Well, I'm here again. For some reason, I couldn't login with my old info, so I had to create a new account and start again.
I wanted to share some New Year Resolutions that may help some of you and also get ideas from your side as I'm trying to cut, cut, cut, simplify, simplify, simply, but I'm getting stuck...
These are things I'm doing differently in 2012:
- Using cloth napkins instead of paper napkins
- Using old towels to clean (kitchen, washrooms, etc.) instead of paper towels
- Using free newspaper (saved everyday from the bus station) to clean after my dog (saves on bags, but is clumsy)
- Started a compost (reduces garbage and I'll have free plant fertilizer)
- Convinced husband to cut sports channels and to avoid so much TV
- Monitor lights and TVs better
- Cook "in bulk" more often to save energy and time (for example, bake bread and chicken together, etc.)
- Started using vinegar and baking soda to clean to save on cleaners and go green
- Will cut using three of the five credit cards. Trying to cut them all didn't work last year and we were always falling back and using them for groceries and emergencies, even with the eFund and sinking fund, as they would never have enough money...now I'm trying to pay less (stay in the minimum for all but two cards) and use the "extra" money to save more for the sinking and eFunds...lets see if that works.
Things I want to do but can't because of lack of money:
- Start a vegetable garden (I need seeds, tools, buying the wood and building the garden boxes and tables, as I live in a townhouse and the strata wouldn't allow me to plant directly on the ground).
- Start bicycling more (I was using my son's bike, it's old and from Wall-mart and it broke, I need at least $300 or more to buy a good one so I can bike to the store and other places instead of driving)
- Buy power surge protectors and smart bars so I can save on "phantom" electricity (funny, I have to invest to save)
- Buy a inside hanger to hang my clothes inside or on the deck and save on electricity not using or reducing the use of the dryer (I can't just hang clothes outside, the strata doesn't allow me to do that and in BC, where I live, rains 80% of the year, so I need to hang them inside and use the sun when it comes out)
As you can see above, many of my "saving" strategies actually imply buying things...that will pay off in the long turn, but still...I can't buy them for at least six months! Some may be bought faster, such as the garden tools and seeds, but I'm frustrated at the slow of the path...
What I REALLY want to do is to reduce my living space and my energy use in general. I have been working for 33 years now and I can't see a retirement soon. I will probably have to work for at least 10-15 more years. The first 4 will be just to pay off our horrible debt ($86,000, it started as $90,000 last year, what means we only were able to pay off $4,000 in almost 7 months...) After that, I want to pay my mortgage, but with all the restrictions in our current house (a townhouse), I would really want to move to a detach house, a cabin or a rancher, whatever gives us more freedom and is cheaper and easier to pay off...
Does anybody have any more saving tips, no tip is small, and I'll be grateful for any new one. Thanks!