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​What to Do When Penny Pinching Becomes a Necessity

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Something has been going very wrong with my budget. It doesn’t have room for things like an entire month’s worth of the usual groceries or getting regular nice haircuts. The ability to be a responsible Shih-tzu owner seems to be slipping away into oblivion. The costs of things have apparently been rising slowly. I feel like a frog sitting in hot water that unexpectedly starts to bubble and boil. So my husband and I recently buckled down to figure out how to get by until prices gets friendlier or our income gets higher. The secret may turn out to be really frugal living. We’ve got to squeeze those pennies like never before. The following are among the things we’re trying, but not enough time has passed to know how things turn out.

Sell, sell, sell!

Thank heaven for an app called “Offer Up.” Forget about having a garage sale where people expect to pay next to nothing, no matter how fine the wares. With Offer Up, you snap a photo of whatever item you want to sell and people in the area start bidding on it, theoretically. Not everything sells well and the bids don’t always roll in, but it is definitely an opportunity to bring in some decent cash for the belongings that need to be let go of.

Barter

Back in the old days, when folks needed services but had no cash, they found other ways to pay. We have some friends who have traded ongoing lawn mowing services in exchange for a used television for their game room. We’re going to have to get creative to see if we can make this kind of option work, but I’m willing to give it a try. We have a lawn mower that my husband wouldn’t mind using for bartering purposes. I’m a licensed hairdresser, though I don’t do that as a career anymore. Maybe I could trade haircuts! Yep, luckily we’ve got equipment and skills.

Say bye-bye

We will no longer provide replacements when electronics break. We will simply say bye-bye. Besides, a child who already has a tablet, a computer, an X-Box 360, and a smart phone doesn’t really also have to also have a Nintendo Wii or a Wii U, right? Right!

There are plenty of other frugal strategies that will help us save money, such as taking advantage of free things to do. Just spending time together as a family is more memorable than watching a movie at a theatre. I’m keeping a good attitude about this financial adjustment because it always helps to maintain positivity, especially when life is crap.


 

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