Hey JS, I hope you're feeling alright this weekend. :)
Finances often just come down to doing the very best you can. If you are having a difficult time with things it is often wise to begin keeping track of every penny you spend, and every penny that comes into your life. Total things up at the end of each month and look them over. What you look for are any spots where you feel the money you spent was not worth the time it took to earn it. I've done this for ten years, and it really does help.
Know all your basic expenses, and look for ways to reduce them:
Rent or Home Costs: Always look at different options, including downsizing wisely. Take into account how
well it is built to keep energy and/or maintenance costs down.
Water: Not a lot of room for savings, but just use it wisely.
Power: Again, use it wisely. Also look for any deals from the utility company. I am on a heat pump
program which lowers my winter utility rates because I have a heat pump.
Gas: Use it wisely as well.
***Whatever your water heater is electric/gas you may be able to turn the temp down slightly and
Cell Phones: Look for the best available deal. Decide if you need smart phones, or if home internet is
Home Internet: If you have more than one option look for the best deal. If you live close to a library
consider if just using it there would be enough. Also get by with the least amount of service that
Health Insurance: Tough one. Look at options again. Finding the right employer with a large group may
significantly help things. If my parents had the option my future parents-in-law have (due to future
mother in law's employment) they would save over $1,000 per month on insurance.
Medical Bills: I use a credit card to pay them so that I get at least 1% back, and then I pay it off that
month. Many facilities will work with you a bit on prices. I have a health system in the smaller town I
live near that was able to knock 10% off just by my asking when I dealt with the lady in charge of all
Medicine: I think this one has been covered. I am blessed with excellent co-pays for medicine so I have
not investigated it a lot. A combination of free samples when you can, as well as help from the drug
companies are good places to start. Let your physician know your situation and they will try to help!
Auto Insurance: My insurance guy says it is wise to shop around every 3 years. Also, don't get tickets!
Auto repairs: Stay on top of regular maintenance; it is cheaper in the long run than letting the car
deteriorate and finding significant problems. Also, find a good local shop to go to that has fair pricing. The chain stores often nickle and dime you with things you do not need at all. Trust me, I deal with these companies every day.
Clothing: If you are really trying to pinch pennies, find a good thrift store and enjoy the bargains. Same
with garage sales. I personally find a lot of my clothes at Kohl's... but I am a card member (credit
card) and wait until they send me 30% off coupons to use, and then I use that along with sales at the
same time to get the best deals I can.
Pets: Having a pet can get costly. They are like family to me so I just deal with the expense, but my dog
needs pain pills for bad arthritis that cost $147 for two months worth. Don't take on too many animals
if you need to pinch pennies.
-Any time you need something, see if you can buy it used. My fiancee wanted a nice elliptical and so I began looking. The stores sell ones for $1,000, but the reviews of them led me to understand that this was a huge risk, and that a good one costs $2,500 or more usually. I was able to find a used $3,000 elliptical with only 32 hours on it, and got it for $1,300.
-Try not to need a newer vehicle. There is a sweet spot where you can have a reliable vehicle that costs less to insure and license. I personally drive a 15 year old vehicle; I just replaced the engine in it... but the whole repair bill came to only twice what the sales tax alone would be on a newer vehicle. There are many different routes to take here, so just figure out the numbers that work best for you and your comfort level with different vehicles.
-Look for side income opportunities. Maybe someone around you needs help with lawn care, home care... or maybe a business needs just a little bit of help. Even an extra $100 a month goes a long ways if you're living wisely.
I love finances, so that's why I think about
these things. I run my own business and have real estate investments on the side. I'm looking at going back to school to study accounting and economics come summer. So... if this was too much just blame it on that. Haha
29 year old male.
Dx 2003. Left sided UC, progressed to mid-transverse colon.
IBS issues complicate things for me a lot.
Remicade since 1/27/12. Clinical remission within 3 months.
----Noticeable change in how I felt after 10-11 months.
Cymbalta greatly helped IBS issues.
Tried: Mesalamines, mesalamine enemas, steroid enemas, 6mp, entocort, Imuran.
Post Edited (Thoreau) : 1/18/2014 8:54:27 AM (GMT-7)