Overwhelmed w/ it All

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by MissChris, Oct 6, 2004.

  1. MissChris

    MissChris Well-Known Member

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    I want to simplify my life and become more frugal with my money, I'm having a problem as to where to begin so I am wondering if anyone has read any good books or magazines on the subject.

    Thanks,

    Chris
     
  2. chickflick

    chickflick Well-Known Member

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    Make of list of what is NOT simple or what you want to change; and then just simply, methodically DO IT. Start there. (Buying another book will just make things less 'simple'!! LOL!! I say this out of my own "too many books in the house guilt"!! LOL!!
     

  3. westbrook

    westbrook In Remembrance

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    If you havn't put your self on a budget now is the time to do it! give yourself an allowance... gas money, lunch money (if you can't pack your lunch for work -more furgal if you do) and perhaps a little pocket change.

    Purchase clothing that is never going to go out of style. Once your basic wardrobe is established (assuming you are a working girl) you can pick up a few trendy things to keep you in style. Spending money on all trendy garments will cause one to go broke in a hurry. Don't discount thrift stores either for office attire or even evening attire.
    Buy only when there is a sale! The malls have great sales on summer items for next year and in January/Feburary all the winter garments will go on sale and summer will be in! You can pick up really nice things on sale a season behind.

    Reduce your utility bills. Turn down your hot water heater just a tad. When a light bulb burns out, change it to a 60W bulb. Bathe by candle light.

    Buy food on sale! learn to can! don't buy what you can make. I can purchase a whole chicken and make several meals from it, ending up with chicken soup that I usually can for use later. The same with roasts, make several meals and then make soup. Of course you will need a pressure if you are going to can meat along with jars. Fortunately these items are reusuable and pay for themselves in only a year or two.

    Plant a garden! no room? container garden!

    The idea is to follow the 3 R's = Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
     
  4. dla

    dla Well-Known Member

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    1. Learn to say no to yourself
    **wait on large purchases
    **skip credit card purchases
    **limit your hobbies/indulgences
    2. Learn to say no to others
    **remember that the good is the enemy of the best. you don't have to do everything
    **learn to enjoy people's company without spending money. A deck of cards and some iced tea can make as many memories as a $50 night on the town.
    **realise that only you can decide how you should spend your time.
    3. Take time to remember what is important to you and keep it in your schedule and your budget.
    **make time to keep in touch with those you love. Don't wait - you may not have tomorrow
    **take time to do what refreshes/enriches you
    **value the time you spend working - don't see it as an imposition

    REMEMBER TO KEEP A SENSE OF HUMOR

    Best wishes

    PS Life does get overwhelming, but it usually only lasts a short while.
    "Diamonds are just lumps of coal that stuck to their jobs" B.C. Forbes
     
  5. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    all good advice above. but what i did, that helped more than anything else, is wrote down absolutely everything that i spent, for a month. it became real, clear, real fast, what i was wasting my money on. for me, as for many people, it was eating out.

    i think if you read all the books there are, they would all come down to- make a list, and figure out where your money is going, THEN you can take serious steps to stop the leaks.
     
  6. dave98

    dave98 Member

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    It can be really difficult to be cheap if you weren't born that way. Esp if you watch tv, all you see it Buy Buy Buy.

    Fore example when I go to lunch with co-workers they always get a drink. I never get a drink. Saves me a buck. I don't mind buying some food but coke, na.

    Have fun with being cheap. My dad will take the small pieces of soap and put them in a bottle with a little water and make his own hand soap....

    Best thing you can do though is to look at the largest expenses first. Insurance, Cars, House etc......

    Dave
     
  7. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Procrastination is the key for us. Do you need to go to the store? Wait till tomorrow, or next week even. Do you NEED a new whatsit? Wait a week or a month or even a year. Guess what? You really didn't need it after all. Amazing how much money that saves me. Even more amazing how it cuts down on clutter.
     
  8. romancemelisa

    romancemelisa Well-Known Member

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    i had to be frugal with money for 18 years, what finally cured me from wasteing is when my parents finally decided they had enough, and made me grow up. i was 30yrs.old now my mom is supporting my 23 and g-child, we won't help him anymore, we have given him 2 cars and let him live in our house twice(we got rid of it). he will be going to live in center with me and help clear the land, he is not very happy about it, no other choice my parents want him out. he is a good boy has both of his children with him and does not drink or do drugs. he grew up with a learning disability, he did graduate, but you could not read a sentence he wrote and can not even feel out a application. sorry got off tract.

    i agree don't buy any books, just more money and a waste. just keep tract and see where it is all going, mine was alot of convienent store stops for cokes, came to over 30 dollars a month. my husband and i have lost most of our income and are starting almost from scratch, so i am once again be frugal.


    you know you are poor when your children will be getting new tooth brushes and that is all they talk about everyday for a week.
     
  9. MissChris

    MissChris Well-Known Member

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    Thank you everyone for all the great ideas! I'm feeling better already.

    I'll forget about looking for books and just start using more common sense when purchasing (or not) new items.

    Christmas will be tight, but I think that could bring my family closer together. I would like to have the family enjoy the time spent together more than the gifts they will receive.

    Actually looking for ideas on being frugal can be quite fun and entertaining. Reading past posts here have already given more ideas.

    Thanks again!

    -Chris
     
  10. EasyDay

    EasyDay Gimme a YAAAAY!

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    MissChriss, for Christmas, make homemade gifts. People seem to appreciate them SO much more. (Well, except for teens, but they'll get over it.) As far as books, I'm an avid reader and have probably read every book on frugality and simplicity that's ever been published. I use the library regularly because I rarely feel the need to read a book twice. I wouldn't say "forget the books" because some of them offer really creative ways to save money, and other focus on the frugal attitude vs. just action. It really is a state of mind that you can find yourself very comfortable with... and even fun, really. I get a great feeling now when I find a new way to save money... a real sense of accomplishment.

    I had a big house FULL of stuff. Got more and more disgusted with all that I had and didn't even want. It was costing me in taxes and maintenance, so I figured... enough was enough. Sold the big house. Put tons of stuff on ebay and made some extra cash. Other piles were picked up by GoodWill and deducted from my taxes.

    Am loving my smaller house, and am still finding things that the newness has worn off, so I through them out on ebay. Just last Sunday, two of my auctions ended on two items that I don't even remember acquiring... but there they were in the garage! I made $64 that day.

    Any extra monies that I make or save get put towards our fund for finishing our even SMALLER house in the ozarks or debt. We're hoping to be debt-free and moving outta here by next fall! It's the excitement of moving to the farm that make me get excited about being frugal. One can't happen without the other!
     
  11. Melissa

    Melissa member

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    I think it is kind of fun to look for books about saving money, frugality, simple-living etc... One way to do this is to go to Amazon.com or half.com and punch in any of these topics. Then go to the library and look for them. I get a money saving book a few times a month from the library and I almost always learn something new or just reinforce what I have already learned. I wish you success in your search for a more simple and frugal life. If you visit us on the family board, we have a sticky every month about frugal living.
     
  12. BlessedMom

    BlessedMom Well-Known Member

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    The library is my best friend! LOL! I love books...but i pay taxes for a public library....so I'm being frugal and I go to visit MY books as often as I can! :)

    I love The Complete Tightwad Gazette. It might be too radical for you and some of the things she does leave you scratching your head. More than anything I have found it inspiring.

    Just take one thing at a time..if you try the rapid fire approach you'll burn yourself out and give up!

    Welcome to a wonderful adventure and whole new world!!

    BlessedMom
     
  13. PonderosaQ

    PonderosaQ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There are lost of webs sites out there with lots of great ideas...and you don't have to spend on a book at all or use gas to go to the library.
    Start with allthingsfrugal.com/links.htm and have fun!

    PQ
     
  14. clovis

    clovis Well-Known Member

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    Visit your local library, save the $20 bucks you would have spent on a book, and send it to the credit card company.

    If you are looking for authors, I like Suzy Orman.

    Check out Dave Ramsey's web site. He is the best when it comes down to getting debt free. I have used his advice, and it works great!!!! You can also tune in on the radio or web and listen to his shows. If I had more time, I would tell you the advice he gives....you should listen yourself.
    Trust me that Dave's advice works.

    You will also get great advice on this board. Do a search here and you will ber amazed at how much has been posted, nearly all of it great stuff.
    clove
     
  15. Mudwoman

    Mudwoman Well-Known Member

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    Choosing Simplicity and Your Money or Your LIfe are the 2 books I would recommend.
     
  16. westbrook

    westbrook In Remembrance

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    Ah yes Christmas...

    well, go to the cooking and crafts forum further down on the main page here. There are lots of great ideas!!! making candles, soap, bread and jam baskets, heck you can even make wine! ;)

    Why you can learn to quilt, crochet, knit, and sew just by asking how. Have company over for dinner and creat the most delicious meals by just using what is in your cupboard!

    If you have children?? panchos are the rave this year for girls.. 1 yard of fabric, folded in a triangle, cut a hole for their heads, turn the part you cut over two times and stitch around the hole (by machine or hand) Wella! panchos! doesn't matter how old the girls are. Boys? get them some karate video (it's a boy thing).
    My children only got 1 gift each Christmas...it couldn't be a toy or clothes and it couldn't go over $100.00 (a little over was ok) and that was it! yes they got stockings with silly little things. They still have every present they ever got...TV, VCR, DVD, CD players. The boys combined their idea and got a Nintendo (it was a long time ago), They got computers when they got older from the money we saved when they were little.

    As a whole we had more fun planning for the holidays and being frugal.
     
  17. Mutti

    Mutti Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Got to stretcher.com==this is the site for Dollar Stretcher, the best of the frugal newsletters and sign up...then you can spend hrs. going thru their files...listed by subject so you can really zero in on the subjects you most need help with.

    About the eating out...my girls solved this money woe by first, cleaning their kitchen! Reorganized is so they had a place to actually work. then they took to buying ingredients for just one meal at a time...they had the habit of spending alot at the store, not feeling like cooking as the kitchen was a mess and the food would spoil and be thrown out. Also, for the best of cheap,easy,fast and delicious recipes buy or borrow the book Saving Dinner--paperback very reasonable at Amazon. They pick several new recipes to try each week...doesn't call for exotic items you don't have; just basic foods available at any store. I got them this book and had to buy myself one it was so helpful. The author Leanne Ely has website at SavingDinner.com and a great wkly newsletter with recipes. All the recipes will make enough for leftovers to take to work and save more $$ and your co-workers will want to know what smells so good!

    The third thing we do to be frugal is try to see how long we can go without a trip to town or buying anything! Gets to be a fun game to see how long you can go....'cause we all know a trip to the store rarely means buying just that one item!!
     
  18. MTNwomanAR

    MTNwomanAR Well-Known Member

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    Voluntary Simplicity by Duane Edgin is a very good book! The advice given here is all excellent. Me, I'm still working on the simplifying part...but it all takes time...........my sister says I'm the simplest person she knows!!!!!!!! :eek:
     
  19. sidepasser

    sidepasser Well-Known Member

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    I save $45 a month by disconnecting the satellite. I save more money by not having all the "features" on my home phone like call forwarding, etc. I also save money on horse supplies by shopping carefully and buying used when possible, when not, like wormers and vaccines, I shop Jeffers.com. I also save money by recycling my old towels into rags to clean with, and get receipts from Goodwill for all donations.

    I learned a long time ago that saving money was sort of like a game to me, a "see how much you can save" game. In no time you'd be surprised how much you can save from taking lunch every day to work, planning meals so that you can use the leftovers for another meal, and buying cola on sale and taking that to work instead of plunking a buck into the machine. I don't drink cokes and instead have water most of the time in restaurants, saves sometimes $2.50. Use coupons for eating out most of the time.

    As they say, little things add up over time, and the extra money comes in right handy at tax time and Christmas time.

    I don't give up all indulgences though, otherwise I would feel deprived. Just things that I know I can live without and won't miss. I wouldn't give up my DSL service and go back to dial-up, no matter if I had to give up something else. Oh, and I use Pioneer Telephone for long distance on my land line, saves me a ton on long distance bills. I use Virgin Mobile for the cell phone, that way there are no nasty surprises at the end of the month for "extra charges". I know in advance exactly how much I will spend as I prepay for the phone. Don't use it that much anyway!

    Make yourself a list of what you spend on a notepad, enter every item for a month and at the end of the month, tally up the categories...you'll know instantly where your money is going and how best to stop the leaks..

    Sidepasser
     
  20. BlessedMom

    BlessedMom Well-Known Member

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    What is Jeffers.com? I typed it in and nothing came up.

    Thanks!

    BlessedMom