Thriving on Less Simplifying in a Tough Economy A Companion Ebook to The Power of Less Copyright

Utilties are always a big part of the budget but you

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Utilties are always a big part of the budget, but you can reduce them: be more energy and water efficient, consider dropping your home phone and just using a cell phone, and possibly getting rid of cable TV. Cheaper food. One of the biggest expenses for some people is eating out – the the average person spends well over $2,000 a year on eating out. Restaurants are expensive, including fast-food (not to mention the health hazards). It’s much cheaper to cook your own food. Our family creates a weekly menu, then we buy the groceries, and cook dinner (and lunch) each evening. Lately I’ve even been prepping it in the morning, so it’s a snap when we get home. If you do eat out, look for inexpensive, healthy options, and of course go somewhere nice once in awhile. For lunch, if you normally eat out at work, consider brown bagging your lunch – you can save $1,000-2,000 a year. Go with one car. Many families have two or more cars. Besides your house, your car is probably your most expensive item. If you can do with one, you should. My wife and I have six kids, and yet we have learned to manage with one car. You might have other large-ticket expenses in your budget ... take a look at them and do a little thinking and research to see if you can reduce the cost somehow. If you do this gradually, one thing at a time, it won't be so difficult. Thriving on Less : Simplifying in a Tough Economy 16 Chapter 7 - Changing Your Spending Habits "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle While you can cut costs here and there, the real, lasting changes won't come until you change your habits. If you currently give in to impulse purchases on a regular basis, for example, you'll still spend a lot of money despite making numerous cuts in other areas. An important long-term strategy is to create new, sound financial habits, one at a time. See The Power of Less for more on creating new habits. Use the effective habit-change techniques in the book to change one habit at a time. Here are some important habits to form: 1. Make savings automagical. This should be your top priority, especially if you don’t have a solid emergency fund yet. Make it the first bill you pay each payday, by having a set amount automatically transferred from your checking account to your savings (try an online savings account). Don’t even think about this transaction — just make sure it happens, each and every payday. 2. Control your impulse spending. The biggest problem for many of us. Impulse spending, on eating out and shopping and online purchases, is a big drain on our finances, the biggest budget breaker for many, and a
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sure way to be in dire financial straits. The first step to controlling this habit is to monitor it and become more aware of your urges. Then create a 30-day ban on impulse buying and focus on not buying anything other than necessities for one month. After that, create a 30-day list ... anything you want to buy other than necessities goes on the list (with the date it was added) and you can't buy it until 30 days later. 3. Evaluate your expenses, and live frugally. If you’ve never tracked your expenses, try the One
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  • Spring '11
  • Chow
  • Debt, Want, ........., Simple living

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