- Personal Finance
Easy ways to put more money in your pocket!
Keep more money for yourself
Living in the early 70's
I can remember taking the bus for 25 cents in New Jersey, and going grocery shopping. My entire bill, back then with double coupons and buying, meats, vegetables, snacks and paper products would cost maybe $30.00. ( mustard was 10 cents, ice cream was 5 cents)
The apartment rent for a new 2 bedroom, one bath apartment in a good area was $130.00 a month. In a fair area maybe $70.00 a month.
I was earning as a manager of a family business about $ 182.00 a week. I never went without anything, and had money for extra's. There were no computers, cell phones, video games and families spent time together.
Frugile not Cheap
I tried to be careful about spending, and I admit through the years as I earned more through self-employment, I should have saved more money. I spent money on vacations, new cars, always took care of my children, and had new furniture. I had forgotten what is was like before to make the old look new. To refinish old furniture, make drapes,I always make home cooked meals from scratch.
Your Home is Where Your Heart Is!
I have never been a believer in electric gadgets, other than a hand mixer, I do not use appliances that do work for me. I feel that using your hands is just as important as using your mind.
I know that loosing your home, in this bad economy and financial crisis, is going to hurt. A home is a materialistic thing, the same as furniture, your car or your favorite toy. These items can, in the future be replaced. The family is now and forever.
My Evaluation Of Life
I was sitting in a 3 bedroom 2 bath house, full of furniture. I lived alone and never used half of the stuff I had. When I was working I was getting by, but I was not saving money. When I had read that a top economist for this country, before the economy fallout, sold all his real estate and rented a home, that was a big enough red flag. I did not follow my gut feelings.
The house is upside down big time. The loan for the refinance was crooked. I was spending much more money than I had to for 1 person. The utilities were higher, the taxes kept increasing, the homeowners insurance kept rising, especially after a bad hurricane year, the flood insurance was rising. The maintenance costs were increasing. I was mowing the lawn in 100 degree temperature twice a week.
I Had To Change
Back to the 70's way of thinking. So here is what I did to free up my budget.
No credit cards, ever again. Only pre-paid credit cards. I am attacking every credit card lender the same way I am being attacked. Cost ,my time and stamps.
I am fighting for the legal right to sell my house, and stop foreclosure. The cost is my time and stamps. (plenty of free research)
I got rid of my landline. I got rid of my cellphone. No monthly payments for me. I use a prepaid phone. There is no monthly charge, no texting fees, no roaming charges. (it's very quiet)
I lowered the cost of my cable tv, and internet. Better deals for six months, then you change to another plan. I cut my cable from $ 137.00 a month to $53.00 a month, for tv and internet.
I rented an apartment for a lower cost, also a lower utility cost. I shut the air conditioning off and all fans (they cost about $7.00 a day to run), when I am not home. I cut my electric costs from $ 169.00 or more a month to about the highest of $ 86.00. When the sun is beating, my blinds are closed to keep the apartment cool. (I have candles)
I have no lawn maintenance fees, no building maintenance fees, no taxes, garbage, or flood insurance fees. ( no lousy neighbor with five mean pit bills)
I cut down buying all paper products, other than toliet paper, and 1 roll of paper towels.
I use grocery coupons, and buy one get one free, if I do not eat it, someone else who needs it will. I cook my own food, and freeze all the extra's. I have a bread machine and I make bread. I also like bottled water, so I buy 6 bottles of water, and a couple of gallons of drinking water, and refill the bottles.
Food Stamps, we all need help once in awhile.
Pretty soon I will be making my own soaps and beauty products. It is not difficult.
I cut my fuel costs for my SUV, and only drive with planned errand stops.
I have my hair highlighted, I can not do my whole head myself, but I do my own roots, until I need to have them done. Saved $48.00 every 4 weeks.
I removed all my cute sculptured nails, and grew my own. Saved $35.00 for tips and $ 30.00 for fills, every 4 weeks.
I do not rent movies, I tape ahead on my DVR, which as a special only cost $4.95 a month. I do not buy movies any longer. The Library has free movies and games!!!!
I do not buy clothes, I have two walk in closets full of clothes that will fit when I loose more weight. I own one pair of sneakers, I only have two feet, one pair of business shoes, and one pair of sandals.
Where I live, people are leaving all the time, without their stuff, every Tuesday at 10am, a man stops at the waste area, across from my apartment and throws out good stuff. It is not in the garbage, but in the area. I look at the stuff for potential worth. If you see any stuff on the street, due to a foreclosure, it is sad, but the people throwing it out to the curb, by law can not take any of the items. So its free. I just saw a Huffy bike and a scooter last week. I will be looking on Tuesday.
I do not buy Christmas trees or lights, they use electric. I have holiday decorations that do not use electric. I make homemade gifts, cookies, baked goods, baskets of cheer and people like the personal touch, rather than store bought.
I do not use banks, they are giving nothing, or close to nothing to use your money to invest. The colonial people buried their money in the 1800's, they did not trust anyone with their money. Guess they were right.
Have garage sales, the people will buy the junkiest stuff. Do not organize too much, they like to rummage through boxes of stuff. The worse it looks the better they like it. They always look for tools, fishing stuff, cable wires, used DVD'S, stereo's and cooking stuff.
The fact is you only need to pay for the services that you actually need to live and survive. The less money you spend and give away, the more money for you!
Rent or Mortgage (living in a RV is less expensive) I am looking for cheaper rent now.
Car Insurance (I would not higher my deductables, or cut coverage you may get stuck)
Roadside Assistance ($ 59.00 a year)
Some cable and Internet
Pre-paid cellphone for emergencies
I made a budget, and I know what is going out, and what is coming in. I also do not pay in more per week in Federal Taxes, to give my money to the Government, and then wait till the next year to get it back. I do taxes, and I can calculate, how much needs to be deducted to cover my allowable deductions. Opening a side business is very beneficial to save more money, even if you work out of your home. The cost here is $ 30.00, some business cards, and look for business, even if you get no business, the write-offs still apply. I am working on this one next week.
I read that the State Unemployment in Florida , has made the first $ 2400.00 of benefits tax free. If you can get any unemployment. They are terrible here in Florida.
My New Yet Old Lifestyle
I am pressure free, even after being recently "let go", due to slow season. I enjoy life more, I walk more, I sell on Ebay, I swim when I feel like it, free pool, no maintenance. (did that once).
Would you believe, I sold on Ebay a Perdue Chicken Coupon worth $ 10.00 for $ 12.00 that I got free! There was a bidding war. I also sold unused minutes on telephone cards. I also sold a harmonica that was a free give away at work. ( That business closed down, too bad)
I am excited about starting my own business, and if you put the business in your name and then whatever you want to call the business after your name, you save the money filing for the ficticious name certificate. ( $ 50.00).
Advertising your business can be cheap, magnetic signs on your car or truck. Buisness ads on Craigslist, Leaving flyers all over the place. I always put my business cards into the bank teller drawers, for fun.
I have a motto, when the Telephone company announced it's closing, and people were falling on the floor crying, I said Life Goes On, It is not the end of the world. When my county was hit head on by a Hurricane, a Cat 4 or 5, I said, Oh, my house is okay, that must be a sign, let me help others. When the homeless man had no coat, and never asked anyone for anything, I gave him $ 50.00. When the people in Jamaica, never complained about their poverty or their struggle, I gave them material to make clothes and goats. ( They are resspected if they have goats). When one Jamaican man, who had one car with bad tires, he was our taxi man for a month, never complained once about his struggle with a wife and five kids, I gave him $400.00 so he could make a better life for himself and family.
He got out, and called me from Chicago, and told me he was freezing, and he would never forget what I did for him and his family. He was headed to Miami, not far from me now.
Even though it is tough, you always have something to give, a smile, a helping hand, some advice, your experience or your story. If you are lucky enough to have a partner, you have so much already.
Wake up and smell the roses, they are still blooming!