Tag Archive | "living on a budget in NJ"

The Thrill of Living Thrifty: Tips for a Frugal New Jersey Family

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Whatever your financial circumstances, it just makes sense to try to spend less, especially in an unpredictable economy.  It takes so little other than thought to spend less every month and the payoff can be huge.  Besides big savings, living frugally can lead to higher self-esteem, less anxiety, more money available for emergencies and a pathway to debt-free or nearly debt-free living.

 

What makes the idea so simple is that you can calibrate each suggestions to save a little or a lot.  Here are easy ways to reduce the cash going out the door:

 

1. Free Reading

 

Even easier than going to the library, download e-books for free.  From classical tales to children stories, there is a broad range of e-read options available for everyone.  Found on LivingFrugalTips.com, there are at least 17 different websites to direct you to free e-books on just about any subject.

 

2. A Cheaper Way

 

Find cheaper ways to get the services you need.  Go to a beauty school to get your hair colored instead of paying big bucks at a fancy hair salon.  Paint your house on your own instead of hiring someone to do it for you.  Cut out every feature on your cable, Internet and cell phone service that you’re not using at least once a week.  Frugal living is a mindset.  If it’s something you can do yourself, do it.  If it’s something you can live without, cut it.

 

3. Buy Used

 

If you’re rebuilding your credit and need a more reliable car, consider a bad credit auto loan at DriveTime.  The network operates 95 dealerships across the U.S., and it’s known for helping people purchase cars, even with credit problems.  Filling out an application online takes only minutes and the pre-owned vehicle loan qualifying process is easier than applying for a new car loan.

 

4. Find Free Fun

 

Don’t forget to take advantage of all the free amusement venues right in your neighborhood — from libraries and museums to parks and free lectures at your local community college or university.  Your local bookstore may have free activities for kids, especially during the summer.  Likewise, some movie theaters located in malls show old movies suitable for kids at no charge on weekdays during the summer.

 

5. Sip Savings

 

Brew your own coffee.  Even at “cheap” fast-food restaurants, that cup of java will run you at least a dollar.  An everyday habit of having someone present your coffee to you ends up costing a minimum of $30 a month (and possibly four times that!) that could go toward groceries or bills if you brewed it yourself.

 

6. Cut Water Costs

 

By installing low-flow shower heads, faucet aerators and toilet displacement devices, families can save thousands of gallons of water each year, according to the EPA.  By easily cutting water usage, you’ll also cut water costs.  A simple low-flow shower head costs about $5.

 

7. Shop Consignment Stores

 

Instead of taking your teens school or birthday shopping at the mall, hit up the consignment stores around Jersey.  You’d be shocked by what people consign — unworn designer clothes with $1,000 price tags still attached and shoes that don’t look like they’ve ever been worn.  If nothing else, you’ll have fun just checking out what’s available.

 

8. Drop Unused Memberships

 

Forget the gym membership and go for a jog or brisk walk.  Gym memberships can be a waste of money if you don’t work out regularly or if your gym has extra services (such as a pool or specialized equipment) that you don’t use.

 

 

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