$AVING$ MAKE$ CENT$
Do you have a written budget? Do you know where your money goes? Do you know where your cash goes?
This Thrifty Thursday I’d like you to TAKE THE $AVING$ CENT$ challenge this weekend.
For just two days, 48 little hours, Saturday and Sunday, commit to:
1) Spend as little as possible – the goal is to spend zero nadda zippo NO MONEY at all! This means NONE. No credit card charges, no debit card uses and no cash. Try to make meals from what is already in your pantry, frig and freezer. Find things to do that are free. Get together with friends and watch a movie that someone already owns. Spend an evening with friends and do a pot luck where everyone brings something for a shared meal. Scour the local internet sites and local papers to see what may be available to do for free.
2) Look at your budget and calendar for the upcoming week from Monday, March 4th through Friday, March 8th. Try to figure out how LITTLE money you can spend this week. Pack your lunches, walk when possible, make your own coffee at home, carpool… you get the idea. Be creative, make it a family challenge/goal. For every penny you don’t spend, keep track of it and put the equivalent in a big change jar or at least list it somewhere. At the end of the week, you will be amazed at how much $$$ you have $aved!
3) Look through papers and internet sites to see what coupons you can use (not just because there’s a savings involve, either – buy the product because you use it!). Get your friends involved and have a coupon club for the week and trade off coupons.
4) Look at your clothes and weed out what you don’t wear anymore. Either do a clothes swap with your friends (including accessories), or donate the gently used items to Good Will or the Salvation Army or the charity of your choice. If you trade with friends, you can really freshen up your attire and have some “nearly new” outfits! In fact, while you're gathering your friends together, have a "$aving$ Make$ Cent$" party -- get together and brainstorm on ways to save money!
5) If you don’t already have a budget, create one! Look at everything you’ve spent in the last year and divide it by 12 to get a monthly average. If you’re not sure how to do a budget, go to a place like www.daveramsey.com or http://www.crown.org/ and use their free tools. Could you refinance your mortgage to a lower rate? Call your credit card companies and ask for a lower rate? Then begin asking the hard questions about what you’re spending your money on, and why, and how could you live BELOW your means so you’ll have things like a savings account, an emergency savings and cash fund, retirement, etc. Think about your hourly wage, and whenever you get ready to make a purchase (especially those instant gratification purchases), think how many hours you’ll have to work (yes, how many hours of your LIFE) to pay for what you think at the moment that you must have. Oh yes, and do distinguish between want you WANT and what you NEED – big difference most of the time!
You need to be financially fit as much as you need to be physically fit. So begin to exercise those restraint and “cents savvy” muscles and TAKE THE CHALLENGE!
Be sure to post your results here – I’d love to find out how much we can collective save in one weekend!!!!! And stay tuned for next Thursday as we share results, recipes, ideas and lots of thrifty Thursday thoughts!