Happy Throwback Thursday! What lessons can we learn from the past? Although our economy has (hopefully) been on the mend. I always try to be smart and savvy when it comes to how much I spend, how and where I invest, and how much I save.
I've also been watching the stock market, which has been rising for quite a while now. As the saying goes, everything that goes up, usually comes down. Take for instance the housing crash in 2008. I want to be prepared in case the U.S. has a "money bubble".
We can all learn a tip (or ten) from the past. If you aren't practicing a frugal life, now is the time to start - just in case our economy doesn't fully recover from this recession. In order for our society to prosper, we must try to live a more sustainable lifestyle.
Here are 10 thrifty throwback tips and practices from a bygone era:
1. Grow your own - even if your yard is not large enough for a vegetable garden, you can still grow your own with potted herbs. Save money over time by planting basil, cilantro, rosemary, etc. If you have the space, plant fruit trees which are organic and will give you an abundance of food for years to come. You can even keep chickens that will lay fresh eggs!
2. Don't be wasteful - if it's still usable, don't throw away anything, whether it's food, products, furniture, etc.. For example, be creative with leftovers, squeeze out the last drops of beauty products, create a compost, refinish an old dresser, etc..
3. Make it yourself - are you handy and/or creative? You can save a lot of money by making your own meals, clothes, jewelry, liquid soap, baked goods, etc.. By making things yourself, you can also give these unique items you've created as gifts - instead of buying them from a retail store or a restaurant.
4. Recycle stuff - we all know you can recycle such as items like plastic, bottles, cans, magazines, newspapers, etc.. and get cash for them at your local recycling center. You can also reuse or repurpose some of these same items (with a little creativity) into flower vases, gift wrapping, containers, and other misc. items.
5. Use it - if you have clothes (or shoes) that are perfectly wearable... continue to wear them. Many people (mostly women) buy too many clothes and other stuff. If you have items that you simply don't wear, are tattered or are tired of - you can donate them or sell them at a garage sale. This applies to other items as well.. such as tech gadgets, purses, accessories, bedding, home decor, furniture, etc..
6. Walk or bike more - be like an Amish... walk to places instead of driving. Not only will walking or riding your bike save you gas money, they are the best ways to exercise. Have a purpose or destination when you go walking to make it more pleasurable. I walk around a tree lined street and get inspired by the beautiful homes, I walk to the store to pick up some essentials, and most recently I started walking dogs to earn some extra money.
7. Borrow stuff - back in the day, people lived amongst close tight communities where the neighbors all knew each other and would borrow things from each other. Today, we can adapt that same concept. Instead of buying things, you can borrow them - which can save you a lot of money. For example, instead of buying or even renting DVDs, go to your local library and borrow them.
8. Share things - instead of buying the latest fashion magazine, my friends rotate magazines amongst each other. Carpooling is a means of sharing rides, where everyone involved takes their turn in driving. When traveling with one or more people, bring one set of necessities so that there's no need to check in your bags. Share as many things as possible, such as recipes, books, clothes, meals, tools, etc..
9. Spend less - why pay more when you can pay less for products or services! Before I buy anything, I check whether I can use a coupon, get cash back, get a promo code, ask for a discount, or get it for free! For more tips and ideas of how to spend less on practically everything, click here.
10. Get free stuff - one sure way to spend less is getting stuff for free! If it's your birthday, many places reward you with free treats. For more freebie ideas, click here. The best things in life are free!
I believe we can all benefit from what books billionaire Warren Buffett have read. After all, he is one of the most successful investment moguls in the world. Here is a list of 9 books Warren Buffet thinks everyone should read. It's from an article on Business Insider . These books are helpful guides to anyone looking to be a little more business savvy.
When Warren Buffett started his investing career, he would read 600, 750, or 1,000 pages a day. Even now, he still spends about 80 percent of his day reading. "Look, my job is essentially just corralling more and more and more facts and information, and occasionally seeing whether that leads to some action," he once said in an interview. "We don't read other people's opinions," he says. "We want to get the facts, and then think." To help you get into the mind of the billionaire investor, Business Insider rounded up his book recommendations over 20 years of interviews and shareholder letters.
1. The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham
When Buffett was 19 years old, he picked up a copy of legendary Wall Streeter Benjamin Graham's Intelligent Investor. It was the one of the luckiest moments of his life, he said, because it gave him the intellectual framework for investing.
"To invest successfully over a lifetime does not require a stratospheric IQ, unusual business insights, or inside information," Buffett said. "What's needed is a sound intellectual framework for making decisions and the ability to keep emotions from corroding that framework. This book precisely and clearly prescribes the proper framework. You must provide the emotional discipline."
Click here for book details.
2. Security Analysis by Benjamin Graham
Buffett said that Security Analysis, another groundbreaking work of Graham's, had given him "a road map for investing that I have now been following for 57 years."
The book's core insight: If your analysis is thorough enough, you can figure out the value of a company — and if the market knows the same.
Buffett has said that Graham was the second-most influential figure in his life, after only his father. "Ben was this incredible teacher; I mean he was a natural," he said.
Click here for book details.
3. Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits
by Philip Fisher
While investor Philip Fisher — who specialized in investing in innovative companies — didn't shape Buffett in quite the same way as Graham did, he still holds him in the highest regard.
"I am an eager reader of whatever Phil has to say, and I recommend him to you," Buffett said.
In Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits, Fisher emphasizes that fixating on financial statements isn't enough — you also need to evaluate a company's management.
Click here for book details.
4. Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises
by Tim Geithner
Buffett says that the former Secretary of the Treasury's book about the financial crisis is a must-read for any manager.
Lots of books have been written about how to manage an organization through tough times. Almost none are firsthand accounts of steering a wing of government through economic catastrophe.
"This wasn't just a little problem on the fringes of the U.S. mortgage market," Geithner writes. "I had a sick feeling in my stomach. I knew what financial crises felt like, and they felt like this."
Click here for book details.
5. The Essays of Warren Buffett
by Warren Buffett
If you want to get to know the way Buffett thinks, go straight to the Sage himself.
In this collection, he keeps it very real — in his signature folksy-intellectual fashion.
"What could be more advantageous in an intellectual contest — whether it be chess, bridge, or stock selection —than to have opponents who have been taught that thinking is a waste of energy?" he asks.
Click here for book details.
6. Jack: Straight From the Gut
by Jack Welch
In his 2001 shareholder letter, Buffett gleefully endorses Jack: Straight From the Gut, a business memoir of longtime GE exec Jack Welch, whom Buffett describes as "smart, energetic, hands-on."
In commenting on the book, Bloomberg Businessweek wrote that "Welch has had such an impact on modern business that a tour of his personal history offers all managers valuable lessons."
Buffett's advice: "Get a copy!"
Click here for book details.
7. The Outsiders
by William Thorndike, Jr.
In his 2012 shareholder letter Buffett praises Outsiders as "an outstanding book about CEOs who excelled at capital allocation."
Berkshire Hathaway plays a major role in the book. One chapter is on director Tom Murphy, who Buffett says is "overall the best business manager I've ever met."
The book — which finds patterns of success from execs at The Washington Post, Ralston Purina, and others — has been praised as "one of the most important business books in America" by Forbes.
Click here for book details.
8. The Clash of the Cultures by John Bogle
Bogle's The Clash of the Cultures is another recommendation from the 2012 shareholder letter.
In it, Bogle — creator of the index fund and founder of the Vanguard Group, now managing $2 trillion in assets — argues that long-term investing has been crowded out by short-term speculation. But the book isn't all argument. It finishes with practical tips, like:
1. Remember reversion to the mean. What's hot today isn't likely to be hot tomorrow. The stock market reverts to fundamental returns over the long run. Don't follow the herd.
2. Time is your friend, impulse is your enemy. Take advantage of compound interest and don't be captivated by the siren song of the market. That only seduces you into buying after stocks have soared and selling after they plunge.
Click here for book details.
9. Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales From the World of Wall Street by John Brooks
Back in 1991, Bill Gates asked Buffett what his favorite book was. To reply, Buffett sent the Microsoft founder his personal copy of Business Adventures, a collection of New Yorker stories by John Brooks. Gates says that the book serves as a reminder that the principles for building a winning business stay constant. He writes:
For one thing, there's an essential human factor in every business endeavor. It doesn't matter if you have a perfect product, production plan and marketing pitch; you'll still need the right people to lead and implement those plans. The book has become a media darling as of late; Slate wrote that it's "catnip for billionaires."
Click here for book details.
- Drake Baer
It always makes me a little sad to know summer has to come to an end - as it does every year:( Why not enjoy the rest of this summer season by indulging in some fun and free summertime activities this long Labor Day weekend. Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer Although Fall/Autumn doesn't actually begin until September 22, 2014 - some of the hottest days of the year occur in September! Go ahead - celebrate, relax, enjoy your long Labor Day weekend with these frugal and fun ideas!
Looking to earn some money on the side? The Internet can help. Wise Bread has rounded up 13 scam-free ways to make money online, from TaskRabbit to Skillshare. Keep reading and start raking in the money!
Thanks to faster and better start-ups sprouting all around the country, you are now able to make some extra dough on the side. You might even be able to ditch the whole 9-to-5 nonsense and set your own hours by booking gigs online. Whether it's tutoring children on the fine art of calligraphy or delivering meatball sandwiches to hungry office staff, there is a way to make money online, waiting for you.
Does your home (or office) need a little style transformation? Just because you are low on cash (or don't want to spend any money) doesn't mean your home decor has to look old and stale.
If you are willing to do some projects, the possibilities are endless. Open your mind to some creative ways of updating and creating new surroundings.
1. Re-arrange the furniture - this is one of the most effective ways to alter your space. Before you start moving heavy furniture around, either visualize it in your head or draw up a simple floor plan layout. Don't worry if you hate it, you can always move them around again. Bonus: you get to clean and sweep under the furniture.
2. Refinish furniture - give existing furniture a new lease on life - with paint or stain. Make sure to clean and sand each piece prior to applying paint or stain. For a vintage chic distressed look, use sand paper on the edges after the paint has dried. The photo shows a desk I painted and a chair I sanded then stained, both of which I found curbside!
3. Move pillows around - if you've got several decorative pillows like I do - see how they look on the bed vs. the couch (or vice versa). You can also purchase inexpensive pillow covers to update an existing pillow. Or if you have any fabric lying around, use it to cover old pillows for a fresh, new look.
4. A new rug - invest in a fabulous new rug for your living room or bedrooms. I recently added a jute-like rug under my coffee table in the living room. This was a small addition, but it completely transformed the look of my living room! Check out stores like Home Goods, Target and Amazon for inexpensive area rugs.
5. New photo frames - update photos by putting them in new frames. You can get nice cheap frames at discount home stores or freshen up existing ones with spray paint. This will also give your "new" frames uniformity. Arrange the frames with small decorative items for an interesting display.
6. Fresh flowers or succulents - if you have a garden with flowers or succulents (like I do), snip off a small arrangement and put them in small vases (or glasses) around the house. Make sure to water them or change them out when needed.
7. Organize with baskets - not only are baskets decorative, but they are also a great way to organize everything from magazines, books, blankets, etc.. plus they keep things tidy in your home. Baskets come in all shapes and sizes. I've acquired most of my baskets from thrift stores and yard sales.
8. Paint those walls - paint from your local hardware store is relatively cheap, especially if you score some unwanted or rejected cans of paint. I've purchased some "oops" paint from Home Depot for as little as $5/gallon. If you aren't happy with the color, you can mix it with other color(s) until you get your desired shade. A newly painted space transforms a room in dramatic ways.
9. Wash curtains, slip covers, etc - it's amazing how refreshing clean draperies, or sofa cushion covers can be. Make sure to dust off and shake off any dirt, etc.. outside before throwing them in the washer.
10. New curtains - if your window coverings are beyond shabby even after you wash them (as suggested above), it's time to buy new curtains. I buy most of my store bought curtains from Target, they have a great selection. For a new look without spending money on thicker panels, add inexpensive sheers to existing curtains, by placing them in between 2 existing panels.
Anyone can make their lives a little less complicated and a lot more stress-free. I've listed some ways that I've personally done to simplify my life and in the process either saved money or even made some money:)
Here are 13 ways on simplifying your life:
1. Declutter and Purge - We all tend to accumulate "stuff". When it becomes a bit overwhelming, it's time to declutter your home, your car, your closet, your purse/wallet and your office. I allow myself to purchase one new (or vintage) item as long as I've purged one item out aka the "one in, one out" rule. I usually have a garage sale (extra money, yay!) or donate it to charity once I've edited things I no longer need or want.
2. Organize - Now that you've gotten rid of unnecessary clutter, it's time to get organized! I've found that baskets are a great way to keep things neat and tidy. I use baskets for towels in the linen closet, for office supplies, I even use baskets in my refrigerator. Keep paperwork, bills, invoices, etc.. labeled and filed in folders. You can also save a lot of time by organizing your closet so that you can see everything at a glance. By having a place for everything it will make it easier and simpler to find things when you need them.
3. Consolidate Finances - Although I believe in having a diversified investment portfolio, I think having one or two banking institutions has made my life a little more simple. I only use one credit card (linked to my checking account) which I always pay off each month. Plus it's a cash-back rewards credit card. I keep track of all of my expenses daily, so there are no surprises (like fraudulent charges). I have my savings and CD's with Ally Bank, which is a great online bank that offers one of the best interest rates around.
4. Make a List - I'm a big believer of writing things down. Whether it's a grocery list, an errands list, a 5 year goal list, etc.. I think it's important to visualize your tasks or goals. For example, by having a list when I go food shopping, I tend to stick to the list and in turn save money along the way. It's a great feeling to cross something off my list once I've accomplished said item on list.
5. Eliminate Cable & Phone Landline - I eliminated both my cable/satellite and home phone line years ago. It's so freeing to not waste time flipping channels looking for shows I don't really care about. I now only watch my favorite shows (queued on Hulu) online for free when I want to. I got rid of my landline and only use my cell phone, because my cell plan is unlimited everything, this saves me a lot of money! My only home technology expense is internet, which is less than $40 a month.
6. Plan Errands Efficiently - When I run errands or go shopping, I try to do it all in one trip. Not only does this save me time and effort, but it saves on gasoline as well. If there's a coupon that's about to expire and it's something I am actually going to use, I plan my trip around that day.
7. Automate Payments - Most people already do this - by automating your bill paying online, you will never miss a payment, which means you avoid late fees plus you save money on postage. Set up auto payments for your mortgage, credit card, utilities, etc.. online. Make sure to keep track of your recurring expenses so that you know you're within your monthly budget. You should also automatically deposit a recurring amount to your savings account.
8. Don't Let Things Pile Up - The most overwhelming part of tidying up is when it's a big pile of mess! Don't let things get to a point where it seems too much to take on. For example, when the mail arrives, designate whether it's something to keep or toss in recycle bin. Also, when you have enough dirty clothes for a large load (in cold water to save energy) then it's time to do laundry. Rather than waiting till there's a pile of dirty dishes in the sink, wash them after each meal. By doing chores when they need to be done will seem less daunting.
9. Pay Off Your Debt - This is easier said than done, but once you've eliminated or at least reduced your debt, you will feel a sense of freedom that's priceless! One tip I've already shared is to pay off your credit card balance at the end of each month, which means you don't incur interest charges. I have a set amount each month that I try to not go over (barring emergencies of course). Tackle your lower balanced loans or debts first and try to pay those off right away. If possible, use cash as much as possible and only spend what you can afford to pay off.
10. Eat Leftovers - I think it's a shame when perfectly good food goes to waste. Often times when we go out to eat, I or some of my friends have food they couldn't finish - I'm always the one packing it up to take home. By eating leftovers, it's just one more meal I don't have to worry about cooking, plus it's über frugal. Another simple tip that goes a long way is to make chicken soup in a slow cooker, this can make several cups of soup and clean up is easy!
11. Shop Around For Better Rates - Whether it's getting lower costs for your mortgage interest rate, mobile phone service, insurance rates, credit card interest rates or internet service, etc... it pays to shop around or better yet, if you are happy with your current provider, call them and ask to them to lower your payment. Most companies will give you a lower rate in order to keep you as their (happy) customer.
12. Sell Your Unwanted Treasures - When you are clearing out your home or office, you will most likely come across items that are a little more than "garage sale" material. I have sold many items on Craigslist that I do not need anymore such as furniture, electronics, designer shoes, plants, books, purses, etc..
13. Recycle, Recycle, Recycle - Instead of throwing away paper, cardboard, plastic, or glass... take it to your local recycling center. Not only is it good for the environment but you get paid in cash! Make sure to have designated containers for each category at home, to keep things organized.
I learn something new everyday, which makes it a great day! Especially when it comes to learning new ways to save money. I discovered new tips from reading the latest AARP Bulletin from experts in every category. I'd like to share 8 new ways to save money, some of which I've already done.
1. Install low-flow showerhead
You won't even notice the difference because a low-flow fixture reduces the volume of water but does not affect the water pressure in any way.
2. Use inexpensive non-traditional fabric
I have personally just recently done this! Instead of buying expensive slipcovers for my sofa, I used painters drop cloth (purchased with a coupon!) to cover the cushions! You can also use osnaburg fabric, also known as "the poor mans linen", for curtains. It cost only about $1.50 a yard, but when you use a lot of it, it looks expensive.
3. Download free fitness apps
I might actually start exercising with using these free apps! YogaYak tells you where to find more than 200 free yoga classes. Nike Training Club offers more than 100 free workouts, and MyFitnessPal counts calories.
4. Empty your vehicle's trunk
Most of us know what it feels like to be hauling a few extra pounds around the midriff. It's no different with your car... excess weight places more demands on your engine and creates suspension, braking and even exhaust problems. Check your car right now. What's in there that can come out?
5. Limit meat portions
Dividing your plate into three equal portions of meat, vegetables and grains - 3 to 4 ounces each - will be better for you (health wise) and cost much less.
6. When traveling abroad, use your debit card at ATMs to withdraw local currency
Keep fees low by making fewer and larger withdrawals from your home bank account when traveling. If your U.S. bank has a partner in Europe, for example, use their ATMs for the best rates.
7. You don't have to pay for your credit score
If you have a Discover Card, an added benefit is that you can now access your FICO score for free! Sites such as CreditKarma.com, Credit.com and a program called Sharpen Your Financial Focus from SharpenToday.org offer credit scores for free also.
8. Outsmart scammers
If your bank or a big store emails you to report a problem with your account, DON'T click on the link and log in. The email is fake and it takes you to a bogus website. When you "log in" the bad guys snag your password. Be cautious!
For more tips on how to save money, click HERE to go to our Money Saving Tips For Everyday Living page.
Did you know the Amish are actually incredible money savers? We can all learn a thing or two (or thirteen) on how they manage their money and their frugal ways. I'd like to think I practice some of their savvy ways. Here's an except from Business Insider. Read the complete article here.
Though they're typically known for for their traditional, family-based Christian values and austere lifestyles, there's one thing most people probably wouldn't guess about them - the Amish are a lot better at managing their money than the rest of us.
Their business and financial savvy goes far beyond rebuking modern conveniences like electricity and technology. Here are 13 ways the Amish are better at money matters than most of us.
1. They value experiences more than material goods.
2. They are huge savers, often setting aside up to 20% of their income.
3. They loathe debt and try to avoid credit cards.
4. Rather than turn to credit, they'd sooner take up a side job when money gets tight.
5. If they do have debt, or take out a loan, they view it as a moral obligation to pay it back in a timely way.
6. Many are experienced tradesmen and their quality wares are in demand.
7. They are extremely savvy small business owners with a 95% success rate.
8. They rarely waste a thing and take recycling to unbelievable levels.
9. They buy in bulk whenever possible.
10. They never pay retail and often shop secondhand.
11. Those with money funnel their funds back into the community.
12. They eat like kings, but they grow most of their meals themselves.
13. They avoid taking government handouts and are exempt from contributing to Social Security.
Today's post from LifeHack Money will make you "think" about your relationship with money and how you attract wealth in your life.
You've heard the classic saying "wishful thinking", many books have been written on this subject. One of the best known is Napoleon Hill's "Think and Grow Rich".
What is the key to becoming rich? You have to "think" rich. Ask yourself if you have the 8 qualities listed below. Be honest with yourself, you might be surprised by some of your answers.
You may not know this, but your thoughts can affect your life. Thoughts are things. Scientists have measured vibrations of people’s thoughts and emotions, and they have found that positive, happy thoughts like love and appreciation vibrate very quickly. However, thoughts like fear, frustration, and envy vibrate very slowly.
The phenomenon called the Law of Attraction explains the connection between your thoughts and your life – even your financial situation. In order to become rich, you must first be aware of the thoughts you have about money. If you find that you have any negative thoughts, you need to change them ASAP if you want to become rich. Here are 8 ways you can do that.
1. Believe you are worthy
Many people in our culture have low self-esteem. We are constantly bombarded with messages about how we are “not good enough.” Whether you compare your beauty to super models or your bank account to Oprah’s, you need to believe that you genuinely have something to offer the world. You have a special gift and talent that will help you become rich. Rich people don’t have a problem promoting themselves, their services, or their business. That is because they believe they are worthy. You need to think that too.
2. Believe it’s possible
How many times did you hear your parents say things like, “Money doesn’t grow on trees.” Or, “Do you think I’m made of money?” Many of us have been negatively programmed to think that money is scarce. It is not. There is plenty of money out there for the taking. You just need to believe that deserve your “piece of the pie.” Anything is possible. But you need to believe that before it happens.
3. Appreciate what you already have
If you sit around thinking, “I don’t like my house, I wish I had a bigger one.” Or, “I can’t wait to get a new car because I’m embarrassed to drive this one,” you are sending out negative vibrations with your thoughts. According to the Law of Attraction, negative, slow-moving thoughts will not create anything positive. Instead, you need to love your house or your car. Or simply be grateful that you have a roof over your head, a bed to sleep in, or food on your table. The more you give appreciation to what you already have, the more likely it will be that you will be able to acquire more.
4. Be happy for rich people
Sometimes people hear negative statements about rich people. Do any of these sound familiar: “Rich people are snobs” or “Rich people aren’t honest” or “Rich people are selfish.” If you heard this a lot growing up, then your subconscious mind is programmed with negative thinking about rich people. And your subconscious probably won’t let you become rich because you certainly don’t want to be a “snob,” “dishonest,” or “selfish.” Instead, realize that many rich people are very good human beings. Believe they deserve what they have. Bless them, and say a ‘thank you’ in advance for becoming rich yourself.
5. Use affirmations or vision boards
Writing out positive statements (affirmations) and repeating them over and over in your mind helps re-program your brain. If you found in #4 that you think rich people are snobs, then repeat an affirmation such as, “Rich people are generous, kind, and loving people. I am appreciative that I will be one of them someday.” Vision boards are helpful too. Get a poster board and cut out words and photos of things you want. It could be a new car, a big house, a private jet, or your own yacht. Whatever feels good and gets you excited is appropriate to put on the board. Use your affirmations and your vision board together for maximum results.
6. Love money
I’ve heard people say, “I hate money!” And my jaw always drops to the floor. How can you hate money? Well, the reason they hate money is because they don’t have any. That doesn’t mean that they really HATE money. They just hate the LACK of money. So you need to catch yourself if you keep saying negative things about money. Turn them around and say “I love money! Money is my friend! It brings me great joy!” The more that you put the positive vibrations of love towards the subject of money, the more you will acquire it.
7. Be happy paying your bills
I’m sure you have had a pit in your stomach before when you are paying bills. Most people have. That is because their focus is on the negative. All they think about is how much money is going out, not coming in. But you need to reframe that. Be happy when you pay your bills. Because guess what? That means that you actually have the money to pay them! If you weren’t paying them, that would mean you don’t have any money. So be grateful for having the money to pay out. After all, it does provide you with a place to live, a car to drive, and food on your table. That’s a good thing!
8. Commit to being rich
Finally, you just need to decide to be rich! Don’t take no for an answer! Don’t give up! In order to accomplish anything in life, you need to be committed. You can’t simply treat “getting rich” as a hobby, or something that you’ll just try out and see what happens. It doesn’t work that way. Rich people are dedicated to doing whatever it takes to make money and keep it! You need to do the same. Commit to your goal of being rich, and it will be yours.
There are many reasons to start a frugal lifestyle. For people who haven't dipped their toes in the frugal pool yet but want to, it begins with consciously committing to practicing this way of life so that it becomes second nature.
I hope to empower others to adopt this lifestyle without giving up what they are accustomed to. Being frugal not only saves money, but energy and time as well.
Here are my Top 10 Benefits of why someone should consider living a frugal existence... if not all the time, at least some of time. It starts with choosing to do it versus having to do it. Some of the wealthiest people in the world are frugal and most live below their means.
10. SAVE MONEY
This is the obvious reason for most people. Choose to spend your money wisely and smartly only the necessary things in life. But allow yourself a special treat when you have the extra cash in your budget.
9. A SIMPLER LIFE
Life is less chaotic and easier to manage when you pare down to just the essentials you need. Avoid buying "stuff" that has no meaning or purpose. Start by decluttering, purging and eliminating things that have no room in your life. Start organizing and consolidating things so that they are easier to find or manage, which in turn saves you time and money. Read more about ways to simplify your life here.
8. TIME FREEDOM
Learn to say no to invitations, favors, tasks, etc.. that zap precious time and energy out of you. By politely declining parties or other events from someone you are not exceptionally close to, you save money on gifts and gas, which equates to time for more important things in your life. By choosing how, when and whom you spend your time with gives you more freedom overall.
7. SAVE ENERGY
By simply unplugging from your phone, the internet, the TV or any other electronic device, you not only save money on energy cost, but you have more time and life energy to enjoy life beyond technology. Read more about tips on how to save money on energy costs here.
6. LESS DEBT
While it would be nice to have zero debt, most people have some form of debt. Tackle your lower balanced loans or debts first and try to pay those off right away. Once you've eliminated or at least reduced your debt, you will feel a sense of freedom that's priceless!
5. EARN SOME CASH
Why not make some extra money by selling unwanted items around the house. My best tip is to sell your stuff via Craigslist. It's free and it's easy. Another way to make a little cash and declutter you house is to have a garage sale. Any item that does not sell can be donated to Goodwill or your favorite thrift store, which is tax deductible.
4. EAT HEALTHIER
By eating out less (especially at fast food restaurants) and preparing meals at home is one way to not only save money but also make healthier choices. Although dining out to a favorite restaurant is always a treat, it can be costly vs. making food at home. Read more on how to buy and eat organic foods without breaking the bank here.
3. LOSE SOME WEIGHT
What an awesome benefit... by choosing eat healthier (see #4), one can actually lose some weight. By eating foods that are either organic or fresh vs. processed our bodies tend to burn more fat. Read about my weight loss journey here.
2. GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
Instead of throwing stuff away, evaluate whether you can either recycle, repurpose, or reuse it somehow. For example, by bringing bottles, cans, newspapers, cardboard, etc... to your local recycle center you can also get cash. Also, if you have a piece of furniture that just needs a new coat of paint, why buy a new and expensive piece when the one you have is perfectly fine. Less waste means we can all make a contribution to save our planet.
1. A RICHER LIFE
Be smart in how you choose to spend your money, your time and your energy. Prioritize and take control of what's really important, by accomplishing this, you can truly enjoy a more rewarding and richer life.
Yay! Summer is here! Summer officially begins today, June 21. Read on for some frugal picks to enjoy this awesome season! Today's post is an excerpt from AARP Money.
Hot fun in the summertime? Sure, there's plenty to do, but the price of all that fun can add up fast, draining your bank account. Don't sweat it. There are several ways to have a blast this summer for free (or almost free).
1. Free National Park Admission
Although two-thirds of all National Park Service sites are always free, admission to the remaining parks will be free as well on Aug. 25 to celebrate the National Park Service's birthday. If you're 62 years of age or older, any day of the year for only $10 you can buy a Senior Pass good for the rest of your life at more than 2,000 sites managed by the National Park Service and four other federal agencies. That's a purchase that pays for itself several times over.
2. Free Movies
Hitbliss is an online service that allows you to earn credits by watching selected commercials so you can watch on-demand movies from its website. You'll need to download the program to a desktop or laptop computer (no mobile availability at this time). If you'd rather take the kids to the movies, Regal theaters across the country are offering selected children's movies on Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the summer for just $1 a ticket, with a portion of that going to charity.
3. Free Plants and Seeds
With the growing popularity of backyard gardening, swap meets for gardening enthusiasts are sprouting up all across the country and even online. You can trade excess plants and seeds with other gardeners rather than spend big bucks to buy them at the nursery. Then come home and have fun with the family planting away.
4. Free Stuff To Give and Receive
Listia is a website where you give away things you don't want in exchange for points that you can use to bid on other things on the website. Freecycle is a worldwide nonprofit network of locally based groups filled with people who give away things they no longer need to anyone who wants them. Both are great ways to find free summertime gear, from a used bicycle to an unwanted BBQ grill.
5. Free Camping
If you're looking for a primitive, backcountry wilderness experience, you can camp for free at national forests and on public lands managed by a number of other federal agencies, as long as you follow the guidelines for so-called dispersed camping. If your idea of camping involves an RV, there are still some places where you can camp for free.
6. Free Wi-Fi for Travelers
Save on your data plan by using free Wi-Fi when you travel this summer. There are several free apps to download from Google Play and iTunes that allow you to find free Wi-Fi service at hotspots including restaurants, stores and hotels. Don't forget that most public libraries also offer free computer and Wi-Fi access, although you may need to get a temporary pass or library card if you're just passing through.
7. Free Do-it-yourself Workshops
Summertime is a prime time for home improvements, and Home Depot offers free in-store classes to show you how to do everything from landscape your yard to build outdoor furniture. It even offers special workshops just for kids, as does Lowes.
8. Volunteer For Free Admission
From outdoor concerts and plays to county fairs and festivals, summertime is event time. If there's a cost for admission, ask the event organizers if they can use a few hours of your time. Volunteers often get to enjoy the event for free, and you might even get a free event T-shirt, too!