Elizabeth - posted on 12/29/2009 ( 41 moms have responded )
Am I the only mom who is sick of viewing this forum and thinking it's all about people targetting us for the next get-rich-quick and stay-at-home pyramid scam?
My tips for saving cash:
- buy raw, unprocessed foods, like a kilo of potatoes and a bag of carrots. Then, cook a big pot of something once a week, dividing your food up into tupperware containers to be frozen. Over a period of weeks, you'll build up a stock of various healthy, pre-portioned, frozen dishes that can be put in the microwave like those microwave meals you can purchase at 5 dollars a pop.
- get a piggy bank and put spare change in it. If you can't afford one or aren't interested, get a jar, paint it opaquely so you cannot see the contents, and dump the change in. Swear not to open it or touch it except once a year/when it gets full, etc.
- Set up an automatic draw from whatever account you get paid into of (at minimum) 10% of your pay to go into a savings account before you purchase anything, pay any bills, etc. Hide that account from your sight.
- Cut up the credit card. Seriously. Cut it up. If you can't pay for it without one, then you can't afford it. If you can afford it and you use a credit card to buy it, then you're making a mistake... I actually had a credit card with a $500 limit that I'd pay off before interest hit because I thought it was next to free - and I thought the points I got on it were therefore free - until I realized I was paying that darn thing off three times a month to avoid interest, and it was the primary place I didn't have my finances under control. So it's not that I couldn't afford the credit card per se, it was more that I couldn't afford to have one because of how it skewed my spending habits. There's no use for credit other than emergencies, and in that case, better to have it in a savings account than credit (which my previous tip suggests).
- Have a garage sale.
- Buy things second hand. Especially baby clothes. They hardly last because kids grow too fast.
- Get health insurance sooner rather than later. It may cost you, but one fact of life is that we're gonna die sometime. And that happens because of disease or an accident, and it is 100% guaranteed. So, unlike other insurance, get it young, before you need it, and keep paying it. It'll save you in the long run... ESPECIALLY if you're a new mom!
Anyone else have any serious tips and tricks to share?
Please - no 2nd level references to other web sites, third party employers, etc, just up and up tips to help each other get by in hard times.