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★Frugal/ FinancialConceptstoHonorOne'sMoney

I ran into a site that blogs about creative ideas to save money or make themselves feel rich by spending little to none. It seemed like a wonderful site, except I didn’t want to join another blogging community;I like this one….called wasabe…but can know longer log on without security issues. So, that’s what inspired this thread. Anyone have some unique ideas on how they save money with their basic bills, or frills?
  • Thriving On Less pdf
    Introduction chaprers below
  • Chapter 1 – A Simple Lifestyle
  • Chapter 2 – Focus on the Essentials
  • Chapter 3 – Thriving on Less, Not Struggling
  • Chapter 4 – Focusing on Enough, Not More
  • Chapter 5 – Make Small Financial Changes First
  • Chapter 6 – Look at Large Expenses for the Long Term
  • Chapter 7 – Changing Your Spending Habits
  • Chapter 8 – A Guide to Getting Out of Debt
  • “Debt is the worst poverty.” – Thomas Fuller
  • Chapter 9 – Tools for a Frugal Life
  • Chapter 10 – Resources

Affirmation Quick Searchaffirmation tags
♫Frampton I love enjoying this surrender. It is always beyond my wildest imagination of completion

I live pretty well on less money than most :)

I get lots of stuff just appear or given to me, or off the street. In the last month I’ve acquired:

A 1950’s fridge (it was originally kerosene, but converted to electricity) with beautiful rounded corners and that great lever handle.

A slow combustion heater to put into our chimney. It’s antique, really beautiful and just right :)

—-

I use freecycle in my area and am a keen “pile of junk on the side of the road” peruser :)

I also eat out of my garden, my lastest crops for salad are spinach, parsley, rocket, cos lettuce and shallots. The garden has saved me at least $100 in the last month.

If I have to buy stuff I will buy “preloved”.

I’ve saved packets, my bank account will prove it to you :)

Focus

Living below your means is an awesome mentality.

On our holiday recently Lee and I found a book exchange store. They have a deal where if you return books bought from there, they give you a 50% discount on the next. They had some amazing titles and, understandably, Lee and I came away with a few. It’s a good reason to return to Byron soon though :)

Used book stores are GREAT! You can find read treasures there. You can usually find lots of good books for around 50 cents. Goodwill stores are also a great place to find bargains. Where I live we also have stores like Dollar Tree, (great for stuff like shampoo, toothpaste, razors), Dollar General and Freds. Another great place to find bargains is Big Lots. These stores are almost always cheaper than Wal Mart, whose motto ought to be “destroying small towns one at a time.”

I recently built a headboard for my bed. I looked around and found the cheapest I could find at a store was around $175, so I went and bought some 1×12’s and built a nice one that would hold my bookshelf speakers and tons of books. It only cost me $38 bucks. It was simple to build with only butt joints and looks really nice.

I haven’t done it, but there are a lot of people that swear that creating a Price Book will save you tons of money. There are a lot of web sites that will tell you how to make and use one.

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m Alright
Life Less Ordinary

Hey CookieMan~ I share your sentiments regarding Walmart…and avoid it in favor of local merchants with (gasp) actual customer service!!

My daddy had a saying that I love and share whenever possible (and this one may be an oldie that everyone knows)… Take care of your pennies and the dollars will follow on their own.

My husband and I became debt free recently (excluding our house, but that is next). We live on a cash only basis. Even though we had extra cash at the end of the month (after getting rid of those nasty monthly credit card payments), we still wanted to lock down the money a little harder so we could save more and have extra to donate to our favorite causes.

It is amazing the little things add up quickly. We got rid of our cable tv (again, one of those things that suck up time, brain power, energy as well as money), Netflix (it was my little indulgence), got rid of the extra costs from the cell phone (like phone internet, etc)… that was $200 a month (a savings of $2400 per year!)

This year, instead of exchanging gifts, we took a family holiday. We shut down the business and left the state. My kids never asked once about their presents. They were too interested in the beach, sand and sun. I don’t think they even noticed… they are 5, 7 & 9, so you’d think they’d make a stink about it, but they didn’t.

We’ve really pared down the house. Clutter and lack of money seemed to go hand it hand for us as a family. We decided we had to LOVE something really dearly in order to bring it into our house. Once we stopped buying for the sake of having… incredible peacefulness enveloped the house. The level of chaos went out the window.

We donated 8 mini-van loads of clothes, toys, household goods, etc in our first round of de-cluttering. Each month, we make a plan to get rid of all the things we don’t use or don’t love any more. I’m telling you, it really opens up the energy in the house to abundance and gratitude.

I am a clean-freak. My house has to be organized and tidy or I cannot relax. Not only did putting a halt to bringing all the “things” in the house make my life easier, it made everyone so relaxed and they actually enjoy MORE on LESS!!

This is a great topic, Laurie – and one that would bring so much happiness and peace in peoples life if they didn’t have to worry about money and clutter!!

I am living in many dimensions at once; the appearance of being trapped in time and space is only an illusion.

In response to meditatingmama’s post:

Wow your story is inspiring :) I love that you’ve got a minimalist house and that your kids didn’t complain!

At Christmas, I was nearly crying because of the CRAP that my son got for Christmas from relatives, so told him that next year he wasn’t getting any toys for Christmas, and I’d ask for cash donations to his bank account instead.

Some toys ARE CRAP! Sorry for shouting, but it made me feel desolate because of the waste.

Focus

The “toy” thing is pretty significant. Before kids can even walk or talk they are bombarded with “consumerism.” I can picture parents spending hours looking for the best price on an x-box or some other worthless gadget. They could take them to the park and spend time with them for free. Twenty or even fifty years down the road they are much more likely to remember the time at the park.

Oh yeah, on another topic, there are lots of places to find free music on the internet. Just do a little searching and you can find lots of stuff you will like. Music by “real” artists instead of just stuff the big corporations push. Can’t you guys remember when music on the radio actually had melodies! There is plenty of “bad” on the net, but one thing is for sure, it has been good for independant artists. Check out garageband.com for lots of free stuff, categorized by genre. Jamendo.com is another cool site. cdbaby.com is another place to find, cheap if not free music. liveplasma musicmesh pandora and lastfm are also neat places to find stuff you like.

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m Alright
Life Less Ordinary

Another thing I did was to buy a scooter. Where I live I can drive a scooter that is less than 50cc’s without a license or registration. I get over 70 miles per gallon on a used Yamaha that I paid $500 dollars for. I put a basket on the back and now I drive it almost exclusively. You can hold a lot of groceries in the seat and the basket, plus it is a ton of fun. Also, I can park it right next to the front door of the store. One of the best things I ever bought. When I see someone driving an suv now I often think what a selfish lemming! I know, I know, I’m not supposed to say negative stuff on here! :)

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m Alright
Life Less Ordinary

In response to themadcookieman’s post:

What a great idea! I’d love to get around on a scooter. Where do you live? All scooters need license and registrations here in Australia.

Focus

I apologize for rambling, but something else related to spending is what TO spend money on. A good bed with nice linens and a nice bathtub! Talk about good for your soul!

And speaking of bathtubs, I’ve read some about how to build a solar water heater. THAT is a good idea! How about replacing incandescent bulbs with flourescents! Weatherstripping! Natural ventilation!

How about vacationing close to home! Free or cheap museums! We have great state and national parks in the US that are great bargains. You can often see dress rehersal theatre shows for free! You can buy a cheap guitar at a pawn shop and learn to play!!!!! It doesn’t cost a penny to memorize your favorite poem! Impress your friends! Instead of heading to the bar, play a board game with your frienss or family! Make cookies for gifts! Make pepper sauce! I’m going crazy!!!! I’ll stop now!!!!!

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m Alright
Life Less Ordinary

In response to themadcookieman’s post:
Go crazy :) LOL it’s fun to watch :)

Focus

Okay, here’s one more thing for ya that will save tons of moola. Drink tea. I personally recommend the decaffinated store brand. Tap water is even cheaper, but I still drink a lot of tea! I sleep better now that I switched to the decaffinated stuff! The caffine kind makes me a little bit silly!

As far as coffee goes! I still drink “leaded”, and I like it strong with cream and sweetener. Decaf’s not for me when it comes to coffee. Or how about three tripple espressos. That will make your head tingle! Stay away from “Starbucks” though! MAKE YOUR OWN COFFEE!!! Or at least buy it somewhere cheap, like a doughnut shop! Is that how you spell donut? But stay AWAY FROM THE DONUTS! STEP BACK FROM THE DONUTS, MAM! PUT YOUR HANDS BEHIND YOUR HEAD AND STEP AWAY FROM THE DONUTS!!! NO NEED FOR ANYONE TO GET HURT HERE!

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m Alright
Life Less Ordinary

LOL ok I can go one better. Drink HOT WATER! It’s my drink of choice first thing and last thing in the day.

Donuts are not on my diet at all. I have to drive about 30 minutes to the closest donut shop. Unless you count the supermarket variety.

I don’t like decaf coffee, it has too many chemicals in it, if I drink coffee, I drink the real stuff, about once a week. (And not starbucks either… it’s about an hour’s drive from here!)

Focus

In response to meditatingmama’s post:
Please explain how you got rid of your phone bill again. Thanks.

Anyone with ideas on how to lower your electric bill?

Anyone with ideas on good filing systems ?—paper you must refer to regularly.

Affirmation Quick Searchaffirmation tags
♫Frampton I love enjoying this surrender. It is always beyond my wildest imagination of completion

Laurie – for reducing electricity, try lowering the temperature of your hot water system so you don’t have to mix cold with it when you jump in the shower.

For filing, I have a filing cabinet for archival stuff and for referral, I have a metal manila folder holder on my desk. I have about 15-20 folders on there for things like bank statements, tax, receipts for my business and paid bills. Fortunately I have only one regular bill that comes to me via paper, so it sits at the front of this holder until I pay it, then it gets filed away. I also have a pile of papers on my desk ready to be filed, it’s grown because I’ve been a bit slack :) It’s holiday time, so I’m a bit slow!

Focus

GREAT thread!

For lowering the electricity bill, try out the low wattage, long lasting light bulbs. Wait until your bulbs blow and replace them with the newer, friendlier variety and you’ll save costs on your power bill and on the purchase of the bulbs (because you purchase them less often) Or use candles :)

Also, turn off any electrical equipment when it’s not in use (even lights, they are so easy to leave on but it all ads up when turning them off) use fans instead of air conditioning (from what I’ve read, ceiling fans are the most efficient) or even better open all (or strategic) windows and allow the natural breeze to cool the place down.

For winter time, make sure you’ve got insulation installed in your home and only heat the rooms that you’re currently occupying. Buy a couple of extra blankets instead of using your electric blanket or get a hot water bottle!

There’s a theory about electricity seepage too, apparently it’s best to unplug unused items from the wall or they’ll draw a small amount of electricity even when they’re not turned on. I’m not sure that it will make all that much difference but it’s worth thinking about.

Oh and if your buying new appliances take note of the energy ratings on them.

“How easy it is in our life, to miss what’s being offered.” — Paul Haller

Oh another one, which my parents used to do and it used to really annoy me, but now I do it too lol.

If you drink a lot of tea (and I drink a lot of tea!) then you’ll find yourself boiling the kettle a lot. When you do, make sure you don’t fill the kettle all the way, instead only make it as full as you need to (~300ml for a cup)

As long as it’s above the kettle’s minimum safe line then the water will boil quicker and you’ll thus be using less electricity to get it there.

You have to be careful with this because if you’re used to just flicking the on switch assuming there’s enough water in the kettle then it might take some getting used to and you don’t want to kill your kettle (or worse!)

You have to make sure the amount is above the recommended minimum and be sure you put enough water in there otherwise you’ll end up with half a cup of tea, or boiling the kettle twice – obviously eating in to any savings you’ve made previously.

It’s just a little thing, but they all add up!

“How easy it is in our life, to miss what’s being offered.” — Paul Haller

In life there are lots of alternative for whatever you want to do that can save you lots of $$$.

I have stopped going to the gym and start walking and jog outdoors instead. For weight training, I buy light dumb bells that I can use before I sleep or when I wake up in the morning. I also go on walking trails with friends about once a week for 2 hours. I have a few workout videos that I can do in my own bedroom… so I alternate my workout activities so as not to get bored. I invested in a cheap stationary bike in case I can’t go out due to bad weather. No need for expensive or hi-tech ones. As long I can cycle while listening to music will do.

I have always have a habit of bringing my own lunch to work. Saved a lot and you will start eating healthy too this way. I get myself a nice looking lunch bag that I will feel good carrying to work with me. I kept oatmeal, honey, flaxseed at work for days when I just don’t feel like packing any food to work.

Instead of going on holidays, I learn to explore many new places where I live. I saved on airfares and also learn a lot about my own neighborhood. Sometimes I just explore neighborhoods or nature reserves that I’ve never been to before.

I have a piggy bank too for coins. When it is full, I will save half the amount, and the other half I will buy something special for myself.

I don’t use my phone so much. If I want to have a chat with a friend, I rather meet them in person or send email if they are overseas.

Also, I don’t go for movies anymore. I watch movies for free online hee hee…

Only shop for things that I need… not so much for things that I want. Have a shopping list. This way you will concentrate and get more engrossed on finding things on your list rather than getting swayed into buying things that you don’t really need.

Dear Lin, et al ~ Great ideas!!

As for reducing gas and electricity, live with my husband!! hehehe.. ok, not really. But, he doesn’t let the thermostat over 58 Degrees farenheit. I have learned to layer my clothing. I actually sleep better in a lower temperature. My family complains greatly when they come to visit, but I always keep sofa blankets available for them to wrap up. Now, they don’t come to my house in tank tops and flip flops during the winter. Don’t even get me started on that one!!! Common sense????

My husband goes around unplugging all the unused electrical appliances. It used to drive me crazy because it would mess up the timer in my coffee machine (so I donated my coffee maker). Now, I only drink turkish coffee (made in an old fashioned ibrik) or green tea. I use a small pot that is made for only one to two cups, so it boils fast and uses much less energy.

Giving up soda was great for my budget (weight and health). I used to get a 32 or 44 oz soda several times a day when I was out doing my errands. Sometimes I would spend $5 per day on pop, more if my 21 year old was with me. I used to drink for a quick energy buzz and it filled me up so I wasn’t eating healthy foods.

For phone services, do you really need all the “bells and whistles”? Can you get away with no call-forwarding, call-waiting, etc. You know, phone service like you had when you were little (if you are older like me). My home phone bill used to be $70 just for the services plus $50 or so for international calls. Then, I took off all the extra charges and it went down to $15. Then, I disconnected it all together and just keep my cell phone. My cellphone bill used to be about $200 a month. Then, I took off all the extra charges, like internet connection, minutes I’d never use, etc. It is down to $70 for two phone lines (me and my husband). We were spending over $300 just to talk… and we weren’t really talking!! My family that is overseas is called using a phone card purchased from Nurtel. It costs us $50 but the minutes last for quite a few months and you get a LOT for that little amount. So, we are really saving there.

As far as children, speaking from the point of view of the mother of five. I did things very differently with my two older children. They are now 19 and 21. I worked as an an accountant and had to put in a lot of overtime. They used to get a lot of “guilt presents” instead of my time. They got every electronic gadget such as game boy, play station, etc. They were plugged into cable tv at daycare and developed a taste for consumerism probably by age two!! My younger ones (ages 5,7,9) grew up with me as a work at home parent. We got rid of cable tv when they started wanting unhealthy sugar cereals, McDonalds, and toys we never even heard of that did not cost less than $50. They just don’t need that stuff!!

I am living in many dimensions at once; the appearance of being trapped in time and space is only an illusion.

Mary – Have you tried Skype? I pay AU$8 per month for an international subscription, which means I can call anyone in the world on their landline for as a long as I want. It’s even cheaper if you have a country subscription. I love it cos my sister is 1000kms away and my brother is in Singapore – now we can just ring up and spend hours in silence together :) LOL!!!

Focus

Lee – My parents used a thermos to keep their water hot over the day, they’d boil up in the morning.

Wow our parents are champs :) And we didn’t know it back then…

Focus

I ride a scooter too – in Queensland you only need a car license for 50cc. It costs around $4 to fill up each week, which gets me to work and home each day. The added bonus is when I go the the shops, not only do I get a fantastic park out the front, I am also limited to what I buy so helps with the impulse buying. Good forum to read as I sit here at lunch eating my $1 tin of tuna with 2 slices of toast & 1 cut up tomato.

We have a great book exchange, it’s huge and although I usually just borrow from the library, it’s a wonderful treat to buy a book sometimes.

Some of my friends complain about their electricity bill – yep they use a clothes dryer every time. It hardly ever rains here!

“Even if you’re on the right track – you’ll get run over if you just sit there” Will Rogers

Ok another thing… my phone only works as a phone nothing else. It has only basic features and I sms most of the time cos it is cheaper. I don’t call friends, they call me since incoming calls are free.

I use public transportation because its very convenient where I am… no need for cars. Actually I don’t even have a driving license :D

Sometimes the small things that you save really adds up. Love this thread :)

In response to freygan’s post:

sorry off topic here… Frey if u ever visit your brother in Singapore, you can look me up ehehe…

I thought of another way to save money this morning. When I first started my business, I didn’t have the lavish budgets of some startups, so I had to barter for things. Trading things is a great way to save money. It is amazing what you have that people want!! (mostly it is your time!!)

I have six sisters in my family and most of us are the same size. We trade clothing…well, mostly we get hand-me-downs from my shopaholic sister who finds it a grave sin to wear the same thing twice – not to mention the clothes we get with the tags still on!

Once a year in the summer, we get together with some good friends and family at one house and bring everything we don’t like anymore and dump it in the middle of her large basement. Then, we just take what we want. What is leftover, we try and sell at a garage sale (the following day). What is STILL leftover, we donate to our favorite charities.

You know, it not only is a way to save money, but it circulates loving energy. All the giving and receiving keeps the circle of love moving. After all, the best way to receive is to give!!

I am living in many dimensions at once; the appearance of being trapped in time and space is only an illusion.

I was very torn on which thread to post this. There was one on great websites, but it has to do with living a frugal life.

Here is the link to A New American Dream. It has some excellent publications to read. My favorite is a .pdf file to print out that folds into an envelope the size of a credit card. On it is a list of questions you should answer before spending money. It makes you think before you spend. It also has some articles about Tips for Parenting in a Commercial Culture.

http://www.newdream.org/publications/index.php

It also has tips for “The Lost Art of Fun”… an inexpensive, non commercial way to spend time.

Let me know what you think of it!!

I am living in many dimensions at once; the appearance of being trapped in time and space is only an illusion.

Here are a few other websites dedicated to living a simple, frugal life:

http://www.pbs.org/kcts/affluenza/

http://www.simpleliving.net/main/

http://www.coopamerica.org/

I am living in many dimensions at once; the appearance of being trapped in time and space is only an illusion.

What a great thread and I have learned so much from all of you. My mother came up through the depression and would give us kids big bags of puffed wheat that tasted like styrofoam. Yuk but I learned alot form her. I love going to the thrift stores because it’s like treasure hunting.

A friend of mine bought a painting in the thrift store and found it to be special so he looked it up at the library and it was an original oil painting he ended up selling it at Sothebys in New York. He paid 9.99 for it and got quite a bit of moola.

I try to make my own shampoos and conditioners. When it comes to washing clothes I don’t use the amount they tell you to use. If you look at the washing machine there is tons of suds in it. To my concentrated dish washing liquid I add water to it. If it is organic dish washing liquid I save the water and put it on my plants to kill the bugs.

The black seeds in papayas can be used in place of pepper and aids your digestion and stops gas. Bits of bar soap pieces can be placed in those small net bags that different things come in and you can put all the bits of soap in those net bags. When you shower or bath you can use it as an exfolliant to scrub your skin with.

I wash plastic sandwich bags left over from lunches and cook organic chicken breasts and place one in each bag. Then I get the plastic bags from bread and put all the individual sandwich bags containing the already cooked chicken breasts and make sandwiches as I need them. That way I don’t have to cook daily and use more gas. I only use what I need!

When I want something that’s expensive and if it’s big like meat or something you buy one and get one free. I ask my friends if they want to go half with me and they do and we both get something really good this way I don’t spend a lot of money they get half and so do I! I have more stuff but can’t remember at this hour. Good night to all!

Peace,
Mary

Wow! You all have such wonderful ideas that have come at the perfect time for me. Having just moved house I am looking to live simply and abundantly by making changes in my life for the better – financially and for energy saving. I love all your ideas and share the same enthusiasm for ‘that stuff your mum always used to say and do’ – I have totally become an advocate for all my mum’s money saving ways. I am in awe with all your ideas. I feel I need to add something too to give back what your ideas have saved me already!

Freezing meat bones from your sunday roast – to make soups and stocks later on.

If you really must buy the pre-packed designer salad leaf bags, take them out of the bag as soon as you get them home and wrap loosely in kitchen paper and into a sealed container. They stay fresh for longer and reduce moisture.

Fresh herbs – when you have them in abundance – wash, dry and chop – then freeze. They last for a good month at least.
Same with summer berries – freeze when in season and have them in winter.
Winter dessert:Frozen berries with a hot white chocolate or dark chocolate sauce….mmmm
Frozen berries are great for making smoothies too.
;o)

A full and thankful heart..

Thanks for bringing this thread back to the top of bMindful. I needed the message to be foremost in my mind again. My husband is coming home in a few days and I decided I want to move. :) I’m tired of living in town and want to buy a little farm. This gives me the impetus to focus my money flow so that it can become a reality with ease. We had talked about it about six months ago, but dropped the subject. The time seems right to act… :)

Did I ever tell you how much I enjoy the synchronicity of this site? Messages I need to hear just magically appear in a thread when I need to hear them? You people ROCK!!! :)

I am living in many dimensions at once; the appearance of being trapped in time and space is only an illusion.

In response to meditatingmama’s post:
Syncronicity or what MM! Was just writing a note on your profile as you were writing the above.
(Sorry to come off the subject – but wow! syncronicity….!) ;o)

A full and thankful heart..

I found Coupon Mom and this link to Extreme Couponing on the same site.

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m Alright
Life Less Ordinary

What you can do with those plastic bags from walmart.
Fusing Plastic Bags
One thing I want to try is to make some light weight stuff sacks for camping and hiking. I don’t know anything about sewing though. I know that a small stuff sack sells for at least four or five bucks. You could probably make them out of this basically free material and start a business selling recycled stuff sacks to campers. They are definitely an earth loving group.

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m Alright
Life Less Ordinary

Okay, so you want a big dry erase board, a really big one. Guess what! The big ones are expensive. Solution? Go to Lowe’s or Home Depot and get a sheet of the white bathroom wall board. A 4×8 sheet will cost less than one of the “big” dry erase boards.

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m Alright
Life Less Ordinary

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