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Saving tips Needed

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blackeyedsusan:
That's a great idea, refuge 821.  I agree that the whole idea of instant gratification is ruining this country.  A lot of people now think that as long as you have one credit card left that you can max out that you still have money to spend!  Whatever happened to the idea of it being a matter of honor to pay your bills?
 Some people think that big credit card companies are so impersonal that they don't care whether  the company gets their  money; they think they don't need it, etc.  I would like for my kids to be honest and know if they owe it,  they have to pay it! 
 I just had someone complain to me that her credit card company is ripping her off by charging her so much interest because she has a huge unpaid balance.  Huh????  Credit cards were invented for convenience.  The way the credit card companies make money is to bet on the fact that some people won't pay their bills on time and its part of the agreement that if you don't pay on time, you pay more.  Why should anyone complain if they don't pay their bill and get charged more because of that fact?  It's surprising to me how many intelligent people just don't understand basic principles like that.  They feel like victims because they can't have everything they want.
Oh- this isn't directed at anyone here.  I am on sort of a rant because of some financial 'problems' some relatives have had recently. 
Shyli, I applaud you for wanting to get your spending under control.  Take it from an 'old' lady, doing without  a few things now can make your life a lot easier in the future.  I was lucky to be raised by parents who handled money well.  When I got married I thought my husband was pretty cheap about things, but I never argued when he would tell me to cut back on spending. I was lucky enough to stay home and raise my kids, so I wasn't going to hassle him about money.
He semi-retired at age 55.  Actually he was sort of forced into it by a company takeover, but we were lucky enough to be financially prepared for him to do that.  He doesn't work much and I don't work at all.  Everything we own is paid for.  We got  some money from his parents when they died that has helped, but we had our own savings and investments.  We wouldn't have if we had bought everything we wanted. We did without to save for the future.  We never expected the company he worked for to have problems-so it's good to be prepared.  His parents never would have been able to leave us that much money if they hadn't been frugal.  When I was in my twenties, I used to think, "those people are so cheap!", now I think, "God Bless them!" 
Recently I have seen people I know lose their nice homes and everything in them because of job losses and the fact that they weren't prepared and already in debt up to their eyeballs.  While it is very sad, I also realize they brought a lot of it on themselves.  It makes me appreciate my 'old tightwad' husband a LOT!  He kept us out of financial trouble.  That is why I like posting here.  Being frugal really does work and if I can warn even one person or give them tips on how to stay out of debt,  I will feel happy about that. 

refuge821:
My husband and I made an agreement MANY years back that we don't buy anything until 24 hours has passed.  It doesn't matter how much it costs .. it's whether it's a real need.  We portray our lifestyles before our children and friends and if we can stop considering stuff as so important in our lives, maybe some of our other grand qualities will stand out and teach some character to our children about wanting to have so much.

One way we stopped this cold was to begin making a list of what we needed and only going to the store every two weeks.  Some things we really needed then to work on a project, but by keeping our "lifestyle" it gave us time to dig around the house and become creative with what we already had to use.  It's been a great way to expand the brain and if you have children at home, it's a great way for them to become thinkers and inventive themselves.

If you see something in a store, write it down to add to your list.  I'll betcha when you get home 75% of things don't even get added.  Another 15% get crossed off when you consider whether or not it's a need.

It's all about discipline and delayed gratification which we all need more of.  The instant mentality has also ushered in the disposable mentality which is ruining our earth in many ways for the upcoming generations. 

blackeyedsusan:
My tip for not spending money is when you are in a store and find something you like carry it around for a while or put it in your cart for a while and think it over.  Do you really need it?  Is your life going to be a lot better because you bought it or will the thrill of something new be over ten minutes after you get it home?  You might find that a lot of the time you will end up putting the item back.  Just carrying something around for a while will sometimes make you feel like you already own it.  By the time you are ready to leave the store you might decide its not that much fun to own after all.  Tell yourself you will forget about it once you are out of the store.  There are very few things you will remember and regret not buying-and you can always go back if you want it that badly.  Set a limit of how much you are going to spend before going into a store.  If you go over the limit, decide what you want least and put that back.
Find a hobby or something you really love to do besides shop.  Its better to stay out of stores as much as possible if you are trying to cut back on expenses.
Always pay your credit card bill off every month or you are just giving money away to the credit card company.  Some of them charge outrageous percentages on unpaid balances carried over, so make that a rule.
What I do is hold on to all my master card receipts.  When I know I am spending too much I don't buy anything I don't have to.  For example- do you really have to buy a new purse because they are on sale if you are going to have to go into your savings to pay off the credit card?  (Remember, the RULE is you HAVE to pay it off each month, it's for convenience, not buying anything you want until the card is maxed out).  You have to prioritize what items you buy each month and if you are over your limit you wait until next month. If you buy everything you want at the beginning of the month, you won't have any money left for necessities that you suddenly realize you need.
Anybody who has too much junk they don't use sitting around should sell it on Craig's List, have a garage sale, or take clothes to a resale shop.  Don't just throw the money from them away. If you do donate the items, get a receipt so you can take it off your taxes.
Also, if you buy something you decide you don't need or doesn't fit, take it back.  I know a lot of people who have stuff they never got around to taking back.  Some people lose receipts, so always hold onto them so you can return things.

delia:
Hi - I came across some good articles on Suite 101 site about personal budgeting. Weekly articles about budgeting and saving money.

http://personalbudgeting.suite101.com/

QHrider:
I have been laid off from my job for almost 1 year.  I have found several ways to save on my electric bill.  I hand my clothes up to dry then when they are dry, I put them in the dryer with a hand towel that I have sprayed with fabric softener/water; I then fluff the close. This also helps keep your a/c from running so much cause your house doesn't get so hot with the clothes dryer running.  I also have started baking my cornbread on the grill. Since I have it on anyway to cook my meat, I just put my pan of cornbread right on there and it bakes right up. I try to only bake early in the morning or late at night when it is not so hot anyway. Just little things like this will help save money. But you will have to be committed to saving money or it will never work.

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