* Pendidikan Seumur Hidup: How to Manage Your Budget During These Difficult Times

Friday, May 22, 2009

How to Manage Your Budget During These Difficult Times

  1. Managing a family budget during these difficult times is not easy. Here are some tips that can help you get by. The most important tip is to be aware of every penny that is spent. Keep a log of all your expenditures. Once you have written down expenditures for a few weeks, you will begin to see where the fat is in your budget.

  2. Do not overspend at the grocery store. Avoid buying non-essential items such as potato chips, cookies or candy. These things are not only expensive, they do not provide adequate nutrition and cannot be converted into meals (at least not for some). Buy these things once in a while so that your family looks forward to something. Also try to shop without a grocery cart. This will force you to buy only what you need for that day or a few days. Buy things that will stretch or can be converted into other meals. For instance, a package of chicken breasts can be used for various meals. A bag of rice can also be used for multiple meals. Buy the generic brand items. These are usually substantially cheaper than the name brands. Never overbuy perishable products. Do not buy more milk or meat than you can eat in the next few days. If you happen to not use it, this will be money wasted. Never throw in all the goodies that adorn the checkout counter. They are there to lure you in.

  3. Do not take your car to the car wash. This is a luxury. Wash it yourself. This can be a good family activity. Do not waste trips in your vehicle. If you need to go to several places, plan one trip and map it out so that all the locations are located furthese to closest. Do not drive around looking for a destination, always map out your trip before you leave your house. Never drive around a parking lot waiting for the closest spot. Park far away and get some exercise.

  4. Leave your credit cards at home. Always take out cash for the week. Divide the number of days by the amount you have to spend and only spend that amount per day. Carrying cash also makes you more conscious of how much you are spending. We are always more reluctant to spend cash. Only hold one credit card account. There is no need to have more than one or two major credit cards. Anymore will only get you into trouble. Use credit for emergencies only.

  5. Negotiate with everyone you owe money to. Most all creditors will consider revised payment plans as long as you let them know in advance. Sometimes past due payments can be deferred to the end of the loan. Do not pay more than you need to especially if you can no longer charge on that account. You can always pay extra when you are back on your feet.

  6. Buy clothing from discount stores. There is nothing wrong with wearing clothing that is not designer. Teenage kids may complain about this so compromise and buy one or two items that have designer labels and buy the rest from discount outlets. Only wash your clothes after they have been worn a few times. Never wash them after one wearing. Wash once per week.

  7. Unplug all appliances, computers, refrigerators, and other devices that are not being used. Take shorter showers. Turn your water heater temperature control to medium. Change the setting on your lawn sprinklers to water only once or twice a week. Do not let the TV run in a room where there is no occupant. Walk around your house turning off lights. Only have a light on in the room you are in. Try to use local lights so that you are not lighting the entire room. Install sensors that shut lights off automatically. Do not heat or cool the entire house if you do not have to. If your AC or heat is zoned, only use the zone that you are in. Do not use electric heaters for heat unless you have to. these are very expensive to run. Avoid letting water run in the sink. Do not flush the toilet excessively. Make sure your flush valve is a water saver. Install water saving shower heads. Do not wash down your driveway. Sign up for energy saver programs with your utility companies.

  8. Avoid that cup of coffee and pastry in the morning from the expensive coffee houses. MAke coffee at home and make your own pastry. This will save you up to 20 dollars per week. Do not stop at gas stations and buy all kinds of snacks everytime you fill up. Keep some crackers or fruit in the car so that if you become hungry this will satisfy you.

  9. Take a lunch to work. Tell your friends that you are willing to go to lunch with them if they are going somewhere that you can take your lunch. Never participate in work parties that you cannot afford. Simply tell your coworkers that you would love to participate but you cannot. Tell them that you will try to attend the next one.

  10. Sell whatever you dont use or need. Offer to sell other peoples items. Become the neigborhood yard sale manager. Do it for a portion of the profits. Sell jewelry that you dont wear. Sell that extra car if dont need it. Try to get by with using only one car.

  11. Reduce the number of cable channels you have or eliminate this service altogether. Kids dont need to watch all the garbage that is on tv anyways. Get rid of your land telephone line if you have a cell phone. There is no need anymore for a home based telephone. Only have one tv in your house. This will force you to spend time in the same room as your family. Get rid of all lawn service, pool service, house cleaning etc. All these things can be done by you.

  12. Ask your employer if you can possibly work from home for one or two days per week. This will save money on gas and food. Find people to carpool with. If you can find another family to share food expenses with, buy in bulk and divide amongst two or three families.

  13. Cook three or four meals at once and store them. This will cut down on the likelihood of things spoiling from non-use. Use half the amount of spices and oil and other expensive condiments that recipes call for. If you go to a restaurant, order the salads or pasta dishes which are generally cheaper in price. Order water instead of that alcoholic beverage. You can always buy a bottle of wine on the way home at a much lower cost.

  14. Never discard loose change. Buy a bag of coin holders and roll your coins frequently. You will be surprised how much money is laying around in loose change. After trying all these things, compare your costs to see what they use to be and what they are now!

source : eHow

1 comment:

odah said...

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