Red Deer Reality Rant #48 - Budgeting Tips
Hello fellow Red Deerians. Being that it’s March, it’s been very chilly these days and a lot of people are anxious for Spring. I am not one of those people. Spring is a messy season with lots of slush and muck and mud and can be freezing cold one day and warm the next. Also it’s the precursor to Summer, a scorching season where I am, at best, uncomfortable. So, I am not anxious for Spring, but I am excited to see what kind of events there will be with the warmer temperatures.
While I wait for those, I would like to speak today about another Spring subject. It’s tax season and I have already done my taxes but apparently my refund this year is $9.29. This is a bit of an annoyance and while I am grateful that I didn’t owe, I am disappointed that I didn’t get enough funds to pay some of my debt at least a little bit. So that’s what I will speak about today, how it is to be broke, and a few solutions I have to combat the problem.
My debt actually isn’t that bad, less than 20 grand but comprised of a student loan and credit cards that I can’t seem to stay on top of. I know that there are people who have it much worse than me but that doesn’t make the stress any easier. It is stressful but of course I could be in a much worse situation so I try not to complain too much. Instead of complaining I would like to offer some of my money saving tips for those of us who are on a budget.
1. Inexpensive recipes - I use spendwithpennies.com and budgetbytes.com for some awesome healthy, easy, and cheap recipes that actually taste delicious. I highly recommend both of those sites to save on grocery and meal costs.
2. Thrifting - thrift stores are great places to find many items that are as good as new for very little cost. I appreciate the Salvation Army thrift store and the Missions thrift store a lot. There are some items that I wouldn’t buy secondhand but both of those shops have items I need like housewares and clothing that are in like new condition.
3. Seeing local shows - rather than going to a big name concert or production, I think it’s important to support local musicians and other artists and also makes a lot less expensive entertainment.
4. Reuse and recycle - repurposing items in your home that are old or damaged instead of throwing them out otherwise known as up cycling is a great way to get some cool stuff in your home without much cost and maybe even have a good time creating or making something useful. I recommend apps like Pinterest to discover a plethora of ways to up cycle and repurpose your stuff.
5. Cut up your credit cards or only have one - this is something I have yet to do but has become necessary. A credit card is nice to have, but can get way out of control if you live beyond your means. Only having one makes sense so you don’t get too far behind on bills.
Well, there you have it. 5 tips for living less expensively. More than likely it’s happening to a lot of people with unemployment and the economy being a problem. However, the above tips are a good way to live not only for saving money but also saving the environment as well as supporting local businesses, artists, and non profit organizations. Until next time, stay brutal and I will be back next week with another Red Deer Reality Rant!