January 7, 2008, 7:00 am

It’s Time to Get Frugal Again

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Frugal
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January 7th, it’s been seven days that the Holidays are over already. The credit card bills are coming in a week or two and nobody wants to open them! Well, this could be your situation if you did not plan ahead your Christmas budget. Don’t worry; you are not the only one in this situation. Even if I made a budget and promised to stick to it, like every Xmas, I spent more than expected (but my family and friends were really happy about their gifts! LOL!). So it’s time again to get frugal and try to save additional money in order to refill your wallet.


A few tips to start the year

Brownbag your lunch: If people came over your house during Christmas, you probably have enough food to spend two weeks in a nuclear bunker. Freeze most of what you can and use this food to prepare your lunch.

Apply for a 0% transfer credit card: If your credit cards are loaded and their payments are coming sometimes in January, you might to consider applying for a 0% balance transfer credit card. This kind of promotion is usually valid for 6 months to a year. This should be enough to put your finance back on track. Please note that this is not a technique to use every year. You must become more responsible with your Christmas shopping!

Check out for the January and February sales: This trick is for those who did not max out their credit cards yet. Everybody knows that winter is a very bad time for sales. Therefore, they drop their price significantly. Last year, I bought 3 suits for the price of one and I was at a great boutique; not some cheap place. I’ll definitely go back to the same store this year!

Start a diet and a workout program: While the diet will make you save money and weight, the workout program will become an additional expense. However, I discover that there is a negative correlation between working out a dinning out. Which means that you pay a fix cost a month to workout and the more you go, the less you will be tempted by McD’s French Fries!

Take the metro and the bus: The beginning of the year is a great time to take resolution. Why don’t you save some money on gas and give a second breath to our planet at the same time? Using the bus and the metro will also relieve you from the traffic stress.

(btw, I write most of my articles in the bus, it is just a great place to take time for yourself!).

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Comments

I think you should change the name of your blog to “The Frugal Blogger”. 🙂

Mike

I agree that it would be a bad idea to pay off christmas with a balance transfer card every year! I’m lucky not to be in that situation but I have a similar problem and a trick to solve it for good. Since I’ve only had one “real” job for less than a year I usually pay my full taxes in April. Last year I had to get a loan for my taxes since my freelance programming income was still low. This year I started saving up in December so I should be able to cover the whole bill but it’s still a lot of saving.

After I pay my taxes I plan to continue saving each month (at a lower level though) so I have enough for the next year long before I have to pay it. I could pay the government more frequently but then I wouldn’t get to leave it with ING direct for a year 🙂

This could apply to other situations – if you have to save a lot to pay off christmas spending this year, keep saving at the same rate for a few months after to cover your spending next winter. If you save for a whole year you can lower the amount and get the same results. You’ll get an extra bonus by using an investment savings account until you need the money.

by: TKO from Ontario | January 7th, 2008 (11:10 am)

The more I train, the more I want to eat. Anything will do!

Don’t delay, start changing for better TODAY, in allaspects of your life.

Don’t just become a Resolution-ary, don’t talk about it, be about it.

‘The will to win comes from within.’

by: The Financial Blogger | January 7th, 2008 (12:59 pm)

Mike,
I would not be able to keep up with this title, I would have to change it to the “spending blogger” every once in a while 😉

SP,
I like the ING account 🙂 they did a major take over with this product!

TKO,
you have to quit eating 😉

Another frugal tip? Try the local library for your entertainment needs. Most libraries have a collection of new and classic movies on DVD as well as numerous magazine subscriptions (and, of course, books) — all for free.

Put the money you save on entertainment costs toward paying down those outstanding credit card balances!