Thursday, January 1, 2009

saving to make that dollar stretch until it

Happy happy New year everyone :-) . I am beginning to wonder the older I get, that maybe staying up until 4 am isnt the best Today we will enjoy our traditional New Years day meal of black eyed peas and sausage with sauer kraut(a german family tradition). I have never been much of a black eyed pea lover, in fact, I only eat twelve of One for each month of the year. I know, pretty stupid,huh?
Today i am going to focus on one of the resoloutions that were on my top ten list, and thats saving money. Money,you know that green papery type stuff that everyone lets control their lives and goes crazy over. What? You've never heard of it? Perhaps you once knew it quite well,but parted ways over the holidays,or, if you are like me have never really got to know it,but are good friends with its partner the ever popular debit/credit bank card. The following are my thoughts and views on how you can save, and I would encourage you to try at least one, or come up with your own.
First, let me share with you what we do. we have a savings and checking account. I have divided the savings account into several seperate accounts,not physically,but on paper. We set a yearly budget,we have an educational account,a birthday/christmas/gifts account,emergency ,household,automotive,vacation account. For example,Our birthday/gift budget right now is about 500 dollars. I take that and divide it by 56, and that is how much we put into it each week.Moving on...............
#1 get rid of unecessary plastic. Cut them up, shred them to pieces. Do you really need that Petco or Victorias Secret charge account? You may think so, but I promise you that Fido and your significant other wont care. Go ahead. ask them. i dare you. At the most, you only need two, a bank credit/debit card, and a credit card for emergencies. Getting your nails done is not an And dont charge more than you can pay off in a month or two.
Here are some credit card statistics for you:
Consumers carry more than 1 billion Visa cards worldwide. More than 450 million of those cards are in the United States.
Total U.S. consumer revolving debt reached $976 billion in October 2008. About 98 percent of that debt was credit card debt
What about paying them off after you cut them up? I have a few suggestions..........
#1 Pay them in full. If you cant do this then:
#2 Pay more than the minimum due #3 Negotiate the best deals with credit companies #4 Allocate funds to your creditors in proportion to how much you owe

Shop smart: Get aquainted with garage sales,Craigs List, and ebay.Buy gently used
I never buy stuff that is not on sale. In fact, when buying anything that is new, there has to be a price reduction on it of some kind. If you pay anything less than sale price, in my personal opinion you are getting jipped, especially where clothing is concerned.Manufacturers charge small prices and department stores jack the prices up 120%.
Ebay and craigslist are some of my best friends. You can get department store stuff at a fraction of the cost. I am a big fan of high end cosmetics, and get all of mine there. If you are in the market for a vehicle, you can find a decent one there. A friend of ours got a very good vehicle on Craigslist for 200 bucks. It was in perfect working condition,the guy just wanted to get rid of it because he was deploying.
Children are very expensive,and the more money we can save raising them, the better.They outgrow everything,toys and clothes especially,why hurt your pocketbook over things that you know are going to get shoved to the side and outgrown?
My final shopping tip is to shop out of season. Once again i am referring to clothes. Buy your bathing suits at the end of summer,your jackets at the end of winter,your easter dress after easter. Then you will have it for next year.
Say Yes to dining at home
The Average american family eats out 2-5 times a week,paying an average price of 5 bucks per meal per person. Do the math. That is ALOT of money. I understand, life is busy. You have church, Billy's soccer and band practices,and Susies dance lessons. yada yada yada.That is money that could be going into your childrens college fund, or money that could be used somewhere else, like a vacation. In fact, you could probably pay for a small vacation with the money you are spending. Lets not forget to include the Starbucks runs,and breakfast/lunch runs you make during the day while you are at work.I have a fun idea for you.Take the dine at home/take lunch to work challenge. You can do this individually or compete with another family or another person/co-worker. If you are competing against someone,The winner is the one who preferably hasnt eaten out all month,or the fewest times.The loser takes the winner to a really nice eatery. If you are doing it individually,take the money you would normally use on each meal, put it up and save it, and at the end of the month treat yourself to something nice with the money(not all of it, remember, the point is to plan on doing this in february, i will let you know how it goes.

Get Creative

This last tip is pretty self expanatory. Whats that? You dont have a creative bone in your body you say?Oh, I beg to differ, everyone has a little bit of creativity. There are alot of ways creativity can save you money,but the two I most recommend are gardening and making your own cleaning supplies. Fresh fruits and vegetables are the best,and it really doesnt cost as much as you think.Theres just something special about picking a cucumber or tomato straight from the vine, not to mention the good feeling of how much money it saves you. Here is an excellent link for homemade cleaning supplies:

And, that my dear friends,is my blog for the day. A little lengthy,yes, but I hope some of the information here can help you. Its just common sense stuff, but there may be some things here you havent thought of before.Cheers!!! heres to a Happy, Cheaper 2009!!!

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