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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Managing the Household in an Economic Crisis – Some Great Money Saving Ideas


Managing the Household in an Economic Crisis – Some Great Money
Saving Ideas
By Nirjara Rustom

A penny saved is a penny earned. This old saying has tremendous
value, especially in the current economy. Unless you have money
to burn (so what if you really do) there’s no harm in saving a
bit for a rainy day. And if you’re really strapped for cash and
live in a hand to mouth fashion, these tips that I’m about to
give you will really be a blessing for you. While the individual
amounts may not be so substantial, there are some nice tips
which, when taken advantage of, will add up to a nice chunk. So,
let’s get started!

1. My first tip is a two in one tip – set goals and start
planning. By goals, I mean that you should first make a list of
your short term, intermediate, and long term goals. This will
help you plan wisely. Also, each short term goal that you reach
will encourage you to save more and accomplish the next goal.
“Reason why” you need to save is a powerful motivator. Next,
whenever you go shopping, make a list of all the things you wish
to buy and control your desire to buy anything else unless you
will require it in near future and it is currently available at
a bargain. Failing to plan in advance will lead to impulsive
spending. In fact, it would be best to leave your credit card at
home and come with limited cash, so you don’t give yourself any
excuses!

2. My next tip actually costs more money but is a great saver
in the long run – buy reusable stuff. Rechargeable batteries,
artificial flowers, artificial Christmas tree, etc cost a little
more initially but save a lot of money in the long run.
Unfortunately, use and throw seems to be more of a norm these
days – I know folks who use paper dishes at home to save them
the bother of washing!

3. This tip will also need you to spend more initially – buy in
bulk. I cannot emphasize enough how important this is. If you’re
planning to buy non perishable goods (like soap), you should buy
in as large a quantity as possible and affordable, depending on
the maximum bulk discount available. You should also prefer to
buy stuff that come in larger quantities per unit. For example,
if you plan to buy washing machine powder, you will notice that
small packages are comparatively more expensive. This may not
always be true, so it makes sense in keeping a calculator
whenever you go shopping, if you’re math is not good enough.
Divide the cost by the weight /number of pieces for each
different variety of packages and you will know how much the
difference is. For perishable goods, be careful and buy the
largest quantity possible that will be consumed before getting
perished. Don’t overbuy to an extent that you have to throw away
the last remains, unless it is still worth! A good idea is to go
shopping in groups so that you can buy in bulk. Prices of some
items fluctuate seasonally, so try to stock up at that time.
Prepare to save enough cash reserves in advance for such
situations by making notes in your calendar.

4. Always visit the clearance racks first whenever you go
shopping. Sometimes it may take a little more time to search for
the right items but the savings will be worth it. You can also
get good bargains at thrift and surplus stores.

5. Reducing wastage is also a big one. There are many things
you can do to avoid wastage; things like switching off lights,
fans and other electric appliances when not required (especially
when you’re moving from one room to another), switching off a
car when you need to wait for over a minute at the traffic
signal, paying bills on time to avoid late payment fees,
avoiding delay in dental treatment, using the washing machine
only when it is full, using up credit card reward points and air
flier miles on time to avoid their lapse, paying off debts on or
before time whenever you can to avoid excess interest, keeping
your house properly insulated to avoid excess use of utilities
like air conditioner and room heater, canceling subscriptions to
magazines which you read sparingly, selling suff you no longer
need on ebay, etc are some great ways to reduce wastage.

6. Buy stuff of good quality, especially durable items. Don’t
go shopping vegetables with plastic or paper bags which will
last only once or twice; use cloth bags instead. You even save
the risk of the bag getting torn in transit, causing
embarrassment and possible damage. Also learn to extend the
durability of stuff like covering electronic items with dust
free covers, using anti-moisture products in appliances and
places of high moisture, to reduce corrosion; powder coating
aluminum slides, regularly oiling mechanical parts, etc.

7. You can also save a lot when going for a movie, if you’re a
die hard movie fan. For example, you can go for a matinee show
or one where the tickets are cheaper, look out for discounted
tickets normally found online, bring your own popcorn in an
opaque plastic bag placed in a large purse, wear jeans with
large pockets and stuff them with snacks and chocolates, etc.

Finally, allow yourself to splurge once in a while! Saving is
good, but don’t be a permanent miser. Total deprivation can
sometimes lead to overindulgence, just like dieting. You should
also understand the difference between a “need” and a “want”.
Buy only the things that you need, not what you want.

About the Author: Nirjara Rustom moderates the House Hold
Section of
http://www.bharatbhasha.com at
http://www.bharatbhasha.com/house_hold.php - a free informative
resource.


Source:
http://www.isnare.com

Permanent Link:
http://www.isnare.com/?aid=330187&ca=Family+Concerns

3 comments:

how to budget said...

I really liked the goals part of making a budget! I don’t know if we really think about that much when we create a budget. Thanks so much for giving us so many great resources!

how to budget said...

I really liked this article! Two points that I liked were first the movies, and second you need to splurge sometimes. I thought that the movies were really good because recently my parents took my wife and me out to the movies. They spent more on the treats then they did on the movie. So brining your own treats was a great idea. Second, we can’t save every penny and never experience life!

Marianna said...

Good, sound and practical advice!

Uncontrolled shopping, or "retail therapy", is also a sign of stress. Rather than balancing the nervous system and transforming the stress, people may shop 'til they drop in an attempt to make themselves feel better.

It's often short-lived. The bills come in, they feel more stress and so the cycle begins, again.