We go out to eat once a week instead of 2-3 times. I have a vegetable garden, and a clothesline for laundry. We have a Buffalo Grass lawn that requires 75% less water than other turf grasses. We drink tap water filtered with a Brita. We don't hire anyone to do anything we can do ourselves. We have the thermostat set at 66 and wash everything in cold water. I don't go to the doctor unless absolutely necessary. We shop at deep discount factory seconds for clothing and salvage places for food. I cut coupons if we absolutely have to have a national brand item. We do not go to movies or bars at all. We still use credit cards to gain air miles for travel to see family, but have not carried a balance for over 15 years.
Set a daily budget and stick to it. If you go over the budget today, tomorrow's budget ought to be reduced by the same amount. Also, track the days you go over and keep a log of what you did to bust the daily allowance. After a few "over the budget" days it should be clear where spending can be reduced or cut out all together.
A little bit here and a little bit there adds up to a large overall savings. Also, I am trying to do things that satisfy two goals, saving money AND improving my overall health. Riding our bikes to the park fills up an afternoon with my daughter for free and I am not as tempted to take a side trip to a store when I have to pedal there.
I am single, and keep my eye out for good co-housing arrangements all the time - either share rental house or share purchasing, am open. Meanwhile renting an apt, after selling house too large for me.
Save money by wearing layers, including cutting off feet of old socks, and keeping lovely wool 'leggings' around my ankles and calfs thru winter. Amazing how much warmer one feels! Truly don't like the house warmer than 63 daytime, 55 at night, that's easy. (Do not understand Americans in winter, wearing t-shirts around house, and raising thermostat).
Dinners out at nice restaurants are O U T. Occasional 'beer and burger/salad' outings, once or twice a week. Am easier asking 'better employed' friends to pitch in once in a while (I am under employed, long time self-employed in building sector).
No longer waltz ANY clothing, or similar, stores - no way! Twice a year I will shop for three pairs of pants, new socks, perfect pair of shoes, and wear all into ground, along with all the clothes I already own.
Wash and 'keep' clothes in good condition, don't let grime dig into fabrics.
Had bike side baskets rewelded, instead of purchasing new, I comet my bike panier to look like new, plant more balcony veggies and flowers from SEED (much cheaper than starts) and SHARE/swap with friends.
Borrow/share items like: camera tri-pod, bike pump, african drum not being used, etc.
No 'brand new' towels or linens, just use what I have, 'it's perfectly fine'. Time to lower or just CHANGE standards: new is no longer so cool.
Smile as folks waltz out of bars loaded and $50 poorer, also those sitting in front of big fancy HD TV's, with cars bought on credit in driveways.
Join those writing before me, in enjoying walking or biking pretty much everywhere - my biggest pet peeve is paying CAR INSURANCE, and the PHONE COMPANY (land line and DSL) - these companies have monopolies, and we citizens must start to take the reins.
Demand higher gas taxes, and move insurance to paying for mileage (use) rather than time (annual dues). With the phone company, well, we know this one is a very very old story.
Craigslist is king, in this economy, especially! cheers! :-)
As most retirees do, have downsized housing, changed investments from mainly stocks to CD's, Treasury Funds for retirement 401K, cut back on vacation, buy used cars (3 years or older) contact friends with email, stop long distance calling from tele companies, more casseroles, soups, shop discount stores food and clothes, cut driving to minimum, and keep up beat.
I always pay myself first. As soon as I get my paycheck, I deduct a portion of it into my money market account. Also, I only use my debit card. I don't use credit cards, except for gas where I collect points for free gas. At the end of the month, I of course pay off the credit card in full. I still go out and have fun, but now I'm more selective. I venture to cheaper restaurants. Or I have friends over instead of going out to clubs and bars. I go on cheaper vacations. In this economy, you have to have fun to keep your sanity. You just have to be more planful. And for my birthday and Christmas, I ask for yearly memberships to the zoo or the children's museum for my son. Or I ask for gift certificates for my favorite restaurants.
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