Five Tips for Newbies

This is the front porch of our forum. Pull up a chair, and talk about whatever's on your mind.
chocolite
Posts: 770
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 8:11 pm

Five Tips for Newbies

Post by chocolite »

I am pretty sure most of us, to varying degrees, have been living frugally for a long time. But for those new to this lifestyle and those of us wanting to supplement what we're already doing to save money, what would you say are five tips that really make a difference and save you money? If you see something has already been listed several times, please try to offer another tip. That way we should end up with a great list that we (I) :-) can refer to as a refresher and source of new ideas, and that someone just starting out can have as a great starting point. Sound good?

I'll start us off. My five would be:

1. Have meals at home. I have friends who (at least, before the shutdown) ate out at least two or three times each week. Wowza! We probably eat out on an average of once every two or three months. I can cook good meals - meals that would cost $30-40 or more in a restaurant - for a lot less money. Plus they are healthier for us, taste better, and I know exactly what's going into our food. I would, however, really like to get a freezer. It would help me stock up better when there are good sales.

2. Get off promotional email lists. Anytime I order something online, I have to include my email address. Even though I always uncheck the little box that says "let me know about all sales" (or something along those lines), they still add me to their mailing list. So, upon getting the first promotional email, I click the Unsubscribe button. That way I'm not tempted by all the stuff they sell that I didn't know I needed until I see it.

3. Take advantage of free/almost free e-books. I'm a voracious reader and it's easy for me to spend money on books. Too easy. So I signed up with a couple email services (Pixel of Ink and DigitalBookSpot) that send me daily emails with free and low-cost books I can buy for my Kindle. I've gotten tons of books this way and, while I'll never lose the desire to hold a book in my hands, I can do a lot of my reading for free.

4. Shop around for cheaper rates. Last year, shortly after I retired, we got our bill for car insurance and I was shocked at what we were paying. (When I was working, my husband always got home before me and put the bills away at his desk. He pays the bills and I rarely saw anything. So I had no idea what we were paying for things -- that deserves another whole tip, but I'll let someone else take it.) Anyway, I called our insurance agent and told him I didn't want to leave them, but wanted to at least give them a chance to get us a greatly reduced rate, or I would have to go elsewhere. He looked around and, lo and behold, he was able to bundle our car and home insurance at a company who only takes very low-risk customers, saving us more than $1,500 a year. Before we cut the cord, I also did this with the phone company.

5. Cut the cord. We were paying over $100/month for basic TV service with DirecTV. I switched us to a streaming service and we now pay $50/month. I could get one even cheaper, but I want all my sports, and I want unlimited DVR, and YoutubeTV gives me that.

So that's my five. What will you add?
Patty

floridacatlover
Posts: 4304
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:21 am

Re: Five Tips for Newbies

Post by floridacatlover »

1. Pay extra on your mortgage to get it paid off early. Even with low mortgage rates a paid off home will mean you’ll always have a roof over your head.

2. Shop at rummage sales and thrift stores. There are amazing bargains for better quality (older) items than you’ll often find in stores.

3. Check to see if Goodrx will save you on Rx costs - even if you are on Medicare. If not on Medicare, Medicaid or Tricare, see if the Rx manufacturer has a program to lower your costs.

4. Save your pay raise or SS raise. Probably harder to do now with prices going up, but I always pretended I was making my “old” salary and put my raise in savings.

5. Learn about investments. It’s not that hard. Even if you have help from a financial advisor, look VERY carefully at all fees for advice, mutual fund loads or redemption fees, annuity costs, management fees. Many if not most financial advisors charge 1%. That doesn’t sound like a lot except now when your earnings may be low from fixed investments or volatile from the stock market.

littlemiss63
Posts: 2516
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2015 10:11 pm
Location: Middle Tennessee

Re: Five Tips for Newbies

Post by littlemiss63 »

1. By all means find space in your home to store back up food for times like we have experienced in the past 3 months. Not only will it give you peace of mind, but if you stock up before there are shortages it will save you money.

2. Combine your errands to save gas and the wear and tear on your vehicle. Not to speak of the time you will save.

3. Turn off unnecessary lights in your home to save on electricity. Lower your thermostat a few degrees at night when you go to bed, once you aren’t moving you want know the difference.

4. Use appliance like crock-pot or Ninja Cooker to prepare meals in to also save you time and electricity.

5. Make sure that you have an annual check-up each year to be sure that your body is working properly. A little money spent up front could save you thousands down the road for health care. I can tell you that when you get older, it's much harder to fix some of these issues that could have been prevented if you had gone to the doctor on a regular basis. I can speak from experience, I always thought I was to busy to waste my time, I felt good! It can come back to bite you in the rear-end.

clemencia2us
Posts: 6434
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:21 am

Re: Five Tips for Newbies

Post by clemencia2us »

Track your spending

I started doing this again since what else is there to do?

I check my checking accounts. I use one for local purchases and the other for ATM withdrawls.

Then I add my cash on hand and my cash stash.

Add it up each day and see how it went

Right now, not lots of spending. Just general food purchases

But helped out with a food fundraiser yesterday and then went out to eat today - boy i hated seeing that money go.

User avatar
MackerelCat
Posts: 2989
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:44 pm

Re: Five Tips for Newbies

Post by MackerelCat »

Bookbub is also good for free e-books on all kinds of digital platforms. You can ask it to sort by your interests so that you aren't besieged by bodice rippers.

1. Always ask yourself: Is this a need or a want? Understand the difference. Needs come first.

2. Try to develop hobbies that have a practical bent, like learning to sew, cook, or build things from wood.

3. Don't buy stuff at thrift shops just because it's cheap. It's too easy to let Goodwill sub for a recreational trip to the mall. Shop there with a thought for what you need.

4. Develop a pantry of staples that you can live off of for a couple of weeks when things get tough.

5. Pack your lunch, drinks and snacks to work and make coffee at home. Breaking the habit of buying coffee, getting drinks and snacks from a vending machine and buying lunch out can easily save you up to a hundred dollars a week.
Mackie

User avatar
Jackielou
Posts: 8510
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2015 7:51 pm

Re: Five Tips for Newbies

Post by Jackielou »

Keep it up everyone. Great tips.

Post Reply