Saving Money is like Saving Planet Earth: How Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling can Fix your Finances
There are plenty of money-saving tips to be found these days. Everywhere you look, people are encouraging each other to cut back on grocery bills, phone bills, and kids’ extra-curricular activities in an effort to survive the down economy. However, it does not take expensive How-To Books or seminars to learn how to live frugally. You and your family can come out ahead if you incorporate a simple mantra into your lives: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
As is the case when considering our landfills and limited resources on Earth, the first way to make a big difference in your finances is by Reducing. In other words, determine what is important to you and cut out the rest! Do you need subscriptions to eight different magazines that you never read, or do you have one favorite? Do you savor the experience of dining out alone to the same extent as you enjoy dining out with friends and family? Notice there is not necessarily a need to cut out ALL luxuries in order to help your finances; once you determine which luxuries are completely unnecessary to you, you can cut expenses without even noticing a change in your lifestyle.
You can help yourself and the planet when you learn to Reuse. If you determine that you need a new “thing” for your household (furniture, dishes, toys, books, and so on), look for a place other than a retail store from which to obtain it. Websites like Craigslist and Freecycle are good places to start looking for non-consumable items that you can get for free or cheap prices, and are places that you can sell your unwanted items for a little extra cash. There are many items that people do not use to their full capacity and are ready to be passed on in great condition, thus saving you money and saving space in the landfills. This will also encourage you to think twice about whether you really need that item, as often times while researching an item online you can find another option altogether.
The other side to the ‘reuse’ coin is to Recycle: put an ordinary item to use in a different way than it was intended. For example, use old dryer-sheets for dusting, use paper bags for textbook covers, or use discarded printouts as notepaper or coloring paper for kids. Check out Helium for more great ideas, and keep an ear open for ideas of how your friends and collogues use everyday items in a new way.
These tips can become part of your and your family’s lives on a daily basis, regardless of economic climate. When you learn to live within your means and be happy doing so, the benefits will far outweigh any sacrifices.
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While building his businesses from the ground up, Joshua Bevan sought out some of the best mentorship. He has learned that the path to success is difficult and simple at the same time. Joshua has committed his life to learning how to, “Earn all you can. Save all you can. Give all you can.” Through videos, blogs and speaking events, he will pass that knowledge forward.