Friday, October 10, 2008

Money matters

Ok, so finances/money has been on my mind lately. Well, more like constantly for a long time. Anyway, I found these little pointers on this blog and thought I'd post them here. I think they are good ideas. I also read another article on being frugal and the differences between being frugal and being cheap. Like, when you are cheap you always buy the cheapest thing because, well, it's cheap. If you are being frugal, you realize you may have to pay more initially for something in order to get a better product and save more in the long run. Frugal people can pass up things they don't need, even if they are cheap. I haven't figured out which I am yet, but I think I possess qualities of frugality and cheapness.
We have gone through stages in life, of course as everybody does, and have been in debt free status as well as in deep doo-doo status. It's interesting how quickly one can go from debt free to deep doo-doo. I found these ideas pretty good, so enjoy, and leave some feedback and your own ideas for being financially responsible. :)

7 things you can’t do if you want to be debt free

You constantly need to be on guard because if you aren’t, you can quickly find yourself back in debt.
Here are 7 things you can’t do, or continue doing, if you want to stay out of debt.

  1. You can’t spend more than you make! If you need to, cut back on expenses, or increase your income.
  2. You can’t keep moving forward without a plan. Set up a zero-based budget, and give every dollar a job! Know where your money is going, how much you need to save, and how much you’re going to spend on every category.
  3. You can’t continue buying on a credit. Save up for big ticket items instead, you’ll be glad you did, and it’s more rewarding. Just plan on those big expenses, and make them a line item in your budget. Sometimes you’ll find by the time you save the money you don’t want or need the item anymore!
  4. You can’t constantly buy the new things just because they’re new. The lure of the newest Iphone or digital SLR camera can be so tempting. But if you already have an old MP3 player or a point and shoot digital camera, make do with what you have. Hey, it still works! That new thing will be old again in a few months anyway!
  5. You can’t try to keep up with the Joneses. Things can’t make you happy, and trying to buy status with things won’t work. Wow them with your ability to save, not your new Escalade!
  6. You can’t use credit when you have the cash. Sometimes it can feel nice to buy something on credit thinking that you’ll pay it off within a paycheck or two because you’ll have more of a cushion then. The truth is that credit card debt often starts off small, and builds from situations like these. If you can’t pay it off comfortably with cash right away, don’t buy it!
  7. You can’t depend on a credit card for emergencies. Instead, save up an emergency fund of 3-6 months of expenses for those inevitable “emergencies” that always have a way of cropping up at the worst possible times.

Those are just a few things that you can avoid doing if you are serious about getting out of and staying out of debt. While it’s not an exhaustive list, it’s a good start.

What are some things that you are avoiding in order to stay debt free?


RhondaLue said...

Great Post Sally!

Some things I am doing are like what I mentioned in my "Temporal Trophies" post. I am spending a little extra on DOING things (we have a big extended family outing coming up) and cutting back in other areas so we CAN do that.

I'm using a little less detergent and fabric softener in each load, cutting off the lights more often, taking quicker showers, not wasting any food (see todays post with the fridge picture and you'll believe me that we're eating what we got and WAITING for the next paycheck to get groceries)!

I am making sure I plan my meals for the week and purchase ONLY what will be used and eaten. We are going out less, making the kids earn their own spending $, and we're not buying school lunches anymore, much to my kids disapointment! Lots of little things add up quick.

Hey loved #1...Ohhh so THAT'S the answer--I just need to increase my income! cake! j/k

Melinda said...

Thanks for reminders Sally. In times like this I think everyone is feeling the crunch. Most of the ways I have cut back is passing by those awesome deals that I can't use at this moment. We also have cut back on dining out. But I am home more now so I have no problem with cooking. If we think about it, there are many ways we can conserve and save doing little thing around our houses.

Christine said...

Don't forget to double your fast offerings (or at least increase them). There are specific temporal blessings as well as the spiritual blessings of doing that! I've tried it and it works.

Anonymous said...

Sally, my brother wrote a post along the same lines that you might like.