One of the big tricks of frugal living is to know when it’s worthwhile to sweat the small stuff and when it’s better to just let it be. There are times when paying attention to a few cents can end up making a big difference, and there are times when paying attention to a few cents is a complete waste of your focus. The challenge is being able to instantly tell which is which.
At this point, I’ve developed something of an “instinct” for being able to tell when the pennies are really worth my attention or not, so I don’t even have to think about it. I just run subconsciously through a series of criteria to decide whether it’s worth my time and attention or not. Here are most of the criteria that I use.
I am a strong, strong believer that the good life involves having some time that you’ve set aside for leisure activities that you do solely for personal enjoyment and personal enrichment. I block off significant portions of time in my daily and weekly schedule for hobbies, and although I do sometimes jettison those blocks of time, it’s become readily apparent to me over the years that having such free time is incredibly valuable for my level of happiness and my mental well being.
In the past, I’ve written about my 11 frugal hobbies, as well as 40 free (or very low cost) activities I enjoy doing in my spare time.
While all of these things are fine hobbies, there are quite a few things I enjoy doing in my spare time that I mentally catalogue as “frugality” or “household tasks” rather than hobbies.
5 tips to help you save your first $1,000 Millennials now the largest living generationIf you’ve yet to save your first $1,000, take comfort in the fact that you’re in good company. An estimated 69% of Americans have less than $1,000 in a savings account, and 34% have absolutely no savings at all.
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The most common spending problems are caused by a house that’s too large, a car that’s too luxurious or a credit-card lifestyle that’s too lavish for your income. Those who see a virtue in moderation may have had budgeting in mind.
Whatever your situation, here are some common ways that people can reduce monthly bills.
1. Eliminate trivial but needless costs
Look first for small savings — not because they’ll end your budget problems, but simply because they’re easy to find and take advantage of. For example, swear off that mid-afternoon, expensive premium latte. Shop for clothes and household furnishings only during sales. Keep your house warmer in summer and cooler in winter. Take on chores that you usually pay someone else to perform, such as mowing the lawn or shoveling snow.
Seemingly inconsequential savings do, in fact, add up.
Sarah and I have a large emergency fund by almost any standards. If everything collapsed, we could live for more than a year simply on our cash reserves without touching any of our other investments. That’s a huge emergency fund.
So, why do we have such a big fund? Why not invest some of that money and have a smaller cash reserve?
The simple reason is that it leaves us feeling more secure. Knowing that if everything fell apart we have enough cash on hand to survive for more than a year makes us feel very little stress regarding our finances and our day to day life. If the stock market takes a dive or if something else like that happens, we’re still good to go.
This sounds appealing, of course, but it has a real cost.
As I’ve noted before, the average American family budgets for about $50,000 per year. We actually budget for quite a bit less than that, even with three children. For ease of calculation’s sake, let’s say our annual budget is $30,000 (it’s a nice, even number that’s pretty close to our actual number, which is an odd figure).
We get it. You’re starting a new businesses and you’re strapped for cash. There are a million questions going through your head. We empathize with bootstrapping entrepreneurs and small-business owners everywhere, and today we explore meaningful ways that add up where your business can save money in the early phases. That said, every small-business owner and entrepreneur has a unique set of circumstances that pertains to their business, industry, strategy, and execution. Here we will outline some of the key choices, some obvious, some less obvious, on ways you and your small business can save money.
Conventional wisdom tells us it’s impossible to be saving too much for retirement, but is this really true? We’ve been hearing about the need to save more for retirement, and for good reason. Ask many of the Baby Boomers who are getting ready to retire and you’ll find that many of them have come to the realization that they don’t have as much saved up as they had hoped, or that they may need to even put off retirement for a few years.
So, is it possible to save too much for retirement? Of course it is, but it’s far from the norm. The real issue comes from the sacrifices you need to make today in order to plan and save for a retirement that may be decades away. There is a balance in life.
If you have a vehicle that was built after the 70′s or 80′s you are more than likely throwing money down the drain if you are getting your oil changed every 3,000 miles.