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Saving tips Needed

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      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  :)


        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.


          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.



            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.


              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.  


                You are right, everyone does need to save money! Lately, I have been going through my house and seeing all the clutter and excess things that I have, that have accumulated throughout the years. My thought is i could have saved so much money by not buying these things that I don’t use, my children don’t use, and the husband definitly doesn’t use!
                I have yougn children, both girls, so to save money on clothes, they are reused. I am always looking out for *free* hand me downs, which people give away freely. My infant is getting ready to move on to a toddler bed, which my husband found sitting outside waiting for the trashman. Nothing wrong with it’ people just throw away lots of things! My sofa is getting a little worn, so I am researching slipcovers for it, instead of buying a new sofa. My washing machine I got for 40 bucks… yes, it was about 20 years old when I bought it, but it washes the clothes, which is all I need it to do! The dryer I got brand new 6 years ago, but all it does is dry. That is all I needed! I am in the military, and stationed away from my extended family, so long distance calls are a must. i got the plan that has unlimited local and long distance calls, because it is still about 30 dollars cheaper than paying for all the calls I make. Of course, I could always go cheaper by just writing a letter and putting a stamp on it, but time is an issue.
                Grocery shopping is a place where I can spend a lot of money. BRING A LIST AND STICK TO IT! If I see something I may like but it is not on the list, I write it down and think about it. I do not buy any cleaning supplies or toilietries at the grocery store; I go to the Dollar General store and get all of that for MUCH cheaper. Instead of charging Christmas gifts, I take full advantage of layaways, and again, I shop at Dollar General. I can find toys that they kids love, and when they stop playing with them, they only cost as much as 5 to 10 dollars a toy anyway, instead of 20 to 60.
                My phone plan gives me free movie rentals for every 25 dollars I pay on my bill, so for entertainment, we rent movies for free and make popcorn from kernals at home. I bring my lunch to work. That saves a lot of money. Reuse tea bags if you make tea for drinks.. you can use them about three times before they are too weak. I save my dryer sheets after using them once. Put two used ones in the next load and it works just the same. I make menus of what we are eating for dinner that week, and stick to it! No room for, “well, I dont know what to cook, lets go eat out!” That saves money as well.
                And my best way to save money…. I stay out of Walmart. I do not go in there AT ALL, without a chaperone. Of course, that is usually the husband, and he gets lost in the sports section, but he is good at telling me, “We don’t need that!”


                   ;D WOW  :o
                  Thanks for all the great advices from everyone of you!
                  That helps a lot.  
                  THANK YOU !  :) THANK YOU !


                    I would start a price book .  You should get a notebook and list the items you buy regularly.  Then start taking notes.  Write down the normal price next to the item and the size of the container.  Now when it goes on sale note the price and what size container.  Then next time it’s on sale you will know if it’s a bargain or just a smaller size.  I recently saw tuna fish on sale 3 cans for a $1.00. (Basically a normal sale price here in Nevada.)  Well the other day I was in Food for Less and it was on sale for 29 cents a can.  I bought 24 cans.  A savings of over 3 cents a can or at least 72 cents. Make sure you will use the product.  It isn’t a bargain if you it just sits on your shelf.  I knew it was a real bargain because I had noted the normal sale price in my price book.  That may not seem like a lot of money but it will pay for a cheap bottle of shampoo that will last me for 6 months or more.  I use olive oil to soften my hair and replenish the moisture.

                    I use the end of the shampoo by adding water and using that to prewash my hair. Thus I use less full strength shampoo each time I clean my hair because I need less shampoo.  I also use cheap hair conditioner to shave my legs instead of buying shaving cream.  Some men use a bar of soap and a brush to apply it but this seems less irritating to me.      


                      Regarding dryer sheets they can be cut into forth’s and still do the job.  Then use them to dust your furniture before throwing them out.  Also vinegar will remove any excess soap (if you make a mistake and add too much) from your clothes, remove static cling and soften them if you need to soften your clothes.  Personally I wash them, then pull out excess wrinkles, by hand and hang my clothes to dry.   I also air dry my clothes (most times) for a second wearing before washing them.  Play clothes can be worn even more days.  As a result I only do 2 loads (at the most) a week for 2 people.  Washing by hand eliminates some of the laundry as well.  I wash underwear by hand all week then do it in the machine once a week to realy clean them  As a result I was 4 pairs for 2 people once a week.  


                        Try selling all thay “stuff” you’ve accumulated on eBay.  You’ll be surprised at what people will buy, and it’s really easy to do!


                          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.


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



                              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.


                                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. 


                                  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. 

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