Category: Saving Money and Frugal Living

Cash Budget and The Envelope Method

Cash Budget and The Envelope Method

Easy Ways to Save Money – Cash Budget and The Envelope Method

Easy Ways to Save Money using the cash budget and envelope method

Today, we are talking about the cash budget / envelope method strategy as an easy way to save money.

However, first, we need to address: credit cards.  We love them.  First, we love the ease of quickly swiping your card at checkout and moving on with your day.  We also love the rewards we get with them and the simplicity of having one consolidated bill to pay. 

In addition, we love the quick checkout of online shopping when our credit card number is on file and we just have one button to click and voila – a package arrives at our doorstep.  And, at least subconsciously, we love not having the stress of whether or not there is money in our checking account today to pay for the purchase…that can get sorted out next month.

The Price of Paying with Ease

But that ease comes with a price.  A pretty steep one in fact, according to Forbes.  Research shows that consumers are willing to pay up to DOUBLE the price if paying with a credit card than with cash.  That’s a lot of extra spending that dwarfs even the best rewards program!  Additionally, for the majority of Americans who don’t pay off their credit cards each month, interest rates can be 20% or more.  Between excess purchases and interest fees, that adds up very quickly!

The Benefits of Paying with Cash

  • Paying with cash, on the other hand, drastically reduces how much you spend, making it easier to save. 
  • When you pay with cash, you actually see how much you are paying and feel the pain of handing over a large sum of money.  However, with credit cards, you can walk out of the store on a spending high with little thought to the consequences. 
  • In addition, with a cash budget, you live with the immediate reality of the money you are handing over, making you less likely to spend more than you really want to.  And then there is the obvious – with cash, once you are out you are out.

A Cash Budget Case Study

set up a cash budget in three easy steps

To illustrate our point, let’s do some simple math.  Say a person intends to spend around $1,500 a month on groceries, eating out, household items, clothing, and miscellaneous items.  With cash spending, you can limit yourself to that $1,500.  But with credit cards, you could easily spend an additional $180 each month or more. 

Even with some of the best rewards programs, you will only get back around $35.  In a year, the person using the cash budget will have spent over $1,700 less than the credit card spender.  In addition, that person using the cash budget is no longer paying interest fees for credit cards. As a result, they will have saved $200-300 a month – adding up to around $2,000 for the year.  The cash budget will have saved this person thousands!

3 Easy Steps to Start a Cash Budget

Considering a change but not sure how to start?  Let’s talk about The Envelope Method – a system that uses envelopes to allocate the cash for exactly how much money you want to spend.  When you leave home, you grab the money from the envelope and do not allow yourself to spend more than what you have cash for.

So let’s get started.

Step One: Create and record a budget

I like to keep my monthly budget in a spreadsheet (like from Excel), but you can keep it anywhere you like – a piece of paper, a sophisticated financial software program, or anything in between. 

How to Determine Your Budget

  • Every month you will have fixed expenses (like your mortgage or rent payment) and variable expenses (like groceries). 
  • Start by taking your net income each month and subtracting out the fixed expenses that you know you will have – like your mortgage or rent, car payment, insurance payment, cell phone bill, utilities, etc. 
  • Then, you need to determine how much you want to spend on variable expenses. 
    • List out each category of spending – groceries, supplies, dining out, entertainment, gas, clothing, donations, etc. 
    • Take a look at the last several months of your bank or credit card statements to see how much money you are actually spending in each of these areas.  This is not necessarily a pleasant task, but if you don’t know where you are overspending, you can’t correct it. 
    • Determine how much you actually want or need to spend in each area and deduct that from your income. 

Consider a Slush Fund

Unless your budget is extremely tight, you may also want to consider a small slush fund category.  This money can be used for fun or spontaneous purchases, or saved for a larger fun or spontaneous purchase later. 

If you are not naturally a very disciplined person, The Envelope Method could seem a bit constricting.  Having a little, even if it’s just $20 a month, in a slush fund to spend on whatever you desire can help ease the pain of the transition. 

Determine Your Savings or Deficit

The amount remaining is how much you have to save each month.  Hopefully you have a pleasant surprise at this point, realizing that yes, you really can save that much!  However, you might also have a not so pleasant surprise – like discovering that your eating out and entertainment expenses are putting you in the negative each month.  That’s a tough realization, but it empowers you to make different choices to meet your savings goals.

If you are in a deficit, check out our tips on frugal living and saving money here.

An Example of a Monthly Cash Budget

Below is an example of a very simple budget, for illustration purposes.  This example is a monthly budget, but you could also consider doing a weekly or biweekly budget depending on how often you are paid.

Step Two – Prepare the Envelopes

  • First, determine a safe place to keep your envelopes of cash.  This could be a drawer or a filing cabinet or someplace else. 
  • Next, list out the spending category for each of your variable expense types – groceries, clothing, gas, eating out, etc., each on an individual envelope. 
  • Then, determine how you best want to organize them so that you can quickly find the envelope you need.

Next, Prepare the Cash for the Envelopes

  • After each paycheck, assuming it is electronically deposited, withdraw the amount of money you have budgeted for cash spending.  Be sure to ask the teller for bills that are small enough you can divide the money up correctly. 
  • Then pull out your budget and put the correct amount of money into each envelope.  In the example above, you would need to withdraw $675 from the bank and divide it up correctly over the 5 envelopes.

Extra Cash for Unexpected Needs

Depending on how often you need to spend money, you may wish to keep some extra cash in your wallet.  For example, take an extra $50 out the first month only to put in your wallet.  Then if you happen to be out and need to spend money unexpectedly, you can simply pay for the purchase with the money in your wallet and immediately reimburse yourself from the correct envelope when you get home. 

It’s important to immediately reimburse yourself so that you aren’t overspending and needing to pull out that extra $50 each month.

Step Three – Use the Envelopes

Perhaps the most challenging part of this process is remembering to get the cash out of the envelope before leaving the house.  That’s why keeping a cushion in your wallet is helpful.  Additionally, you could keep your checkbook and/or debit card with you at all times.  However, you should always have a backup plan to avoid using your credit card!

Tips for Success

pin for easy ways to save money by using the cash budget and envelope system
  • Before leaving the house, grab the cash that you intend to spend.  Going back to the example budget, if you budget $400/month for groceries and go shopping once a week, you may always pull out $100 before heading to the store. 
  • Or perhaps you shop for different items at different stores and you know one week is more expensive than the next based on what you are buying – adjust accordingly.  Maybe you need $80 this week and $120 the next.  It’s fine to vary how much you pull out of the envelope each time, but make sure that you stick within the cash you have for the month.
  • Of course, real life is difficult to balance down to the penny.  There may be times when you have to spend more in one category than you were expecting.  For example, perhaps you are hosting Thanksgiving and you are going to blow past your set amount for groceries.  When that happens, you can turn to your slush fund (if you have one) or reallocate money from a different envelope – perhaps you choose to not eat out this month and pull it from the entertainment envelope. 

What to Do with Extra Money

On the flip side, you may find that at the end of the month you have some money left in an envelope.  You could put it into your savings account, keep it in the envelope for next month, or reallocate the money to a different expense.  In all of these situations, the great news is that YOU are in control of your spending and you are staying within your budget.

Imagine going to the store with $50 in cash from your clothing envelope to buy a new pair of shoes.  At the store you find the dress shoes you need to replace the ones you have that are worn out – great!  But then you notice another pair that you like that are on sale. 

In the past, it would have been easy to just put both pair on your credit card and not given it a second thought…until the bill came.  But now you are on the cash only method. 

You have two choices:

  • You can either forgo the second pair knowing that, while the shoes are nice, you have worked hard to get on this savings plan and you don’t want to feel the physical pain of having to hand over the extra cash and cut spending elsewhere. 
  • Or you can decide you really like that second pair and pull the money from your slush fund envelope for this month.  Guilt free spending.

The Cash Budget / Envelope Method Applied to Savings

You probably have a checking account to handle short term expenses, as well as long-term savings accounts like a 401(k).  But if you don’t already have one, I recommend that you have a savings account for medium-term expenses – like vacations, gift giving, house expenses, etc. 

When you are in a position to save money each month instead of living paycheck to paycheck, you will need to save for larger expenses that the envelope funds won’t cover.  Perhaps you are planning a vacation or your house needs a new furnace.  If you are proactively saving, you can avoid putting these items on credit cards.

How to Keep Track of Goals

Having a savings account for each thing you want to save money for could be a bit cumbersome.  But it’s very easy to keep an Excel file, or use a notebook, and list out exactly what the money in the account is for. 

For example, you want to go on a trip next summer and your dishwasher is on its last leg so you know you will need to replace it soon.  You are sticking with your cash budget and able to save $400/month.  Each month you intend for $200 to go toward your vacation, $100 to go toward your dishwasher, and $100 to go toward building your emergency fund.  Your savings account tracker would look something like this:

Each month you add to whatever category you are saving for.  If you need to take money out of that category, then update your tracker accordingly.  Money can sit in there as long as you like – in this example the “Gift Fund” wasn’t accumulating any more money but $250 was available at any time to purchase gifts.

Cash Budget Conclusions

Credit cards make it easy to overspend without even realizing it.  If you don’t know where you are spending your money, you are likely overspending. 

The good news is that with some simple organization and discipline, you can make sure you are spending your money intentionally.  Cash budgeting using the “envelope method” is a great way to keep yourself from overspending and make it much easier to save money.

Cash Budgeting and the Envelope system provide an easy way to save money
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Easy Ways to Become Debt Free Before Retirement

Easy Ways to Become Debt Free Before Retirement

easy ways to become debt free before retirement

Easy Ways to Become Debt Free Before Retirement

As you begin to think about retirement, you’ve probably thought about things like draw-down strategies and the amount you will need for yearly expenses. And, as you probably know, the lower your yearly expenses, the less you will need in your retirement nest egg.

So, if you’re finding that you can’t quite make the numbers work between what you have set aside for retirement and what you need to live, you may want to consider the goal of becoming debt free before you retire.

The following are a few tips to help you pay off your debt before you retire.

Create a Budget

The first and most important step you’ll want to take to become debt free is to set up a budget. If you’ve never created one before, it may seem daunting at first – but it doesn’t have to be.

A budget can be as simple as a record of expenses compared to your income. You may use a spreadsheet to manually track these items, write them down with pen and paper, or you may review your bank statements.

Or, you can use tools to help automate this for you. Mint is one of my favorite tools for budgeting because it does all the work for me. After connecting my accounts, it tracks both my expenses and my income in real-time. I can set expense categories and monthly limits. If I go over in a category, Mint notifies me.

Whichever method you use, a budget is pivotal for you as you prepare for retirement. Once you’ve set one up, look at your categories. Start to consider which areas are negotiables (in case you need to remove them or reduce them later) and which aren’t negotiable.

Most of all, take a look at your expenses that go toward debt. Review how much of an impact this has on your budget and consider if reducing debt is the right plan for you.

If it is, consider the following tips to tackle your debt by category.

Student Loans Hindering you From a Debt Free Retirement

Becoming Debt Free Before Retirement

It may be decades since you last attended college, but there’s a chance you could still have student loans to your name.

According to the Wall Street Journal, in 2017, on average, student loan borrowers in their 60s still owed $33,800. What’s worse is more than 40,000 people aged 65 and older defaulted on student loans in 2015, which is a 362% increase over the previous decade.

Why is this so high? Often, these student loans aren’t their own; they’re for their children or grandchildren. Roughly 93% of all new private student loans to undergrad students have an adult signature on them – usually by parents and grandparents.

If you’ve graciously co-signed on loans for a student, remember that you are liable for paying those off, and you should consider those as your debts, too.

How do you get rid of those as soon as possible? You have a few options: pay them off or refinance.

Pay the loans off

The easiest way to get these off your mind and out of your debts is to pay them off.

If the loans are for you, consider any additional room you may have in your budget to put a little extra money toward your student loans. Every little extra bit helps.

If these student loans aren’t for your education, you may want to work with the student to get a plan in place for quick payoff. You may not be interested in paying them off yourself, and that’s absolutely fine. Help the student understand the impact of a few extra dollars each payment to expedite the payoff process.

Refinance the student loans

One of the reasons a co-signer is needed on student loans is because of the lack of credit history of many entering college students. However, once the student is out of college and has a career, that student may have established credit. Encouraging the student to refinance loans under his or her own name will free your role of this debt being yours, and may help the student get better rates.

We refinanced my husband’s graduate school student loans recently and saw a significant reduction in his interest rates. Changing nothing else about our payments, that would have allowed us to pay off the loans almost a year sooner.

Pay Off Your Mortgage

A recent study found that 44% of people in their 60s and 70s in retirement still have mortgages on their homes. While some do plan to pay the mortgage off within a few years, roughly 17% of them say they may never pay it off.

If you are at all able, try to pay off your mortgage before you retire. As you think about your monthly required expenses in retirement, housing costs could add a significant amount to those expenses. And, greater housing expenses add to the amount of money you’ll need in your nest egg to retire.

If you feel that you’ll be downsizing your home when you retire, consider your options for finding a place where the sale of your larger home could cover the entirety of the expenses of your new home. You’ll have a place to live and no mortgage payment.

Slash Credit Card and Consumer Debt

Easy Ways to Become Debt Free Before Retirement Pin

As you get closer to living on a fixed income, ensuring that you can afford what you spend is of utmost priority. This means that you’ll want to steer clear of racking up credit card debt and consumer debt that you may not be able to afford in retirement.

This is where the budget you set up can really come into play. Understand what your income is each month and how you can pay for your expenses without taking on more debt.

If you already have credit card debt, this is a good time to pay it off. Whether you were using credit cards for medical bills, vacations, or large purchases – the balance can follow you for years if you don’t make it a priority.

This is likely the first debt of all debts you’d want to pay off because the interest rates can be astronomical. Paying down the minimum balance won’t be enough to make a sizable impact.

Considering a Debt Free Retirement

If you’re hoping to have a debt free retirement, know it’s possible to achieve. Whether you have credit card debt, a car loan, a mortgage, student loans, or any other debt – you can pay it off before retiring. Use budgeting tools to get you where you want to be so that you don’t have money stress while in retirement.

Related Reading:

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Easy Things to Make and Sell for Money

Easy Things to Make and Sell for Money

Easy Things to Make and Sell for Money

Easy Things to Make and Sell for Money

Whether you need more money now, or to stash in your retirement savings for later, one quick way to to get cash is to find easy things to make and sell for money.

1. Making Printables For Downloading

For this first one, you will need a little bit of technical skill and creativity. However, anyone of any age that has just a little bit of both, can quickly make money with printables.

What are we talking about? Printables are anything that you create and deliver in a downloadable format over the internet that provides a valuble product to your customer. For example, you can set-up an Etsy (the makers market) store and sell crafty downloadable items such as:

  • Sewing Patterns & Other Craft Patterns
  • Checklists, Calendars & Organizing Sheets
  • Coloring Books
  • Note Cards & Invitations
  • Business Cards
  • Workbooks
  • How to eBooks
  • Meal Planners
  • Pictures and Graphics
Easy Things to Make and Sell for Money Pin

Printables are very popular! I have downloaded many helpful ones myself. As a result, there are endless amounts of websites that will teach you the step by step process to starting a printable business. Just Google “printables business” or go onto Pinterest and search for “how to sell printables” to start.

These websites will give you tips on how to find easy ways to create these printables, even if you do not have a graphic design background. There are services, like Canva, that make designing something very easy for just about anyone. Just remember to do a little research on what is trending and what is always a popular search, before you start the creation process.

Keep it Easy

If you are looking for quick and easy in this area, then stick with Etsy. If you want to turn your printables business into something bigger, you can look into starting your own Shopify store, or selling on your very own website. Just know that path will require much more customer service. Customer service has a habit of taking the “easy” out of an idea.

2. Selling Photos

It has never been easier to sell photos than now. Online publishing (this blog included) has created a never-ending need for unique, quality stock photography. As a result, there are many market places that need photographers to provide photos to sell. You will need to have a good camera for this one. Moreover, you need to know a little bit about taking a good photo.

However, there is a lot of information out there to get started with for free, so we include this option in our easy things to make and sell for money list.

3. Easy, Trending Crafts to Make and Sell for Money

This is another route where you can sell on Etsy, or you can find in-person craft fairs and markets in your local area to sell things quickly.

Popular & Trending Craft Sale Ideas:

  • Jewelry – This is always a top selling category in any craft market space. There is a buyer for just about anything. Friends and family are often supportive of your creative expressions too. I have had friends that have sold jewelry at yoga studios and small businesses around town in addition to their online sales.
  • Bath Bombs / Soaps / Lotion Bars – Make these pretty, colorful and appealing and they will sell easily, especially around the Holidays! Bath Bombs are easier to make than soaps and lotions. However, all of them are a great idea, and you can find very good, organic recipes online for just about anything these days.
  • Clothing – Here are a few ideas with clothing.
    • Screen Printing: At one point, I joined a little creative art studio in town that rented access to their screen printing. I took lessons from them, and then made my own screen printed clothing to sell. I made several thousand dollars over that year selling these items. Moreover, it was a ton of fun! If you want to screen print – baby and kids clothes with cute prints sell well!
    • Knitting / Crocheting: If I can knit, you can too. I seem to have very little finger dexterity, even with years of piano lessons and hours and hours of typing each day! However, I can knit, and I enjoy it. It is therapeutic even! My mom taught me, and she does not do a lot of fancy knitting, but she has sold scarves and hats over the years. When she wears her creations, people see them and ask where she got them – easy sales for her.
  • Toys – Sticking with the kids and babies theme, people are often coming up with easy to make kids and baby items to sell. This is an area where Printables are big too (see above).
  • Stickers, Vinyls and Transfers – You can either make these and ship them, or you can create downloadable items for people to create themselves.

4. Sell Your Stuff

Next, it is time to embrace the Minimalism Trend and sell your stuff! This idea is not technically in the “make category.” However, you can still use your creativity and maker-skills with your current possessions.

Perhaps you have stuff you could refurbish and sell. Ideas for refurbishing include furniture, watches, jewelry, antiques, clothing items and accessories. You can also just sell things “as-is.” That is easy for sure.

Easy Places to Sell Your Stuff You Made for Money:

  • Ebay
  • Etsy
  • Craigslist
  • Local Facebook Buy/Sell/Trade Groups – search in your local area.
  • Mercari – A new one, but gaining popularity.
  • ThredUp – (for clothes and accessories)
  • eBid
  • Bonanza – I like their tag “Find everything but the ordinary.”

There are others, just look around and see what market place fits your items best.

5. Easy Things to Make and Sell for Money from the Homestead

If you like getting your hands dirty, then this idea will be easy for you. I personally do not think gardening is easy. However, I have a lot of friends and family that tell me I am wrong, and that gardening is very easy! Then, if you can grow it, people will buy it.

Produce

It is a very popular and happy trend that people prefer, fresh, local produce. Just put a notice up on Facebook that you have tomatoes to sell, and you will easily sell them. Same with chicken eggs and dairy items. I have purchased eggs from neighbors, and I have even purchased chickens.

Poultry and Dairy

There are places that will pluck and package chickens for you if you want to raise and sell them for meat. I had a friend do this too, and she informed me it was not expensive to get the chickens ready to sell with a local butcher she found. I live in the Midwest. However, I think this is a trend everywhere, so I add even “chicken raising” to the easy money category.

Plants

Growing plants to sell can also be easy, but I would not say fast. Plants are certainly trending though. So, if you have a little more time and a green thumb, growing and selling plants and starter plants is a great idea. You could focus on house plants, outdoor flowers, or even vegetable garden plants.

Gardening Tools & Planters

Are you a Crafty Homesteader? Then there are lots of easy things to make and sell for money here. Here are a few ideas:

  • Decorated Planters & Pots
  • Garden Markers for Outdoor Plants & Smaller Ones for Herb Gardens
  • Gardening tools such as knee pads
  • Plant Hangers – Wood and Cloth (Macrame is back!)
  • Seed Packets
  • Compost – I make my own. I don’t sell mine, but you could! People want good compost. I use this tumbler, and recommend it as a good starter for making compost.

6. Your Plasma

Yep, there is always this option for a fast, easy way to make money. Technically, you make it, and you can sell it. Just find a plasma center near you. Then, make sure you qualify to sell your plasma before showing up.

7. Your Opinions

You also make your own opinions. So, we will give brief nod to Survey Companies in our easy things to make and sell for money. Just do these in your spare time to make a little extra cash.

I used to participate in Pinecone Research, and I actually did make some good extra cash with them! It was enjoyable too, but then I aged into a not as needed age category and my survey options shrunk. Eventually, I didn’t find it worth my time. However, every survey company is different and has different clients, so you can find one good for you to make some spending money.

Take a look at this article that reviews the top survey companies. It does a pretty good job of breaking it all down.

Conclusions on Easy Things to Make and Sell for Money

Both online and in person, there has never been an easier time to find easy things to make and sell for money. Everything we presented here has very little investment money to get started. Mostly, your costs will be any materials needed to make your items to sell.

Simply, find what inspires you and get to it!

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7 Best Frugal Living Tips for Seniors

7 Best Frugal Living Tips for Seniors

7 Best Frugal Living Tips for Seniors

The 7 Best Frugal Living Tips for Seniors

During various points in our lives frugal living is bound to have a different meaning.  While we are young, or have small children, frugal living may include things like couponing or discounts on things for ourselves or our children.  As we age though, frugal living tips for seniors takes on a whole new meaning.

Tip #1: Frugal Living Benefits Come with Age

Aging comes with benefits when it comes to the frugal mindset. Correspondingly, there are so many programs for seniors to take advantage of, you just have to ask about them and then do them. 

To start, here are a few frugal living senior discount programs:   

  • Discounts:  Think of AAA or AARP.  You can find so many places that accept these cards and you can get automatic discounts.  Don’t be afraid (or embarrassed) to ask!
  • Senior Discounts:  Many restaurants offer senior discounts (55+ or 60+) where you can get 10% – 20% off your meal.  Many grocery stores also have a senior day where you can get a percent off of your total grocery bill on certain days.  Many retail stores also offer a senior day for a percent off.
  • Travel:  Same applies for airline, car and hotel stays.  Senior discount!  See our article on frugal travel / slow travel.
  • Free activities:  Many city’s offer free activities such as concerts in the park and museum visits. 

Tip #2: Be Frugal, But Not Cheap

Frugal vs. Cheap.  Where is the Line? 

One of the key takeaways I got when talking to people is that in order to be frugal successfully, you cannot be cheap or stingy.  Is it better to buy something more than once because it’s cheaper? Or, is it better to buy the more expensive, but quality, item that could last a lifetime? Stingy living or being cheap is different than being frugal.

When adding up the numbers, it would make sense to purchase the more expensive, but quality item. However, it may cause a little bit of sticker shock at first. 

Frugal Living Tips for Seniors #3: Increase Cash Flow by Paying off Debt

To start, pay off your mortgage/debt before retiring whenever possible. In most cases, your mortgage/debt payment is your largest expense.  Consequently, by having no mortgage payment you have the option to downsize. Moreover, you can use the equity to purchase something smaller with the proceeds to help fund your retirement. 

Easy Things to Make and Sell for Money

Not having a mortgage payment is a huge weight lifted when it comes to retirement planning and frugal living for seniors.  However, don’t forget about your property taxes and insurance!  Those still need to be paid.  Therefore, put them into your monthly budget so you are not shocked when bills come due. 

Click here to read our article on easy ways to make things to sell for fast money.

Tip #4: Budgeting on a Fixed Income

Next, be intentional in how you spend your money.  Budgeting is a helpful tool in determining how much you can spend.  There is only a finite amount of money to be spent before it is gone.  Using the 4% rule for example; if you have one million dollars, you can only withdraw $40k a year in order to not run out of money. 

Be intentional about how much and how often funds are pulled from retirement savings.  By keeping track of every dollar you spend you should be able to forecast how much you will need later in life. 

This doesn’t have to be a cumbersome activity.  You could simply use pen and paper, excel or if you are savvy you can use online tools such as Mint or Personal Capital. Over time you will have a good understanding of your spending habits and will be able to better forecast the upcoming years of spending and adjust accordingly.  

Frugal Living Tips for Seniors #5: Embrace the DIY Mentality

Things you can do yourself, do them!  YouTube has a plethora of information on how to fix literally anything.  Why pay someone to do something that you can do yourself.  Perhaps not the big jobs, like a kitchen remodel, but those pesky small jobs that you may hire a professional for, learn to do them yourself. 

There are also plenty of people to ask if you’re not a YouTube fan. For example, going to the hardware store and simply asking the expert in the department.  Who knows, you may even find that you enjoy doing odd jobs around the house.  

Frugal Living Tip #6: Going Green

There are other ways to be frugal that could require money up front but will save money in the long run.  Electric vehicles for example.  The reality is that they usually do not cost more than a standard gas run vehicle.  But, you do save on the expense of gas and much of the maintenance.  To power an electric vehicle is pennies on the dollar compared to a gas powered vehicle. 

As another example, solar panels and solar water heaters can save you money.  While expensive to install, over time (usually a set number of years), the cost savings outweighs the cost expense. (That is, if you are in a sunny area). Also, don’t forget about the tax advantages of going electric or solar.  You can receive a tax credit, in most cases, both federally and by the state you are living in.  

Tip #7: Prioritize What Makes You the Happiest

Finally, and I think most importantly, you need to figure out what you enjoy doing and make that your priority.  The last thing you want in retirement is the feeling of being left out because you fear you don’t have enough money to do those things that you want to do, that you enjoy.  Just make sure to get the biggest bang out of your dollars.  Simple things like going out for lunch rather than dinner can help.

Conclusions

In summary, you want to make sure that you are happy in retirement and not just counting your pennies.  If you have a frugal mindset but are also doing things you enjoy, retirement will be much more enjoyable. 

Further Reading

Want even more Frugal Fun? Click here to read our article on the number one thing you can do to save money on healthcare.

Health Hacks to Save Money
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