Money Matters – Being Wise With Your Money

Money Matters – Being Wise With Your Money

When you hear the word frugal, it automatically brings up negative connotations and is often mistaken for being cheap. In reality, frugalness is a traditional value where people are careful in the expenditure of money or the use of material resources. In American culture where consumers are constantly bombarded with advertising and pressured to spend, spend, spend, saving money has become a rarity. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the US personal savings rate as a percentage of disposable income decreased to -0.4 percent at the end of 2005. It might be time to rethink your definition of frugal and begin to think of it as being wise with your money and not wasteful. Not only will you be able to save, but you’ll set a good example for your children. Here are some things you can do in your household, beginning now!

A� Take advantage of your local library. These are your tax dollars at work. Buying books and movies, or renting, can add up. Besides books, most libraries have video and DVD collections to check out, free of charge.

A� Eat out less often. Eating at home can save you a lot of money, and it’s probably healthier. If you go out twice a week, try scaling back to once a week. When you do go out, try not to be wasteful. Children’s meals often go uneaten. Try splitting a regular meal for two kids.

A� Cook with what is in the pantry. Often times we run out to the grocery store to pick up ingredients for a meal when you have all sorts of stuff on your shelves. Challenge yourself to use what you have.

A� Clip coupons. Tedious you say? It can be, but if you stick to the items that you buy on a regular basis, it’s money in your pocket. Find a grocery store in your area that doubles coupons and you’ll save even more.

A� Pay your bills online. You’ll save stamps, time and maybe some late fees if you set up automatic payments.

A� Hire yourself. Although it may be a matter of convenience, a lot of things that you pay others to do can be done yourself, such as oil changes, mowing the lawn, and cleaning.

A� Wash laundry in cold water. Washing in cold water can cut your electric bill substantially, yet still get the clothes clean.

A� Turn your lights off! This may bring back fond memories of your parents shouting this at you when you were growing up, but, it really does make a difference in your electric bill.

Whether you live paycheck to paycheck or make a comfortable living, it’s wise to take a closer look at how you spend your money and not waste. Creating more opportunities to save is simply being wise with your money.