As you undutely know, we're in a deep recession right now. Some have changed their habits and are a lot more frugal. I've always been frugal due to the stress of bitter financial experience. I put myself through college and paid for my first master's degree as I went along without incurring any debt.
While I have no financial degree such as an MBA (I have a master's in management and am closing in on a second in public relations), I can offer you some basic and simple tips that will allow you to save some money.
A Quick Word of Caution
Do not minimize these simple ideas. They can help you save money. I use them all the time.
Here they are:
- Use coupons. There are an abundance of available coupons for your usage. Everything from automated services to every kind of food at your grocery store. Look online as well. Companies want your business and in a recession, they are trying to get your attention and they do that by coupons.
- Use paper bags as trash bags.
- Turn off appliances that you are not using. If you're not using an appliance like a microwave, turn it off. Same for the TV. Appliances are constantly drawing energy so by doing this, you should save 3% to 5% on your bill. That's the savings I incurred.
- Do not rent videos or DVDs, go to your local library, get a library card, and you'll be able to
- Eat more fruits and vegetables. All natural foods are inexpensive and readily available. Plus, they are healthier for you than processed foods.
- Do not drive so fast.
- Start slower at stop signs and lights. This will save a good amount of gas.
- Make sure your tires are inflated to proper levels.
- Look around for cheaper car insurance. It's always a buyer's market with car insurance so look around.
- Buy food like fruits and vegetables at farmer's markets.
- Borrow toilet paper from public places.
- Rent when you do not have to buy.
- Borrow when when you do not need to buy.
- At local community centers or your church, there are usually dinners and lunches. Ask if you can take some of the extra stuff home. I know a guy who does this and he has bought groceries only twice in 16 months.
- Use warm water and a plain old clothe to clean windows. You do not need expensive window cleaners. Warm water works just as well. (I learned this tip from a professional window washer.)
- Buy store brands versus the more expensive brands. These on average are less expensive.
- Drive less. Walk if you can. Or, bike around instead of taking the car.
- Shop around.
- Plan your shopping around so you can do it all at once instead at separate times.
- Shop at the famous discount stores. I just bought a superb spring / winter jacket that normally goes for around $ 100 for only $ 16 at one of those stores. How? Because I knew the value and they needed to get rid of them.
- Do not eat fast food.
- Buy foods in bulk.
- Eat more plainly. For example, oatmeal is very inexpensive but it's still one of the best foods around. It gives good energy too.
In another article, I will give more details but these are a good place to start. Before I close, let me give you the core principles to utilize. These principles may be the most important thing about this article.
- Spend less money than you have coming in.
- Learn how to distinguish between wants and needs.
- Save for a rainy day for it will rain.
- Avoid going into consumer debt for anything.
These principals will allow you to flourish and save money. I know for I utilize them.