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08-10-2012, 09:35 PM #1
What are some good goals to have for a beginner at being frugal?
Obviously saving as much money as you can and paying off debt quickly are some general goals we all have. Similar to how some people approach weight loss with setting small goals rather than one large one, it is probably better to break down money-saving goals into smaller increments than to tackle the whole thing head on. I've seen some of the signatures on the forum with some simple goals to have (no eating out for a month, grocery budget for the month under X amount, etc.) and was curious if there were other small challenges you guys use to make being frugal appear not so daunting.
- 08-10-2012, 09:42 PM #2
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No eating out months, no spending months. Stockpiling staples to help with grocery bill. Trying to cut down on gas. Cutting out as many non essentials as you can. Selling things to make extra money. Saving loose change all year.
There are tons...that's all I can think of rit now.
08-10-2012, 09:51 PM #3
Small goals for someone starting out to be frugal could include;
-meal planning/making + sticking to a grocery list within the budget
-reducing the amount of times you go grocery shopping (if you're one who pops in every few days to pick up a few things, work on cutting back to once a week)
-calling cable, phone, internet providers to fight for a lower rate
-taking stock of clohting, person by person in the household, and making a list to see what is already in the closet and what is REALLY needed
-working to get in the habit of evaluating need vs. want on each purchase
- breaking the Walmart/Target/warehouse club habit, if you have 9reduce frequency of trips, only shop with a list, REDUCE those impulse purchases!
- check out local options for shopping second hand, if you're new to it
Kill the mortgage! Goal: 12/2023 Left to go: $148,765.46
Extra paid: 2012- $4408.03
08-10-2012, 10:19 PM #4
- Rep Power
Practice using half the amount on things..for instance use half the amount of lotion, toothpaste, dishwashing liquid, shampoo etc. compared to what you would usually use.Baby Step #7 Only by the grace of God!!
08-10-2012, 10:20 PM #5
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Oh and a biggie reduce the amount of television time...study after study has shown that the more television you watch the more money you spend.Baby Step #7 Only by the grace of God!!
08-10-2012, 10:31 PM #6
- Join Date
- Mar 2007
- Kansas City
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Mine is in my signature:
Use it up, Wear it out,
Make it do, or do without.
Use those last portions of food and household items, you paid for it, the last serving cost just as much as the first. Wear things out before you toss them. Don't throw things away simply because they are old or out of fashion. Make do with what you have. Maybe it's not perfect, fashionable or pretty, but it works. Do without: you don't need everything you want.
In the end, it saves you money and keeps you from spending on stuff you didn't really need.Use it up, Wear it out,
Make it do, Or do without. ~unknown
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You get what you need ~Rolling Stones
A clean house is a sign of a wasted life. ~unknown
08-11-2012, 10:04 AM #7
If you haven't already, make a budget and once you have once established stick to it. Keep track of every penny spent each month.
Take a water bottle with you and some snacks if you know you will out for a while. After a while you get used to not spending money while out. I used to enjoy the occasional coffee with friends at starbucks or some place like that. But when I realized I was spending $4 on a tea and I could have spent $2.79 on 100 decaf tea bags, well guess who no longer buys anything at starbucks. Sure I might tag along, but no I will not be buying anything there.
It takes time to get used to different ideas to save money. Use the ideas you think will be easy for you to use. After a while everything just becomes a habit. It took a while for me to get used to the idea of using vinegar and water for cleaning but now I can't help but wonder what took me so long.
08-11-2012, 06:23 PM #8
Try to learn to do as much for yourself as possible. Cooking, cleaning, fixing, etc. The more you can do, the less you pay others to do for you.Jennifer
My blog - www.gettingaheadblog.com
Family Reunion Beach Vacation $100/$3000
08-11-2012, 08:21 PM #9
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- Apr 2011
- Prestonsburg, Kentucky, United States
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It is about your comfort level one of the easiest ways to reset your previous training..Is to shop only with a list, loss leaders and meal planning....no spend weeks are hard for me so I plan on a few no spend days a month...
plan your fun use coupons to go out go to the maintee which is cheaper...
stay away from poeople who spend..makes it easier..
remember Rome was not built in a day..
08-11-2012, 08:25 PM #10
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My dh has a seasonal job; try to find things inexpensive or free to do. USE your library. I price compare everywhere I go. I started using an old address book; write down the item and how much it is on sale for.
I try to find different things that are cheaper to fix a problem. Read the tightwad gazette; some of the ideas are a little over the top; but use what you would like. And a really good start is to decide the difference between a need and a want.
My car was in repair 10 years ago and I drove my ds old, old, car around while mine was being fixed and I thought to myself; anyone who is in terrible debt should buy a beater; drive it with limited ins on it for a year or two and pay off debt. What an easy way to save alot of money.
08-11-2012, 08:51 PM #11
1. Read: 'Your money or your life'- Joe Dominguez. It's such a motivational book for financial independence.
2. Follow your expenses for 3 months writing down everything you spend except for your weekly allowance - mad money. Is there any money left at the end of the month?
3. Automate your savings -- Pay yourself first. Take all money left over at end of month and have bank automatically move it to savings. Some employers with direct deposit will offer a split deposit on paydays too. For a while, you may find yourself dipping into the money without an emergency but you will eventually be able to make enough savings changes to manage without dipping into it unless you have emergency bill, car repair, sick pet... When you get pay raises, increase amount of money going into savings automatically. Same goes with gifts and tax refunds.
4. You only control yourself but you also influence significant others. Managing to save some money for emergencies, even if you are using your own mad money, and covering some of your spouse's car breakdowns, etc with this savings can convert someone into a saver. If he starts to ask questions after you cover a bill, share some of the ways you have cut your own spending. Ask if he would like to add some money to the emergency fund too.
5. Most successful frugal people who do not go into super miser mode, do have a specific hobby/activity where they allow themselves to spend more money as a splurge. This helps frugal burnout too.
6. Give up recreational shopping - except for checking some cheap sources for your splurge hobby. If you mall walk, never take your wallet into the mall. It's best to put wallet into trunk at home then drive to mall -- purses placed in trunk at mall are stollen frequently. If you find yourself window shopping and buying, consider a gym membership as it could be cheaper than mall walking. Always shop with a list. It's best to keep grocery runs to weekly -- going more often just yields more splurge buys. Allow yourself $1-2 in splurge buys and nothing more.
7. Explore your local stores for best deals. Aldi's is a good one for food/paper products even for just a monthly stop. Dollar Tree is best place for toiletries, paper products, cleaning stuff, misc... Find reject stores for home improvement if you own a home. Learn to do your own repairs too -- old Reader's Digest Home Repair books are the best -- new books have too much missing to be successfully used. Check out clothing sources...reject stores, TJMaxx, Marshalls, Name Brand Clothing, Burlington, Kohl's clearance racks, Sears/Penny's racks...Do check out the second hand clothing market - best deals are found in nicest neighborhoods.
8. Learn to cook, even if you need to start with convenience foods. PBS has a nice list of cooking programs, watch, browse internet and library magazines for recipes, then strike out on your own with basic ingredients. Dollar stores have best prices on spices, seasonings and vinegars. Scratch cooking is a major money saver as you can use generic ingredients without any difference in taste.
9. Check ebay for miscellaneous gadgets and electronics. It's by far the cheapest way to get car chargers, camera batteries, accessories for laptop/cameras, etc. I've had no complaints at all about the quality - even with used rechargable batteries.
10. If you like a product that is no longer available in your local store, check Amazon. When my local grocery got rid of the health food section and I was unable to get my favorite bran muffin mix, I found it on Amazon for the usual 'sale' prices. If I selected a regular delivery of this product, I even got a discount. I'm now having a crate of my favorite bran muffin mix delivered twice a year...frequency of delivery is totally adjustable and can be canceled without notice.
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