Getting Down to the Necessities

Talk to anyone of the Baby Boomer generation and older, and it is easy to figure out why they were able to save for big purchases, vacations and more while living on mostly equivalent wages. Sure, the cost of living has risen some, but it is still mostly proportionate to what it was back then. Interestingly enough, we only have to look to household finances of that time to learn a few things.

Few families relied on credit cards then, and they did it without issue, but how? The answer lies in budgeting. If there was not enough money for “luxuries,” then they didn’t have those. However, they did manage to save money. Even the poorest of families often had a substantial “rainy day fund.”

While the principles are easy to grasp, they are not always easy to implement. It often means changing a few ways of doing things. Rents and mortgages are nearly impossible to change without more expense. However, things like land lines, cell phones, Internet, cable and satellite and even utility usage are usually adjustable.

If any subscriptions are under contract, sometimes the early termination fee is less to contend with than the remaining months of the contract, especially for expensive services. The final thing to adjust is the monthly food bill. Drop the boxed foods and prepare things from scratch. For instance, it does not take long to prepare larger amounts of freezable foods such as soups, stews, waffles, pancakes and even ground beef for future use. It is a lot healthier for the whole family too.

Once Your Goal Is Met, It’s Safe To Spend

Now that you’ve met your goal and saved up for weeks, months or even years on that family vacation or weekend outting, it’s time to have some fun!  For a short amount of time, your entertainment budget will be set aside for this one event that you’ve worked so hard to save for.  Here’s an idea: If your closest loved ones just can’t get enough of country music, the money you saved for entertainment will allow you to score some Alan Jackson tickets and enjoy his latest tour.

That kind of family outing is far too expensive for an everyday occurrence, but it is nice now and then. To further make attending such outings a reality for the family, look for tickets to concerts, theater and sporting events at online ticket-sellers like Such sites work to bring the best pricing possible to make group outings like these more affordable.

There are sites similar to StubHub that sell, instead of event tickets, discounted gift certificates to restaurants, theme parks and other such family entertainment venues. The key is to treat these outings as a treat — not as regular occurrences. Doing so usually creates longer-lasting and fonder memories. That makes getting through lean times a lot easier than having to do without the entire time.

About Pepper

I am a single working mom, trying to raise my kid the best way I know how. Join me as I navigate my way through the jungle that is Single Mom-hood, armed with rose-colored glasses and strength of spirit. As pepper adds spice to food, so does my daughter add spice to my life. She makes life no less than…PEPPERRIFIC!

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  1. I recently started a “rainy day fund” and i’ve been trying to work on my budgeting a little more to pay off some bills… it’s posts like yours that give me the strength to save and work on my budget more. Thanks! :)

  2. I love online deals! One of the reasons why I prefer internet shopping.

  3. It’s true. Oftentimes we just need to have the discipline to save up. =)

  4. It is so hard to save nowadays because of too many thing you can buy which you thought you need when in fact you don’t. I am trying to live our lives within our means but it is so hard to ‘not buy’ the things I want.

  5. I think the key is to spend less than what you earn even if there are access to cards. I personally don’t buy anything which I can’t pay for in a month as interest on cards can really be exhorbitant.

  6. Saving money is my dilemma, I’m a big spender but I’m slowly working on it.
    Thanks for sharing these helpful tips! :)

  7. musings of a working mom says

    i wish i can achieve my goals and that is to pay our house amortization and from then i can be able to enjoy spending.

  8. I love deal sites, but those that I’ve tried and didn’t give me any headache :)

  9. Ideally, the more you earn the more you save should be the case. But, more often, when you begin to earn more, the lifestyle change and you get to spend more too.

    I’ve learned my lesson and we are starting to save for the rainy days.

  10. Because most people have credit cards, it’s really tempting to just splurge on things without really checking if they have enough left in their salaries the following month to pay for those purchases, and this often gets people into debt. The key actually is living within your means.

  11. The best thing to remember is to always spend what you can afford and necessary, although it doesn’t hurt to reward yourself once in a while. ;)

  12. Tetcha is right. I always say it to people – live by your means. You don’t want to get dirt poor wen you get old, right?


  13. Once Your Goal Is Met, It’s Safe To Spend – Yes! It is, but know your priorities. You can save money. Avoid the things not your necessity.

  14. Wow! You just hit me hard with this post. I actually find it really hard to save up, and I blame it to my “luho” which are food and clothes. Thank you so much for this reminder sis. I hope I can limit my unnecessary expenses little by little so I can start saving up.

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