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Plan Well, Retire Well

Saving and investing your money

Have fun being a cheapskate!


We have all seen the price of gas go over $4.00 a gallon and the reality is setting in that gas may even reach $5.00 a gallon over the summer. So, where do you find the extra money to help pay for rising prices such as gasoline and food. A good place as Karen discussed last week is from an emergency account, however, you don't want to drain your emergency account for everyday spending. As prices rises your monthly household budget for items such as gasoline and food needs to be adjusted, this may mean finding ways to cut out unnecessary spending. I call this having fun being a cheapskate!

I have tried a few of the tricks below to help my household cut unnecessary spending. I hope you find something you might like to try for your family.

  • Try not to spend anything for one week. Try to eat what you have in the pantry and freezer, you might try riding your bike to work, or go for a picnic in your backyard.
  • Cut out unnecessary trips in the car. Think about and consolidate errands or consider car-pooling to work to save on fuel.
  • Take advantage of low-cost entertainment in your community. Parks, zoos, community fairs and events usually offer low-cost or no cost fun family activities.
  • Wait at least 3 days before buying any item over $20. This will make you think about the purchase and if you really need to have the item.
  • Pay cash for everything. This helps you to think about purchases. Using a credit card often allows you to spend without thinking.
  • Calculate how your little purchases add up over time. Do you need a $4.00 cup of coffee everyday? Check out http://www.retirewell.uiuc.edu/ for more information on how little purchases can add up to big savings over time.
  • Instead of buying new toys, take your kids outside and play games you played as a child such as tag, hide and seek, or hopscotch.

I have had fun with my children trying to be a cheapskate. Trying to be creative and adjust our spending has helped my family reevaluate what is truly important and realize how much we really do have and don't need!



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