Welcome Welcome Welcome to the 61st Festival of Frugality. I want to thank Jim at Blueprint for financial prosperity on giving me the chance to be the host. Feel free to add me to your blogroll, and I would return the favor. Lets roll………
While being fabulous is a must, I don’t want to sacrifice my financial goals in the process. So I’ve come up with 10 ways to be fabulous and frugal.
Do you coupon shop? I’ve been trying since the beginning of the year to look for coupons online and in the Sunday paper that I would use. We typically spend about $400/month for two people for groceries. This includes all toiletries, household goods and cleaners, etc. Yet rarely do I find the opportunity to use coupons.
My favorite K Chronicles strips often covered the topic of frugal living – how to get by as a starving artist, tips on raiding art gallery buffets, adventures in public transportation, where to donate your sperm for cash – I gained inspiration from these comic, only-partially-joking takes on cheap living and quick cash-making schemes.
My best friend and I have a motto: “Cheap or free.” We’ll do anything cheap or free: see mediocre plays, check out movies we might not otherwise have been interested in at free screenings (lots of those in New York), have drinks with people we might not otherwise want to hang out with, see art shows we’d otherwise have passed on.
Check the weekly sales flyer. Usually the items on the front page is where you’ll save the most. I mostly try to shop the sales and for a few things that I really need. It seems when I shop this way, I don’t need as much stuff because I’ve stocked up when the items were on sale.
Receiving money is great – especially when it comes for free. There are millions and millions of dollars being held by state treasurers, just waiting for someone to step forward and claim them. The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) has a site with a clickable map that will provide you links to your state’s unclaimed property database.
Now I’m sure there will be several comments such as “I bet their house is worth $30,000” or “I’m sure they have no fun” (which they budget for, by the way) below from the naysayers out there. But the fact is, if you want it bad enough and are willing to work at it, you can achieve financial freedom on almost any income. It simply means you have to spend less than you earn.
But there have been occasions that I’ve come across rebates and have gingerly filled up those forms that will pay me back $10 here or $5 there after some ridiculous length of time. I have a spreadsheet where I keep track of these things (along with other annoyingly delayed credits) which extend all the way back to spring of last year.
While many advocate getting and staying debt free, not everybody wants to follow the debt freedom path. Some would rather use debt to their advantage. It’s definitely possible to use the principle of leverage as a wealth creation vehicle. In fact, leverage is one of the most time-tested methods of creating real wealth.
Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) are everywhere. They lure you in and pretend to give you money, when in actuality, they TAKE your money. They are evil creatures with bad intentions. They show up in the most random places, even at the edge of the universe, as you can see here:
Money, Matter, and more Musings wanted you to know about the freecycle network: thinking globally, recycling locally, and 100% free.
Over this weekend, make sure you check out the Freecycle.org. This website is run by The Freecycle Network, a nonprofit organization that encourages recycling. “One person’s trash can truly be another’s treasure!” is the basic premise behind the network.
At the beginning of the year a bunch of us set some savings goals. You can learn about them here. We’ve been playing along week by week watching our savings accounts grow. Today I checked my ING Direct Savings account and found an extra $1.03 deposited in Interest. ING Direct borrowed my money last month and paid me $1.03 for the privilege
My laundry is caught up. Everything has been washed and even has been put away (only a mother would know how hard that is to do!) I even did a little ironing while I watched television this weekend. I have been home too long when I am now ironing my dish towels.
We started with two bags of microwave popcorn of the same brand. One had been stored in the refrigerator and one in a box on top of the refrigerator. We popped them for equal amounts of time. Just by looking at the popped bags, I really couldn’t tell much difference.
Kirby ain’t playing on how to stop nickel and diming yourself into the poorhouse!
Get real with yourself! Before you can even begin to do anything seriously with your finances (or really life in general), you have to “get real” with yourself and be honest and somewhat critical with the financial choices you’ve made. Remember the Red Bulls I told you I was buying everyday? Well I “thought” I needed them, in fact I’m pretty sure I was convinced I actually needed them.
Withdraw a specific amount of cash from your checking or savings account. Separate the cash according to specific budget categories. Place the cash into individually labeled envelopes and use the cash in those envelopes to purchase items throughout the month. Common envelopes are: Gas, Groceries, Food, Eating Out, Miscellaneous.
There used to be time when all of America connected a pair of rabbit ears to their television sets and blissfully watched. Three to thirteen channels was all anyone needed. Then cable and satellite television came along. With the new options came more channels, all of them crystal clear.
The lunch calculator allows you to figure out how much money you would save if you were to brown bag your lunch instead of eating out, and then how much you would earn from investing those lunch savings.
There must have been gremlins in our house and cars the past week. After 3.5 years of relative infrequent repair needs, we had several issues occur at once. For the past few years, I have been paying someone to fix issues like these.
Late last week, the Wall Street Journal published an article on how Comcast was doing with regards to their telephone VOIP and internet service rollout. While the article stressed how investors were concerned about them spending too much cash on capital expenditure, I was more interested in the number of sign ups they have had for these services.
I *heart* you. I made you a Valentine.
Turn down your sound and click the link. It’s safe for work and my frugal tip of the day. I send it to you early so you can dream up your own clever lines.
I’ve read the recommendations to put masking tape on my plastic containers and jars and to write the date it gets stored away, but it just doesn’t happen. It’s a bit of a hassle (gotta find the tape), and a bit of a mess
Besides helping you keep track of your expenses, it also serves as a diary. You would remember what you did on a certain day by looking at the things you spent. You can write more details in the cell by using “Insert Comment” function.
For all you bibliophiles out there, here is a great chance to score some free books! Biz Book Talk gives away free books (business related) on Fridays (and sometimes, Mondays?). All you have to do is go to their website and leave a comment answering the question for that week’s giveaway. Simple as that!
Do you buy in bulk to save money? We’re not members of Costco or Sam’s Club where it’s assumed you’ll buy in bulk but that doesn’t stop me from loading up when an item is on sale.
Throwing out food is one of the banes of my existence. It really irks my frugal soul. And yet I still do it far too frequently! I blame it on my upbringing.
This is a question I’ve been asking myself lately. I’ve been frugal all my life. My mother was frugal when I was growing up. She grew up poor and then she had to support me and my sister on minimum wage while rarely receiving child support. She was frugal by necessity then but she stayed that way even when her financial situation improved. Frugality is a trait that I acquired from her.
Of course, a car-free life is not for everyone. But it’s possible to save $5,000 to $10,000 each year by letting go of the car or cutting back to one car in your household.
We have one car in our house. My husband drives it and we save lots of money in a community where many people drive two or three cars per household. But cutting back on auto travel is not for everyone.
Most of us are deep in debt because we are not doing something right or rather, we are doing something wrong. All we need to do is correct that behavior; repay loans and get our credit standing back. All this probably sounds to naïve. Well, how about this:
Freecycling is the opposite of all of the above. It is a Yahoo Group for people to give away goods that they no longer want and to find used goods that they do want. Actually it is not one but many local groups. Look up your town, there is a good chance that it already has an active community.
When I was back in the US, I was at the grocery store one day when I saw this lady walking up and down the aisles filling her cart off here list, but also sticking pieces of paper on products on the selves from time to time. When I went buy, I noticed that she was taping coupons to the appropriate products.
The 62nd Festival of Frugality will continue to roll on next week at Lazy Man and Money. Peace out….!