Friday, November 28, 2008

Frugal Friday...

Lots of people are out there spending....big sales today....but, hopefully this year the spending has been carefully calculated. If you don't need it, or can't really afford it....don't buy it. That's not only me giving my opinion... but several economists monitoring the current situation (including Susan Orman, who seems to be a fav among many women even if her voice and manner drive me crazy) She does have some good advice. Spending next month's mortgage payment on something trivial is not a great idea.











Any day is a good day to throw out some simple money saving tips, no? You would be amazed at how much money you can save over the span of several years if you really want to do it... how about baking your own yummy muffins? ... or even the occasional loaf of bread? .... the difference is pennies to dollars over store bought even with the cost of baking factored in... (and what store bought baking tastes anything like home made?) Plus, you know exactly what is in them and whose clean (instead of grubby) hands touched the batter....ick.... just thinking of what goes on in kitchens makes my hair curl...believe me I know... been there....













short story.... When we first decided to buy a house, we tried to save enough for a down payment but, didn't seem to be having much luck growing our bank account. We just weren't budget making people ... as a matter of fact, I've never quite been able to figure out how people decide in advance how much they are going to spend on each category and then try to stick with that. Makes no sense to me at all....... at least until after a person finds out how much they DO spend on each...if you see my point. Anyway, Mr. BumbleVee decided to see where our $$$ were going and why we couldn't save. He handed me a piece of paper and said "let's keep track of every dime". We did. What a shocker!!! I mean, we kept track of every muffin, every cup of coffee, every time we got soup and a sandwich for lunches .... we each frittered away just over $200 per month. (and that was over 20 years ago) That did it. It meant that we should have been able to add $400 + to the bank account monthly. So.... we "changed our evil ways" the very next day. Within a year we easily had enough to start looking... then, we got really silly and each got a second job so that we could double up on mortgage payments and pay that down sooner because mortgage rates had jumped to 11% by that time and we refused to pay more than the house was worth in interest. We bought at the worst possible time it would seem.... but, years later it got even worse...and I did lose a lakeshore property whose rate climbed to 21%.... so...been there too... ..of course, nowadays they insist that can't happen again.... we'll see won't we? ... good luck to those with rates at 4% if that happens.....













I still find myself looking for bargains...(actually, that's a habit older than the down payment days) .... using coupons... getting rain checks... stocking up on sale items... planning meals around what's on sale at the grocery store... we eat really well and yet our grocery bill is probably less than half of what most people spend.











..freezing "plan overs" for lunches. It's easy and tidy.. less mess and more 'fridge room. Instead of putting what's left in the 'fridge for ...whenever.... put it in lunch sized containers. The guys at work started calling them "envy lunches".... they drool and ask what's for lunch when they smell the aroma in the microwave area. Four of them have begun packing up some plan-overs of their own... comparing lunches at noon...

okay...this is probably going a bit too far...but, it's hard to break some old habits..(when I left home I quite literally had nothing so had to make do.. .. there were days when there was no food in the cupboard) .. why not re-use plastic bags from everything? especially if the container they line is hidden under a sink? No point in tossing it in the garbage empty is there?...and no point spending money for plastic bags either. Keeping an eye on spending now means that later, when I see something I really want.... I buy it.














Purex was on sale half price yesterday...look at my pretty liner... ...oh, and... don't drive off to the store every other day for bargains either...even if gas has gone down ... don't waste it...there isn't enough to last many more years and they are miles from a viable hybrid that is affordable... and even then... your electricity will skyrocket because you will have to plug them in to recharge.... arrgghhhh.... what else can we save a few pennies on?

a few blogs lately have been querying ways in which people are cutting back or how to save anything in such unstable times.... my suggestion is to first find out how much you spend and what you spend it on... I bet you will be surprised ......

4 comments:

Linda Fleming said...

You are absolutely right! Most of us fritter away so much money without even realizing it.

Pherenike said...

Hi,
Lots of good ideas here. Im afraid I do waste a bit of money on cafe food and coffee, I must amend that habit. All it takes is a little planning and hardly any effort.

Trying to Stay Calm! said...

I am new here! What a great blog :) ♥ Hugs!

Nancy said...

We always take our own drinks when we travel. The trusty thermos always has coffee. It's amazing how much you save just doing that.