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Saving tips Needed

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BillR:
Trudy wrote: These may sound a little weak but... Several years ago I started shopping in thrift stores.

Not at all Trudy! I do the same. I'm the guy that gets by on very little and doesn't window shop. However, I find that temptation lurks there in the thrift store as well! I've stopped going in there unless I REALLY need something. There are so many 'goodies' that I find I buy too many things I don't need.
I wish I had all the money I've spent in thrift stores. You
know, EVERYONE says they need to save money, regardless of their income. My oldest daughter and her husband make over $60K a year and are constantly talking about needing to save money! Yet when I visit them I keep seeing new items 'sprouting' up all over. Sure, we make money[most of us :'(  ]  and should be able to buy things when we want them. We claim we 'deserve' them because we're 'worth it'.....sort of like a haircolor commercial!   ;D

I know some of you are saying "$60K a year isn't much
money!" Folks, I'll tell you that it seems like a 'king's ransom' to me! Please appreciate what you have, OK?
 ::)

Now, here's another tip....When you see something you
feel you ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE, stop for a minute and
think. If you buy this item at this 'great' price, what are
you going to do with it when you get home? Is it going into
the bureau drawer or on the top shelf of the closet? I
know you like it and want it, but DO YOU NEED IT? If the
answer is NO, I don't, then WALK AWAY! Don't go into the
store to begin with! When grocery shopping at Wal*Mart
or elsewhere, DO NOT roam all over the store to see what
else you might need.  Don't go in for a loaf of bread and come out with 3 or 4 sacks full of stuff.  :o  

Now, if your last name is Gates and your husband makes computers, just ignore this whole post.   ;D

                                           Bill R.  

trudyu:
These may sound a little weak but... Several years ago I started shopping in thrift stores. At first it was something to kill time (while waiting for a child to get out of karate). The things I noticed were that it satisfied my urge to window shop and I was finding very expensive clothes in excellent condition. I dress better from the thrift stores than I did when I was paying retail at the mall.  I also buy many of my household items at yard sales and auctions. I have used many "pre-owned" appliances over the years and have had no complaints.  If I need to buy something new I shop scratch and dent places (furniture & appliances) or factory outlets (everything else).  When it comes to my house I am somewhat of a snob. I am really picky about quality. I have found that the difference between 300 count sheets in the outlet store and the department stores is about $50 per set. I embellish them using lace that I've bought at auction, close out or yard sales. For the cost of two (outlet sheets) I can make a duvet cover for a high quality but ugly or worn duet/comforter purchased for a couple of dollars at a yard sale. I make many of the gifts I give. There are many great things you can do that are not the standard "craft class" gift.
If you not already know how to do so, learn to cook really well. Many excellent dishes are actually made from very simple ingredients. Look around to see where things are the cheapest. Read grocery ads. It is worth you while to determine who has the best overall prices (exclusive of sales). I made a list of ten or fifteen items and visited the stores in my area. I was interested in the regular price I would have paid that day for items I usually buy. If you do not already know the best ways to store food, learn them.  The frugal lifestyle means you live well by taking control of where your money goes. Once you embrace it you find that it is terrific fun.

Helena Basarab-Horwath:
Dear Shyli,

You appear to be saying that you have wasted money, but that you are not in debt.  There are two issues here - what you do from now on to save money and what you do with the things you have bought.  

You can sort out the things you bought and either donate them to family, thrift shops or organize a garage sale.  

With regard to budgetting, perhaps you won't mind my telling you about my "system".  I keep simple accounts in a cashbook.  I also have a monthly budget, which I set and review annually.  The monthly budget includes all my fixed expenses and a certain sum for daily expenses (food, newspapers, dry cleaning and so on).  I write everything down in the cashbook.  Every week I draw out of the bank the sum I have decided upon for my daily expenses.  I do shopping with a shopping list.  I take advantage of special offers in the grocery store - but only things I know I like and will use.  I am not mean to myself, but if I can't afford something I don't buy it.  My budget even contains a small amount of "going out" money and a "Christmas Fund" for holidays and gifts.  I put aside a regular, not large but regular, sum of money into my savings account each month and anything that is left at the end of the week from my daily expenses is also put into my savings account.  You will be surprised how soon it all mounts up.

Most importantly - remember life is to be enjoyed.  You can be frugal but not miserly.  Instead of seeing "cutting back" as a chore, try to see it as a game, where the prize is a healthier bank balance and peace of mind.

Have fun.

Helena

BillR:
Well, this is how I do it. I'm retired and must live on $500
a month SS. I do NOT have a pension or other income.
Impossible you say!

No it's not. I have NO HOUSE PAYMENT and NO CAR PAYMENT. The old house I live in doesn't look that great and my car is 20 years old. But, SO WHAT? Am I trying to please my neighbors or 'keep up with the Joneses'? Certainly not. If you are, then that's one of your biggest problems.  I use a CREDIT CARD for my expenses, all of them, with the exception of bills I pay by check. I pay my credit card bill off in full, every month. I do NOT carry my checkbook around with me. I do NOT wander around in stores 'window-shopping' . Who cares what they are selling? If I don't know about it,  I won't want it!

I don't need 'walking-around money' if I'm not out walking around!   :D

You need to separate 'necessities' from 'luxuries''. Most
of us are getting a lot of luxuries and saying they're
necessities.  I don't expect everyone to live like me, but
when I was growing up we did NOT have A/C in our home.
Nobody did in those days! I don't have A/C now. How can
you stand it you ask? I use ceiling fans and portable fans.
You say "I'm not going to do that!" Well, you asked for tips, didn't you? How much is your monthly electric bill?
Over $100? Mine is around $35-$40. You go out to eat in a restaurant once or twice a week, or eat in 'fast-food'
places for lunch? I don't. I haven't eaten out in months!
"How boring", you say.  Let me get this straight....you want to save money, but you want to continue doing what you've been doing? As Dr. Phil asks "How's that been working out for you?" If it hasn't been working out then
things MUST CHANGE or they're going to continue on as
they are.

If I'm not in a certain room of my house then there are
no lights on in there. I do NOT run the TV for 'background
noise'. If I needed any I would turn on a radio. I love to use the computer, but if I'm not sitting in front of it then
it's turned off. I'm amazed when I visit other people's
homes to see that all the lights in their home are on, the TV in running(nobody watching). When I comment about
it, I'm told that the lights are usually not on, but on my next visit nothing's changed! Comments will be made that
their power bill is REALLY HIGH(well, duh!) . And later on
it will be mentioned that they're having to buy a lot of light bulbs, because they burn out so quickly! I wonder why?
I'd burn out quicker if I was 'on' all the time too. By the
way, I've switched to the small screw-in flourescent bulbs
wherever possible to save on costs.

As I said earlier, start examining all the things you think
you 'MUST' have and I'll be you'll find many of them you
don't need at all. Where is your money going? You say
you MUST have a new car? I doubt that you do. "Well, I
need a car that's 'dependable' " you say. Listen, if you have a car that's a few years old and keep a good battery in it and good tires it will work quite well for you. I feel that to save money you must change your thinking on a lot of things. You might as well start now!   ::)

                                  Bill R.

shyli:
Hi All !
I'm new to this, and need advice/tips from everyone :)
I was a big spender and have wasted thousands of dollars on junk that are piling up in storage room :'(
I'm trying to save, and control my urge to shop :)
I want tips from everyone on how they go about saving money, stop those shopping urges, and any comments, stories  :)

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