Wednesday, February 20, 2008

How to have more money

After a hard day at work, 2 things I love- being home and simple pleasures like a cup of tea and toast....
To have more money one can always take up a second job. I used to work a lot but not anymore. It saps my spirit, my time, my energy and the money I made usually went to little treats to trick myself to work some more and in the end I have little to show for, for the extra work I did.
Today, saving money makes more sense. I reread some of my books on economizing,
1) The Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczynn (a gift from my sister years ago)
2) The only investment guide by Andrew Tobias
3) Your money or your life.
4) The simple dollar, a blog
5) Suze Orman, she gave away her new book, 'Women and money' for free as a free download, the last count, there was one million download, lots of people are serious about their money as they should be.
There are lots of ways to save money, we just need to take little steps to get started. Look at your life, make a list, be careful not to be derailed by other people, have a buddy. When I started my sister and I were buddies, we competed as to who is the more frugal person. When we try to stop smoking, we need buddies who will encourage us and get on our case if we should falter. It's the same with trying to lose weight. These days we need people who love us enough to do intervention and to support us.
1) take care of your things, make things last. I have an old TV which will be around till February 09. I'll only replace it when I see 'snow' on the screen.
2) Do without, before buying big ticket items, think twice, three times, hold off.
I went inside an 'American Eagle' store the other day, they have the cutest things. I love the tote bags, one costs $34. I saw the price tag and thought to myself, that's the price of a train ticket from Bologna to Venice. I'm going to Italy in 4 weeks. I left the store without buying anything. It's either having a closet full of 'stuff' or having money to travel. I'd rather travel. My closet is pretty empty. I have to force myself to replace some of my very old clothes. You need an incentive to save money and stop spending like a trip abroad, get addicted to it. You'll never by happy just hanging out in the USA.
3) drink tap water. I drink tap water even in Europe, every morning before we leave the room we would fill our water bottles with tap water.
4) use less water and elictricity if you are paying your own utility bills, my bill has stayed the same in spite of rate increases, it works!
5) sack lunches- wonderful money savers!
6) Amuse yourself - no cable, read and reread old books. Lately every Sunday night I'm excited about 'The Complete Jane Austen' on PBS. I want to marry Mr. Darcy (Pride and Prejudice). It would help if he looked like Colin Firth. There has been some great Masterpiece Theatre productions like 'Bleak House', 'Jane Eyre', 'The Forsyth Saga' and of course, the complete Jane Austen! They are all free, beats snything else that is on the regular telly.
If you tally up all these savings, it could go up to the thousands of dollars and you ask, where are we going to find the money to travel?
In Paris I saw people dumpster diving outside a supermarket. They took things out of a dumpster, sorted through them, took the usable stuff, split them among themselves and return the rest to the dumpster. The amazing thing was they left the dumpster neat and clean. I thought they would make a mess but they didn't. Wow! Kudos to the French. They are very frugal people. I read somewhere they are able to take a bath with a tea cup of water.

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