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Saving money

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by BRoth, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. BRoth

    BRoth Member

    I've had a couple consecutive months of successfully moving money from my paycheck into my savings account (yay!) but thanks to the vengeful gods that be, I'm not sinking more money than I should be into keeping my car afloat, which I'm saving up to replace. It's been tough the last seven or eight months between paying off credit cards and whatnot.

    This delightful situation has got me wondering about what everyone else does to save money (especially in these tough economic times when we have to put on our rally caps). Is it cutting back on some things? Do you always put aside XX percent of your paycheck no matter what? Counting things like retirement as separate, what do some of you do to make sure you're getting cash into your savings?
  2. Trey Beamon

    Trey Beamon Active Member

    Savings? What's that?
  3. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    It all depends on your situation. Some people can't afford to put ANYTHING away after shelling out cash to pay the bills.

    We try to take a little out of each paycheck and throw it into savings. Whatever's left is left. It seems like we're always saving for something...a house, vacation, other weekend trips, future unforseen car troubles, whatever.

    Fortunately, we're able to save a lot more now than we used to. It's tough to stay consistent, but that's what my wife is for. She's waaaaay better and managing our money than I am.
  4. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    It's really, really simple. Spend less than you make.

    In execution, that means you have to know exactly how much you are spending (down to the dollar) and being really, really tough on yourself if you need to cut your budget to get under it.

    The key for me knowing what's really important to me. I watch a lot of TV on the internet, so I just cut out my cable. But I'd never cut out the internet. I taught myself some basic cooking, which is a lot cheaper than eating out while not just eating ramen noodles every meal. I focused on picking up inexpensive hobbies instead of feeling like I needed to drive out of town or go to the movies every time I was bored for the night.

    In the last year, just following these rules, Mrs. Stain and I have gone from being thousands of dollars behind on our bills and such to having three months' expenses saved up in cash and growing every day. It's an awesome feeling.
  5. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    If you ever want some tips, go to thesimpledollar.com and read through their archives. I'd say 80% of what I've learned about frugality and saving, I've learned from that site.

    If you think you can't save any money, go to boards.fool.com, register, and go to the Living Below Your Means Board. Give them a look at your monthly budget, and I bet they can find solutions that will have you saving money in no time.
  6. jps

    jps Active Member

    I got a second job.
  7. doggieseatdoggies

    doggieseatdoggies New Member

    I like Dave Ramsey's plan...of taking things outside the house and utilities and putting cash into envelopes...once it's done, you've spent it.

    Given this subject title, I think it would be good for people to suggest ways in which you can survive cheaper, like chunking spending money for expensive cleaning solutions and mixing ammonia and water. Stuff like that? Anyone game?
  8. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    The envelope trick worked for the first few months when we started budgeting, helped us stick to it. Now it's pretty automatic.

    I bet most people's biggest money leak is food. If you want to save money, stop eating out. If you want to live longer, stop eating out.

    Instead of trying to stock up on a ton of food every time you go to the store, plan on going 3-4 times a week. While you are there, buy nothing but fruits for snacks, vegetables for salads, and lean meats (like chicken or fish) to cook for suppers. A simple, non-sugared cereal for breakfasts fits in there well too, like Cheerios or plain corn flakes.

    We cut our food budget in half that way.

    When I lost my last job, this recipe basically saved the day:


    I adore fresh bread, so I ate this pretty much every day for two months. A loaf lasted me a day or two, and the ingredients at Wal Mart worked out to about $0.40 per loaf.
  9. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    In a lot of cases, it's just a matter of eliminating purchases you want vs. purchases you need.

    Eliminate the extra stuff and you'll be able to save. For some, extras might be spending $20 per week on iTunes. For others, it might mean brown-bagging a sandwich instead of hitting a restaurant for a meal.
  10. Editude

    Editude Active Member

    Mrs. Editude makes big pots of stews/chili/soups on Sundays that last a good week of eat-at-my-desk dinners. We split entrees at restaurants, cut way back on travel, use public transportation. Now, if only our dogs didn't need to go to the vet so often ...
  11. doggieseatdoggies

    doggieseatdoggies New Member

    We lived as a family of four on $50 a week for groceries for a month because we had a finanicial emergency to clean up. It wasn't easy. Rice, beans and lettuce. Oh, and potatoes. Bought milk on a radical sale and froze it (shake it up real good and let it all melt before you use it). And the bland cereals like cherrios. I felt better after two weeks of that diet and I wanted it to continue but drew the wrath of the kids.

    Another cheap but good meal.

    1 can veg-all.
    1 can of chicken.
    1 package of cream cheese.
    1 pie crust pan, crust-pre made.

    Best damn chicken pot pie I've ever had. Ever.
  12. doggieseatdoggies

    doggieseatdoggies New Member

    Splitting entrees eating out is not just thrifty, but reasonable. Up until the last couple of months, the portions were way overboard for a single meal. You've seen the portion cutbacks but it's still on average more than I'd eat at home for lunch.
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