So, in the midst of all this talk about the economy and how much it stinks, what have you done in your family to save money?
If you watch Oprah, then you know that it really should be called The Oprah and Suze Orman show this season because Suze has been on about every.other.day.
The thing is we've all had it so good for so long, we've forgotten how things used to be. Oh, I sound old now, don't I?
My kids have waaaay more than I had as a child. Part of this is because my mom was a stay at home mom and I work, but part is because society is so different now than it used to be. People were more content, I think.
Lance and I found ourselves on the cutting-edge on the economic downturn earlier this year as my employer stopped paying for my health-care coverage and Lance took a pay cut. Between these two things, our monthly income was cut by about $500. For us, we're still able to afford the things our family needs and many of our wants, but still $500 is alot especially when you then add in the cost increases in gas, food, and everything else. I honestly don't know how those who are paid minimum wage make it.
So, all that to say, Lance and I have never been crazy spenders on anything, but...we are cutting back where we can.
Some things we've given up or changed:
1)No more solar nails (this actually went away when we adopted L)
2)Different hairstylist - about 1/3 less
3) Store brands. I used to be a name brand snob at the grocery store, but really, truly, on most things you can't tell the difference. On the few things that do make a difference, I will buy name brand, but only when it's on sale.
4) Clearance and sale shopping only. I've always been a bargain hunter, but now I absolutely refuse to pay full price for anything!
5) Eat out much less
6) Try to buy only necessities
7) Use coupons
We have scaled back our Christmas the last few years and we will cut back a little more this year along with birthdays.
Suze Orman actually had a great thought on her show the other day...Money is not what really matters, people are and instead of telling your kids they can't have things they used to, why not introduce them to the great things your family can do together and start new traditions? Camp in the backyard, go to the thrift store together, play games as a family. Some of the best memories are of the simple things and they are the least stressful as well.
Have you made changes in your home this year? If so, what have you done to cut back?
Any great ideas for easy ways to save money?