work near as well). I do this 2-4 times/month.
When my kids were little, I used to take old jeans and clothes and make little jeans, shorts, anything that I could fit the pattern into.
Also we had Starry Night Drive-Ins. We would rent a movie, buy a little candy, put up a string of Christmas lights, and give the kids Monopoly money for the "Concession Stand" at Intermission. My kids are 26 and 29 now, and they still remember the Starry Night Drive In posters on the kitchen door.
Holy Cow Diane - doesn't that hurt with duct tape? Or no more than a waxing?
I use coupons and sales flyers to plan my grocery shopping. This week my local market has canned fruit for $1.00 per can. I have coupons for $1.00 off 2 cans. On Wednesdays, the store doubles coupons up to $1.00 in value. Therefore I purchased two cans of fruit for $2.00. Used the $1.00 off coupon that was then doubled by the store. $2.00 of fruit minus $2.00 in coupon savings=FREE FRUIT.
I sell "zines" (my own photocopied booklets) on Etsy.com. I usually have to ship some a few times a month but i never purchase legal sized envelopes to ship them. I recycle ones from work, or use up old newspapers and wrap the zines like a present, tape and label it. The post office always looks perplexed because of my colourful parcels, i just tell them i do a lot of recycling! I also use stickers i acquired for free instead of tape, if I have a lot on hand!
I am still giggling about the time I had to visit the bank to discuss my meager but in the black finances. The manager was young enough to be my son, so when he congratulated me on my exemplary bank history I really didn't have the heart to tell him that frugally was a built in gene with me. You should have seen how my mum and my grans made the pennies do knees bend! Equally I just could not own up to him that I had been darning my knickers [about 12 pairs] before I had attended my appointment with him.
I make a dish of ice cream at a time. If I have a carton of ice cream in the freezer the kids often go through it in 24 hours. So I do not get any. I have started making a bowl at a time instead.
Just a cup of milk, a teaspoon of instant pudding, in a zip-lock bag. Put in a larger bag with ice cubes and salt. Massage it until somewhat solid.
You now have a single serving of delicious ice cream and no one has been tempted to eat a whole carton!
Oh, I love it! I thought I was the only one who'd had to do that sort of thing.
Marg from England.