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In today’s world it takes a lot to have the basics. Frugal living is a way of life and can be a tough one too. With the high cost of living and unemployment, we all need a way to life happy and unencumbered. So below I have 5
frugal living tips that you can try to make your lives a little easier. You can use one of
them or all of them, that is totally up to you.
Tip 1: The Dave Ramsey Envelope System
This is the best budget system I have ever known. Basically you write out your weekly
or monthly budget, or go by when you get paid. Then you get yourself some envelopes
and label them.. example: Groceries, Utilities, Entertainment,…. etc. Then you take the
amount of time you need for your budget out of the bank and divide it among the
envelopes . Then when that envelope is empty it should be the end of that time period.
Plus at the end of that time period if there is any left over in one or more envelopes, you
can do one of two things. One, leave it in the envelope and have extra for that particular
bill or start a savings account and put any or all of the extra each time in there and after
about six months you might just have a nice little emergency fund started. One more
thing, you should have a debit card mainly for travel, to rent a car or motel room if you
need too. You can always pay cash at the end of your stay, but we all know how the
world works these days and it’s better safe than sorry. So, give the system a try and if it
doesn’t work for you that’s fine, not everything works for everybody.
Tip 2: Meal planning at home!
One way to save money and get the family involved with what’s for dinner, is have a
meal planning night. Chose a night of the week to sit down and plan out the menu for
the following week. Make sure you account for all meals and any extras, like outings or
special events. Then you make a recipe list and make sure to include any condiments
and dessert. After you have decided on the list, turn that into your grocery list. Oh I
almost forgot, you should already have a grocery budget in place. Finally, go shopping
and make sure you stick to the list. If you do then maybe you will have a little extra for a
treat or put it back in the budget for next week.
Tip 3: That’s entertainment!
Let talk entertainment, now a days it’s easy to get, but not really cheap. Yet there are
ways to do it. You can choose not to have it, read a book or pick up a hobby. Plus if you
need a phone, track phones fairly cheap and you can buy the minutes month for around
$30. Since a phone is somewhat of a necessity you should already have that in your
budget. Ok moving forward, if you just can’t live without electronics then here is what
you do. First buy your TV on sale ( a 24in is good). Second, go to a video/game system
resale store they have pretty good stuff for cheap. Third, put a time limit on TV time, oh
and if you want/need a computer those stores are good for that too. Finally, two things
one make sure to ask for games and such ( for the kids) from family members for their
birthdays and Christmas and two if you really want a lot of good stuff then save up for it.
Put the goal in your weekly/monthly budget and save, or start small and work your way
Tip 4: It’s family fun night.
The best way to save his to have a family fun night. Families don’t do that anymore and
I think they should start again. Remember when we would sit around the dining room
table and play Monopoly or Parcheesi. We would laugh and joke and eat pizza or snack
food. Oh how I miss those days. Anyway that is something a family can do to reconnect
and save some money. You can have a family game night or movie night. Plus if you
plan it for once or twice a month you can put it in the food budget and add it to the
meals for the week. Also renting a movie from Redbox is only between 2 to 4 dollars
and the is another thing to put in the budget. So scoop up your kids and pin down your
partner and plan a few family nights.
Tip 5: The carpool lane!
Ok, guys you might not like this idea very much, but with today’s gas prices and the cost
of insurance it’s worth a mention. So here is goes, have one decent car with low to no
monthly payment and carpool. Now this might not work if you live in a rural area or the
country, yet if you are in the country most of the time you will do a once a month city
run. Then if you are in a small town you can walk everywhere, that’s what I do since we
only have one vehicle. Anyway getting back to the topic at hand. If you have one decent
car and carpool, you can share some of the expenses. For instance have everyone
pitch in for gas and/or pick up the morning coffee tab. Also make sure you have a
written schedule for everyone in the carpool. This way everyone will know when it’s their
turn to drive and if something happens it will be easy to fix. I know it might sound a little
different, but give it a thought. One day it might be the only solution.
So there you have it, my 5 frugal living tips. You should at least try one of them and see
what you think. Have you heard of Dave Ramsey’s ideas? Check them out.
Dave Ramsey’s Envelope System The Total Money MakeOver
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