A very cold day here, so I am staying warm inside, with a cup of hot tea on the way, and my daughter (11 years old) is making me scrambled eggs. She loves to do this! She sort of plays waitress, takes my order, cooks the eggs, and then carries everything to the dining room table on a cutting board. She's a nut!
Any way I wanted to take a moment and share some tips, that can help keep you out of debt, and help you avoid bankruptcy. Don't expect any great revelation, or a quick fix. These are just some simple tips and tricks that have helped us.
Early on in our marriage, before any children even, my father-in-law gave us some great advice. He suggested we write down everything we purchased. No matter how big or how small, and at the end of the day look over it, and see where we could have saved or made a wiser decision. It amazed us at first to see how easily we spent small amounts thinking it didn't matter, and how quickly they add up! The little things you don't even consider, like an extra snack each day, or the soda you purchase on the way home, they quickly add up. This is something you could do for several weeks, and then sit down and see where you could save or cut back.
Another thing we learned was to save our change. Yes, our change. We placed a container where we could easily empty our change each day. Then instead of spending it, we saved it until the end of the month and used it to pay a bill. If we were ahead, we would occasionally treat ourselves to a special meal. You would be simply amazed at how much change you can save in a month. We were also less likely to buy something small, like a can of soda from vending or a candy bar, if we had to break a bill to do so.
Charge cards! These can be your worst enemy! As a young couple we fell in to that trap once. Oh, look! We don't have the cash now, but we can charge it and make payments! Really! Why not put off that purchase, save the amount you would be making in payments and then purchase the item when you have the full amount. Wow! No interest charge either. It has always amazed me how much you actually pay for the product with interest by the time it is paid off.
Going into debt for larger purchases. The only thing I can think of possibly worth going into debt for would be a home. And even there you need to be careful. Figure out before you go looking, exactly what you can afford. Then don't change it for anything. Don't go looking at a home you know is out of your price range. It is way too easy to stand there and figure out a way that you could pay just a little bit more than what was decided on.
I better quit here as I don't want to ramble on. Neighbors, please take a moment to share a tip if you have one. You never know, you just might help someone else!
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