Going back to basics

Old Fashioned Money Saving Tips That Still Work

by Susan Perna

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If you can't save or manage your money, you've got to go back to the basics and that means being frugal by managing your money the old-fashioned way. Although the definition of the word "frugal" may be outdated, the truth is that being frugal can actually save you a ton of money. Our grandparents were actually very frugal with their money, and we can learn a lot from them. Life was much simpler back then. Our grandparents did not have all of the modern conveniences like we have today. Technology has taken us to a whole new level and that technology is expensive, but we can still learn money-saving ideas from days gone by. Here are some tried-and-true old-fashioned methods for spending less and saving more:

Pay with Cash

Credit card debt wasn't an issue for our grandparents because they paid for everything with cash. It is always best to pay with cash like Grandma did because using credit cards can get you into a heap of trouble. According to USA Today, the average American consumer owes a little more than $5000 on credit, so giving up credit cards can save you big.

Spend Less on Fun

This may come as a shock to some of you especially the younger generation, but our grandparents still had a good time without spending a dime and so can you. There are plenty of fun things you can do for free like going to the beach or park. A typical trip to the museum or zoo costs around $25. Going to the movies isn't cheap either. The average cost of going to the movies in North America hit another record high in the first quarter of 2017, or $8.84, according to the National Association of Theater Owners. If you are in the mood for a movie, you can snag a free advance movie screening pass online at AdvanceScreenings.com, which could save you around $9 a pop. Don't forget to pick up a free ticket during free museum days, which could also save you $25 each visit.

Ditch the Modern Gadgets and Accessories

As a nation, we have gotten spoiled and we have become addicted. In the not so distant past, cell phones and cable TV didn't even exist. Our grandparents used a landline phone. Most people these days feel like they can't live without modern conveniences, but the truth is we don't need all that stuff. All of those modern gadgets and accessories are just pushing us further into debt.

According to a recent J.D. Power report, the average monthly cell phone bill is $73, and according to Quicken.com, the average landline bill is roughly $25 a month, so you can really save just by switching to a landline phone. You can save even more by hooking up to VOIP like Vonage or Ooma®. Vonage® costs $15-$20 a month, depending on which plan you choose, and Ooma® costs less than $5 a month. You can find an Ooma® device for less than $100 and a Vonage® device for less than $20 on eBay.

Old Fashioned Money Saving Tips That Still Work

Cable TV is another wallet drainer. According to Fortune magazine, the average cable bill is around $103 a month. You could save at least $103 a month by switching to Broadcast, or you can buy an Amazon Fire Stick, which goes for around $75, or Roku for $35, which could save you a $100 each month. That equates to a savings of $1200 per year!

Are you heading for debt trouble? This simple checklist can help you find out and provide options for doing something about it.

Make Extra Money on the Side

Another way our grandparents saved money was by earning extra cash on the side to help pay the bills. There are several ways that you can do like Grandma did to help make ends meet including:

  • Set up a farm stand and sell your own produce and/or jams and jellies at a farmer's market or at home for an extra few hundred dollars a month.
  • Chop fire wood and sell it locally at $3 a bundle.
  • Clean houses for between $25 and $45 per hour.
  • Make and sell homemade quilts or crochet afghans locally and on Etsy for $100 a piece.
  • Rent out a room for $100 a month.

As you can see, Grandma didn't spend money recklessly by spending it on unnecessary things like we do today, and therefore she was able to make her money go far by sticking to old-fashioned ways.

Take the Next Step:

  • Keep your finances on track by visiting our money section where you'll find tools and resources to help you with your finances.
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