October 7, 2009

Tightening The Belt-A Few Ways To Save During The Tough Times

During the Great Depression the unemployment rate rose to a high of 25%.
Families suffered a dramatic loss of income during the Great Depression. This put a great deal of stress on families. Some reacted by pulling together, making due with what they had, turning to family and friends for help and some relied on public assistance and breadlines.

Thankfully we've come a long way so most people won't have to stand on breadlines anymore. We have different government programs to help keep our heads above water. And tightening our belts for a short time will help until we get back into the workforce. Sacrificing the pleasures we worked so hard for should not be a hard thing to do. Cut backs here and there without sacrificing the true pleasure will make it a little easier. Here are a few tips on how to save:

Start with monthly bills such as cable, gas, electric, phone, internet. If your home phone bill is separate from your cable bill and internet bill some companies support all these services and are offering great deals on combining them all with the one company. And can save you plenty. These deals usually last between 6 months to a year depending on the company.

As for the electric bill you would be surprised how much you would save just by unplugging electronics when they are hardly used. Gadgets like your cellphone charger and microwave use energy and generate heat as long as they're attached to a power source. Standby power for appliances not in use is typically 5% to 10% of residential electricity use. Plug those devices into a power strip that can be turned off when not in use. Switching four 75-watt incandescent for 19-watt CFLs can save almost $30 a year.

Gas is a tougher, more stringent item to control. But there are ways to save. In the winter if you use gas heat turn it down and break out the blankets. Use your fireplace if you have one. There is nothing better than cuddling up with that special someone. If you use a gas dryer, you may be able to save money by running the dryer in the evening hours. Many companies lower their rates for use during off peak hours.

You can also save money on that hefty food bill. As Brown Thumb Mama states in her October 2nd blog, "A lot of things become a luxury when times are tight". She shows different tips and tricks in this.

No matter what you do, every little bit helps. Winter weather is coming and we all need to tighten our belts and make due with what we have. The true pleasures in life are not only the things we have but the who's that are in them.