Sunday, October 25, 2009

Musing About Thrift

One of the best way to save money is to be less wasteful. Now, saving a few pennies from not buying snacks or coffee isn’t going to make us rich, but thrift gives us the right values in life.

Being thrifty means we hone our money-saving skills and apply it to different situations. When we use enough of these skills in enough places, the savings can be substantial.

There are many ways to reduce wastage, for example using less electricity by switching off the lights and air-conditioner when we are not around, cooking less food which reduces leftovers and household grocery bill, or to drive less to save on fuel and maintenance.

You can also use lesser toilet paper as well as dishwasher and laundry detergent without becoming more dirty.

Has thriftiness made you a better person in life?

Monday, October 19, 2009

We Survived Black Monday...

We Survived Black Monday...
22 years ago, on this day, this was what happened to the stock market... a plunge which rocked the financial world.

We survived the scare for now as the Dow Jones Industrial Average is still above 10,000 and with no sign of slowing down.

But for how long will this bullish momentum stay intact?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Disconnect Between Wall Street And Main Street

Disconnect Between Wall Street And Main Street
Wall Street have no qualms about enriching themselves and getting fat bonuses. Who cares about the struggling masses on Main Street?

Don't bother telling them your troubles... it is just too bad you have no money to organize lobby groups.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Cash For Clunkers Withdrawal

Cash For Clunkers Withdrawal
Is this what happens to consumers when Cash For Clunkers program is withdrawn?

But don't worry, there could be another round if the economy goes into a double dip recession.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Save $1000 in 30 days, Is It Sustainable?

I don't know about you guys but this is a tough challenge even if I consider myself a frugal guy.

We may be able to save $1000 for one month but to do it consistently is nearly impossible. Also, you need to have lots of disposable income and hence, expenses to whittle down in the first place. If your total expenditure is less than $1000, you cannot achieve the target

I believe the biggest expense item for most people is mortgage payments or rental but if you skip it consistently, you may soon end up in the streets or depend on free lodging from friends and relatives.

Overall, the idea is good, even if you cannot save the entire $1000, saving $500 is better than nothing. But realistically speaking, we should think of saving money in terms of percentage of our income rather than the absolute amount.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Charity In A Recession Is More Meaningful

Is the end of recession here? From the recent slew of "bleak" economic data, I remain pessimistic. In fact, I don't want the recession to end too soon, lest we forget important lessons from the financial crisis and go back to our spending binges.

I believe many Americans are still staying true to their newfound frugality. They are cutting back on expenses and setting aside money to weather turbulence in the coming months.

Charity In A Recession Is More MeaningfulHowever, it is one thing to save money but quite another when our frugal living gives rise rise to an uncaring society where there is little room for charitable giving.

I can understand during a recession, charity work is among the first expense to be sacrificed. That is hardly a tough decision; after all, you have to make ends meet first before helping others.

But charity is even more important during a recession. People who are living at the lowest rungs of poverty are affected more by rising costs or the loss of income. Every dollar counts for them.

Forget about the idea that only the wealthy can afford to be charitable. So long as you have a roof over your head, food on the table and enjoy basic amenities, you are already more fortunate and can make a difference in the life of those struggling with poverty.

At the moment, many charities are struggling to stay afloat. Recession deals a double blow to charities as sharp drops in donations and investment income have been coupled by soaring demand for their services.

Being charitable in a recession means we have to do more with less. It takes creativity but more importantly, the heart to share and give. Here are some tips to get you started on charitable giving:

1. Be A Volunteer
If you can't write a check, then be a volunteer. It also looks good on your resume as job interviewers look favorably on time spent volunteering than watching TV or wallowing in self pity.

2. Put Your Skills To Use
If you have a practical skill or hobby, why not use it to help someone? Charities will always require people to do maintenance, landscaping, property improvement, hair-cutting, administrative work, cooking, etc.

Thus, if you are a handyman, carpenter, landscaper, hair stylist or a cook, then your services will be greatly appreciated. It is also beneficial to you as your skills will not be rusty and you may even acquire new skills which come in handy for a career switch or to impress your current employer.

3. Donate Household Items To Charity
Have a wardrobe full of "new" clothing that no longer fits or isn’t quite
fashionable enough? Those items can be especially helpful to a charity. So do your toys and unopened gifts.

4. Send Extra Food To The Food Bank
If you bought extra food at the grocery store because of special discounts or buying in bulk, you can always send some items to the food bank. It is good to give nutritious items but even biscuits, crackers, canned food are better than nothing.

5. Utilize your network
Don’t be shy. Tell your friends, neighbors and relatives that you are doing charity and ask if they want to help out. You will be surprised by the positive response.

If you still need a final kick to begin your charity work, think about setting a good example for your children. It is a good chance to impart right life values to them.

Rather than engaging in extravagant lifestyles and forever complaining that money is not enough, it is better to let our kids learn to make do with they have and yet, give to the less fortunate at the same time.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Save Money On Your Beauty Routines

This video teaches you to save money on your beauty routines.

I am not familiar with this topic but I figure some of the tips may be helpful to my female readers.