This week’s Thrifty Thursday tip (or tips rather) come from my long-time, good friend Juliana Gingerich. Juliana has worked in the banking/finance industry for many years and is considered a financial expert. I asked Juliana to share some of her expertise here on Thrifty Thursday. While we’ve talked about some of these (like planning meals), Juliana shares some refreshing money saving tips that we can all apply!
Saving Money — Good for Your Health and it Saves you Time Too
We tend to live in reaction to life instead of planning ahead. Being proactive and organized is really the key to saving money.
1) Save on your grocery bill
• Plan your menu for the week ahead and buy only groceries for that week. That way you don’t waste any food-especially produce. Pick a meal to make every second day so that you eat leftovers the following day.
• Create a coupon file that you keep by your purse and have a slot for each of the stores you frequent and a slot for manufacture and miscellaneous coupons.
• Make a food budget and a receipt envelope for food receipts; after each trip to the store write at the bottom of the receipt how much is left for the rest of the week
2) Buy a car you can afford
• While advertisers and our consumer driven culture would probably disagree, I believe buying with cash is the way to go-with the exception of real estate and purchasing a new business. Your assets should work for you or be “income producing” if possible, and although cars can be fun-they are usually the worst “investment” you could make. That being said, we need cars to get from A to B and we need them to be in working condition. Buying a car with cash and saving the car payment you would have used allows you to buy the car you really want later without going in to debt.
3) Create an eating-out budget
• Having a plan and sticking to it- will save you TONS of money! If you don’t believe me, make an envelope labeled “eating out” and put all the receipts from eating-out including all coffee’s and drinks for a whole year—it will be in the THOUSANDS! Instead of wasting money on food that makes you feel crappy anyway -try planning ahead and always carry drinks and snacks for you and your kids (if you have any).
4) Plan out your week in advance
• Group errands together by geographic location so you save on gas.
• Planning ahead always minimizes stress and waste.
• Set out the things you will need for the day the night before.
• If you are married discuss with your spouse what he or she is doing that week so you can run errands for each other and to ensure you are both not going to the same places and not knowing it.
5) Join trading, bartering or discount buying and selling programs
There are thousands of choices, but I listed a few websites below:
• Freecycle http://www.freecycle.org
• Craigslist www.craigslist.com
• eBay www.ebay.com
• Consignment stores http://www.consignmentshops.com/
6) Before you buy something big-stop, think and clean!
• Cleaning our houses, organizing our stuff and de-cluttering reminds us of how much stuff we already have and what a hassle it is to take care of it all. We can buy many things we already have just because we are unorganized and misplaced it.
• Deep clean your house and try to find something to donate or sell; it will remind you of how much stuff you already have and what a responsibility it is to take care of it.
7) Service yourself, your car and your home regularly
• Make a schedule and put it in your daily planner (assuming you have one :) ) to get your car, home and yourself serviced
• Changing your oil is around $30 instead of $3,000 for a new engine
• Getting a physical is a $25 co-pay (if you have insurance) instead of a costly surgery
• Clean out your filters: vacuums, water, heating, fridge, stove etc…it will save you the cost of replacing one of them
Written by Juliana Gingerich-retired Financial Advisor
“If you want to feel rich, just count the things you have that money can’t buy”
A retired financial advisor, and former vice president of Simsbury bank in Connecticut, Juliana is now a stay at home mom to 19 month old Savannah. She and her husband, Jason lead the Dynamic Marriage class for their church in Granby, CT as well as help with financial counseling in their ministries. Additionally, Juliana is on the cusp of starting her own web-based life coaching business. You can find Juliana on Facebook, or her newly created blog: http://fullcirclejg.wordpress.com/