8 Expenses to have a more frugal lifestyle, save money and time too

What, buy something when I encourage a more frugal lifestyle?  Stay with me, because yes, sometimes it pays to spend.  frugal lifestyle, save money, frugal living,

Marguerite Tennier (makesenseoflife.com) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com and amazon.ca

Yes, just like we often need to spend money to make money – think education, business training, etc., when it comes to living a more frugal lifestyle, you will find it easier if you have the right tools to help you.   A frugal lifestyle should not make you miserable.  Yes you want to save money for the future, but increasing your quality of life is also important so that you stay on course for the long term.

There are many ways some investment can save you money.  Today I will limit myself to 8.

 

My first gadget to live more frugally is a clothesline and some clothespin.  I did not have to install the clothesline myself but I invested in good, sturdy clothespins – pretty too.  They came in different colors and I sometimes try to use them to color match the clothes I hang out to dry.  That’s on days I don’t have much to do.

frugal lifestyle, save money, frugal living, how to spend wisely

Appliances that cost you the most to use are those that produce heat – stove, oven, dishwasher, baseboards, as well as your air conditioners.   Your clothes dryer comes up at the top of that list.

 

Some people argue that it takes a long time to hang clothes to dry.  I agree that it takes a little bit of time.  A full load probably can be hung in 10,  15 minutes max, plus the 10 minutes it will take to bring it back inside once the sun and the wind have done their job.

 

Others will say it’s wasted time.  I suggest you use that time to disconnect from your work, or Facebook, etc. an use it as meditation time.  Just enjoying the sun and the wind, and possibly the green space and flowers around you.  Those 10 minutes outside breathing fresh air will re-energize you and make you more productive for the next few hours.

 

My second favourite  gadget is my cappuccino-espresso maker.  It sits in my kitchen and lets me make cappuccino on demand for a fraction of the cost I would pay at the corner café. (One cappuccino a week, for 5 years =$3.50 X 250 weeks) =$875.  If you have 2 a week, then it $1750. in coffee.  And I know some of you have it everyday. Then we are talking about over $4,000.  Yes, I love my fairly inexpensive Breville but you if you save more you may want to invest in a pricier machine.

 

I bought mine when it was on sale and calculated that it would take less than one cappuccino a week for less than a year to get my money’s worth   Meaning that for the next 5 or so years, I  will enjoy cappuccino for free (plus the cost of coffee itself).  All in all a pretty good deal.

 

Side benefit is I can have a cappuccino anytime I want, I can have it in my pj’s, on my balcony or in my backyard or looking outside on a rainy or snowy day.  It saves me the time to get dressed, walk to the café and wait in line.  And no need for tipping either.

 

My third purchase that saves me time and money is my clothes washer.  If you have a home that’s probably a given that you have your washing machine.  When you rent an apartment however, that convenience is usually not included.  I paid good price for my Maytag portable washer, about $600 10 years or so ago.  Maybe you need to walk or drive to a Laundromat nearby, at a cost of both time and money, or use the coin-operated one in your building.  This portable beauty could solve that problem, and pay for itself within a short time

 

But it has paid off in time, and money, because time is money.  I could use the washer and dryer included in my rent but this involved getting outside to access it next door, and sharing with 4 other tenants.  My washer is probably good for another 10 years.  $30. a year for a great convenience, again, at my fingertip 24 hours a day, in my pj’s.

 

I also invested in 3 fans, tower type.  Elegant, noiseless and portable.  Total cost: about $200.  While I do have a window air conditioner, I seldom use it, unless I have guests who cannot tolerate the heat. You may also like this one

 

I personally love the warm days of Summer, maybe because they are so few where I live.  If you want to save money to keep cool in Summer, I highly recommend getting some of those and remembering the cold days of winter and how much you longed for Summer.

 

I am lucky to also have ceiling fans: bedroom, kitchen and living room.  They too are great to provide relief from the heat.  I like to imagine I am in Africa (seen those in movies).  It’s a great excuse to make a cool lemonade and sit with my feet up and a good book.

 

Some people don’t like ceiling fans because give too much wind.  I suggest you use the slowest setting for the one in the bedroom and living room.  The kitchen one is great on high when you are slaving over a hot stove.

 

A dishwasher is also great to save money and time.  Many studies show that washing dishes in the dishwasher uses less water than if you wash by hand.  To make sure you also use less hydro, turn the dishwasher on when the hydro rates are lower (for me it’s after 7 p.m. and anytime on weekends).  Refrain from rinsing your dishes.  And fill up the dishwasher before turning it on. I love my portable dishwasher because I hate washing dishes.   Even a countertop dishwasher can help your frugal lifestyle and it saves me time. This one looks good too

Lined drapes and or sun proof window shades.  Those will do double duty.  Keep the sun out in Summer and keep the cold out in Winter nights.  You can even make some for patio doors to hang outside, before the heat hits the window.  I did some for my living room.  They attach with Velcro, and can be put on or removed in under 30 seconds.  Great for morning when the temperature hits 30C (86F), like today.  They are also inexpensive to make.

 

Finally I bought a portable BBQ, correction, it was a gift– it’s on the balcony and is great to cook on hot days.  Cheaper than hydro to use and the house remains cooler when you cook outside, so you save on cooling costs. Cooking outside is another way to relax and recharge.

If you found this post useful, please let me know and share with your network and on social media.  Thanks.

Marguerite

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 Tips To Make The Best Use Of Your Income Tax Refund

This post may contain some affiliate links.  See my full disclosure here.HOW TO USE YOUR INCOME TAX REFUND

This is income tax season and many of you may be waiting for your income tax refund cheque. (If you owe the government money, stay tuned, I’ll bring it up in a post soon).

Money does not grow on trees – well paper does – but you can make your money grow when you use these tips.

It’s so tempting to think of the income tax refund as play money.  The tighter the budget, the greater the temptation, but I beg you to look at ways you can make that money work for you.

You’ve all heard how it’s not how much you make but how much you save and it’s absolutely true.  Spending more or as much as you make will leave you penniless and possibly homeless.

We women outlive men.  We women usually earn less than 75% of what a man earns.  The chances you will find yourself widowed or divorced are greater than the chances you will win at the lottery.  Women make up a large percentage of the poor after age 60.  Being poor in retirement sucks.

Before you decide where you will allocate your income tax refund, look at your financial picture.  What you owe, what you own, your savings, your investments, your age, your prospect for higher income, or not in the future, etc

This is important because of at least one reason.  If you don’t  expect your retirement income to be very significant, you should probably invest in a non registered retirement plan (Roth IRA (Us) TFSA (Canada) so as not to cut yourself from government supplement at retirement.  Do consult an advisor and inform yourself as to what is best for you.  Knowledge is power.

The first tips is to pay down your debts, but do keep some money to fill up your emergency fund too if you either have no emergency fund to speak of (like if you only have a few dollars saved).  In other words, don’t put all to reducing your debt because that will leave you at the mercy of credit should an emergency happen and it would just add to more debt.

income tax refund: make the best use of your tax refund, income tax return

  • Pay your debts. Pay your credit card balance, your student loans or what you owe to your parents.   Start by paying the debt with the highest interest rate because that’s the one that steals the most money from you.  See paragraph above about saving some too, even if you have debts to pay.
  • Fill up your emergency fund.  First get it to $1,000, and eventually to having 6 months living expenses.  Imagine how free you will feel if you lose your job, or have medical emergencies.
  • Start a saving account or add to the one you already have.  Emergency fund is for emergencies.  Savings is for: a planned trip, a wedding, buying a house, a big celebration, changing your car, home improvements, etc.
  • Start investing for your retirement, add to your retirement fund.  The younger you start, the better for you as you will reap the rewards of compound interest.   Match your employer’s share and invest in a IRA or TFSA. When you can no longer make money you will thank your younger self for having had the forethought of taking care of you.
  • Invest in your education.  Whether in a course to help you get ahead in your work, or classes to prepare for another career.  I invested heavily in my education as a adult and it has allowed me to change career and find work I loved.  It has also allowed me to retire early and have a home business as a psychotherapist and life coach, and finally it is allowing me to continue working with this blog.  I am a big advocate of finding work you love so whether or not you make big money, you are excited to get up each morning.
  • Start the side business you’ve dreamt of for so long.  Retirement can be for 20, 25 years.  If you have the energy and you don’t do much, you will be bored to death!!! A side business can keep you mentally and physically active well into your golden years.

Then, keep a little to:

  • Treat yourself to something you’ve wanted for a long time.  Put a limit on it, like 5% of the income tax refund is for fun, 10% max(that’s if you have a very small refund).  My refund this year is $8.34 so I’ll spend it all.
  • Treat someone you love to a a small gift, a meal.  Limit: 5% or 10% max
  • Congratulate yourself for having done what’s best for you.

Is your income tax refund money free money?  In a way, yes as it can get you to financial “free-dom” much sooner than expected.

I hope I have convinced you to take action now to improve your financial wellbeing.  If so, please let me know, and do share this post on social media to help me reach more women.

Add even more to your nest egg by earning money while shopping

Related posts: http://www.makesenseoflife.com/emergency-fund/

Getting rid of debt

 

 

If you are interested to start an online business, create a website, or a blog, check this special on affiliate marketing by an expert (I am presently taking the course).

Save money – a gift for yourself or someone on your list

Free Abstract Christmas Tree Vector Illustration by Web Design Hot!

Christmas Shopping? Save money and get a ready-made gift for someone on your list. The Summer has lasted a little longer than usual, and so has this special.  For less than $50. you can start your blog, have your website or give the perfect gift to the upcoming author in your life.

You can get hosting for your website or to start a blog at a special price through this link– including free domain name for the first year.  You can start creating your website or start your blog – lock in your chosen domain name.

This could also be a great gift for someone and simplify your Christmas shopping, from a college student to a grandparent who wants to start a new business.

My grand daughter is only 6 years old but I am already planting a seed in her mind about being her own boss someday.  I will encourage her to start blogging as soon as she can.

Maybe you want to pursue your hobby of baking miniature pies full time.  Or maybe you are or know a filmmaker and want to start offering tutorials.  A blog can be whatever you want it to be, a diary, a visual essay, an editorial space, … A blog is a great way to get your ideas out in the world.”  From Blog Inc., by Joy Deangdeelert Cho

Save the cost of your gym membership

ving woman walking dog

This post may contain affiliate links

Would you like to be lean and strong without ever setting foot in a gym?  Do you believe it’s possible?  Yes, you can save the cost of your gym membership.  If you are like me, you totally dislike going to the gym.  If you are like a very large number of people, you have bought gym memberships in the past and only used them a few times, a few weeks maybe.  Yet you value your health – you want to do cardio for your heart and weight training to get lean and get strong bones without risking another $500 – $900 or more on another gym membership.

I totally understand people who are not gym people.  Whatever the reason.  Every time I bought a membership (twice), I barely used it and when I did I did not enjoy it. I hated getting out of the house, I hated waiting in line,  I did not enjoy being looked at when I was exercising.  And I can go on and on. Continue reading “Save the cost of your gym membership”

I just threw a big $5.00 in the trash – Don’t Follow My Example

Do you want to stop throwing your money away?  I hate when I realize I have done it.   I am not happy about it.  Yes, I just threw $5 in the garbage by not being mindful and forgetting to bring 2 books back to the library on time. I was 6 days late.

This post may contain affiliate links

stop throwing your money away, wasting money, saving, debt free

 

In my defense, it does not happen often that I pay a fine (or interest) but when it happens, it is absolutely like throwing money away.  I must admit that there is another way that I sometimes, too often, throw money away.
It’s when I forget that juice in the back of the fridge, or the cucumber, or… you get it.  Throwing money away when food goes bad in the fridge.   Which is completely crazy.  On one hand, I look at flyers and compare prices.  I stock up on non-perishables when there is a good deal – often Continue reading “I just threw a big $5.00 in the trash – Don’t Follow My Example”