kevindooley – Flickr.com
Surviving this weak economy can be frustrating and seem almost impossible. When gas was almost at double where it is today, many of us drove less, consolidating our errands. If I knew I needed to pick up one of my kids from an after school activity, I would hold off going to the market and post office until it was closer to the time of having to swing by the school. We should STILL continue to do this now. Although, I’ve ALWAYS done this – I have also ALWAYS taught my kids to SHUT THE LIGHTS OFF when leaving a room – take a bag lunch and snacks from home to not only save, but eat healthier. Put an extra blanket on their bed since a cooler, night temperature kicks in at around 8pm. Do not waste, recycle paper, warm up left overs and shop sales – remembering though, to always ask, do I really NEED that?
Here are some saving ideas from my most favorite on-line sites:
- Dollar Stretching Shopping Tips from FOODNETWORK.COM <CLICK>
- Creative Ways to Cut Costs from Good Morning America <CLICK>
- Frugal Living from Oprah’s MONEY section <CLICK>
- 10 Meals Under $10 from Rachael Ray <CLICK>
- Saving Money from 7 OnLINE.COM <CLICK>
- Save a Dime in ’09 from LiveRegisandKelly.com <CLICK>
- Saving Money Tips from HGTV.com <CLICK>
- Teri Gault from TheGroceryGame.com <CLICK>
Ninjapoodles – Flickr.com
A few more ideas -
- Decide what is a “Luxury” and what is a “Necessity”
- Shut the television off and have “Fun time” with the kids – Have them read books, color, build with Llegos or blocks. Make it fun by “hiding” something (like an Easter Egg Hunt) and have the kids try to find it – the first to do so, picks the next activity!
- Have a “Pasta and Salad” dinner night once a week – really inexpensive and filling!
- Cut back on your laundry’s drying time by hanging some of your clothes. Even if it’s just a few pieces from every load.
- Rent a movie, pop your own popcorn, buy a gallon of wine (inexpensive and lasts much longer than just a bottle) and STAY HOME! This will also save gas!
- Trim your family’s hair, including your pup’s and give yourself a manicure.
- USE COUPONS! and stock up on Sale Items at the Grocery Store.
- Save those PENNIES! Every day empty your pockets and put your change in a piggy bank or decortive bottle. It adds up quickly!
- Cut your own lawn
- Make your own PIZZA. Maybe have your family pick their own personal pizza choice and make individual pizzas – I like mine with peppers – my youngest son with extra cheese, … – Yum!
- Looking to REFINANCE or purchase a HOME to take advange of the current low interest rates and tax break? Call at least 3 different lenders – all may have totally different mortgage packages – being careful with how many times they run your credit within a certain allowed time.
- Go to bed 1/2 an hour earlier every night – Getting more SLEEP is healthy for you AND since your lights, TV, computer are being shut off earlier – the savings will add up at the end of the month!
- Call your insurance agent for info on raising your deductibles on your car and home insurance to save.
- Contact your cell phone carrier and go over your usage to see if you need all those minutes and ask if they have better packages. Also, call your cable company and inquire on the “Bundle” packages – combing your TV, phone and internet can save you $$
- and… don’t forget to call your Credit Card companies to see about assisting you in lowering your interest rates.
Remember, EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS!
Joe Shlabotnik – Flickr.com
Inspirational Quote - “I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be.” – Groucho Marx
In one way or another, it seems we are all in a struggle these days. The economy and inflation of pricing for gas and oil that we paid – and some are still paying if these expenses were put on credit. With the increased cost of groceries, airline tickets, fresh flowers, dinner out, getting your lawn cut, a carwash, a haircut, … - it seemed that just about everything was increased!
During these past Holidays, many stores were offering discounted prices and incentives to bring people out to shop. But as I was out and about, the stores and malls seems like any normal weekend – I could find a parking space without having to circle the lot 7 times! I didn’t have to wait on a line for 45 minutes to pay for 1 gift! This should have made me happy, but it saddened me because of the reason why it wasn’t crazy and crowded. People just didn’t have the money or were afraid to spend.
To keep sane, healthy and to remember that this too shall pass, I found a great site with some inspiration. To read some ideas - “Looking for Inspiration” by: Cheryl Richardson <CLICK>.
Some of my favorite from this list are :
- I pray. When struggling with anger, frustration, uncertainty, etc., “giving it to God” gets me through those feelings and inspires me to know that He is there with me and will guide and get me through.
- Watching “The Pursuit of Happyness”. This movie reminded me of the determination factor in the pursuit of a goal or dream. You have to keep working toward that goal, even when it’s difficult.
- I love to read books that keep me in the mind set of doing my best to be a better person.
- I find inspiration in gratitude. Every day I find at least 5 new things to be grateful for. Things as simple as running water, the cement on my garage floor, the paint on the walls of my house, the way light shines on a tree, today the frost on a picnic table like a million sparkling diamonds. When you think of how little others have in the world, we live in paradise. It energizes me to a happiness that gives me the power to do more, give more happiness, and make a difference in this world.
- Watching a sunset.
Hamed Masoumi – Flickr.com
So, eat well, exercises, listen to music, watch a sad movie and have a good cry if needed, think of and be grateful for all you have, know that you are fortunate and things WILL get better with a positive attitude and determination, and… don’t forget to BREATHE!
Danbury Fair Mall enhanced through PicNik.com
Suze is a Personal Finance Expert with an Emmy Award Winning television show and one of New York Times Bestselling Author. She has also recently spoke at the Century 21 International Convention and immediately dazzled the audience with her charisma. Suze is trying to make a difference through education and hopefully better peoples lives. Even though not all may agree with Suze, there is much advice that someone can take and “adjust” into their own lives. After all, she has experienced financial hardship in her own life – and I too have “been there, done that” myself.
With all the money questions that people are asking these days, Suze answered many. Should I spend or save? Can I afford to buy a new car? to retire? to be a stay at home mom? and… can I afford to purchase a HOME?
“When you get into a tight place and it seems that you can’t go on, hold on – for that’s just the place and the time that the tide will turn.” - Harriet Beecher Stowe
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