There are myriad methods to save funds. Namely, don’t buy anything beyond an absolute necessity. Per example, I used to treat myself to a take-away (to go) meal a couple times per week. My weakness is Asian cuisine. Even though I would eek out two or three meals from the dinner, it was expensive - $15.00+ so that got cut from my lean budget.
I buy food at Aldi’s, Target Supermarket, and Walmart (rarely). I participate in a nonprofit’s food program where you volunteer and can procure food at a reduced cost. During the summer I consume produce from my garden. Alas, the only item to consume fresh during the winter, which transplanted well this year, was parsley. Good greens but not enough nutrition.
Besides food, heat is another necessity. I opt for a cool house. The abode is kept at a brisk 58 degrees (F) when I am at home and it is permitted to drop to 50 while I am gone. The cats shed less, yeah. This temperature is tolerable when I am in physical motion. I do have to wear a warm sweater, heavy sweatpants, socks and slippers or tennis shoes. The only time I feel chilly is when I am sitting still while reading, watching tv, chatting on the phone or typing at the computer. I adapt by plugging in an electric blanket and wrapping it around myself. I put on a hat and wrap a scarf around my neck. It works well except for my fingers while typing. I need to procure some gloves with their fingertips exposed (ala Ebenezer Scrooge). I also use an electric blanket to warm the bed before I snuggle between the sheets and six layers of blankets. The blanket is on a timer as not to run all night or mess up my electro-magnetic field. Spring is still several months away…
I make minimum mortgage payment each month, zero out my credit card each month, and there are no other loans. My auto died during the spring of 2009 and I purchased a different used car (2000 Toyota Camry). It is the most complicated auto that I have other owned but it works well. Thankfully, it is not affected by acceleration problems – yet (holding of breath). I do worry about the cruise control, though. I was able to pay for the auto from savings. I always combine driving trips; such as today I visited the post-office, library and grocery store in one stop. I have convinced my friends to carpool as much as possible. Fuel prices are guaranteed to rise as the economy improves.
My savings account is being slowly depleted despite my best efforts. I work part-time and add to my funds through temporary assignments. I purchase only necessities but mortgage, phone, electricity-natural gas, and other fixed expenses consume all that I am able to earn and more. I recently met with a person from the bank about modifying my mortgage; I must examine how it will affect my credit rating before I accept their offer. I have been diligently seeking a full time job since June 2009. I shall now start selling some possessions that I do not require. Anyone collect comic books out there???
Perhaps the cats will get a job.