How well people survive money trouble also depends on how well they can economize and how often they can substitute costly items for less costly ones.
Do this well and often enough and you can save a substantial amount of money every month and move one step closer to financial stability. Here are 20 money saving strategies to keep you on track:
Eliminate The Home Phone Bill – Use Internet Phone Services
The average home phone bill is around $140/month. Instead, consider getting your house wired for an Internet phone and save about 70% or more on your home phone bill. You might also want to consider just using your cell phone for all your calling needs.
Consider Food Stamps – Determine Your Eligibility
For some people considering applying for food stamps means having to acknowledge some level of personal failure. Nothing is further from the truth. If you are unemployed and facing the prospect of bankruptcy you might very well need the assistance to recover and get working again. Many work sectors, especially the middle class baby boomers that are now in there fifties have been hit exceptionally hard by the recession. If you qualify for food stamps you can be sure that your money troubles require some public assistance.
Entertain At Home Rather Then Going Out
There was a day when we knew our neighbors and most of our entertainment was actually enjoyed at home having face-to-face conversations. Invite your friends over and have some fun. Potluck and card games can still be a ton of fun. So are video games. You can also download a movie from the Internet at nearly one-tenth the price of your average movie ticket.
Take Public Transportation Whenever Possible
In most urban and even in rural areas there is growing access to a wide range of public transportation systems. Take the time to map it out and figure out how much you can save by not using your car and instead using public transportation.
Community Education – Staying Informed And Become Marketable
Take advantage of available community education. Not exactly a survival tip, but education is important to your future marketability. So if you want to learn a different trade or obtain a new degree, you can save a small fortune in attending community college. The tuition is substantially lower then most trade schools and state colleges and many of the courses are taught during evening hours.
Public Health Care – See If You Qualify
Even though our medical care system is currently being reformed, depending on your income level, you and your family may qualify for public health care.
Find Specials And Use Coupons
No one likes to play the coupon game but you can save big on many of the food items that are on sale through these types of promotions.
Buy Generic Rather Then Brand Names
From suits to nuts everything is cheaper when you buy the generic brand rather then a name brand.
Learn New Kitchen Habits Now
If you have money troubles it’s time to be frugal in the kitchen. Wrap food carefully. Store foods quickly. Use old foods first. Plan the use of your leftovers.
Brown Bag It To Work
Everyone loves to eat out. When you have money troubles however, you need to eliminate as much eating out as possible – especially at lunchtime.
Maintain And Wash Your Own Vehicle
Not everybody is the wash and oil type. But if you have money troubles you can save a lot of money learning how to maintain your own vehicle. Make sure your car has plenty of antifreeze in winter. Plan trips to make the best use of your transportation dollar. And finally, get out there and enjoy washing your own car – you might even find it therapeutic.
Rent Out A Spare Parking Spot
If you live in a crowded city, the demand for safe and secure parking should not be underestimated. Some parking spaces can run a few hundred dollars a month. If you have a spot you are not using rent it out.
Walk Rather Then Drive
Fuel costs run hundreds of dollars a month. Say nothing of the cost of maintaining a vehicle. Walk or ride a bus where you can. When you want to drive consider using public transportation.
Limit Eating Out At Restaurants
Eat at home rather than at restaurants. Cook from raw ingredients rather than from more expensive readymade meals.
Use Public Resources Whenever Possible
If you need access to the Internet you can use a public library – most of them are now wired for the net. Public parks are for play and fun, use them rather then going to a movie or playing laser tag.
Reduce Your Car Insurance
If you have an older car, consider dropping the collision coverage – remember you will still need to have third-party collision insurance coverage. Consider dropping your collision insurance entirely if your car’s value has dropped substantially. You can also bring your liability down to minimal levels, but you need to realize you are taking a calculated risk – not unlike what the insurance company does with you.
Pressure Wash Rather Then Paint Your Home
Wash the interior and exterior walls this year instead of repainting. You can rent a water pressure hose for deep cleaning. No one really know how long this recession is going to last. Hold off on investing in any major improvements unless it’s absolutely necessary.
Reduce Your Home Energy Use & Costs
Learn to conserve energy as well as your money. Start by weatherizing your home with weather-stripping and storm windows where needed. Keep doors and windows closed to keep heat in during the cold months. Try to use fans rather than energy sucking air conditioning. Get insulation. If you don’t have adequate insulation get it before the cold months start-up. If you have further questions, contact your local gas utility for energy advice.
Buy Discounted Furnishings And Appliances
Money trouble requires you to get creative in your shopping endeavors. Shop for sales and visit garage and yard sales. It’s fun and you will be surprised at the value of your savings. You can find a rich source of pre-owned furnishings in the Internet classifieds and on sites like E-Bay.
Consider Transitioning Into A Home Office
It’s a new world out there. Working from home is fast becoming one of the fastest growing segments of our workforce. If you are renting an office, consider brining your business inside your home. Obviously not all businesses can be brought inside a person’s residence – but many can – even if you are used to seeing clients in your office. There are big tax advantages. When you need to host a meeting, rent a meeting room by the hour
For more information on cost saving strategies, getting out of money trouble, debt consolidation and how to avoid bankruptcy through lowering costs and better managing your financial circumstances visit www.MoneyTroubles.com