Monday, June 20, 2016

What will you do if there are no more plastic grocery bags?

The threat of making them illegal has been around for years. I first wrote about it well over 10 years ago. Nothing happened then and nothing happened the next time I heard about it. It's back again. I won't say nothing will happen, because someone keeps trying.

What will you do if there are no more plastic bags? They've become such a part of my household that I would hate to do without! I understand the ecological concern, but I am not on board with it. If they outlaw free plastic bags, we will just have to buy the non free kind. How does that help?

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Independence Day, USA

Its not so far away! The Fourth of July is probably the most frugal of holidays - or it could be, anyway. If yours is filled with expensive carnival rides and even more expensive fireworks, it might not be.

Those two things are tradition for many families, so I won't tell you to forget them, but I will tell you to use common sense when paying for them. Buy a "bracelet" if they sell them, to get cheaper rides at the carnival and go easy on the fireworks. Extravagance doesn't always equal wow power.

Other than that, how can you save when celebrating Independence Day?

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

My Money, Your Money, Our Money

Even in this age of equality, women generally still have a better grasp (not to be sexist, just stating a generality!) of what is required daily to run a household, from safety pins to bath towels and from how many apples are in the refrigerator to who took the last shower. Thus, it makes sense for whoever fits this role to put the frugal eye on the countless ways a household wastes or makes money.

Who wants to do that alone, while their partner spends what s/he has with no thought of whether they need toilet paper? To solve this problem, many couples have turned to "my money, your money and our money."

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Cut Your Water Costs

Most of us are entering into a season of high water use. Besides watering lawns and gardens, kiddie pools need filling, we take more showers and baths because of outdoor activities, and we tend to want to play in water because of the heat.

Along with recent increases in utility bills, water bills will no doubt be rising in the near future so now is the time to get a head start on saving.

Outside, only water your lawn or garden when it needs it. I know... surely everyone knows that!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Outgo and Income

Frugal living is mostly about controlling the outgo of your resources, but what if, after all the cuts and controls you can make, there still isn't enough money to do what you need or want?

The next step is increasing the income. It's not always the easiest thing to do, but getting a second job or adding some freelance work is usually an option. Even a few hours a week can make a difference in your bottom line.

What to do is the big question.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Debt as a Matter of Life

Credit cards make debt, not safety nets

Disclaimer: There are times when going into debt is simply unavoidable. Unexpected bills, a loss of income or major life changes can throw anyone's finances off. Those are not the people I'm talking about here. I'm talking about those who go into credit card debt continually and unnecessarily.

Some time ago, I was sent a link to an article in the Terre Haute Tribune-Star called "Americans Using Credit Cards to Pay for Basics." Unfortunately, the page is no longer online, but it was disheartening to read. It's not because I think times are so tough that people are having to go into debt just to survive, but I hated it because it showcased people who really don't know how to survive without credit cards. It even evokes sympathy for them.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Easter is on its way

Keeping costs down at Easter time can be frustrating. Those big, beautiful and pricey Easter baskets and popular retailers seem to make fun of smaller efforts, but you can create an Easter basket that looks just as good (or better!) for much less.

The Basket

Start at your local dollar store or low cost outlet. I have seem some intricately designed wire woven baskets for a dollar bill that would thrill a girl of any age. The baskets could be used later to hold things on a dresser or in the bathroom.

Traditional woven baskets are cheap at dollar stores, too, but the ones I have seen are not sturdy enough for a day's worth of egg hunts. Try thrift stores, and go now before the Easter rush is on. Check thrift store baskets for stains or worn areas that could mean a candy and egg disaster.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Answers To 5 Excellent Questions About Reverse Mortgages

Can you get a reverse mortgage? Should you? What are the pitfalls and benefits of this popular way to use your home for retirement income? Guest author Matt Allen answers these and more questions that will help you really understand what reverse mortgages are all about


When is a homeowner eligible for a reverse mortgage?

In the past, a homeowner only needed to be 62 and have enough equity in their home to qualify. Today there are several other things that come in to play as far as being eligible for a reverse mortgage.

You need to pass the financial assessment. The whole purpose of the assessment is to look at your willingness and ability to pay your taxes and insurance. They look at your credit history, your mortgage / rent payment history and your property tax and insurance history for the last two years. You are also required to have a minimum disposable income based on household size and region you live in.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Send Your Car to Work

There are only two ways to get ahead financially in this world. One is to learn to control and save the money you make and the other one is to find ways to make more money without working 24/7. I talk a lot about saving money and that's what this blog is all about... but if you don't have it to save, then what?

Then you go looking for ways to make a little more. To do that, you can work longer hours or start your own side business. Both take a lot of time and energy but I have a better way! ;)

Monday, February 1, 2016

9 Ways to Use Cardboard Tubes

Image courtesy Morguefile.com
One of the best parts of being frugal (and the part that sometimes will get you the strangest looks) is finding uncommon uses for common or throwaway things.

So did you save the tubes from the wrapping paper at Christmas? Neither did I. Thinking about it today, though, I wish I would have!

There are so many things one could do with them. They're part of the "raw material" of consumerism and as such, they can be ultimately useful and just plain fun.

Tubes from toilet paper (yes, those...) aluminum foil, plastic wrap or wax paper tubes, and miscellaneous other sources, such as rolls of plastic gloves, are all fair game for these uses. Since you use many of those things anyway, you might as well get some frugal use from them!