1. How to Adopt Frugal Living Hobbies

    Frugal Living HobbiesFrugal living habits need not be unpleasant. Put some fun into money saving hobbies by enjoying some of these off hour pursuits.

    Budget-friendly Hobbies

    When your monthly budgeting efforts require tight cash controls, these hobbies will not destroy your financial plan. In some cases, they even result in saving benefits.

    Grow your own fruits and vegetables. Gardening, whether for beauty or food, is a relaxing, satisfying hobby. If you work at a stressful job, the psychological benefits are even greater. Getting physical exercise while watching your plants grow and mature is both easy on your budget and personally rewarding.

    Reading. Become a regular visitor to your local library to have access to a universe of reading material—all at no cost. If you have a strong sense of history and tradition, browsing smaller bookstores may bring you titles you’ve longed to read and own at low cost.

    Sewing and crafting. Both of these hobbies are psychologically calming and generate pride in your workmanship. Additionally, these hobbies give you the opportunity to create unique, handmade gifts, jewelry, and home décor items at a fraction of the cost of buying them—if you could even find similar items—from a retail store.

    • Cooking. You needn’t become an exotic, gourmet chef or have your own show on the Food Network to enjoy this wonderful hobby. You, your family, and your guests need to eat anyway. Trying new and healthy dishes and surprising diners with new variations on classic foods is great fun—and achieves your goal of frugal living.

    • Entering sweepstakes is a fun—sometimes, monetarily rewarding—hobby. Sweepstaking is an inexpensive—usually, free—hobby that can sometimes result in winning money or luxury items that would be budget-busters if you bought them. If you’re new to the world of sweepstakes, you’ll be amazed at the number and variety of contests available online. The only danger: You could spend most of your free time finding and entering sweeps. Beware; this hobby can easily become habit-forming and great fun.

    • Photography. Sure, photography can be quite expensive—if you want it to be. However, the many fabulous and low cost digital cameras available have made photography a hobby available to everyone. With advanced zoom capabilities in most digital cameras and no film purchase or developing costs, you can have fun with this hobby and remain living within your means.

     

    Frugal living is not only about cutting bills, saving money or restricting your lifestyle. Living on a budget is merely a good habit to adopt. Having fun hobbies that cost you little but yield great rewards, relaxation and psychological excitement is an idea you can enjoy forever.

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    Categories: Saving Money
  2. Don’t Break the Bank to Ring in the Holidays

    Holiday Spending Keeping the holidays festive without spending a pretty penny doesn’t seem possible sometimes. Even though we’d all love to make “big” purchases, the budget isn’t always willing. Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to keep your costs down without losing your holiday spirit.

    • Make a list and check it twice (at least) – Decide on a budget you can comfortably live with for food, gifts and decorations. Having a specific amount in mind will help you avoid overspending. Also, be sure to watch for coupons or grocery flyers for food items that are on sale. Keep an eye on department store sales and online offers for gifts and decorations. By planning even a week or two ahead, you can tap into sales on just about everything you might need, at discounted prices.
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    Categories: Saving Money
  3. A Great Thanksgiving Doesn’t Have to Break Your Bank

    Thanksgiving Spending TipsFor many families, Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season and the spending spree that comes along with it. It’s not uncommon for some moms, dads and kids to head out bright and early on “Black Friday” – the day after Thanksgiving – with the hope of finding the best deals on those wish-list items. 

    No matter if you’re a Black Friday early-riser or wake-up-at-noon super sleeper wouldn’t it be nice to have a fatter wallet (not just a fatter stomach) once Thanksgiving is over? You can, with the help of these money-saving tips:

    • Plan your menu early – Know what you’re going to serve for Thanksgiving about five weeks ahead of the big day. Many supermarkets have lower prices on traditional Thanksgiving items in the month leading up to the holiday, so check the store circulars for the lowest prices – and make sure to look for matching coupons. For a small weekly fee, websites such as www.thegrocerygame.com will help you find deals and let you know if there’s a coupon to lower the cost even further.
    • Don’t overbuy – The tendency for many Thanksgiving cooks is to prepare more food than needed. Often, however, the extra food (and the extra money spent) may be wasted. To make sure you don’t overspend and over-prepare, go online and search for terms such as, “How much food do I need for Thanksgiving” or “How much turkey do I need for 10 people.” You’ll find lots of sites that can help you to determine an appropriate amount of food.
    • Use leftovers – A meal with leftovers can be just as satisfying as the original feast. Be sure to save more than just the turkey. Cranberry sauce can be used again, vegetables can be used to create soups and dips, and mashed potatoes can be shaped into patties for frying.
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  4. Smart Steps for Saving on School Supplies

    Saving for school suppliesIf you have a school-age child, you know that back-to-school supplies are a necessity. Thankfully, though, overspending isn’t. In fact, with a little bit of planning, parents can stretch their dollars without sacrificing quality or quantity.

    These five smart steps will help you get more bang from your back-to-school bucks.

    1. Don’t buy what you already own. A survey this past July by the company Deloitte, revealed that 26% of parents with school-age children are planning to reuse last year’s school items. That’s a really smart way to cut costs in a tough economy. So, before heading to the store, be sure to check your drawers and closets (and even under the back seat of the minivan) for back-to-school items that might be usable again this year—things like backpacks, lunch boxes, book covers, pencils, crayons, and glue sticks. Having just one of each of these items could decrease your spending by roughly $40 per child.
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  5. Everyday Saving Tips Focus on the Simple Things

    Everyday saving is more habit than science. Living on a budget becomes easier every day that you practice. Unless you are an unusually extravagant spender, there is no magic bullet to save large dollars on a daily basis. However, using simple everyday saving tips will add up to high savings over weeks and, then, months. Here are some simple suggestions to start building your frugal habit.

    • Closely track your spending—all of it. The most important habit you can acquire is to keep a small notebook of every penny you spend daily. You may be astonished how your small purchases add up to large dollars over time.
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