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How are you saving money during this depression?


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1. Quit eating out except on occasion.

2. Drive vehicles with 250,000+ miles on them until they fall apart.

3. Do all my own home & vehicle maintenance.

4. Started a second business "The Fixit Dude" to supplement income.

...I may have to start my gigolo gig again next month if things don't improve...

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The best bargain in business (except for beginning rescued

out in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night by a simple AAA call)

has to be the Free Wednesday specials at the Comedy Improv! Buy their shirt.

get in free. They have the same offer and shirts at Florida clubs. Drinks are

watery of course. But there is no minimum. Food is bar quality. But

entertainment is always a blast. Adult humor of course (sex and politics).


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When this recession began my wife and I came up with a new motto: "If we can't buy it at Costco, we don't need it."

When this recession began my wife and I came up with a new motto: "If we can't buy it at Costco, we don't need it."

Boy, does this sound familiar....

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I sold my Big Block Corvette and plan to use the money for a down payment on a retirement home up north. We are currently working 55 hours/week at Flint Truck. We cannot keep up with the demand for our trucks, so some parts of the economy must be recovering. Of course we will be laid off half of the winter when things slow down.

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Uhmm...... I let the staff go. Gotta mow my own lawn, wash my own car. Have to actually drive myself to work. Buy the Johnny Walker Black instead of Blue. Just trying to make ends meet. Yup, No longer rich according to the Administrations standards. [;)]

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It'd be way easier for me if I were kid-less, or even single. I'd be happy to give up cable, cell phones and most vacation$ (we have a 2nd home in Mount Shasta with my brother, I'd be happy only going there). The rest of the family seems to have this Disneyland addiction and wants to go there every couple of years. UGH!

I do grow my own veggies. My wife gave me a good tip: Grow the veggies that are expensive at the market!

Things I should do: Buy (and drink) less beer, stop visiting eBay and Craigslist on a daily basis, sell the stuff I bought because it was a good deal and I could sell it for more, find a way to not be in constant pain...

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My wife gave me a good tip: Grow the veggies that are expensive at the market!

The darn bloody red peppers won't grow at my house. $5.98/lb. at the Co-op! We can grow lettuce though!

Though they're not organic, the ones at Costco ain't bad. Next time you meet up with Zeno, come by and get some tomatoes, beets and basil (plus homemade pesto!). You could listen to my system, too. I have an awesome pre and some kick-arse amps...
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I grow a small garden in my back yard, and I also make homemade wine. This year I found a recipe for zucchini wine! Hopefully this will be a refreshing answer to the problem of what to do with all that extra zucchini.

Kevin, I'd love to know how that turns out. Would you mind PMing or emailing me the recipe (or point me in the right direction)?

Back in the 70s, my uncle Gil (who was the liquor manager at a grocery store) cleaned shelves gave my Dad all the booze nobody wanted to buy (good ol' Dad). One was a bottle of Cynar, a liqueur made from artichokes. Despite the appealing ingredient, it did not taste too good. It was fun to get people to try it, though.143857_Q4yLZgEIfsX06oIO2HEjvJMr8.jpg

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I try to save money in both senses of the word.

I do sock alot away in investment accounts, IRA's savings acounts and so forth. I am guessing nearly a %30 of each paycheck goes straight into the 401K, IRA, savings account, and investment account.

Even after that, and after paying my regular expenses, ie, mortgage, and utilities - really not much else), I still got a pretty sizable chunk of change that I just go and do as I please.

Even still, I don't have a any credit card debt. Both of my vehicles are paid for. Even my house is nearly paid for. I bought this place some 14 years ago when I was making less than a 1/3rd what I am making now, and simply have no reason to move. Yeah, I did sink nearly $35,000 into the place last fall and this spring, but at least I was able to pay for nearly all of it in cash, although I did end up neading to put around $5K on a home equity line of credit (but at a whopping 2.25% interest rate - less than my friggan 15 year mortgage!)

Even with the cars - yeah, I could afford something really nice like a BMW 500 series or a Lexus, but I don't need it. My trusty ol' Saturn ION, which gets something like 36 mpg does just fine. I did get a new-to-me truck this spring, 2002 Mazda B3000, as my 20 year old 1990 Mazda B2200 finally pretty much died. Although not completely dead, it actually still runs very well, but it needs a new clutch, new ball joints and a host of other things, and I just did not want to spend the money to fix it anymore. Figure I'll sell it for a few hundred and let somebody else have fun with it. Still, only paid (in cash) $3,700 for the "new" truck. Everybody says that I practically stole the thing. Did end up having to sink nearly $900 into it last week for repairs, as while driving back from Richmond the weekend before last, one of the coolent hoses sprung a leak, causing the engine to overheat. Ended up needing to replace that entire heater hose harness, the water pump, and during the course of repairing, found out the belt tensioner was also going bad. At least the truck seems to be working perfectly now, so hopefully no more issues with it.

I probably could save a bit if I eat out less, especially during lunch. However, I did try the cook the food and the whole bit as mentioned by others. As busy as I am and often "on the go", it actually came out cheaper in some cases to just simply go get it at a restaurant, or get one of the prepared meals at Wegeman's. I never got into that whole politically correct "organic" business or what-have-ya. If what I buy happens to be "organic", than so be it (although I wonder how much of that is all just a marketing ploy to capitalize on this whole "green" thing versus actually using true organic methods). Also, just how much food does a single guy really need anyway? I really don't eat all that much, despite me being a pretty big guy. My total food bill, even with all the eating out, does not come out to more than a two or three hundred per month. Even when I do eat out, I don't go to all the expensive, fancy places that are downtown. We are talking more like Chinese take-out or prepared meals at Wegemans, or a sandwich from the MTO counter at Sheetz or just grabbing a salad from the salad bar at Giant and then making a can of soup to go with it.

And yes, part of "saving" for me was to actually get a job that pays considerably more than what I was making in the past (and I am talking well into the tens of thousands more per year).

Another beauty is that my company has outgrown our office space, thus we are going to move our offices within a couple of months. The new building we are moving in is going to be like three blocks from my place (instead of the 15 mile commute). That will save HUGE right there for me. I am seriously considering getting myself a bicycle and ride that into work. And that was after the 35 mile commute for my old job. Neadless to say, I am friggan STOKE about that one! Just not having to go on I-95 anymore and dealing with all that crappy traffic is going to be worth it right there! Also, I will be able to just go home for lunch instead of eating out. Just the amount that I save on gas and wear-n-tear on the car will be huge. As a result, I can concievably see me getting a good 10+ years of use out of my current paid-for vehicles. Just think! TEN YEARS WITH NO CAR PAYMENT!

Yeah, when I was younger, I did make many of the stupid mistakes, i.e., running up credit cards to dangerous levels. I probably could've waited another year to buy the house, in the end, I am actually glad I did buy it when I did (especialy before the whole housing market got all out of whack). Even now, this house is still worth considerably more than what I originally paid for it. Never again with the credit cards. Yeah, they can be handy in a pinch, and why I still maintain a couple, but those things can be pretty evil if you are not careful. One situation where I was glad I had a credit card handy. I needed to rent a car and tried to pay for it with my trusty'ol Visa Check card that I got through my credit union. The morons wanted to run a full credit check because I was paying with a "debit" card. I told them, "I don't think so". I ended up using the stupid Chase Visa instead just to shut them up (and it was only like $20 for some incidentals, as I've booked and paid for the car rental itself ahead of time on-line through Travelocity). To be honost, I just wanted to give them a $20 bill to pay for it, but they would not take cash (at least, again, without wanting to run a credit check).

Since then, I've learned my lesson. I no longer carry credit card debt, and if I do use a credit card, I do pay off the balance as soon as the bill comes in (sometimes I do use my credit card just to show some activity on it on occasion, so it does not get closed due to inactivity, like what happened with my Crapital One card. Today, just have a Discover Card and a Chase Visa). Also nice that all my student loans have since been paid off as well (there was one of the happiest days in my life - sending in that final payment, and then a few weeks later, about when I would normally get a statement, instead getting a letter in the mail indicating that the loans are now considered paid off and closed and a "thank you for your business". Still have that letter in my records!).

To me, it is all about overall financial responsbility versus just "where do I save". I do tend to be somewhat frugal with my money, but I am not going to deny myself some luxaries if I can easily afford them. Yes, I do have satellite TV (DirecTV), but I only got the one step up from the most basic package, plus the HD and DVR. I don't have all those "premium" channels and what not. I just don't watch enough TV to make it worth it to me. Yes, I do have high-speed cable internet, but, again, I only got the basic version, not the "premium" version. I don't need all that extra bandwith. However, if Verizon brings FIOS to this neighborhood, I seriously look into it, as it actually would save me some money.

In addition, I will still sponser ProgPowerUSA in Atlanta. I will still go on my annual ski vacation (this year, looks to be Park City, UT). I have the money. I can afford it, and I don't feel the least bit guilty about it. And I pay for this AFTER I've put away the money in the savings and investments, as well as after paying my daily expenses (and yes, it is all in cash - no credit cards). Yes, I do have money, and in fact, dispite this whole enconomic downturn, this has actually been some of the best years for me and only looking brighter. This company is growing rediculously (we just scored some $20 million worth of contracts, with a $45 million one in the works - and this is a company with less than 30 employees). We are hiring like crazy - do you realize just how difficult it is to find any decent engineers, even with the generous pay we are offering, around here? You'd think, with the economy and such, we'd have folks wanting to pound down the front door of our building with a resume in hand! They all want to be up in D.C., not down here in little ol' Fredericksburg! So, if any of you are or know any good software engineers that is willing work and live in the Fredericksburg, VA area, send those resumes my way!

That being said, it does not mean that I have to go and blow all of my money either. I have been and do continue to stay within my means. Just fortunatly, my means have been pretty generous as of late. I am certainly not "wealthy" by any stretch, but I will admit that

Sorry for the long ramble, but that is how I am with my money. I consider myself to fiscally conservative, but I am not a tighwad by any means. I just want to be resposible with my money. But I also still want to enjoy life, but at the same time, make sure I am putting enough away so that I can continue to enjoy life well after I've retired (although that is probably not for another 30 or so years).

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