Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Applying Our Financial Knowledge

I am not one of those people who need a coffee fix at their favorite coffee shop or chain every morning, or buy $10 lunches at work. Even before the recession hit us hard, we all knew that using credit cards like limitless cash and paying just the minimum monthly payment are habits that will keep people in debt for life. Now that some of our worst financial nightmares have come true, I know that the “rainy days” are here to stay for a while. Instead of living in constant fear, we have to make the hard choices and change our bad financial habits for good. Even when the economy rebounds and employment rates go through the roof, I will not become financially complacent again. The lessons all of us are learning now are too painful to forget.

I have done my best to avoid debt like the plague. Refusing to use credit cards is the most effective method. I have a debit card that can be used like one, but I am always mindful of my bank balance and never go over it. Last year, I opened a credit card account at a well-known department store to obtain a discount on a purchase, but I immediately paid off my balance and have not used the account since. I still get letters promising all kinds of savings if I make more purchases on the account. I’m not tempted to do so.

Since my detox began, I hardly ever go out to dinner. If I have to buy something, I have dietary as well as financial limitations to consider. It can be frustrating, but I have to admit I feel good when I see how my cutbacks on eating out pay off. I have also always been a very careful shopper, and I will continue to be so. I try not to make frivolous purchases, and when I do I always try to make up for them by cutting back on others or returning them, if I am allowed.

Do you have any savings' tips to share?


MagandangPhilippines said...

A few years ago, my friends and I adapted an alternative to the bar scene that saved us several dollars a week and brought us closer--potlucks. Each person would host a dinner, provide the theme and the guests would bring the side dishes, dessert or inexpensive beverages. The result: we saved on the overpriced drinks and food and spent more quality time together. Also, we shared our favorite recipes which encouraged less epicureous diners like myself to cook more. And of course, there's no last call,so you can stay as longas you like until your friends kick you out or hand you a pillow.

Lil' Sis said...

I second that, MagandangPhilippines. I love socializing, but dining out is expensive and adds up. I used to spend a standard $10 a day from M-F, $50 dinner on Saturday night, and $30 for brunch Sunday. The math on that is $6,760 - and that's not including my frivolous shopping and hanging out sipping cocktails! That's such unnecessary spending. Planning ahead by buying groceries and having dinner at friends homes or yours definitely pays out last minute spending and eating out.

Also, the classic concept of being content with what you have instead of spending money to fill a void that cant' be filled is crucial!

Financial knowledge is a great topic to write about, especially because women need to get their lifestyle smartened up by knowing this in and out.

You rock Pauline!

ritu said...

u should share this article with my dad ..

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