Saving doesn’t take a financial expert. Most of us live from paycheck to paycheck. If you are fairly new to the survivalist mentality, you are probably thinking it costs a bundle to be properly prepared. With a little creativity, the actual cost of being prepared can become a part of your daily life.
The biggest thing that a lot of people miss is the difference between need and want. If you don’t have the money, time, or space – think about whether you really need it. Simple prioritization and a little forethought can save you a lot. Credit cards are about the worst thing for proper money management. Overuse means people are living beyond their means. It is a little hard to save for and purchase the things you actually need if you’ve bought that big screen TV and are making payments on it. Take a look at the current economy. The housing crisis originated from people living beyond their means and taking the whole economy down with it.
Speaking of practical expenses – go outside and take a look at your car. Is it a little older and you have been thinking of getting a big new SUV? The car payments really aren’t going to be worth it when you can’t afford any of your practical gear. Now while you are looking at your car, think about that Blackberry on your hip. Do you really need to spend that much every month? Is that a need or a want? No wonder we tend to live paycheck to paycheck!
The basics like clothes and food can suck cash away too. How many pairs of jeans or shoes do you really need? Cutting back in this department adds up quickly. As far as food goes, there are tons of ways to save. Growing your own food is one a lot of people skip, thinking it is too difficult or they don’t have a place for a garden. A few planters’ pots along the driveway and growing your own veggies can be that simple. This will keep you from spending the high prices at the grocery store. What about buying generic? When you buy a name brand product, you are buying just that – a name. These are often made in the same factory as the off-brand items, just packaged differently.
Coupons are a bit more time consuming, but the savings can add up in a hurry. Between print publications and the Internet, it is possible to find a discount for just about anything these days. Sure it might just be 50 cents, but 50 cents on ten items adds up. Then add that up over the course of a month, then a year.
When you do purchase products from the store, save the containers! Jars and plastic containers can all be saved and reused. Then you don’t need to waste your money on Zip-Loc bags and Tupperware containers. It sounds simple to recycle these items, but we waste a lot more than we think. Having a compost pile in your back yard can be better for your vegetable garden and save you the cost of commercial products. Old newspapers can be stashed somewhere and used for the fireplace in the winter. More importantly, in the event of a disaster, you have a ready supply of tinder. Boxes can be broken down and saved.
The same goes for other items around your house. From cleaning products to health products, name brands kill a budget. There are a million low-cost alternatives that can trim that budget back. Trimming that budget will allow you to stock up on what you really need. So think about the difference between a need and a want. Then review how you are actually spending your money in a given month. You might be surprised on how much money there is left over for what you really need.