Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Thift gone wild: extreme cost-cutting measures
In a down economy, many people are looking for ways to cut costs and free up funds. The usual saving suspects come to mind: clipping coupons, shopping consignment stores, postponing large purchases, maybe refinancing a higher-rate mortgage.
But would you be willing to make total change in lifestyle for your saving's sake?
In her Bankrate.com article, Melissa Neiman reports on several bold ways to cut costs, as recommended by expert penny pinchers. Included on her list of "extreme ways to go frugal and save" are:
Getting rid of your car. You'll save a ton in maintenance, gas, and insurance, not to mention the cost of buying or leasing the car if you don't have one. (Need an in-between step? In a multi-vehicle household, reduce down to one vehicle, which will require people to look for alternative modes of transport and eventually may allow for an easier transition to being auto-free)
Taking in a renter or boarder. Purchasing a duplex can net you added rental income, but you can also rent out a single room inside your home. This added income can allow you to pay down your mortgage years sooner. Check your local zoning laws first, and be sure to draw up a tenancy agreement.
Changing how you use credit cards. Buying with credit cards can leave people with the illusion they're getting something for free. Make all purchases you can in cash, which will cause you to more carefully scrutinize your purchases. If you don't have the cash to make the purchase right away, you may rethink whether you truly need the item at all.