Blog #699 Saving Money – part II

Ways to save money – part II

-6 Talk it out

Put a regular ‘Financial Review’ meeting on your agenda for you and your spouse/partner.  With two people, there are two opinions on how to spend money (and not always compatible).  Bring up your credit card statements, bank statements, list of home improvements, list of ‘wants’ and ‘needs’.  Don’t argue – but discuss. In my experience one is probably more ‘frugal’ that the other (yup, that would be me) and the other is more realistic.  Talk it out!!

-7 Rent (or borrow) instead of buy

In almost every garage on my block there is a lawn mower.  Maybe you can share a lawn mower with a neighbor (or several neighbors).  Do you need a ladder to clean the leaves and debris out of the gutters – rent a ladder rather than buy (especially is this is a once or twice a year event).  Do you need a pickup for a day, U-Haul (and others) will rent you a truck for that once a year trip to the city landfill. [Aside, I once had a truck – a nice Ford F-150.  As for the truck bed, it was used infrequently – normally to get bolts of fabric from the fabric warehouses. Otherwise, I was driving it as a car – chugging along at 10 miles per gallon – as compared to my current little car that gets about 36 miles per gallon.

-8 Shop at the second hand and thrift shops.

You may be surprised at what you will find – at a great price.  And, in most cases, people donate their lightly used goods to the thrift shop, as they sell the items it goes for community work.  Our local Salvation Army has 50% off all clothes on Wednesdays and other specials for other days.

-9 BYOB

Some restaurants allow you to bring your own bottle (BYOB).  Even if they charge to uncork the bottle, you will save on wine bought onsite.

-10 Flexible Spending Accounts

Many companies offer flexible spending accounts (FSA).  Take advantage of these for eye exams, glasses, even Lasik surgery.

-11 Try a “Need Only” diet

Do you like coffee?  I actually like McDonalds coffee better than Starbucks – at about $1 a cup.  And with a ‘need only’ diet I can pass on the junk food I might get at the convenience store.  Do I really ‘need’ Ice Cream? Do I really ‘need’ that huge jar of peanut butter? [The answer to that is ‘absolutely’!!!]

There are such emotional issues of “I want something” verses “I need something”.  Think back to childhood “I want that toy” is frequently an emotional thing. My friend has the toy and I want it.  Remember those cheap rides at the mall – the little plastic thing that looks like a bus (or firetruck or other) that goes around in a circle for a minute (for $2).  It is hard to say ‘no’ to children (or grandchildren) – but learning about wants and needs is part of life.

Tomorrow we will finish this saving spree – with some additional powerful hints – stay tuned!!!

Karen

Posted by Bruce White

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