Monday, May 30, 2011

Stretching Your Food $$

From Oct 26, 2009
When we think of economy, we perhaps think of saving money or we think of skimping, saving, deprivation. At one time Americans were big savers. We kept a fair amount of our earnings in the bank, where it made decent interest. Our national economy was strong and healthy.

Today though, the average rate of American savings is actually a negative number! Not only do we not save any money, we are spending more than we make, both nationally and personally.

This trend is a disaster, as we have all seen, with the bank bail outs, housing market crises and job losses this past year.

How do you protect yourself from the next $ crisis? You have to sit up and pay attention to your money. Where is it going and why? Is your money actually helping to make your life better? Is it taking you where you want to go? Or is it going down the drain, spent mindlessly on junk and frivolous items? Your money is a tool and you are supposed to be in control of it. Don’t be a slave to credit card companies, working just to make ends meet because you wanted instant gratification. Now you have to pay for things that are perhaps already worn out and discarded, while you are stuck with the bill for months or years.

Start today telling your money what to do. Sit down and make a list of all the bills you pay each month. Ask yourself if you really need or want this. Does it really make you feel good? Do you really love it and want it? If not, get rid of it! I am talking about negotiable items in your budget here. If it is a debt, then of course, you owe that money and you need to pay it back, however long that takes.

But if say you really don’t like your car, think of how you could do without it. Could you walk, bike or carpool to work? Could you trade it in on another car, perhaps one you like better or that costs less?
Do you really need 100+ TV channels? How can you watch them all? Perhaps you would be just as happy with fewer choices. Or even try going without TV at all.  I got rid of television in my home 20 years ago. An amazing thing happened. My kids got up and went outside. They played with each other. They made new friends. They read more books. You might be surprised  to find out that TV isn’t a necessity afterall.
The bottom line is using your money to make your life better does not mean having all the latest and greatest electronics and gadgets. It can mean having money in the bank, a financial safety net that will give you peace of mind.

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