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- Frugal Living
"A penny saved is a penny earned", so said Ben Franklin! Improve your finances by Earning Pennies!
If you are like me an a good portion of the country you are living from paycheck to paycheck. With that being said, I am sure, like many other people, you have had conversations with friends, loved ones and co-workers on how you are going to find that extra 50 or 100 dollars a month to pay this bill or that bill.
Ben Franklin once stated that a "penny saved is a penny earned". This has always struck me as very sage advice. However, this advice is very hard to follow when you are living paycheck to paycheck. After all, what does a penny do when you are struggling to keep a roof over your head and food on the table.
Believe it or not a penny can do a lot. A hundred pennies equals a dollar, a thousand pennies equal $10.00 an on an on. In fact, in 2012 it was found that two brokers had secretly added a few pennies to each transaction they made an ended up earning an extra 1.87 million dollars in revenue for their company. Obviously in the case of the two brokers they didn't save their pennies but you can and earn extra money to help stretch your paycheck.
But where are the pennies? Do I have to get a metal detector and scour the streets looking for lost change? NO!!!! The pennies are everywhere and normally can be found in your every day routine .But keep in mind as with any changes one makes in their lifestyles the results are not always immediate. But given time and self discipline this approach to money management does make a big difference. For some of you this may seem like common sense or another form of budgeting. But let's get real most of us like the word budget as much as the word diet. So set clear goals, think of when you say no to that latte you are saying yes to a payment to yourself, and above all don't call yourself a penny pincher you are a penny earner!!!!!
A great place to start is to look around your home and seeing if you are living a green life. Not only is trying to live a more natural and greener life responsible, healthier, it can save you a ton of money. Where can you make changes that will make your home greener and save you money. You would be surprised how many pennies you can earn by just switching to dish towels and getting rid of paper towels. When I made this change we saved about $200.00 a year. Not only did I save a ton of money but I saved a few trees and gallons of water. Can you hang your clothes out to dry and save the dryer sheets and lower your electric bill? What about using natural cleaning products like baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and vinegar? These are simple little things can often really add up to a lot of pennies being earned and help the environment.
You can also find a ton of pennies at the grocery store. Start each shopping trip with a list in hand and say the mantra if it isn't on sale we don't need it. This is where a little bit of time and planning is needed. Search the Sunday ads either online or through the newspaper see where the best deal is and make a list based on sale items that you need. While it is counter intuitive to shop in more than one store the fact is that if you only shop at one grocery store you may be actually spending more. Secondly, make clipping coupons part of your Sunday add search you will be really surprised at how many pennies you can find. Sign up for reward programs that a lot of stores offer. This can really turn a good deal into a great deal by giving you extra e-coupons, discounts on gas or even money off of your next purchase.
Become a self producer is another great way to find a treasure trove. Learning a craft such as knitting, crocheting, weaving or sewing not only provides a great way of relaxing but can help you find those extra pennies. Just think of the 1001 things you can make for your home and family by getting your craft on. With the internet you can learn how to make all sort of things for free and the cost for supplies is often minimal. Gardening and learning how to can, dry and freeze your summer bounty is also another great way to become a self producer and make your grocery money stretch.
Taking a look at your cell phone bill and television bill can be also a huge source of pennies. Often by switching cell phone carriers, only at the end of your contract, to a program like Straight Talk will provide a huge amount of earnings. In fact, I recently switched from Verizon to Straight Talk and found that we saved about $50.00 a month and have a unlimited data, text, and calls and the same coverage I had with Verizon.
With today's electronic age almost everyone has high speed internet and televisions that communicate with the internet either directly or through a gaming device or products like Google TV or Roku. In our case we were paying about $94.00 a month for the basic Direct TV services. Since we were using Direct TV we also had to pay for our local stations. With the help of an aerial antenna we have been able to receive all of our local channels and are able, with the help of Netflix and Hulu, are still able to watch all of our favorite shows. We are now paying about a $100.00 a year for our tv services.
In addition to the above start a coin jar. Everyday, I empty any change I find in my car, purse or coat pockets. You will be surprised how fast this adds up. One year, my kid and I took my coin jar to the bank and cashed it in we were impressed with the amount in the bucket. It was about $75.00 after 3 months of depositing our coins into my jar. We decided to not touch the jar for a period of 6 months. When we took the jar to the bank again we had $200.00 in the can. My only word of caution, is when you cash it in try and take it to your bank and not a Coin-Star machine because sometimes they will charge you a fee and many banks offer free coin cashing for free to their members.
Since I have taken on this approach to managing my meager paycheck I have been able to pay off one credit card bill, pay for my children's sport programs, and have been able to provide some extra excursions during the summer. So have faith, get green, get creative and start earning all of those pennies!
© 2010 Lindy's World