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THANKS FOR ALL YOUR WISDOM!!! General Tips Requested!

January 8th, 2011 at 03:01 am

I am on DAY FIVE of writing down all expenditures. Every day I write down everything that goes through my checking acct and my beloved Frequent Flyer VISA. Except for $1,000 which I will pay off in two weeks, it has a zero balance. Very soon I hope to use it like a debit card and payoff each VISA expense every day from our linked checking account. I LOVE tracking our expenses and I feel very in control.

Yesterday you all gave me some honest advice. Although I have to admit initially it was a bit hard to take, almost immediately I appreciated your honesty as your input is necessary for me to change my overspending ways.

All in one day, ImaSaver reminded me that rentals can be living hell and Jerry reminded me that with regard to giving my son money for grad school, maybe there were other options which would have done the same thing. My greatest "lesson" yesterday came from Patient Saver and her kind kick in the pants directness. She told that I needed to separate my emotions from money. This is so true for me as I an be very emotional. Then she said after that, slow down and take TIME to make the correct financial decision...to look at the PROS and CONS. This was great advice! Had I taken her advice before I made the no interest loan to my son on the spur of the moment, I would have researched it and found him a good student loan for the 10K. After all, both my husband and I had them and while they were a bit uncomfortable, slowly paying them off on schedule was a good learning experience for us.

CALL FOR HELP!!!

Since I am a financial newbie, if you could give me some tips that you use I would really appreciate it. Just through reading your blogs and understanding your mindsets, I am already starting to change. For example, I am starting to think it's a joyful challenge to have a "no spending day"...I want to have one today! Also, I used some of your financial creativity to remember to watch our Netflix last night and have dinner at home rather than think we "deserved" a Friday night restaurant meal. I also plan to get hold of the info on our 401K/IRAs and try to track our networth on a MONTHLY basis.

I will consider and use any tips you have. At 52, I may be an "old dog" but I think I'm up for learning some new tricks!! THANKS FOR YOUR WISDOM and your willingness to share. I appreciate it!

11 Responses to “THANKS FOR ALL YOUR WISDOM!!! General Tips Requested! ”

  1. mjrube94 Says:

    Great idea about using your visa like a debit card. But check with your credit card company to make sure they will allow it. I have credit cards that limit me to 3 online transfers per month. It may be worth a double check...Good luck!

  2. SavingsQueen Says:

    Thanks for the tip! I just called them and they only allow a transfer every three days. I figure I can make a transfer every Friday to best remember it.

  3. CB in the City Says:

    There is only one tip -- spend less than you make. You will have to decide where to make the cuts. Everything you don't spend goes to debt repayment, then, when you're debt free, into the savings vehicles of your choice.

    I found that changing my mindset was what got me on the right track. Did I deserve fun, or did I deserve financial security? Which one was really better? Once I chose financial security, everything started to fall into place.

    And I have found almost everything I do to save money -- FUN! A simple life personally suits me much better than a consumer-driven life, and I have found I love to cook, make creative gifts, and fix things myself (within reason, of course!) That's the real secret of the frugal life -- it's a good life!

  4. Savings Queen Says:

    CB, You are so right. I just have to decide that I deserve financial freedom. And spend less than we make. Pretty simple. You are right about adopting a simple life too. Thanks!

  5. Ima saver Says:

    Since I have never had a job making more than $8000 a year, the best tip I can give is: It does not matter how much money you make, it is how much you KEEP!

  6. Savings Queen Says:

    Imasaver, You are amazing!

  7. retire@50 Says:

    When you are trying to cut across the board it is easier to try to cut one category at a time. For example, you might want to cut utility costs. Research and find out which changes work best for you. Changing to CFL lightbulbs, lowering water heater and thermostat temperatures are easy starts. Unplugging appliances will make a big differences. Then when you've done what you can in one area, move to another. Learn how to save on groceries by shopping smart, stockpiling and using coupons. Conquer that and then move on to another area like entertainment or transportation. It's often overwhelming to just start cutting everything at once.

  8. patientsaver Says:

    Oh dear, a kick in the pants.. it was said with the best of intentions.

    If I were to contribute one idea, it would be that if you're looking for places to save money, focus on those things that will give you the "biggest bang for the buck." In other words, while skipping lattes or saving a buck here or there is nice, spend your time and energy on those areas that will result in the biggest cost savings first. Some places to look at might include homeowners insurance (cut premiums by taking a safe driver course, increase deductibles, etc) or car insurance (increase deductibles, drop collision on an older car, check with insurer for all possible ways to save).

    Food definitely is a big expense; it was my #2 expense right after my mortgage/property taxes. I can see from tracking my expenses in 2010 that I spent a grand total of $2,642 on food, which seems high for a single person; it comes out to $220 a month. So, I've somewhat arbitrarily decided to cut my grocery bill by 16%, which means i can spend no more than $185 a month on food, or $45 a week. Doesn't seem like much at all but I want to see if i can do it.

    I just decided this today. So I looked at what I've already spend on food for the first 8 days of January, and the bad news is, I have just $16 left to spend in January if I'm to keep to my limit! (That's partly due to a $40 membership fee for Costco I decided to renew.)

    I have plenty of food in the house, so it would be nice to try to "eat down" what I've already got and save that $16 for when I'm following a recipe with ingredients I've already got on-hand and missing a key ingredient, or for staples, like milk.

    But anyway, I love your enthusiasm!

  9. Savings Queen Says:

    Hi Patient Saver, Please don't be offended by my term "kick in the pants." I really should have said I appreciated your honesty. So many people in life sugar coat things, but you really didn't and that truly helped me.

    I do have quite a bit of enthusiasm, but due to my emotional nature, even that can be bad as I tend to hit things very hard at first (overly hard) when my emotions are running high and then end up giving up after a few months when emotionally I cool down. Just like you said earlier, I need to slow down, think things out and make a DECISION that it is important to slowly and steadily improve my finances. I also liked what you said about taking the biggest expenses first and working on them. I will take a look at that. I really know my husband and I do need to take a safe drivers class to help cut our insurance costs. Especially since I have had a wreck and my insurance went up. I think food bills are also a high area for us. For me, though, the absolute best way I can make an impact is to keep writing down my purchases each day and avoid going off on spending sprees. I know sprees are not even something you worry about as you are so good at this, but my "sprees" are when I can spend way too much money on stuff I don't need. I truly do need to remove my EMOTIONS from my money situation. If I can't do that I won't ever be able to tame this beast. In looking at my list of goals for 2010, as usual I probably went overboard. The most important thing is the emotion/money thing. Thanks so much for helping me realize that. I truly appreciate your candor.

  10. patientsaver Says:

    Well,no one's perfect; anyone will occasionally slip up. I don't often have problems with spending sprees but there are definitely times, probably the result of long periods of feeling "deprived," ie, not spending anything, that I feel very strong impulses to buy something, and once I latch onto a particular thing I think I "need," it's hard to put the thought to rest. If I absolutely can't resist the impulse to buy, I allow myself to go to someplace like Wal-Mart becus i figure i can't do too much damage there. Maybe a Dollar store would be even better!

  11. J-Money Says:

    Nice work on your ebay sales! That is amazing - I have some car debt to pay off and that would be a very good idea to steal...i just need to figure out what I have to sell! Keep up the good work and stay positive!

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