Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Saving money and austerity for surviving Hard times

Saving money is one of the things I mentioned as being underrated for survival during current turbulent times so I looked around a bit to see what useful tips I could find.
I came across this website with 101 tips to save money. Most of it is just common sense and I suppose most of my readers already do a lot of it, but I still found the tips refreshing to read even if I don’t agree with a couple of them. Here’s the link.
After reading the list I thought about it and some considerations that would be relevant for survivalists and people that want to be more self reliant during times like these:

1)Taking advantage of every discount and coupons you have available. Specially in USA, you save crazy amounts of money if you take advantage of these, especially on groceries. The only note on this would be buying products of respectable quality and being very careful about “mystery” products. One time there was a tomato sauce on sale in Argentina, turns out it was from China and of such poor (even dangerous) quality that was refused by every other country.

2)Pay your bills on time. Remember how we already see taxes going up and we know this trend will continue as a way of milking the middle class? That also means that the fees and interests for paying late will also go up, getting more bucks out of the middle class, so pay them on time. Then again there’s usually a breaking point when taxes go up TOO much. In that case such a large percentage of people can’t pay them that once a year they come up with plans to regularize your situation with important discounts. In that case (keep in mind this is 3rd world type situation) its better not to pay them on time and pay them once every year or two when the plans are offered. In this case, the guy that had the money to pay for the ridiculously high taxes every month and made the sacrifice to do so is being “punished” while the person that doesn’t pay in time is given chances to pay out of term and for a significant discount. You gotta love socialism.

3)Eat at home. Make your own pizza instead of delivery. Its stupid simple to do pizza and in no time you make one that tastes better, is healthier and much cheaper than the store bought one. For the office, make yourself a sandwich or leave a few yougurts in the office’s fridge. You save money and its healthier than getting a burger, hotdog or some other junk food.

4)I don’t agree with giving up your health center or gym membership. In my opinion it’s the first step to a less healthy life and you’ll regret it in the medium/long run. Its also a way of social interaction and being surrounded by a health conscious environment. You save on the membership but its absolutely not worth it if it will mean you now have a sedentary lifestyle with its health complications. Medical bills are MUCH more expensive than gym memberships.

5)Start reloading. With ammo prices going up its getting harder and harder to shoot. Around here most serious shooters reload. Get into it before the price of the equipment goes up. Don’t forget dry fire practices. Serious shooters do tons of dry fire and your skills significantly improve with it.

6)Review your monthly expenses carefully. Magazine subscriptions you don’t read, cell phone you don’t use? Hidden credit card services leaching money from you?

7) Shop around for a cheaper car/house insurance or maybe getting a plan more according to your budget.

 8)If you’re a hunter, its yet another way to put meat in the freezer for cheap. Get a used chest freezer that works well so as to stock up when you can (Craiglist, ebay )

9)Replace all lights with energy efficient light blubs. The warm ones do nicely and save a lot of energy. They also last much longer.

10) One thing we do is cook once and make enough leftovers for a second dinner as well. This also saves us time and you use less energy as well. If its meat we’re cooking what’s left can be used for stew.
Check the link above, I’m sure you’ll find a few good ideas.
Take care,

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Anonymous said...

Buy used cars and drive them to 200,000 miles.

Look at this comparison of buying new and keeping for 70,000 miles vs. buying used at 70,000 and keeping to 200,000:

Basically, you'll save $300,000 over the course of your adult life.

DaShui said...

I got a heavy duty $200 hair clipper that I use on my dogs and myself. I think it saves me $500 a year, plus it is more convenient, and I know it is clean. Just don't buy cheap, go to an animal supply store that all the groomers go to.

Hey FerFal it seems those doomer sites were right! With all this radiation in the air how could MBZ not be coming up our driveways soon?

Hannah said...

One of the tips was to use a VOIP service, and I can personally recommend MagicJack.
It costs $50 for the little device, and after that its about $20 for the entire year.
There is a bit of a working-out-the-kinks curve, but other than that, it works beautifully.
We dropped one of our cellphones and cut the minutes on our other one in half and just use MagicJack for everything.
The true advantage of it is that you can take it anywhere your computer goes. So if you travel a lot, you can plug it in and anyone can call your number, leave messages, and not even know you are away.
I also love being able to call long distance while in a hotel, instead of messing with calling cards and other nonsense.
If you have family in other countries, it is also dirt cheap to communicate with them, and they can even get one and call you!

Murphy's Law said...

The biggest (almost always overlooked) area of saving is DON"T GET INTO DEBT, especially a mortgage! Debt a money killer, especially with a huge mortgage like mine, and car payments, etc. I already told my 11 year old son that he will be living here until he has enough cash saved to buy his own home, even if he's in his mid-thirties by then (I own a 2 family home, so he'll have his own apartment). So many Americans want to push their kids out the door right after high school, like what happened to me. BIG MISTAKE! All we accomplish by that is forcing our kids to start from square one. To stay at home (even better is 3 or more generations living in the same house) is the key to saving and avoiding huge debt.