Previously posted in 2007
Last month, Carol and I attended an interesting nine hour class about money management. The class was geared more toward young married couples, but in the promo, it said, "Teaching your children money management", which was what interested Carol. I went along for the ride and loved the class. Much was review, but it was a great shot in the arm to motivate me to reorganize myself. The beset thing that I got out of the class was the tip to read (I downloaded it to my iPod) Dave Ramsey's "Total Money Management Makeover". What an awesome approach to being "together" on your money management! I mentioned it on my blog a few times and had a few emails requesting some detail. Here are a few of the money saving tips:
- SAVE FIRST!!! If you have a savings account of $1000 for emergencies, you won't have to use the credit cards to pay for car repairs, unexpected expenses. Saving the $1000 emergency fund is priority to paying off high interest credit cards because with the savings, the credit card balances won't have to continue to increase as you are paying them off.
- Add extra payments to your debts, even if it's only $10 a month. Giving up one meal out a month , a bad habit such as smoking or sodapop or one movie night and adding that savings to your debt will get the balances down quicker!
- Pay off the highest interest loan first, then apply that amount that you'd been paying on that loan to the next highest interest loan until they are all paid off.
- Use the great outdoors as your gym during the warm months.
- If you want to purchase something for over $75, contemplate the purchase for 24 hours to see if you still want it.
- Review your cable and magazine subscriptions. Are there any you could cancel?
- Make sure that your cell phone plan matches your needs. Increasing the plan (adding text messaging services or more minutes) can actually be a savings to you in the long run if you go over often.
- Buy used instead of new from cars to books.
- Exchange DVDs and books with your friends or check them out at the library.
- Unplug electronic devices when you are not using them.
- Use rechargable batteries. The cost of the charger will be less than the cost of replacing 8 AAA batteries. Once you've converted, you'll buy batteries annually instead of monthly.
- Close the doors to keep from heating and cooling unused rooms.
- Offer your services or talents in liew of buying a gift.
- Draw names for your family and friends, instead of buying for all.
- Limit your trips to the store. Shop from a list. Shop alone and not when hungry.
- Work over-time one shift a month and save the earnings.
- Empty change from your pockets, purse or wallet at the end of each day into a jar. Put it in the bank every few weeks.
- Raise your deductible on insurance.
- Save your raise. Save the increase and live on what you've been living on.
- Involve the whole family in a savings plan. They'll catch your enthusiasm.
- Arrange for bills to be automatically deducted from your checking account, saving on late fees, mailing expenses and time.
- Always send in for rebates, even if it's only $1, it adds up.
- Reduce the size of your storage unit or better yet, get rid of it and the stuff you aren't using.
- Attend matinees. Go to the 5:00 show. Don't go to the movie hungry and the popcorn won't be as tempting.
- If you entertain, have potluck.
- Vacation off season. Some places are less than half the cost in the off-season.
- Wear slippers or socks. Add an extra blanket to the bed. Turn the head down.
- Use small appliances rather than heating up the oven.
- Clean the lint filter in the dryer every time you use it to decrease drying times.
- Shop for Christmas all year long. Make sure to write down what you buy and where it's stored.
- Avoid leasing cars!
- Don't speed.
- Get a home energy audit every few years from your power/gas companies to see if there are ways to cut costs.
A VERY good recipe from the class that I'd have NEVER tried had I known...
2 ripe bananas
1/4 cup mashed white beans (this is the oil replacement)
1/4 cup butter (or more beans)
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 300° (Seriously, that's what it says but I've always baked mine at 400°.) Grease one 9x5 loaf pan. In medium bowl, mash bananas and stir in eggs until well-blended. Set aside. In large bowl, beat beans and butter together, gradually adding the sugar. Stir in vanilla and banana mixture. Whisk together the flour, soda and salt. Blend into the batter. Add nuts if desired. Pour into pan and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, (check after 1 hour).
If you'd be wealthy, think of saving more than of getting.