Monday, August 3, 2009

Ways to Save. Tips to tighten your belt in an Uncertain Economy

i'm sure by now you've figured me out..i love to hang out in the city and enjoy all that our wonderful city has to offer..but just like the rest of America i'm also concerned about being smart about spending these days...i like to find innovative ways to save money so that i can funnel more fun money to do the things my family and i like to do which is explore all the hot spots in the in the spirit of these times i offer something a little different on the blog this month...great ways to save money so you can have a little something extra in your pocket to have a fun...if you have innovative ways that you do as a single or perhaps as a family to save money, please feel free to post a comment. i'd love to hear from you!


*I only go to the ATM once after payday. i take out enough cash for the week and keep it in an envelope..when we run out, we wait till the next payday to hang out

*we go to alot of free stuff..festivals...parks and shopping malls to just hang out

*i fill my gas tank once a week

*i buy gift cards for amazing restaurants at

*we buy late model cars at discount car lots..Carmax is awesome!

*i have a budget that i prepare 3 months at a time..i earmark only a certain amount for "fun money" each payday

*we buy our cars at the end of the model year or the last few days of the year and drive them till we pay them off

*we have a discount car insurance (Geico is way cool)

*we use a babysitter who charges a flat rate fee rather than per hour

*i never buy breakfast during the week. i make my own coffee and cook my own muffins, bring fruit, yogurt, granola, english muffins, oatmeal for a healthy breakfast..i save the weekends for a splurge for brunch!

*i try new places at lunch when typically the menu options are much cheaper

*i search the web for special days when special places (Fernbank, Imagine IT museum, Zoo atlanta) offer discounts

*i grocery shop once a month and buy in bulk from major discounters (I am a big fan of super Walmart)

*i shop for papergoods and cleaning supplies at family dollar and big lots

*i only shop for furniture at major discount retailers (Rooms to Go outlet and Big lots have quality furniture at a steal)

*we book Vacation packages thru Orbitz, Travelocity and Expedia..typically you can save a bundle if you book airline tickets, the hotel and rental car as a package

*we take vacations off season

*everytime i break a big bill i save all the singles and deposit them in a savings fund at the end of the month

*i love to shop..but i only shop at off-price discount chains (the designer brand selections are amazing..but you have to dig)

*i shop off-season..on the regular i shop for winter clothes when they are slashed to make room for summer clothes and vice versa..i peruse the fashion magazines to stay in touch with what will be trendy for the season and buy accessories to keep my wardrobe fresh...

*my new clothes purchase are minimal..but shoes..well erra that's another shop my fave designers (liz claiborne flex, dr. scholls, tory burch, steve madden, aerosoles at outlets and at the major stores during their seasonal sales)

*i typically buy fragrances once a season and i love body oil! 1/8 the price of major cologne brands

*everytime i have loose change i save it in a big jar and cash it in at my credit union and deposit the total in a savings fund

*i believe in managed health employer has an HMO that i am a member of and i find the absolute best doctors in network and pay a flat rate for deductible visits..visit my primary care dr for everything...and pay rock bottom prices for dental visits...

*i take natural supplements to stay healthy...i also eat reasonably well, floss like a fiend and get plenty of rest to cut down on seasonal ailments and surprise visits to the dentist..and i am religious about hand sanitizer..germs live everywhere and it only takes a sec for you to catch something

*i pray, meditate and exercise to cut down on's amazing the ailments that everyday stress can cause! the mantra i chant is "this too shall pass"

*i ask my doc for samples of prescriptions during drs visits to cut down on visits to the pharmacy

*you have a checking account that is fee-free right? no? run to your local credit union! lol

*i have a Health Savings fund thru my employer that i use for pre-tax dollars..when i pay my deductible for any prescriptions or dr visits the fund pays me back by depositing the amount back in my checking account

*i also have a Dependent care account thru my employer..same concept using pre-tax dollars..all after school care monies i pay are directly deposited back into my checking account at a time i choose

*i set my kid's expectations low for toys..before we enter the store he repeats the rules "No means no...when it's time to go, it's time to go..and no whining and crying for anything" ..try it...the little ones get it really quickly.. lol....

*Repeat after are your

*i have one major credit card..we plan major purchases and pay them off within 30 days before the interest kicks in..repeat after me....installment agreements with interest are evil unless in emergency yes that includes big screen tvs

*i estimate all the tax deductions i'm entitled to upfront (i have very smart tax accountants on my speed dial) and get all my money from Uncle Sam upfront in my tax refund is minimal and i love to "break even"...many may argue with me...if you disagree fine...plan to use your tax refund for that major purchase you've been salivating over like that flat screen tv instead of putting the purchase on a credit card and paying for it for the next 5

*i wait until tax free weekends once a year to buy major computer purchases

*i utilize budget billing for all my utilities..esp the power bill and gas co

*we bundle services thru our cable company for phone, dsl and cable services

*i work out at monthly gym fees! i even use the neighborhood pool if i need a change of pace

Repeat after me..the Dollar store is your

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