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Frugal living

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi I don't know where to post this so here goes. We want very badly to adopt from Haiti. We figure we are going to have to wait at least 2 years because we already have some loans to pay off. We want to try and save as much money as possible but we have a very limited budget. So how do we make our already limited budget include savings for adoption expenses? DH said something about special light bulbs to save on hydro costs but other than that I'm in the dark. LOL! No pun intended! I checked my library (hicksville ontario) and they have no information. Thanks for any help!
post #2 of 13

You can

check out the Tightwad Gazette books 1-3 at your library
and I can't remember the names of the two ladies but one book is "simplify your life"
another is "how to get what you want with the money you already have"
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
There isn't anything ay library but thanks anyway.
post #4 of 13
I've found this site pretty helpful. They cover so many topics and areas for savings.

post #5 of 13
wanted to add we have those light bulbs and they are awesome.. they are 25 watt or something like that but shine like a 100 watt , they were a bit expensive but they are supposed to last something like 7 years i beleive.
post #6 of 13
This sounds really lame, but don't buy anything that's not an absolute necessity or a long-run moneysaver (like energy and water saving devices). Don't buy new clothes if you each have five days' worth that fits; don't buy convenience foods; don't buy diapers; don't buy gifts (socially obligated gifts can be of time or homemade goods); don't replace the car; don't go out for coffee or buy lunch at work; don't pay for extra telephone services or cable tv; don't travel. The stricter you are, the sooner you will reach your goals. The more comfortable you want to feel right now, the longer it will take to reach your goals.
post #7 of 13
I was watching Oprah yesterday (HA!) and one thing made sense...pay yourself first. Set aside a certain amount, weather it be $10 a day, $5 a day, $2 a day...whatever...and make sure you put that amount in a savings account every payday. If you don't see it, you don't miss it.
post #8 of 13
Make up a budget that includes a minimum amount saved every month, plus a little extra Just In Case. Then, whatever is spending money - groceries, gas, clothing, occasional meal out - allot to yourself in cash every Monday. Don't use your ATM card or credit card for anything except a serious emergency. That Just In Case money can be used for something unexpected, or something that really blows your budget but can't be avoided like extra travelling expenses for the holidays; But, don't dip into it at all in a normal week. If you get to Friday and you're all out of cash but you were planning on going to the zoo or something, well, tough - plan better next week. Or, if you've been really good/lucky and haven't touched the Just In Case money in many weeks, treat yourself to a nice meal out or something.

*sigh* that system works really well for us... as long as we have the diligence to stick with it. We get really psyched on it and it works great for a while, then we start slacking off...
post #9 of 13

you can also check out

the getting out of debt threads in personal growth too!
See if your utility company has an average billing plan...
post #10 of 13
I grew up in hicksville ontario and found they were very good about transfering books for me. So it could be worth asking your librarian if they can transfer in some books you're looking for.

post #11 of 13
I would recommend buying the Tightwad Gazette book (the one with them all) because I got mine from the library but really need to refer to it often. Now it's overdue Anyway, it has a lot of great ideas in it on saving money.
post #12 of 13
Yes, The Complete Tightwad Gazette is the best! I also love "Your Money or Your Life" by Vicki Robin & Joe Rodriguez. I have TCTG but am looking for a copy of the other book for my library. I browse thru my Gazette all the time, LOL. It has great ideas on recycling things, so if something breaks you can fix it or recycle something else to do the job, without having to go buy a new whatever-it-is-that-broke. There are many frugal websites and forums out there to help you get more ideas. Every penny saved adds up!
post #13 of 13
I'm a librarian. Ask your librarian to get the Tightwad Gazette for you by interlibrary loan. They will borrow it for you from another library. It might take a few weeks to come in. Then, if you really think you will use it all the time, maybe buy a used copy. But you may well never need it again, so why start out trying to save money by spending on an item you can borrow and might never look at again? I'm the person who suggested it to you on the adoption thread. I read it once and that was all I needed, as I found the mindset more helpful than the actual tips.

These are the main steps we took to save the money for our two adoptions:

Go through your recurring monthly bills very carefully and see what you can cut out. We don't have cable or cell phones or any fancy phone "services." You may be able to drop your long distance carrier and just use prepaid phone cards and save money.

We spend nothing on entertainment. We use the public library to the max, for books, videos, DVDs, cds, as well as for their programming. We go to free concerts, lectures and fairs put on by local communities. We take walks and go on picnics. We trade babysitting with another couple.

We cut out all eating out, including lunches, take-out, vending machines and Fourbucks. We both work out of the home and we brown bag it. I cook from scratch. I have a freezer, and on weekends I cook triple batches of whatever I'm making and freeze the extras. During the week, many of our dinners are based on my frozen entrees. Not only can I come home and get dinner on the table in less than half an hour, but I'm not tempted to just get take out, and our food is healthier and has no preservatives, unlike most of the stuff that is pre-prepared.

Keep a price book, which is just a notebook with items you commonly buy, and their typical low prices at the markets where you shop. That way, if you see something on sale, you'll know whether or not it is really a bargain. There are some things I used to buy at the grocery store that I now buy elsewhere, because I've used the price book for reference. For example, rice, certain spices and some veggies are much cheaper at the Asian market than they are at the grocery. We have a great day old bread outlet that is way cheaper than the grocery and the bread is fine. Cleaning products are also cheaper elsewhere, but mostly I use baking soda and vinegar.

I sit down with the flyers from the local grocery stores to see what's on sale every week. When something I normally use goes on sale, I buy enough to last me until the next sale. I almost never buy anything that keeps or can be frozen for full price. We do eat meat, and I plan my weekend big batch cooking around whatever meat is on sale. I also plan several non-meat dinners, including black bean chili, polenta, soups, etc. Dh was a bit resistant at first, but he soon caught on to the health and budget benefits.

We maintain our cars, and drive them into the ground. When we finally got rid of dh's Toyota, it had 206K on it and was 14 years old. We carry no collision on the cars if they are paid off, and we have high deductibles.

When we were saving for the adoption, I bought nothing that wasn't essential. Whenever I would get the hankering for a new pair of shoes or a new blouse, I'd ask myself what was more important, getting my daughter home or new footware. No contest.

I don't do much yard sale or thrift store shopping (which the TG is big on). Since I WOHM, my time is at a premium, and I find that if I shop end of season clearance sales for the following year, I do as well as I can at thrift stores. Before kids, we used to go to auctions and you can get some spectacular deals on things like furniture if you are disciplined, but they are very time consuming. I cheerfully accept handmedown kid clothes from relatives and friends.

Most agencies do not make you come up with all the money at once. It should be required at certain milestones--some upon applying, some once your paperwork is done, more when you get a referral, and most of it due at the end. If the agency wants most of it up front, I'd be suspicious. So, you don't have to have the entire wad sitting in the bank in order to get started.
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