- Personal Finance»
- Frugal Living
Helpful Tips To Live By
Dealing with Returns
Keep receipts for your purchases in case you need to return things. Try to keep all receipts at one handy location. This will save you time looking for them and avoid them being lost. A recipe box works well to store receipts. An envelope with a year marked on it and receipts (2013 Receipts, etc.) can be stored in a desk drawer or filing cabinet. Separating them by year can be a time saver.
Most stores will take returns and many offer extended warranty on them. Don't keep something or discard it if it doesn't work, take it back. The only time you would want to take this loss is if the place of purchase is a long distant commute on an item that would cost you more in gasoline to return it than what the item is worth. Even in this case if you planned to return that way in the future hold onto the item and return it then. Why spend your hard earned money on something of little use to you. Even if you buy a food item that is not satisfactory you can either return it to the store or contact the company for a refund. They want to know problems with their products as well as compliments. That's what secures their business. Don't be afraid to let them know. Why take a loss if you don't have to?
Avoid Costly Cleaning Products
Avoid using chemicals for anything. Natural remedies cost less and are safer to use. Distilled white vinegar is a great way to kill germs, bacteria, and mold without the use of toxic chemicals. Vinegar will clean your windows crystal clear and your kitchen surfaces while leaving a fresh smelling kitchen. Vinegar added to your laundry will give you a cleaner looking wash with any detergent and if it is added to the rinse water it will ensure all the soap is gone out of the fabric. A scouring cleanser can be made by adding vinegar to dish soap or baking soda. Things like vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, and cola can clean as well as any expensive product that contains unknown chemicals. Be safe and save money by trying alternative solutions to your cleaning routine. Vinegar is a good drain opener accompanied with a little salt or baking soda. Vinegar has hundreds of uses. Put it in your dog’s bath to rid fleas. Put it in your own bath for softer skin.
Write it Down
Write things down you need to remember. Mark it on a calendar when you need to pay what. Keep a journal of your spending habits so you know where to cut corners. Avoid paying them late as this will add late fees and ruin your credit. Doctor bills and utility bills can also bother your credit score if not paid promptly. Make a list and total your monthly spending habits so you have a better idea how much money you need and how much you dare spend for other things. Include an affordable amount to tuck away for emergency spending and possibly another amount to add to your personal savings account. We never know when extras will be needed.
Write down dates you replaced parts or did maintenance on things like your car or lawn mower. It will give you an idea when it will be needed again. Know the age of your appliances, electronics, etc., so you have an idea of their age and life span. By knowing these things and writing it down some where so you remember it you could figure an estimated price to your budget. Keep owner’s manuals and the receipts along with warranty information. Time tends to get away from us sometimes and we lose track of how long ago we bought something. Especially items we don’t replace often. Some warranties last longer than others. This will give you another sense of being in control of your household and your spending needs.
When buying seasonal items it's cheaper to buy off season. Buy lawn mowers, fans, air conditioners, garden supplies, and anything else used in the summertime at off seasons like fall or winter. Buy snow blowers, heaters, winter coats and boots in the spring or summer. If you buy off season not only will you save money on the purchase price, but when the season arrives you will be ready for it. Plastic totes work well for storage of off season clothing until you are ready to use it. Swap out one season and refill it with another. Travel bags and suit cases are another option for storing clothing.
Logic is our key to successful frugal living.
Use your library as an entertainment resource. Books from the library cost you nothing if you return them on time. You can take out DVDs, CDs, cassette tapes and other video and audio mediums at the library. Look at the money you would save on rentals or buying the items.
Household auctions or any other kind of auction can save you hundreds of dollars on big ticket items. Auctions are a fun form of entertainment and many communities have auction barns. Watch your local classified section for dates and locations. Many years ago I bought a freezer that was nearly new for $75 and it's still working fine today. You never know what you may find at an auction. There are auction sites online that can also save you money even if you have to pay a shipping price.
Yard sales and thrift shops help us make ends meet by allowing us to buy second hand and sometimes new at a cheaper price. Communities will often have a certain day that everyone holds a yard sale and most of the shoppers will find at least one real bargain. We also can get carried away with the deals and find ourselves buying plenty of stuff we don’t need. We are not really saving much when we do that.
Whatever way we find to make ends meet, logic is our key to success. We can still enjoy our lifestyle if we live within our means. Our interest may vary, but we all are here for the same purpose and that is too survive whatever life may present us with.
Grandma's Depression Era Survival Tips
- Grandma's Depression Era Survival Tips
I always admired how my grandmothers got by on so little. Living through the depression gave them insights on how to save and get by on much less. In this hub article I remember a few things they taught me.
When All Else Fails Do it Yourself
- When All Else Fails Do It Yourself
This hub article explains how doing things yourself save money and often time as well.
Why we should waste nothing and save more...
- Why We Should Waste Nothing and Save More
My grandmother drilled into my head at a young age how important it is not to be wasteful. I'm sharing a few tips with you to save money and time.
Why We Should Shop Smart
- Why We Should Shop Smart
Here are some savings tips I have gathered over the years. Some are more rewarding than others.
Quick Fix MacGyver Tricks
- Quick Fix MacGyver Tricks
"What would MacGyver do?" This article mentions some quick simple solutions that are inspired by the 1985 television show MacGyver. These ideas did not come from the show itself.