Tag Archive for Frugality

4 Depression Era Tricks to Stretch a Small Income

4 Depression Era Tricks to Stretch a Small Income

4 Depression Era Tricks to Stretch a Small IncomeHave you ever gotten to the end of a pay period with next to nothing left of your paycheck? Like many, you might find your salary or income a little wanting. After all, the cost of living and everyday expenses isn?t necessarily cheap.

This could mean you have to stretch your paycheck thin just to accommodate the necessities. Nonetheless, no matter what you earn or the price of your expenses, there are always small adjustments you can make to help stretch your money a little further. Here are four old-time, depression era tricks to stretch a small income.

1. Skip Convenience Items

When life gets busy it?s easy to run to Starbucks or grab takeout. Unfortunately, while the price might seem inexpensive at first, those constant drive thru runs or grande lattes add up a lot quicker than you?d realize.

Instead, opt to do things at home. Plan and cook meals and brew your own coffee. Fresh groceries and supplies will save you more than you?d realize, leaving money for other things.

2. Forgo Cable

We all have our favorite shows and sources of entertainment. Of course, cable and dish subscriptions are anything but cheap.

If you?re trying to stretch your paycheck ridding your bank account of cable subscriptions can be a surefire way to save some of your income.

Sign up for more inexpensive streaming services like DirecTV Now or Sling TV, or opt for other streaming options like an [easyazon_link identifier=”B00ZV9RDKK” locale=”US” nw=”y” tag=”wisedollar-20″ cart=”n” popups=”y”]Amazon Fire TV Stick[/easyazon_link].

You?ll be able to watch your favorites and save.

3. Find Freebies

Just because you want to save doesn?t mean you can?t have any fun in life. That being said, you don?t have to spend a lot, or anything for that matter, to find entertainment around your town.

Search for free events like plays or concerts in the park or find games and sports you can play around your community. You can enjoy spending time with your family and friends without hurting your budget or using up the rest of your paycheck.

4. Budget & Make Cuts

A budget does more than just organize your finances. Even if you think your paycheck is stretched throughout your budget, there are always ways to make small cuts.

Re-evaluate your budget and adjust any categories that are either unnecessary or that you?re simply paying too much for. Moreover, write down extra purchases that might not be in your budget and examine whether or not they?re a necessity as well.

Sometimes, when a raise isn?t an option and you feel as though you?ve stretched your income to it?s limit, it can be difficult to know where to adjust your finances. Even so, you don?t have to make major cuts or sacrifices in order to stretch your paycheck a little extra.

Instead, review your budget and expenses and find small ways to cut back or reallocate your salary. You might be surprised how much impact the little adjustments can have on your monthly income.


Where are some depression era tricks you can use to save money? What are some inexpensive or free activities in your community?


Photo courtesy of: monicore

3 Ways Frugality Helps Build Wealth

3 Ways Frugality Helps Build Wealth

3 Ways Frugality Helps Build WealthWould you like to be wealthy? That?s a silly question ? of course you would.

No one would turn down wealth if it was offered, as being wealthy opens up many possibilities which simply wouldn?t be available otherwise.

Want to travel, or take more time off of work? Wealth can make those things possible, and more.

Of course, it is not easy to become wealthy. You might think that you need a fancy job or advanced education to become wealthy, but that is not necessarily the case.

In fact, there is one simple thing you can do which will greatly improve your chances to achieve wealth ? live a frugal lifestyle. If you can live frugally from day to day, you just might find yourself in a wealthy position down the line.

Here?are three ways in which frugality can help you build your personal wealth.

Add to Your Savings

Well, this one is obvious. If you live in a frugal manner, you can save more of the money you make each month. Many people ignore the idea of saving any of their money, instead choosing to spend basically everything they earn as soon as it comes in.

If you are willing to make a few sacrifices along the way ? such as eating in rather than dining out all the time ? you may be able to save a considerable amount of money as the years go by. It is hard to imagine that something so simple could be so powerful, but it really is a great way to take your finances to a better place.

The Snowball Effect

Taking a frugal approach to just one area of your finances can quickly snowball into other areas until you are thinking practically about every single dollar you spend.

For instance, if you cut out your cable bill because you can get all of your entertainment through other sources, you may save something like $100 per month. That $100 of savings is not going to make you rich all on its own, but it might encourage you to look for other areas to save.

Pretty soon, you will be applying a careful review to all of your financial decisions, and your bank accounts may look better as a result. The most important think you can do with regard to frugality is simply taking a first step. Work on finding a way to save some money in one specific area of your life and move on from there.

Motivation to Increase Earnings

When you live paycheck to paycheck, it is hard to think about anything else but paying the bills. You probably won?t spend much time trying to increase your earnings, because you will be so focused on getting by with what you have at the moment. However, one of the best things you can do to become wealthy is find a way to make more money month after month.

Now that you are living a frugal lifestyle, you should have more margin for error each month in your budget ? and you should be able to spend some time looking for additional earning opportunities as a result.


Do you live frugally? Is frugality helping you to build wealth? How else are you building wealth?


Photo courtesy of: The Digital Way

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

5 Crazy Ways Frugality Can Go Too Far


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


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