Do you have a frugal household budget? You can create a budget that’s leaner and meaner: these money saving ideas can get you going.
We are currently the worst savers in the world of industrialized nations. Americans simply don’t save for a rainy day, due probably to the (former) erroneous belief that housing would continue to appreciate forever. As we rudely discovered, this faith was totally misplaced; our homes are now losing value at a frightening rate. But things may be changing, there are still a few positive consequences of the present economic and financial crisis, believe it or not!
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A Few Money Saving Ideas To Create A Frugal Household Budget
There’s evidence to suggest that more consumers are hunkering down. After hovering near zero for much of the decade, savings as a portion of disposable income rose to 2.8 percent in November last year from 2.4 percent in October (again, of last year), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
More and more Americans are socking away as much as they can as they realize that things will get worse before they get better. Regardless of what’s in the stimulus plan or whether or not we receive a stimulus check, most consumers will stay away from spending except for bare necessities. If you haven’t done so, I strongly suggest you start cutting your monthly bills by taking the following steps:
Stop eating out so much.
I still see a lot of middle class families crowding expensive restaurants in my neck of the woods. They haven’t got the message yet, but the awakening may be rude indeed.
Check your phone plan.
I changed my phone landline perks to the bare minimum, saving $40 a month. No more long distance plan, no more international calls plan. I discovered Skype, a wonderful tool that allows me to call my mother in Switzerland and my daughters in Mexico for $0.02 a minute. Of course, you’ll need Internet access.
Do your math.
I read an old article from the Wall Street Journal that shows how bad we are at figuring loan payments and at establishing saving goals. Also, a recent study has reported that most folks underestimate how much savings would grow and how much debt would end up costing them.
I recommend this helpful site, where all kinds of financial calculators and other tools are available. Before acquiring your next living room set, make sure you visit this website location first to know exactly how much you’ll end up paying. Do not be fooled by the “low monthly payments” sales pitch.
Hang on to your cash.
With the savings rate expected to rise further, some forecasters are heralding a new economy in which Americans hang on to more of their cash. This crisis may very well end the foolish spending spree that typified the American consumer between 1970 and 2008. Put your cash, no matter how little, in safe investments such as a high yield savings account (like FNBO Direct) or short term CDs (short term because when interests rise again, you want to be able to reinvest your money immediately). Compare online banks to find potential places for your savings.
Make and Stick To a Monthly Frugal Household Budget
It’s always been highly recommended that each of us develop and create our own household budget, but I realize that some people find this distasteful and boring. Well, so is going to the dentist, but the alternative is much less appealing.
I emphasize that we need to “stick to” our household budget, because the temptations out there are constant. Now that businesses are frantic about trying to woo customers back, advertising has become increasingly aggressive and deceiving.
I made the mistake of buying a gadget from a TV ad for $19.99 (what else?). I fell into the trap with both feet when I discovered that shipping and handling amounted to $23.00; by then, it was too late. Try not to be too easily swayed by advertising (there’s a lot of false advertising out there!) — check your impulses before you buy anything. And please keep an eye on grandma, who is a favorite target of telemarketers.
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