Budgeting Tips-Life After Bankruptcy

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Tips and Techniques For Successful Budgeting

 

Housing

  • Learn to do simple repairs.
  • Do your own decorating.
  • Do your own painting.
  • Turn down the furnace to lower the temperature at night.
  • Save newspapers, glass and cans for recycling.
  • Plan meals to use a minimum of food.
  • Shut of lights, computers and TVs when not in use.
  • Carry only replacement value insurance on house.
  • Conserve water.
  • Make only emergency long distance calls.
  • Stand up when talking long distance or use a timer.
  • Write letters or use email.
  • Give up all unnecessary services on your telephone (i.e. call waiting).
  • Improvise furniture, shop the paper or garage sales.
  • Use worn out towels to make wash cloths.
  • Use glass instead of paper cups.
  • Make your own cleaning supplies.
  • Use washable dust and dish rags.
  • Equip the house with storm windows and doors, if possible.

Food

  • Pack a Lunch - "Brown Bag" as often as possible ($5.00 a day saves $25.00 a week: $100.00 a month)
  • Cut down on meals away from home.
  • Avoid the morning cup of coffee at the coffee shop or gas station (this expense really can add up!)
  • Consider generic or bulk foods.
  • Take advantage of seasonal specials, especially fresh produce.
  • Do more cooking from scratch.
  • Use crock-pot methods to cook less tender cuts of meat.
  • If storage permits, buy in quantity if cheaper.
  • Preserve food when feasible.
  • Grow a garden.
  • Stretch hamburger with bread crumbs, oatmeal, or tomato sauce.
  • Avoid buying snack or "empty calorie" foods.
  • Use equally nutritious reconstituted dry or evaporated milk, for cooking instead of more expensive whole milk.
  • If space permits, store products in freezer to prevent spoilage.
  • Cook only as much as will be eaten unless it can be a part of another meal.
  • Use leftovers in soups and casseroles.
  • Limit food shopping to once a week; the less trips to the grocery store the better.
  • Plan menus in advance for your shopping trips.
  • Use coupons for items, you regularly buy.
  • Make a grocery list, and use it!

Transportation

  • The best car is one that is PAID FOR!
  • If the car is paid for, you don't have to have full coverage insurance, just PLPD
  • Use public transportation.
  • Get rid of one car.
  • Consider moving closer to work.
  • Drive small cars that cost less to operate.
  • Do your own maintenance (change the oil yourself).
  • Car pool.

Clothing

  • Sew as much as practical, repair, remodel.
  • Buy clothing that is washable.
  • Carefully coordinate.
  • Launder carefully.
  • Hang on clothesline to dry instead of using a dryer.
  • Organize laundry so that a minimum number of loads are run.
  • Use detergent that works well in cool and warm water.
  • Mend clothes promptly.
  • Have children change to old clothes for rough play.
  • Do not buy clothes that require dry cleaning.
  • Buy clothing that does not need ironing.

Health and Medical

  • Service nutritious meals.
  • Follow safety rules to prevent accidents.
  • Have regular check-ups.
  • Carry only one health and accident insurance.
  • Investigate services offered by the health department.
  • Use immunization clinics.
  • Develop good health habits.
  • Stop using tobacco, alcohol and/or addictive drugs.
  • Learn to take temperature, pulse and respiration.
  • Learn about symptoms of common diseases in order to determine if seeing a doctor is advisable

Education

  • Use the public library for reading materials.
  • Subscribe to only one newspaper, or none at all (find one in the lunch room).
  • Cut out subscriptions to magazines that entertain only.
  • Study to improve your qualifications for the job you hold.

Employment

  • Develop skills to enhance your position.
  • Make your position more secure by being a valuable employee.
  • Use washable uniforms.
  • Share transportation.
  • Let your boss know you are interested in additional training.

Child Care

  • Investigate government or church operated nursery.
  • schools that are operated for children of low income families.
  • Share child care responsibilities with a friend or neighbor (or spouse).

Gifts and Donations

  • Carefully consider each situation and cut out all monetary giving that you possibly can.
  • Make gifts instead of buying them.
  • Give or your time instead of your money.

Recreation and Entertainment

  • Do family things together that are in inexpensive.
  • Consider the costs or habits such as smoking.
  • Attend high school and sports events instead of more expensive college and pro events.
  • Have potluck affairs at home.
  • Take vacations at home.
  • Use public parks and picnic areas.
  • Eliminate cable TV.

Personal

  • Select cosmetics that are reasonably priced.
  • Do your own shampoos, sets and blow dries.
  • Cut children's hair yourself.
  • Set reasonable amounts for children's allowances and have a definite understanding of what the amount is to cover.
  • Carry only pocket change needed for bus fare and small items.

Savings

  • Determine your saving goals.
  • Be willing to compromise.
  • Use payroll deductions for savings.
  • Save bonus income.
  • Keep your loose change for savings.
  • Save on a regular basis: pay yourself first.
  • Alter your spending habits
  • Use savings for emergencies only.
  • Make saving a family affair.
  • Put your budget on a diet!

Miscellaneous

  • Have a qualified attorney evaluate alimony or child support payments.
  • Consider all costs to determine if family really profits from two incomes (i.e. is daycare actually eating up the entire second income?)
  • Reduce pet care expenses by doing your own grooming.

10 Ways to Save Money at the Grocery Store
By Tracy Alt

Clipping coupons and comparison shopping are great ideas, but there are so many more ways to save money at the grocery store. Empower yourself with a little knowledge, take a little extra time to look around instead of just reaching for the same products you buy week after week, and take the time to think about what you are purchasing. Here are ten tips to help make your next trip to the grocery store a money saving success.

 

  1. Shop from a list. I can't emphasize this enough. Take the time to think about what you need to buy before leaving home. If you shop weekly, write down the meals that you have planned for the week and then make a grocery list based upon the ingredients needed to prepare those meals. When I make a shopping list I usually walk myself through it in a way that makes sense to me. First I think about what I will need for breakfast throughout the week. Then I think about lunch and dinner. I use my weekly menu for the ingredients I need for dinner. Next, I think about beverages, snacks and, finally, household items such as cleaning supplies, laundry supplies and toiletries. When you get to the store stick to your list with the one exception being stockpiling.

     

     

  2. Stockpile. When you see an item that you use on a regular basis on sale for a great bargain price, stock up on it. You may spend more money this week, but in the long run you will save. For example, if toilet tissue that regularly costs $1.50 per package is on sale for $0.75 per package and you purchase ten packages, you will be spending $7.50 on toilet tissue this week instead of the $1.50 that you would have spent to purchase just one package. However, over the course of ten weeks, if you would have purchased one package each week, you would have spent $15.00 on toilet tissue. You have just saved $7.50. Not to mention the fact that you can now cross toilet tissue off of your grocery list for the next nine weeks or until the next time a really good sale comes along and you can add to your stockpile.

     

     

  3. Don't shop on an empty stomach. I am sure that you have heard this one before, but it works. If you shop when you are hungry you are far more likely to purchase impulse items. Eat before shopping and stick to your list.

     

     

  4. Calculate. Unless you are really good at math, it is a good idea to bring a calculator with you to the grocery store. Different manufacturers can sell the same product in different quantities. In order to determine which brand is the best deal, you must determine the price per unit. For example, if Brand A sells their tomato paste in a 6 oz. jar for $1.00 per jar and Brand B sells their tomato paste in an 8 oz. jar for $1.15 per jar. You would need to determine the price per ounce. Brand A is charging approximately $0.17 per ounce and Brand B is charging approximately $0.14 per ounce. So even though Brand B costs $0.15 more than Brand A, Brand B is the better bargain.

     

     

  5. Don't be tempted by coupons. Coupons are a fabulous way to save money on products you use, but if you don't use the product, don't buy it just because you have a coupon for it. I don't care how much money you could save, you will still be spending more than you would if you didn't buy the product at all. Save your coupons for the items you need and use.

     

     

  6. Don't be a name brand snob. I remember the day, years ago, when I was having a conversation with a friend about how expensive laundry detergent is. During the conversation, I confessed to never comparing prices. I simply walked into the laundry soap aisle and reached for my favorite name brand without giving cost a second thought. My friend told me I was wasting a lot of money and suggested that I give her, lesser advertised brand, a try since the cost was about one-fifth the cost of my name brand. I tried it and I found that it was just as effective. I have been buying it ever since. When you buy a name brand you are helping to pay for that company's advertising. The more a brand is advertised, the more expensive it will be. Do some experimenting of your own. You just might find a cheaper, but just as effective, alternative.

     

     

  7. Don't assume that the store brand is always going to be the cheapest. While you should try to save money by avoiding costly name brand products, you should not always assume that the store brand is going to be the cheapest. You need to comparison shop. There may be a name brand option on sale that week which winds up costing less than the regular price of the store brand. Always buy the best deal.

     

     

  8. Look around. Stores place the items they want you to buy at eye level making them easy to see and grab. Be sure to look up and down when you are comparison shopping. You may find the best bargains on the highest or lowest shelves. These are the bargains that the stores may not want you to find so they place these items in the hardest to see locations.

     

     

  9. Don't be fooled by end caps. Stores often place attractive displays of certain items on the end of the aisles with brightly colored sale signs. They do this because they want you to believe that they have gone to the trouble to make this bargain known to you. The reality is that it is a marketing tactic and there is a reason that they want you to purchase that item. Stop before automatically grabbing anything from an end cap. Go to the aisle where that item normally lives and compare prices. You will probably find that it is not, in fact, the best deal.

 

There is another way to save money, or, should I say, make money, on your groceries. You should only give this method a try if you are disciplined with your finances. Credit card companies are battling each other for you business. Many companies are offering cash back incentives and most of these include cash back on grocery purchases. I currently use a credit card that gives me 6% cash back on all of my grocery store purchases. If you are disciplined enough to pay your credit card bill in full every month so as not to incur finance charges, by all means, pay with plastic and reap the rewards.

Keep these tips in mind when you are at the grocery store and watch your savings add up.

Tips to Organize Life is the website that provides shortcuts, tips and tricks to help you get things done faster and better.

Tips to Organize Life focuses on all aspects of life, including organzing your home, cooking, entertaining, money management, children, communication, gardening, planning for emergencies and more.

http://www.tips-to-organize-life.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Tracy_Alt

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