Managing your money is easy when there is plenty of it. How do you manage little or no money? Here are some unconventional ways to live with spending less money. Application of these ideas are hard, and no one would consider them unless they must. Are you there?
Learn How to be Broke
The first priority to managing money when there is little or none is do not spend. People must learn how to be broke. There are things that must be purchased and it will not take long to figure out priorities. A place to live, utilities, groceries, and transportation (if you must drive) are priorities.
Electronics are not necessary, unless you make money by using them, such as a computer. Eliminate unnecessary expenses before they automatically go away when the bill is not paid.
Don’t Leave Home
Unless there is a job to go to, stay out of the car. Driving burns gasoline and creates spending money when arriving at the destination. Convenience store purchases and drive-through windows will be eliminated if the car stays home. Starbucks is out of the question.
Going to the grocery store is necessary, but once a week is plenty. If something runs out before the grocery store date, use what is available. Use all available meat in the freezer before purchasing additional items and then only sale items. Meat items rotate on sale every nine weeks. Any meat item purchased should provide two or more meals.
Be inventive. Plan inexpensive meals, make a grocery list, and cook at home. Beans and rice, or beans and cornbread go a long way. They are healthy and filling. Meat is not necessary with every meal!
It is much wiser to use cash when making purchases. When buying groceries with a list, the item’s price can be written down as it is added to the basket. Before checking out, tally the cost to avoid embarrassment at the register. No one likes this option, but it will save a lot of money.
Managing Checking Accounts & ‘Plastic’
If you are fortunate enough to have a checking account, keep diligent track of the balance, daily if possible. Debit cards are dangerous. Credit cards are not your friend. Never…ever…overdraft a checking account or debit card. Next week, or next month will be difficult enough without being ‘in the hole’ at the beginning with overdraft charges added onto that.
Stay Away from Wal-Mart
Staying away from Wal-Mart should be a top priority. If is virtually impossible to go into the store for a couple of items and not spend extra money. There is so much to see and purchase. The can of beans might cost a couple of pennies more at the local retail grocery store, but extra purchases are not as great a temptation.
Pay a bill when there is money available. Even paying a small bill will lighten the emotional load. The tendency is to want to hoard whatever cash is in the bank to use in the future. Avoid the debilitating consequences of this inaction. Money in the bank is not security….peace of mind that you have done your best is security.
Scams and Schemes
Avoid places like ‘Payday Loans’ businesses. Never ‘float checks’. This action is the same as over drafting the checking account. You still start out in the hole the next week, or next month. Check kiting is a felony and will involve the FBI. Unless doing jail time is not out of the question, never do this action.
People of the Depression Era knew how to save money and spend what they had wisely. They learned the same way people are learning today in this tough economy….by experience.
More from this contributor:
Money Management Lessons from my Depression Era Parents
What to Do with Your Tax Return
Money Management Tips for Women