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Topic: Frugal Living Swap (SIGNUP CLOSED; MAIL BY 2/6/2010)  (Read 157938 times)
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« Reply #1550 on: March 09, 2010 06:08:46 AM »

Yea, I'd definitely tell her to get a digital thermostat for her house.... I can't tell you how much we've saved since getting one in our house!  You can get a good one for around $25.  If she drives a lot, slowing down just a few miles an hour can really save on gas!  And cook big meals that she can freeze into individual portions especially for lunch so she doesn't eat out!  That's all I got  Cheesy

Live neither in the past nor in the future, but let each day's work absorb your entire energies, and satisfy your widest ambition. ~Sir William Osler
« Reply #1551 on: March 09, 2010 01:47:23 PM »

I know for us, one of our major expenses is food.  Tell her to make up her grocery list a month in advance...every meal's worth and make a large shopping list.  Try to stretch foods like rice, potatoes and pastas to make meals cheaper.  I've found that if I shop once a month and have my meals already all planned out, I spend less AND there is less of a risk of not feeling like cooking because I don't know what to make and going out to eat instead.

« Reply #1552 on: March 09, 2010 02:43:07 PM »

This maybe isn't the happiest advice, but there's that saying you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.  I worry about when you say she's not really interested in cutting her lifestyle.

To me, the single biggest help is keeping a budget.  It's not sexy, but when you start telling your money what to do, it's surprising how much more you have & how you can stretch it.  Several years ago, I helped someone close balance her checkbook for the very first time.  She was in her late 20's & was paying for ID theft insurance through her bank (rip off - if you get it, get one from an independent agency that covers ALL your accounts and is cheaper), paying monthly "student account fees" because she didn't realize she could have free checking with direct deposit (not like her bank every volunteered that info to convert her account), and how many overdraft fees she'd been paying (you know the $3 Starbucks oops with a $29 fee).  It's amazing what happens when you start paying attention. 

I've said it before, too: Dave Ramsey's FPU.  The classes are free and although the Ramsey website charges for the instructional materials, if you take FPU through a church they sometimes have outreach programs where they will heavily subsidize the cost or provide it for free.  And you don't have to sign up for their church if that's not your thing - my sister thought you did so I put that out there.  Smiley  Or if you are lucky enough to find someone willing to burn a copy of the FPU lessons on CD (they come with the FPU kit), all of the basics are in there, including a lesson on Super Savers and Buying Only Big Big Bargains.  Not to mention the useful info on investing & insurance.  I'm a CPA & I still learned a thing or two.  Smiley

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« Reply #1553 on: March 09, 2010 02:58:20 PM »

Thank you all! Smiley

And I think she'll get used to the idea of having a small budget, at least once her future employment is a bit more assured.  (Meeting tomorrow with boss ... cross your fingers!)
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« Reply #1554 on: March 09, 2010 03:42:16 PM »

No matter how much of a pain in the ass it is, write down everything going out. That means everything, even the $3 cup of coffee. You can't know where things are leaking until you write it out.

Make a budget and stick to it. I have to disagree with Donniesgirl that a budget is not sexy. It is uber sexy to have a bit of cushion to fall back on, staying up half the night worrying if your lights will stay on this week is not sexy. Smiley

Turn off everything, unplug or get power strips to plug things into and turn them off each time she leaves the house or goes to bed. Turn the heat down, put on layers of clothes, slippers, half or fingerless mitts, bandannas to retain heat. No one is saying to become a snowperson. But it is amazing just how much warmer one feels when you have covered the extremities.  Take a rice bag warmed in the microwave to bed. She can keep the heat down a bit more this way.

Look for Amy Dacyzyn's 'Tight-Wad Gazette' at her local library. It has tons and tons of frugal ideas and why we need to live like this. Some of us, forever; some of us, only for a little while. But being flat broke, cold and hungry is so not fun.

I don't know if the Angle Boxs are the same thing as SHARE, but here is a link to the one serving PA, DE, NJ, Metro NY & the MD E. Shore.http://www.sharefoodprogram.org/ There are chapters everywhere. We buy from them each month. The amount of food and the quality are surprisingly high. We buy two vegetarian boxes, no meat, each month. For anywhere from $10 to $12 a month, we receive around 15 to 20 pounds of food. Last month, for $10, we received 2 lbs carrots, 1 stalk celery, 1 head lettuce, 1 box fruit bars, stuffing (supposed to be beans but they ran out) 3 # potatoes, 2 # onions, 2# frozen onion rings, 1# frozen french fries, and five tangerines. This was not a special box, just the norm for what they offer. If you eat meat, it is an additional $10 and this last one included 1# chicken breast, 1# tilapia, 1# crab and 1# sausage.  Don't like everything in your box? Go early and trade with other people.

Like others have said, you can't force her. She may have to suffer a bit to break her habits. But she will come out stronger on the side for it.


« Reply #1555 on: March 09, 2010 07:14:39 PM »

Make a budget and stick to it. I have to disagree with Donniesgirl that a budget is not sexy. It is uber sexy to have a bit of cushion to fall back on, staying up half the night worrying if your lights will stay on this week is not sexy. Smiley

Hee hee. Smiley 

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« Reply #1556 on: March 09, 2010 09:17:20 PM »

While I wouldn't refer to a budget as "sexy", I do feel that there is such a huge difference in our lives since we've been using one.  And it's not so much the budget itself as the cushion rottenlittleboys is referring to.  We have our little emergency fund done and now it feels great to know that the money is there - that if something unexpected came up, we would have money to cover it. 

I actually think that's a great tip for anyone - make some sort of emergency fund.  Even if you have to cut way back for a few months to do it, it's worth having it (and not touching it unless it's really an emergency) just to have the peace of mind it brings.

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« Reply #1557 on: March 10, 2010 04:46:35 AM »

^what she said! emergency funds saved my butt more than once! my husband lost his job last year and had to start at the bottom again making almost half of what we were used to. It was really nice to not have to stress about the essentials! I couldn't go spend a bunch on yarn whenever i wanted, but we survived..

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« Reply #1558 on: March 10, 2010 09:06:04 AM »

yeah....Im all for those emergency funds....came in real useful just yesterday... went to the dr. and found out I have pneumonia, My insurance covered the different drs apt's.... BUT...... my medication cost me $250, my deductable is $250 a year, and then the insurance covers.....and I guess I havent used it yet this year.... I mean I know I have to pay it every year, however, it usually doesnt hit me all at once......

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« Reply #1559 on: March 10, 2010 09:47:28 AM »

ACK!  Get well, ogd!!!

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