Archive for Frugality

5 Times Frugality Doesn?t Work

5 Times Frugality Doesn?t Work
5 Times Frugality Doesn?t Work

We are all about being frugal. It is our belief that consistent frugality can lead to a better life for you and your family.

Countless people spend more than they need to spend in their day to day lives, and they pay for it in the long run. Learn how to save money, and your financial future will suddenly look a lot better.

With that said, even we have to admit that taking the ?cheap? route is not always the best way to go. Following is a list of five times when frugality really doesn?t work.

Purchasing Insurance

Of course you want to get a good deal when buying insurance. However, there is a difference between getting a good deal and picking the wrong plan.

If you buy insurance which really isn?t sufficient to cover your needs, you will be exposing yourself to unnecessary financial risk. Look for insurance plans which are going to balance monthly savings with enough coverage to keep you protected. This basic advice applies no matter what kind of insurance you happen to be purchasing.

Hiring a Contractor

If something goes wrong with your house ? for example, if you roof springs a leak ? you are probably going to need to call in a contractor to take care of the repair.

This is not a good time to be cheap. There are probably plenty of ?contractors? in your area who will do the job for very little money, but those people are likely not qualified (or insured). Stick with reputable contractors and accept the fact that they will come with a higher price tag.

Purchasing a Mattress

You spend a lot of time in bed. Most people sleep at least six hours a day, with many people sleeping eight hours or more. Considering how much time you spend laying in your bed each day, it only makes sense to invest in your sleep by purchasing a quality mattress. You don?t necessarily have to buy the most expensive mattress on the market, but you shouldn?t buy the cheapest, either.

When you try to sleep, you might have trouble. That trouble may be caused by your mattress. If you have the wrong type of mattress or one that is too old, it might not provide the comfortable sleeping surface you need. For example, a lumpy mattress can keep your spine out of proper alignment or place undue pressure on your joints. It can also cause other forms of discomfort, such as making it difficult to breathe if you are a stomach sleeper. A mattress showroom near you is a great source when you are seeking a new mattress. Actually laying on several mattresses there can help you find the one that feels most comfortable.

Buying Groceries

This one is not an all-or-nothing proposition, because it can be better in some situations to find a great deal on your food. However, if you only are interested in cheap food options, you will wind up feeding yourself a particularly unhealthy diet.

It tends to be inexpensive to eat poorly, while buying good foods like fruits and vegetables can be a bit costlier. The cost will be worth it in the end, however, as you will be doing your health a favor.

Investing in Technology

Need to buy a new computer? Maybe you are in the market for a new TV? Whatever the case, you will typically be rewarded for spending a bit more money on these items. There are plenty of cheap electronics on the market today, and those might seem like a good deal at first.

Unfortunately, cheap electronics usually break down quickly, requiring you to buy another unit in short order. Invest in quality products and take good care of them for years to come.

Have you ever hurt yourself in the long-run by being too frugal? When else is frugality a bad idea?

Photo courtesy of: TheDigitalWay

4 Ways to Know if You are Being Cheap or Frugal

cheap or frugal

cheap or frugalYour spending and saving habits have a huge influence on your life and your relationships with people around you. If you make smart spending and saving decisions, you can expect to have less financial stress and there will be fewer odds of friction in your financial dealings with other people. Two of the commonest labels that apply to people based on their spending and savings habits are being “frugal” and being “a cheapskate”.

Interestingly, some people tend to confuse being frugal with being a cheapskate and it is not always easy to identify the thin line between the two labels. This piece provides insight on four questions you can ask yourself to know if you are being cheap or being frugal.

1. Do you sacrifice quality for price?

Frugal people always seek to find ways to get the best value for their money whereas cheap people are always looking for what they can buy at the cheapest price. In essence, a frugal person’s spending decisions is based on the value they can get out of it ? a frugal person doesn?t mind paying top dollar for a high quality item even though they’ll appreciate a great deal. Cheap people on the other hand only care about price and they’ll often buy lower quality items just to save a few bucks. If you sacrifice quality for price, you are cheap and not frugal.

2. Do you find ways to bend the rules?

If you are frugal, you’ll take advantage of deals, discounts, and promotional offers.? Frugal people understand the economics of shopping at dollar stores and they are not stuck up on branded items. Frugal people also know how to renegotiate the asking price on stuff and they know how to ask for concessions. Cheap people however find ways to bend the rules or make their own rules just to save money. Cheap people tend to lie about their age, occupation, and health to get discounts. They may also buy new clothes, wear them, and return them to the store to ask for a refund.

3. Do you skimp on important necessities?

Financially smart and frugal people have priorities in life and they spend good money on the items they consider top priorities. In essence, frugal people live rich, happier, and more fulfilling lives because they take care of the important things first. Cheap people tend to be obsessed with saving money. They’ll put off or avoid paying for important necessities as much as possible. Cheap people won’t go to the hospital when they are sick neither will they take family members to see a dentist when necessary. Cheap people also tend to avoid buying insurance.

4. Do you make penny-wise pound-foolish decisions?

Frugal people know that the true cost of an item is more than its sticker price. The cost of an item includes it price, its opportunity cost, time spent to make the purchase, and cost of repair, maintenance, and replacement over time. Cheap people however determine the cost of an item based on price alone. Cheap people can’t seem to understand that it doesn?t make sense to drive 20 miles just to save a few cents on the cost of gas.

 

Are you cheap or frugal? How do you define the difference?

 

Photo courtesy of: Pavlofox

5 Crazy Ways Frugality Can Go Too Far

frugality

frugalityBeing frugal (which is kind of a nice way of saying ?cheap?) is usually a great thing. Frugality can help you to get, and keep, your financial life in order. While it might not always be fun to choose saving or spending, the rewards are obvious when you live your life in a frugal state of mind.

Of course, taking the frugal path is not always the right choice. Sometimes, you are actually justified in your decision to spend money instead of always being frugal. The following are?five examples of times when you just might be better off spending rather than saving.

Buying a Cheap Car

The old saying that ?you get what you pay for? often applies to vehicles. That doesn?t mean that you have to buy the most expensive car on the lot, of course, but you probably shouldn?t buy the cheapest, either. Investing in a quality vehicle, and then servicing that vehicle regularly, is something that can pay off in the long run. If you do opt for a cheap car with minimal features and only a basic warranty, you could wind up paying for that decision with repair bills in the near future.

Buying Junk Food

You might have noticed that some of the ?junk? foods that many of us love to eat are rather inexpensive at your local grocery store. While that might be true, that doesn?t necessarily make them a good deal. For one thing, those foods are generally bad for your health, so they should be avoided. Also, you tend to eat more of those kinds of foods because they are high in salt and sugar, meaning you won?t really save money in the end.

Fixing Your House on the Cheap

For most people, a home is the most expensive purchase they will ever make ? and the biggest asset they will ever own. Therefore, it is a good idea to care for that asset by fixing it properly when something goes wrong. If you try to save money by only patching together a repair when something is wrong with your home, you will inevitably wind up spending more to fix it again down the line.

Buying Cheap Clothes

Clothes are a necessary expense, and there are garments on the market that range from extremely affordable to extremely expensive. Most likely, you will want to place the majority of your purchases in the middle of that range. While you don?t want to buy the most expensive shirts and pants in the store, you probably should steer clear of the cheapest ones as well. Cheap clothes usually don?t last long, meaning you will be back out buying more new clothes again in the near future.

Working Every Day

Part of being frugal, by extension, is working a lot in order to earn more money. While that is great, it would be a mistake to work every day in pursuit of the biggest possible paycheck at the end of each month. Money is great, but you can?t take it with you when you go. As long as your budget is in order, make sure to enjoy living by giving yourself some time off now and then.

 

Have you ever taken frugality too far and regretted it later? What are some things you shouldn’t be frugal (or ?cheap) about?

 

Photo courtesy of: eak_kkk

5 Creative Ways to Stretch Leftovers

leftovers

leftoversLet?s face it. As much fun as some of us have cooking our meals, we all get into a rut now and then. And if you do very much cooking, you already know it isn?t always easy to use all those leftovers. Just the word ?leftovers? has some people turning up their noses. But like it or not, using your leftovers and learning to stretch meals is a great way to save money and cut down on eating out.

Here are five?different ways you can stretch your meals a little further and use leftovers creatively.

Turn Leftovers into a New Pot of Soup

One of my favorite ways to use leftovers of all types is by turning them into a new pot of soup. You can use lots of little bits of vegetables leftover in your fridge to make a vegetable soup. You can also use leftover meat, like chicken from a rotisserie chicken or even leftover meatballs to make different types of soup. Here?s a great recipe for meatball soup that I?m going to try next time I have leftovers meatballs.

Create a New Sandwich

Another great way to use both vegetables and meats is by making a sandwich. Not only could you use leftover meat from hams, turkey and chicken to make a sandwich, but you could also re-purpose things like meatloaf to make a good sandwich the next day. One of my favorite parts of holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter where we make a ham or turkey is using the leftover meat to make sandwiches the next day. Yum!

Toss Together a Casserole

Casseroles are one of the easiest one dish meals to make because they often combine meat or protein, vegetables, dairy and grains all in one easy dish. They are also easy things to make using lots of leftovers. You can easily combine leftover vegetables, some rice or noodles, some chicken and a can of cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup to make a hearty casserole. Put the casserole in the oven at 350 for a few minutes and you?ll have an easy meal.

Try Your Hand at Canning and Preserving

No matter if your produce is store-bought or raised in your own garden, you can take a stab at canning and preserving to make the most of vegetables before they go bad in your kitchen. You can create things like salsa, jams and jellies, applesauce and more that will keep for months or even a couple of years in your pantry.

Start a Compost Pile or Feed Your Chickens

A final alternative to eating all of your leftovers yourself is to turn them into compost for your vegetable garden or feed them to your chickens instead. Both compost piles and livestock can benefit from your vegetable scraps and other leftovers if you really can?t stand the thought of eating them yourself. At least you can rest easy knowing they are better off in these places than in the trash instead.

Next time you have leftovers that you aren?t sure how to use, try one of these ideas to stretch your food budget and make use of every bit of the food you buy. If meal planning is something you struggle with, check out $5 Meal Plan – which gives you everything you need to set up a budget friendly and creative meal plan for your family.

 

How do you use your leftovers? Have you ever used leftovers for these purposes?

 

Photo courtesy of: Meditations

4 Easy Ways to Save More Money Every Month

save more money

piggy-bank-477979_640I’m usually firmly planted on the side of earning more over spending less. This is as?I tend to find it easier to work a little more instead of cutting things from my budget. But I’m finding that the more I’m around frugal people and the more I read about frugal tendencies, the easier it is for me to save more money.

If you’re not sure you can jump on the frugal bandwagon, here are a few little ways you can start to save more money every month. Trust me, it’s easier than it sounds!

1. Cut Subscriptions

I know, I know. This is almost always the first suggestion you read on people’s blogs about saving money. But I’m not just talking about your TV subscription. Although you should consider cutting the cord and getting something cheaper like Netflix or another alternative to cable?like the [easyazon_link identifier=”B00ZVJAF9G” locale=”US” nw=”y” tag=”wisedollar-20″ cart=”y” popups=”y”]Amazon Fire TV Stick[/easyazon_link], you can also save money by cutting other things you may be subscribed too like magazines, satellite radio and things you may not even remember!

Double check your credit card statements to see if you are subscribed to anything that gets charged to your account automatically. Chances are there’s at least one thing you’ve forgotten to cancel in the past.

2. Meal Plan Using Stuff From Your Pantry

One area I really make an effort to save money in all the time is groceries.?Overspending at the grocery store is easy because everything at the grocery store seems like a necessity. While you do need to eat and grocery shopping is a lot cheaper than eating out, you can likely still save money on your monthly grocery bill. One way to do this is by regularly going through your freezer and pantry and making a meal plan based off of ingredients you find hidden in there.

The last time I did this, I was able to eat for almost two weeks using foods I found in my pantry and freezer. I only had to supplement with some fresh fruits and vegetables.

This tip won’t work every single month, but you can use it to save money on a regular basis and to avoid having to throw out food that’s past its expiration date.

3. Examine Your Cell Phone Bill

My cell phone contract was up a few months ago and when I went to get a new phone and plan I realized that I had been paying for a lot of features I didn’t really need. I had a massive data plan and yet I was only using less than 10 percent of it every month because my phone is almost always on wi-fi (it’s a perk of working from home). Lowering my data package is saving me $40 permonth.

If coverage is available in your area, you might also be able to switch to a new carrier, like Republic Wireless?and get plans as low as $10 per month.

4. Embrace Minimalism

Minimalism is a simple concept. The less you buy the more money, and time, you save. I love the concept of minimalism, but the implementation of it can be a little more tricky. Even though I will never be a true minimalist, I have taken to decluttering my house on a regular basis. This helps me “earn” money when I sell things I no longer need and it also helps me save money by reminding me that I’ve got more than enough stuff. This is a pretty good deterrant to buying more stuff next time I go shopping.

You don’t have to embrace total minimalism or declutter your whole house?in order to save money with this strategy. Instead, you just have to remind yourself that you don’t need more stuff by asking yourself “Do I really need this?” next time you go shopping.

 

Have you implemented any of these strategies to help you save more money? How else can you save money every month?

 

Photo courtesy of: Gaertringen