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Official SS Poll: What do you do to eliminate bills / cut down expenses?

Discussion in 'Official SS Contests, Polls, Etc.' started by Support, Oct 12, 2016.

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What do you do to eliminate bills / cut down expenses?

  1. Make your own ______ (e.g. bread, laundry detergent, shampoo, etc.)

    42 vote(s)
    68.9%
  2. Maintain a vegetable / fruit garden

    51 vote(s)
    83.6%
  3. Raise my own livestock

    40 vote(s)
    65.6%
  4. Use discount coupons

    20 vote(s)
    32.8%
  5. Recycle / Repurpose

    51 vote(s)
    83.6%
  6. Buy at Thrift shops

    43 vote(s)
    70.5%
  7. Can / Preserve / Freeze your own

    50 vote(s)
    82.0%
  8. Cook at home and avoid eating at restaurants

    53 vote(s)
    86.9%
  9. Others: (Please specify)

    17 vote(s)
    27.9%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Jan 12, 2019
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Super Self-Sufficient

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    In addition to the items on the poll, I am an avid dump picker. I have brought lots of wonderful building materials home from the town dump. Also, furniture (a lovely little night stand, solid maple, dove tail joints). Canning jars, plates, glasses, cook ware. And, the most important: our dump has a very large parking lot devoted to compost materials. Mountains of wood chips, and leaves, spent bedding.

    Saving money: Hubby and I always put God first. Give to Him first, and He'll take care of the rest. In the early years, I would write down our expenses, and our income. Invariably, there was not enough money to cover the expenses. But, by giving to God first, before paying the bills, the bills have always been pain on time.

    Add to that: wise use of credit. Our expenses go on a credit card. That card is automatically paid off in full every month. This helps us to track our expenses, AND we earn points that can be redeemed for up to $100/mo. I would not advise using this tactic unless you have a firm grip on your spending behaviors!

    Buy in bulk when it is appropriate. We use BJ's and the credit card, saving up to 45 cents/gallon when compared to other gas stations in our area.

    Become a DIY fanatic. You can buy the necessary tools to accomplish a job for far less than it would cost to pay to have that job done. Hubby can do basic plumbing, electrical, and many auto repairs. I sew, can, build basic gardening and farming structures, stone walls. Together, we accomplish some of the more difficult tasks.

    Learn the difference between needs, wants, and desires.
     
    Beekissed, baymule and Hinotori like this.
  2. Jan 12, 2019
    Hinotori

    Hinotori Super Self-Sufficient

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    We also buy everything we can with the credit card. It gets paid off twice a month. That's for security and the points that can be used for cash or just to pay on the card.

    Our Costco membership cost us just under $6 this year. The gas is much cheaper there but we also know how to deal with bulk.
     
  3. Jan 12, 2019
    CrealCritter

    CrealCritter Super Self-Sufficient

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    My wife and I have 0 credit cards with zero balance. I cut them all up and paid them off shortly after the card companies called their debt when oboma fist took office. Arter that mess, I vowed, never to have another credit card as long as I live. I get at least a dozen credit card offers in the mailbox every week. I don't even open them anymore, they go right into the burn barrel.
     
    Beekissed and Lazy Gardener like this.
  4. Jan 12, 2019
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother Sustainability Master

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    We also buy everything on a credit card. Pay it off in full every month and earn points that we redeem for air travel, hotels, rental cars, or if we're not traveling we can redeem them for gift cards that we use for everyday issues if that's what we want. Or - we can use the points to pay the credit card with. Win-Win! Credit can be an anchor for some people or a benefit for others.
     
    Hinotori likes this.
  5. Jan 12, 2019
    Hinotori

    Hinotori Super Self-Sufficient

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    It's better for security from theft and for credit score to have a credit card. We have two. One is my husband's with me being secondary. It's a very old account and we selected where we wished the amount available on it to stop. The credit union keeps asking if we want more. Too much is a risk as well.

    The other card is mine and it maxes at 2k. It's used for internet purchases. So if anyone hacks a business they won't be able to rack up a ton on it before the bank steps in, and they are quick. Thieves shouldn't profit.

    We are very careful with debt and bill paying. I can tell you that an 850 credit score is not a myth and you don't have to be rich to get it. Just living within means and understanding of your credit and accounts.

    Heck, even when we had debt when hubby was in the military, we still were hovering around the 800 mark. Virginia Beach just was too expensive of an area. We did not go out and get a new car every 3 years or over buy on a house or have to eat expensive dinners out every week like some people we knew. One was giving each of their 3 kids $50 a week as spending money on top of it. Watched them put on 50k in debt each year. They shouldn't have had CCs available.
     
    tortoise likes this.
  6. Jan 12, 2019
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Super Self-Sufficient

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    CC, your approach is certainly valid, and an excellent choice for many. I thought you did a lot of comparison shopping, and bought a lot of stuff from Amazon or otherwise from the internet. Am I confused here? If so, how do you manage such purchases?

    As for managing credit cards to max out your credit score: always keep the oldest card. We're also glad that we have 2 cards. That way, if/WHEN one card gets compromised from credit fraud, we can fall back on the other card while the primary card issue gets fixed. In case of credit fraud, the card owner is never held liable. Any time our card has been compromised, our credit union becomes aware of the fraud before we are. They are excellent at working quickly to block the card, remove the charges, close down the account and issue new cards.

    In many marriages, the husband is the primary name on all accounts: from mortgage, to any other loans, utilities, and credit cards. This may place the wife at a disadvantage regarding having her own established credit rating should such need arise.

    We have even done the unthinkable: bought a car by placing the entire purchase on our credit card! We found the car at least an hour's drive from our home. It was a Saturday. Banks were closed. We wanted to take the car home that day so we would not have to drive back again. So... it went on our credit card. We knew that we could then transfer the funds from our home improvement loan fund, or get an even lower interest car loan from our credit union. Again, I would NEVAH advise this unless you have enough funds available to ensure that ALL credit card purchases are paid in full every month.
     
    Hinotori likes this.
  7. Jan 12, 2019
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother Sustainability Master

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    I once used a credit card to put a hefty down payment on a car...got enough points to cover all Christmas shopping that year with points. It was nice!

    I use PayPal for most online shopping.
     
    Hinotori likes this.
  8. Jan 12, 2019
    NH Homesteader

    NH Homesteader Super Self-Sufficient

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    We don't have any credit cards. My husband isn't on my bank account and doesn't have his own. We're an oddity lol. I use PayPal online usually also.
     
  9. Jan 12, 2019
    CrealCritter

    CrealCritter Super Self-Sufficient

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    PayPal is mainly what I use for on-line shopping and that account is linked to a bank card. Occasionally I'll use the same bank card which is a debit/credit card, tied directly to a bank account that dedicated to purchases only. The "limit" is floating and whatever we want it to be. If we have a big purchase, we'll transfer the amount into this account from a savings account. Our monthly bill paying account (checking second account) works the same way and has another bank debit/credit card that we never use for purchases - just playing monthly bills. When I put my foot down and said no more credit cards, The CFO (my wife) got creative. My paycheck gets direct deposited into savings. From there, monies are electricty transfered into either the bill pay account or the purchases account. It's worked well for us for a good 9 years now. And I hope I didn't confuse anyone :)

    I must be a target for pan handlers, because I get asked all the time when I'm out. If i carried cash i woukd surely give it away. So I keep no money in my wallet at all. Any extra cash or checks I receive during the month - get deposited directly into the savings account asap.

    I guess what I'm saying is I forced us to live with in our means when I said no more credit cards. I had so many friends loose their businesses, homes and assets when oboma took office and the economy went south. We also had credit card debt and I viewed our debt as a big risk, so I took action to eleminate it once and for all. We now live within our means and have enough savings to cover anything "major". It's a good feeling.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
  10. Jan 12, 2019
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Super Self-Sufficient

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    CC, if others followed your example: living debt free, it would be amazing how the economy of our country would turn around. Further, if every one who could, would: grow a garden, keep a small flock of chickens (if for nothing more than the eggs provided, learn how to process the food provided, learn how to cook, and learn how to live within their income level, with a goal of becoming debt free, AND exercise their right to bear arms, we would: turn the government of this country on it's ear. Our fearless leaders would be scared out of their socks to be faced with a nation full of people who know how to think independently and take care of themselves.

    When it looked like Obama had a chance of getting into office, that's when hubby looked at me and said: "it's time to buy a real gun." That constitutional right may soon disappear.
     
    Mini Horses, baymule and Rammy like this.

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