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Old 02-28-2009, 02:21 PM   #15
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PS. I just learned that even by tuning off the computer when I am not using it, I will save about $10 a month. Pretty easy money.
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Old 02-28-2009, 02:36 PM   #16
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Institute a once a week "cashless" day. This means you will not purchase anything (not even a coffee) on your cashless day. Mondays are our cashless days.

Record all of your purchases daily (even a coffee) and compile your families purchase journals for review. It's amazing to realize how much you spend just because it's a habit.

Set cost reduction goals. We have a "one tank a year" goal for our oil furnace and tankless hot water system (which runs off our furnace). We heat our home with a pellet stove on the main floor and a wood stove in the cellar. The oil furnace's thermostat is set to 58 degrees so it doesn't turn on - it's just a back up to the pellet and wood stoves. To keep the furnace from kicking in for the tankless hot water system our clothes are washed in cold water, the dishwasher is only run when it is completely full and we don't hang out in the shower. We established this goal last year, before we even knew that the economy was heading south because we wanted to do our part to reduce our country's dependency on oil from the Middle East. We track our usage against our goal - last year we missed our goal by 25 gallons (meaning we used 300 gallons instead of 275 gallons). We are working hard to meet the goal for 2009.
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Old 02-28-2009, 03:29 PM   #17
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Wink Umm Umm Good

I have refrained from eating soup. For now.

I suppose it will taste better and go down easier then when I have nothing else to look forward to at the end of the soup line. No need to burn myself out on it too early.

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Old 02-28-2009, 03:57 PM   #18
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Lightbulb Now on a more Serious Note

I have considered selling a Baby Grand Steinway I don't play, an Airstream I don't use, a dog that don't hunt, music I don't play, books I don't read, booze I'll never drink, art I don't appreciate and clothes I don't wear. Perhaps in time, maybe sooner than later.

Long ago on this forum I read where a former Moderator, a respected venerable one at that, stated that he was an atheist. I recall being surprised and saddened (for him).
Therefore I feel that I should be able to publicly state that I am a Christian.

That is my most secure prep for a coming recession and/or depression. And I think we have not seen anything yet.
Whether you are secular or religious I would recommend reading
Chapter 12 of Luke and the Book of Proverbs.
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Old 02-28-2009, 04:00 PM   #19
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Question Bankers

Great idea for a thread and some great tips already posted.

Need I remind us all to watch those sneaky Credit Card companies. Example: If you took advantage of a low interest (life of balance transfer) offers a few years ago, CHASE it now adding a $10.00 monthly fee to your statement. Seems they no longer like the deal they cut a few years back and are determined to find some way to suck more money out of these "Members".

It sounds illegal, but with all the "relaxing" of consumer protection that took place the past few years they can do just about anything they want.

CHASE, in response to consumers falling on hard times and to make it easier on it's "Members" to keep there heads above water has INCREASED there monthly percentage minimum payment from 2% to 5%

Yea, yea sure I know you all pay your monthly balance off each month, but it just reeks "sneaky business practice" to me.

Watch those "NO MEMBERSHIP FEE" cards. The letter they sent which you never received changed your user agreement, and now there is a fee. You find out when it 's too late...

Stay sharp out there!

Michael

PS, I just paid off the small balance and canceled my account with CHASE, exactly the affect the wanted.

Same with CITIBANK, canceled.
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Old 02-28-2009, 04:15 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverbeauty View Post
PS. I just learned that even by tuning off the computer when I am not using it, I will save about $10 a month. Pretty easy money.
More electrical savings:

Unplug everything with a transformer if the device is not attached (laptop, cell phone, etc). The transformer continues to draw power even when the device is not attached or is fully charged.

We have our computers and printers on power strips which get turned off at the end of each day. Same thing for our TV and DVD player. Other appliances are unplugged if not in use. We have seen our electric bill go down about $15.00 bucks a month for a savings of $180.00 a year. Not bad for the few seconds per day it takes to unplug items or turn off power strips.
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Old 02-28-2009, 04:51 PM   #21
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Dump your long distance service. We did this over 10 years ago because we got grumpy about the $$ for the long distance service fees and taxes. Back then we figured we'd save $120.00 in fees and taxes per year alone so I'm assuming the savings is the same or greater now.To call long distance:
  • Use prepaid AT&T (or other companies) calling cards. We have the calling card phone # and pin preprogrammed into our home phones so it just takes two button clicks to initiate a long distance call. Cost is less than 3 cents per minute.
  • Use SKYPE: Computer to computer is free. Computer to land line is about 2 cents per minute (when you purchase Skype credits - they have other packages which could bring the costs down even more for those who do a lot of long distance calling)
  • Use your cell phone if you have a free nights and weekend plan
  • Use email, Facebook, MySpace, etc to communicate as an alternative to long distance calling.
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Old 02-28-2009, 05:12 PM   #22
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Use the Parks and Camping, exclusively for you and families (some scumwad Politicians sneak in from time to time) facilities located all over the U.S. Investigate a bit and you will be pleasantly surprised where they are and how nice they are....and cheap. There are Marinas too.
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Old 02-28-2009, 05:17 PM   #23
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another thing

Did I mention that it surely was not the time to spend $800 on Zolatone. It must be love.
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Old 02-28-2009, 07:44 PM   #24
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Silverbeauty, you and your husband have your heads screwed on right. Being fellow 'maritimers' we understand exactly where you're coming from. We learned to be frugal from our parents and grandparents and right now, I would trade my stock portfolio for ten acres of hardwood in Lunenburg county in a heartbeat.

Community and neighbours helping neighbours is what's going to get us through this recession, for sure - not the 'experts' on Wall ST. or Bay St..
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Old 02-28-2009, 08:51 PM   #25
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Full Timing

Watch Suzi Ormand. Follow her advice. Learn that the thrill of buying some new shiny toy lasts for hours or days or weeks - and the payments drag on forever.

--------------
I drive a 2500 Silverado Diesel that if I really baby it gets about 20 mpg. But I live fulltime in my Airstream and have for almost 4 years now.

I chose to sell my house because the maintenance time and costs were killing me. My timing was fantastic, but lucky rather than savvy. I found a campground which is a buy in membership deal, the memberships were very inexpensive and the dues are very low. I do have to move off once every four weeks, and it closes for the winter, but my housing expense is less than $5000 per year.

You may hate the idea of fulltiming and being "homeless" but for the next couple of years it might be the one thing that will save your butt.

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There have been a lot of great ideas posted here - large and small. I'd like to add a few very serious ones:

First - face that 800 lb. gorilla in the room. Sit down and look over your debt, your income, the possibility you could lose your job(s) and especially the state of your housing. If you even think that bankruptcy is a possibility see a lawyer who specializes in the practice and find out how close to the cliff you are, what all of your options are - and if necessary file for it now. Donald Trump did - and as David Letterman pithily observed, you know the economy is bad when the Donald can't make a living off of hookers and gambling. The point is that if bankruptcy is inevitable you might as well do it now as later. You DO start over, burned and bloody it's true, but delaying it will only make it worse.

Next - face that there is no tooth fairy and no magic way out of the mess. There are only three real solutions
  1. increase your income
  2. trim your spending
  3. do both of the above
Involve your whole family in re-thinking (or starting) a budget. Your 13 year old and even your 8 year old should be involved. They will be affected, and it's not your job to raise children - it is your job to raise functional adults. Understanding money, thinking logically and learning to defer gratification are characteristics of functional adults.

Your children should understand that cars and credit cards, and cell phones are not necessities. If they want these things, they need to work for them. In my old neighborhood there was on 13 year old girl who started a business cleaning the interior of cars - she emptied the ash trays, cleaned the mats and carpets, organized the map pockets and windexed the windows. She had over 100 clients and made enough to finance her own car and a substantial part of her tuition to Virginia Tech.

You want to do what is best for your children, but that does NOT necessarily mean giving them everything. If you've got an adult child who is living at home and not contributing - give the alternative "JOB or RECRUITER" - then stick to it. (Even if your child is going to college full time, he or she should be mowing the lawn, doing a big part of the household maintenance - and holding down a job over vacation.

Unused Stuff - somewhere "conspicuous consumption" has turned into hoarding for many of us. The poster who said get rid of what you don't use hit it on the nail! Today isn't a good time to have a yard sale, but all the junk you don't use IS a depreciating asset. A modest amount of cash can be a big help.

NEVER Buy on impulse.

Those are my biggies.

Paula Ford
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Old 02-28-2009, 09:45 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Distantdrummer View Post
I have considered selling a Baby Grand Steinway I don't play, an Airstream I don't use, a dog that don't hunt, music I don't play, books I don't read, booze I'll never drink, art I don't appreciate and clothes I don't wear. Perhaps in time, maybe sooner than later.

Long ago on this forum I read where a former Moderator, a respected venerable one at that, stated that he was an atheist. I recall being surprised and saddened (for him).
Therefore I feel that I should be able to publicly state that I am a Christian.

That is my most secure prep for a coming recession and/or depression. And I think we have not seen anything yet.
Whether you are secular or religious I would recommend reading
Chapter 12 of Luke and the Book of Proverbs.

Believe and obey God ......and he will make sure you have everything you need (not want). Unfortunately, the AS may not be considered a necessity in dire times.
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Old 02-28-2009, 10:49 PM   #27
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Tips for surviving a recession


Tips for surviving a recession

DRINK BEER!
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Old 02-28-2009, 11:08 PM   #28
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I have considered selling a Baby Grand Steinway I don't play, an Airstream I don't use, music I don't play, books I don't read, booze I'll never drink, art I don't appreciate... maybe sooner than later.
I'll be happy to take any of these items off of your hands.
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