Friday, September 17, 2010

The Thrifty Trend

photo found here

It seems that Americans are saving money these days.  Lots of money.  CBS News reported that for the first half of the year, "deposits in checking, savings and money market accounts rose by $171 billion."   Now that's some serious cash.  I guess that's what a recession can do for a country - it teaches us to save a little more and spend a little less.

It's not uncommon that I hear of families losing an income (or even two) or taking a cut in pay just to keep their jobs.  Even though this is not the case in our household, Bryant and I have had many conversations about our spending and saving habits.  I think it is wise to evaluate where you are spending and why you are spending.  Cable television, gym memberships and smartphones are luxuries not necessities.  Because we live in a prosperous nation, it is easy to lose sight of our needs from our wants.  Through having these conversations, we have come to differentiate between the items we really do use from the extras we wouldn't even miss.  It's about learning to live simply not because you have to, but because you want to.  It's fun when you realize how much you are saving.  You start to develop "the simple life" mentality and living simply becomes quite addictive. 

Here's a couple of ways we have trimmed our budget lately:


1. We drop off our recycling instead of having it picked up.  The city charges a few extra dollars for recycling bins and weekly pick-ups.  Instead of having to drag the recycling to the curb every Wednesday, we wait until our bins our completely full and drop them off at the Agricenter recycling station.


2. We sized down our phone bill.  Have you looked at your phone bill recently?  It's ridiculous.  Why were we paying an extra $10 for three-way calling and caller identification?  We actually do use our landline quite a bit but do we have to know who's calling?  Not for $10 a month.  It's actually been kind of nice saying, "Hello?" when I answer the phone.  Reminds me of a simpler time.  Farewell Caller ID.

Organic Flower Protector
3.  We opted for DIY pest control.  We just couldn't believe that in the short 10 minutes it took the bug gal to spray our house it was worth that much.  Bryant found, Clean Air Gardening, an online store that sells organic supplies for home and gardening.  This last quarter we saved $45 and the products are organic!  We even tried a few of their lawn care products, my favorite being the Organic Flower Protector that is made from pure cinnamon oil and rosemary.   Saving money never smelled so good =)

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