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- Frugal Living
Your finances and you
How to live day to day and save
Monthly, weekly and sometimes daily we all can hear one politician or another tell us that ‘we are doing great financially as a nation’ and sometimes financial ‘experts’ and bankers will say the same. But we know better, don’t we?
We know that our countries, and even we are not doing that well. We have to budget and either cut back on or get rid of luxuries the whole while our government continues to spend as if they have an unlimited supply of money. Well in a way I guess they do, they just add more taxes on us.
In Canada we have a Prime Minister who is clueless when it comes to money, he hands out cash to foreign nations, to organizations outside of Canada and he spends on himself with our money like he has an endless supply. But we Canadians suffer and struggle to make ends meet. It is utterly ridiculous.
So here is what I’ve been doing to save money and get rid of debts and pay down my mortgage.
One of the first things I did and I still do to this day is I keep a book where I write out my monthly budget and I stick to it. I write down all my expenses that I can not cut back on, such as electricity, gas, food, etc. (My needs, not wants). I take those expenses and deduct them from my income and what is left goes into a savings account where I leave it and forget it.
I did also switch all my light bulbs to LED and they do cut back on electricity.
Then I got rid of TV, that’s right, I no longer have Cable or satellite. I do have internet since my youngest child is in school and he needs it, and I can watch whatever I want, whenever I want online.
The other thing I find that many people waste money on is going to concerts, sports events, buy junk food, fast food restaurants etc. I do not go to any of those things. They are overly expensive, and why should I line the pockets of people who make millions of dollars?
That brings me to a similar topic. Cars, cell phones, etc. People tend to upgrade their cars and electronics far too often, even if they work fine. If you own a vehicle and it runs fine, why trade it in for a new one and have another loan? Same goes for electronics like phones, computers, tablets etc, if it works why get a new one and have payments or spend money that should go onto your debts? Corporations rely on suckers to buy the newest items. Don’t fall for their scams. If what you have works, then keep it.
I have an old house. It was built in 1923, it isn’t big, I don’t have a pool, I don’t have fancy appliances. However, the house works for me and so do my appliances. I will also have it paid off in a short time, thus not giving the banks more of my money from interest. . How? You ask.
I have a budget like I mentioned earlier. I only buy needs and not wants.
My goal was to be fully debt free as soon as possible. It was and is hard to be so disciplined, but I stuck to it.
I didn’t travel or go on holidays. I don’t buy new electronics or ‘toys’. I take every little savings and put it into a savings account and once a year I dump it onto my mortgage. Before I was able to do that I paid off a loan I had made years before. I have two credit cards and I don’t carry a balance on them, and the cards have no monthly or yearly fees attached to them. I only use the one that I get cash back on. I use it and pay it off right away so there is no interest to pay and I make money when I use it.
I live very tight fisted with my money. Now that I don’t have any debts and my house is paid off in another couple of months, then I will be able to live a little more free. I will do some renovations on the house and maybe go on a holiday as well. But until my house is paid off, I will continue to live the way I have been. It is all about prioritizing and being disciplined.
Once I am debt free, I will still have a strict budget, but I will allow myself a little bit of freedom. This isn’t about hoarding money, it is about living stress and debt free and having money saved for the future.
I understand that everyone has a different income and expenses, but cutting back on wants and luxuries, things that are not necessary, that is where it begins. Your money is YOURS. Why give it to musicians, actors, sports figures or even corporations? They all have more than they need already, but I am sure you don’t.
Make a list of all your expenses you have right now, then put a line through the ones you can live with out. Take those you can live without and add them up to see how much you’d save if you didn’t have them. If you decide to get rid of them, then don’t spend that money on something else, but put that money on debts to get them paid off. Start with ones that have the highest interest rates like Credit Cards for example, once they are paid off move onto paying off loans. Also be disciplined not to rack up debts again on credit cards or loans.
Think about it. Then decide if you want to try this.
I’m no financier nor do I work with finances or in the industry. I am just a regular guy who did this and it worked for me. I am not saying you can do it or that it will work for you. I am merely sharing what worked for me. You make the decision for yourself.
I would love to see everyone debt free.
Some things that are waste of money:
-Junk food (includes junk drinks)
-Fast Food Restaurants
-Ordering in food
-Sports events Hockey, Baseball etc)
-Many more things can go on the list.
© 2017 thomasczech