How to Be Smart in This Bad Economy




Still finding it difficult to scrape by? Here are a few tips to save money:

Steps

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    Have fun for free at home. Read, walk in the neighborhood, visit with your neighbors, ride your bike to the local park and learn to have fun without toys.
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    Vacation in your backyard. Pitch a tent, have a picnic or sleep under the stars.
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    Cook your own meals and pack a lunch. Recipes are freely available online, from friends and neighbors.
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    Visit restaurants sparingly. Dine out only on a special occasion, such as a birthday or anniversary. Look for restaurants where kids can eat for less.
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    Learn to live with less. Decide what you actually need, what you can live without and stick to it!
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    Distribute your money carefully.
    • Put money aside for the essentials first, such as food, clothing and shelter.
    • Have a small emergency fund.
    • Invest in the future for a new vehicle, education and retirement.
    • Invest in car, home, health and life insurance as it saves money in the long run.
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    Check your account balance weekly. Don't let unexpected purchases put you behind in paying your bills. Be strict and disciplined in preventing additional expenditures. Having good credit is an important economic strategy.
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    Get a debit card with rewards. Add benefit to your expenditures with a bonus.
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    Limit your phone service. Do you need a phone at all, except for emergencies? Online email provides a sufficient avenue to friends, media, shopping and paying bills.
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    Use efficient appliances. Dishwashers generally save time, money and water.
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    Unplug appliances. If something is not in use, unplug it! You'll be surprised at the difference in your electric bill.
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    Consider cheap transportation. Ride a bike, walk or jog before considering the carpool, subway, bus or train. Use your car when other choices are unavailable. Using a car involves the price of gas, repair, inspection, registration, insurance and saving towards a new car.
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    Do your own repairs. Do-It-Yourself tutorials are freely available online or at the library.
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    Freecycle. Trade and bargain with friends, neighbors and relatives for clothes, electronics and other household items.
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    Use coupons. Search for free online coupons or pick up a Sunday newspaper.
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    Buy everything on sale. Sooner or later, everything is on sale. Keep a list of what you need and be patient until it's on sale. Inquire as to when sales may occur.
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    Pay cash. Make a list of what you think you need. Don't buy anything until you've saved for it. As time goes by, you'll realize you may not need it. You'll be more creative and savvy in what you do purchase.
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    Question your motive. Ask three times, "Do I need this to live?"
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    Have a taste test. For example, if you buy proper jaffa cakes, buy a small pack of them, a packet of a supermarket luxury brand and a supermarket cheap brand. Get a friend to put them on three separate plates and get you to eat one of each. You will be surprised!

Tips

  • Pay careful attention to spending habits. Record your expenditures. Review them periodically to have a realistic point of view and to develop proper perspective for an ongoing plan for the future.
  • Self help develops confidence. Learn the value of time and money by being useful to yourself.
  • Do not keep Maid for housecleaning,garden maintenance and so on. Push yourself on this as much you can do it . It is good physical exercise too.

Sources and Citations

  • Thanks Oprah for some of these great money saving tips.

Article Info

Categories: Budgeting