Friday, June 26, 2009

Smaller income

When You Have To Skimp And Save

Sometimes life will do a total shift on you. Forcing you to change your life style cold turkey. You may be the one who bring home the bacon, but now you are bringing home crumbs. This situation can lead to negative thinking and you may become bitter and feel helpless.

Don't Panic
Keep a calm head. Because you can handle this. Be strong. A new day is coming. The smart thing to do is count your blessings. If you have good health and your body is strong, be thankful for these things. Surrounded by your loving family, it is more you can appreciate.

Examine Your Situation
Gather your income from your job. Write down and total your income. You will need this information to decide what you may need to do without. Because of the change in your income, you have to make changes in how you and your family live. Remember to do this as a family. Hold a family meeting to explain what is going on. Let the family give their opinions also. It will help the family to grow together and support you in whatever descision you make.

Decide What You Can Do Without
Now you have a big decision to make. Sometimes you must live beneath your means to make it. Write down all your liabilities. List the important bills that MUST be paid. Your rent or mortgage is one, you need a roof over your head. Water bill, you NEED water for many important things. Food is a must have. The Internet service, can you do with out that for a while? Do you have a cell phone and home phone? You can get rid of one to save around 60 or more dollars.

Make The Changes
Once you have decided what you could do without, make the changes. Let your housekeeper go and clean your house yourself. Let the dry cleaners go and choose clothes with washable fabrics. The quicker you start the sooner you situation will level out. Also remember, there are places where you could go for help too. Ask your local Chamber of Commerce, they should have a list of places that can offer help. Some of those places may be Social Services, or an organization that helps those in need, until they can get back on their feet.

Change Your Shopping Habits
You may have to pass up a juicy hunk of t-bone steak to settle for a less expensive cut of meat. Just because it cost less, does not mean it cannot make a tasty meal.

Check newspaper ads on a weekly basis for sales. You also may have to zero in on reduced price merchandise. This can help toward keeping your family budget.  Sometimes store brand items can lower how much you spend on food.

Coupons, don't just cut them out, use them too. You will be surprised what coupons can do for your wallet.  It does take a deal of patiences to handle coupons, but the reward is worth it.  To make it easier shop early to avoid crowds.

Perhaps you want fresh vegetables too. Well it can be done inexpensively by cultivating your own garden.  You know the the high cost of vegetables is murder on many purses. Squash is now around $1.79 a pound. that is about three small squash. Thank of the savings when you start your own garden.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Planning Your Meals

Plan Well
Do you wonder how you can save money for meals when you are at work? or at school?

Plan Your Brunches/Lunches

Make your own bag lunches every day. As a parent, you should know your children's favorite foods and add these to their lunch boxes. A small family of four can save around fifty dollars a week or around $2,450 a year.

To pack a lunch for work or school never put the mayonaise on the bread, but instead smear it between the meat and cheese to helps to keep your sandwich from becoming soggy and spongey.

Plan Delicious Homemade Meals - Weekly
Meals made at home fills you up far more better than the food you could get at most eateries. You can even omit or control how much sugar, fats and salts are added to your homemade meals, making your family healthier.

Plan For Traveling
When you go to the recreational park, or visiting family and friends, going to the movies or just getting away from home - Pack your own sandwiches and snacks, cooler with drinks. You will be pleased that you did, and think of the money you have saved.

Plan Dining Out
When eating out, plan ahead. Pick a place where you know your children will enjoy and warn them of their limits. Maybe you can tell them how much you will spend per person. You will able to enjoy yourself more and worry less. Remember eating out is fun, but it can add up. Try to limit how often you can take you and your family to dinner, and stick with it. Some restaurants offer a family night special where you can feed you family on a set amount of money.

Plan For Shopping

Create your list. You do so by planning your meals for the week, and make a list of the ingredients and seasonings. Now there is your list. Stick with you list do not stray. You save yourself from spending more than you intend.

Shop alone. I find the less distractions the better and quicker I shop. Control the impulse to deviate from your shopping list.

Coupons. Use them. You will be surprised how a name brand product can become cheaper than the store brand, when using a coupon.

Avoid pre package convience foods. They cost more. Find the ingredients to make that item yourself and save money.

Compare prices. Sometimes that store brand may cost cheaper, but there maybe a sale on a similar item. Check the sales ads in the newspaper.

Never, Never go shopping on an empty stomach, or if you are depressed. You tend to buy more junk foods than healthy foods. You also end up spending more than you wanted in the beginning. I found myself having to leave check out and go back and place potatoes chips and candies back on the shelves.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Beginning A Frugal Life.

On The Road to Frugality

It will take some practice and it is not difficult. Anyone can be frugal.
But first you must ask yourself "Am I willing to live on less?"  Why would
you want to be frugal?

  • Is it because you want to save money for something special?

  • Or is it because you need to stretch what you already have because you are barely making it from paycheck to paycheck?

  • Or maybe it is because you wish to be prepared for whatever may come in the future due to the recession? Inflation?

  • All of the above are very good reasons.
    Decide what you feel you need to improve upon. Find out what must change in your daily habits.

  • Do you wish to learn to shop more thrifty because your usual groceries do not last past a week?

  • Or you want to learn how to stretch your clothing life because you wish to slow down on    purchasing too many clothing?
  • Or maybe you want to recycle, because you see the landfills are bulging from excess waste.

  • Or maybe you wish to cut back on your use of electricity, to save some extra money?

  • Maybe you feel that you are eating out too much and wish to make adjustments in that area?

  • There are many reasons to begin a frugal life. There are many areas of frugality to explore.

    Don't Take On Too Much At One Time.

    You will soon find that trying to follow every thrifty path that you come upon, will drive you insane. It is impossible to take on but so much, and all at once. Always remember this, what works for one person may not work for you. It depends on where you are at this moment in your life and how much you think you can handle.

    So try a few things first and see if it works for you, gradually work up to where you want to be, and add on to that later if that is your wish.

    Start By Finding Out What You Are Spending.

    You have to know where you are spending your hard earned income. Try to keep track of every penny that you spend. Don't leave out anything. Even those tiny expenditures really add up. This, you will find out quickly once you sit down with your notes and see what changes is necessary and what isn't.

    Write down how much you spent for lunch this week or month. Write down the amount of your electric bill for this month, your cable bill, your phone bill. Don't forget your rent or mortgage, water, groceries, gas, insurance, etc. But most importantly keep receipts of everything you buy so that you can get an accurate account of how much you are spending each month. And don't forgot to count the things that you do not get a receipt for, like giving money to friends and/or family.

    Once you have done the above. Try to find ways to cut the cost of each item on your list.

    Example: You may have cable in all of the bedrooms in your house including the living room. To save on electricity and cable and help bring the family closer together, eliminate the televisions in the bedrooms. Everyone can come together in the living room to watch a movie or TV program together. You will accomplish four things by doing this.

    First, The family is together in one room using the lights and TV. Instead of spreading out through out the house with lights burning in all bedrooms, including the living room. This will lower your electric bill.

    Second, Cable bill will now become lower because you have cable in only one room in the house instead of several.

    Third, You can now take the money you saved and put it in the bank.

    Fourth, The family is spending quality time together, which strenghtens the family bond, and draw the family closer together.

    Stick With It

    Once you have fulfilled all of your self imposed frugal assignments, stick with it. Try not to go backwards and allow things to return to the way it once was. Once you and your family have grown accustomed to the new way of things, you will find that you are more happier and feel less burden on your shoulders.