- Personal Finance
My New Year Resolution on Saving Money in 2012
Almost six years ago when I woke up from my a 4-day induced coma so that the doctors could treat me for septic shock, I immediately thought about how life can be simpler and what to do with my second chance to live. Although I took the normal course of action to determine whether I had a claim for malpractice, I immediately set that thought aside when the one law firm we consulted said that we did not have a claim. I had almost 3 months to think about my life. The ideas that I valued then will still be carried to 2012.
A carbon footprint is a measurement of the impact of our activities onto the environment, thus affecting climate change. I am a firm believer in reducing the amount of my carbon footprint. My kids often asked me why we cannot just leave the light on since we make our own electricity through solar panels. My reply is that we do not always make the maximum amount of energy, especially in wintertime,which is also when we use a lot more energy. Even though we make solar energy, we still use gas to heat the house. Likewise, I recycle whenever I can so that this material can be reused. I also try to reuse the packaging that comes with the food that I purchase.
Repair What You Can
Of course one shouldn't repair to the detriment of our pocketbook, but it can be less costly than buying something new. A good example of a costly repair is our broken frontloading washing machine that cost us a fortunate but it was supposed to save water. I wished that someone told me that it could not handle sand from kids' playground. To replace the drum would have cost at least $900. We said no thanks and bought an "open box" Maytag toploader for under $300. We figure that by the time the dryer that went with the Frigidaire frontloader broke, it wouldn't be too costly to find another combination set. It has been 5.5 years since the younger child was in preschool, and the toploader is going strong.
On the flipside, around this time of year, i would be at the Old Navy sales buying numerous pairs of girls' leggings. Instead, I sewed and ironed patches onto her torn knees. If I had to buy the materials for this repair, it would have added to the overall calculation of whether the repair was worth it or not. But I have ample sewing supplies.
Never Paid Retail Price
Unless you never eat out or you are alone, there is always a reason to keep an Entertainment book handy. Recently, I purchased 2 of them through Fatwallet so that I can receive the 17% cashback. There was already a sale since the new book started in the summertime, but I also received a discount for acquiring a second one. Anytime you eat out and don't use a coupon, the eating establishment made money off you. My son would play the devil's advocate by saying that our family is not fueling the economy. However, my paycheck is not enough to be fueling anybody's economy.
Also, Fatwallet is the best cash back site. I will try to look at the site to see if cashback is available and never buy direct.
If it does not appear in the Entertainment book or at Fatwallet, Retailmenot is another place for discount codes. We spend a lot of money at Home Depot and Lowe's and usefully we can find a $10 off $50 on the internet.
Buy Less Perishable Food and Use All of the Perishable Food
When people are going hungry, why let grocery in the refrigerate go to waste? If that is happening, you are buying food that you do not consume. We purchased a Foodsaver last year to make smaller portions to freeze and use later. My husband mocks me sometimes when I tell him that it is not necessary to eat large chunks of meat. Asians tend to cut up a steak to serve a family. I am hoping to return to my roots and eat smaller portions of meat, make meal plans so that food does not go to waste in the refrigerator, especially cheese.
I notice that when I exercise, I tend to eat healthier such as fruits and vegetables, which are less expensive than processed food. It is a win-win situation to eat healthful food and maintain good weight. Plus, most of us have exercise equipment that we have not used. By using the equipment, you will not think about joining a gym. There are a number of exercise routines that can be done at home with some basic items such as canned food or packs of rice. Recently, when I needed 2 pound weights for some physical therapy routines, I sewed pouches that contained 1/2 pounds of rice.
I am sure that there will always be a need to spend money, e.g. paying for my girl's cavity fillings. However, I will make an attempt at saving money in 2012.