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Ken's Guide to Frugality  RSS feed

 
Ken Peavey
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Ken's Guide to Frugality

What would you add to this list?
These are not Rules. It's only a guide.

1 Limit debt to a mortgage.
2 Take on no other debt.
3 If you are in debt, pay it off.
4 Until you have at least 3 months of bills saved up, in cash, no superfluous spending.
5 Pancakes, grilled cheese sandwiches, eggs, or a bowl of Cream of Wheat is a fine meal.
6 If you have nothing, it's better than having things and debt.
7 If you have the space to store it and it has some use, don't throw it away.
8 It's OK to pick up a penny, especially when you have debt or nothing or not much.
9 One light bulb on at a time is all you need.
10 Vanity is expensive and not worth the investment
11 Even if you are saving every penny you can, splurge on an awesome meal once a month.
12 If it will rot, compost it.
13 Free shit is cool
14 If you must drink, once a month is the limit. More than that is a problem.
15 If you enjoy drugs, you are wasting your time with this list.
16 If you can quit the tobacco, go for it.
17 Shampoo is the most you need for your hair.
18 Walmart T-shirts are 4 for 10 bucks.
19 Dickies last.
20 Socks are so cheap they can be considered disposable.
21 A comfortable bed is a fine investment.
22 Get some food in the house. Buy extra, you'll use it.
23 Stocking up on food and supplies saves money.
24 Cooking from scratch is cheap, easy, and delicious.
25 Growing food is money in the bank.
26 There is nothing on TV worth watching.
27 Getting roommates is the fastest way to save money, but they have to be the right roommates.
28 Being broke is a situation. Being poor is a state of mind. Making the change from poor to broke is a choice.
29 Being rich has nothing to do with money.
30 Bread is cheap. Learning to make a decent loaf of bread is cheaper.
31 A dumpy old house that is cheap and livable is a better investment than an apartment.
32 Be at least a month ahead on the mortgage at all times.
33 Have at least enough food in the house to get you by for 3 months.
34 Keep your paperwork neat, tidy, and organized at all times.
35 An awful job is better than going hungry.
36 Develop an income source that is independent from your job.
37 Do what you have to do when you have to do it so you can do what you want to do the rest of the time.
38 Learn to cook beans from scratch.
39 Learn to make pasta from scratch.
40 As soon as you can, get some chickens.
41 Dependable transportation
42 Don't buy cheap crap unless it needs to be disposable.
43 If you don't need it to survive, don't buy it.
44 Buy used but in good condition.
45 If you can't buy it outright then you can't afford it.
46 Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses
47 My grandmother NEVER went on vacation.
 
Su Ba
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Good list. I've mentioned just about all of these things on my blog, but not so bluntly and directly. Putting them on a list might help open some people's minds before, yes before, they end up getting 70 years old and looking back going, "my god, I should have done 'that' or 'this' if I had only known."

Ken, I'd like to quote that this on my blog and set a link to it here. Is that ok?
 
Ken Peavey
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Copy it
Share it
Give it away
Call it your own if you like, I don't care. It will do some good for someone, somewhere, sometime and when it does they will hopefully improve their situation.
 
R Scott
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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18a. T-shirts at goodwill/salvation army are 99 cents. Good button down dress shirts are $3 and last forever.

41a. Don't drive unless you need to. Plan your trip to the store and don't go just for one thing. People spend $5 on gas to buy $2 worth of groceries.

Your rule on drinking needs to include Starbucks. Learn to make your own good coffee.

Invest in comfortable boots.

I love these all written down in one place.
 
Dan Boone
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For frugality-minded drinkers, an alternate #14 might be:

14: Booze is expensive. A lot of the expense is tax. Learn to make your own. Beer is dead easy and cheap if you do it right. Likewise wine, which can be literally dirt cheap if you grow your own fermentables. Don't mess with stills and moonshine; there's nothing frugal about getting raided.
 
John Polk
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If you do buy your coffee 'on the road', consider 7-11, and bring your own cup.
If you bring your own cup (or even a thermos!), it is considered a "refill", and costs less than their smallest cup.
Many 7-11s have regulars who came in every morning with a thermos: 99 cents (a small cup = $1.09)
 
Alder Burns
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An advantage of a stlll is that you can salvage off-flavored or otherwise unacceptable failures of homebrew and wine; unless they have gone all the way to vinegar. The still will take off the alcohol and leave the bad taste behind. Just about anything sweet, out of a dumpster, if need be, can be fermented and then distilled. And it doesn't have to be for boozing it up.....making homemade herb tinctures comes to mind among other uses....
 
chip sanft
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* Save your own seed.
* Avoid subscription services (Spotify, smart phone, etc.)
* Keep your money in a credit union, not a bank -- the fees are usually fewer and lower
* If it breaks, try to fix it yourself first.
* Buying a necessary tool is often cheaper than hiring someone who already has it.
 
Judith Browning
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great thread, Ken...........

we have had lots of practice at living on next to nothing....so low, I had to make up an income once or twice to be believable.

I would add...........

live BELOW our means...not just within... working with percentages anyone can actually manage to put back some cash at any level of income. we put away 20% of incoming dollars....then we always have a buffer....for when the truck dies or emergency anything.

It's amazing what we can do without....somethings that we thought we needed and couldn't afford at the time, went unpurchased even when we later the had money...we just realized that we didn't need the item.

get priorities in order.........a lot of the time the most important things don't cost money, just time.

avoid deliberate debt....it can easily happen anyway with no help from us

I am a thrift store junkie...and very patient....clothes (our store has all you can stuff in a grocery sack for $2.00), shoes, appliances, books, records, cd's, dishes and on and on.................plenty of stuff to go around and it's all there eventually.

for the food that we don't raise ourselves........we live on good organic grains and beans and things by joining a buying club where prices are reduced according to the size of the order.

we throw the breaker when we leave the house for a day or more..........partly to avoid electronics that rule us and it does make a pretty good difference in our bill.

grow food, grow plants, save seed, find a place to wild craft...........share, make friends with your neighbors, you never know when you will need them.







 
Will Holland
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Location: CT zone 5b
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I already do most of those things. Good list! One pair of pants is generally enough for me most of the time. I buy a new pair when the crotch goes, and patch all other holes.
I've also been saving 10% of my income from each payheck since the first paycheck I ever earned 15 years ago. I save 20% now. I don't even think about it. It's not money to spend. Never paid a single cent of credit card interest and I've had one for over 10 years.

 
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