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Save money with a budget

1.jpgFive Ways my Grandmother Saved Money that Work Just as Well Today

My grandmother grew up during the Great Depression of the 1930's and well, if you don't know anything about that time let's just say, for most people, money was tight. In fact, it made the Global Financial Crisis look like a bad day on the stock exchange. Henceforth my grandmother knew something about saving money. What is surprising is the ways she did it still work just as well today.

1.) Budgeting
Now I'm not suggesting for one moment you keep different purses for each expense and literally put the cash into them like my grandmother did. But you might be surprised to learn that budgeting is still an effective way of saving money. Keeping a separate account for bills, for example, can really show you where you are at financially. Or if you were trying to save up for a holiday, say, keeping a separate account and putting a little into it each payday will have you sipping cocktails sooner than you might think.

2.) Cut Out the Middlemen and Buy in Bulk
My grandmother came from a time when supermarkets didn't even exist and most of everything was bought from the manufacturer or someone not too far removed from them. As long as it kept OK you bought a fair supply of it because, presumably, even people back then folks had better things to do than chasing up more all the time. This is still the case today - the more middle men you cut out the less mark up you will pay. And the more you can buy in one go generally the cheaper it becomes. Costco, anyone?

3.) Always Pay Your Bills on Time
Elderly people always seemed a bit uptight about having to be timely with the payment of bills and my grandmother was no different. Perhaps it was considered a disgrace if you were unable to pay on time and your neighbours would find out and not talk to you anymore? Whatever the case as it turns out paying bills on time is a really good idea - remember the little window on some bills that shows you the discount you will get for paying on time? What you save may not be much but every penny helps and it means you will never be penalised for late payment.

4.) Live Simply
In the depression and World War Two which followed not long after people were forced to start asking themselves what was really important to them. I'm guessing at that time they didn't buy a whole lot of useless stuff like we are inclined to do now. Put simply we might say it is important to think before you spend. Would the money be better spent elsewhere? Could it even be used to better your future?

5.) Keep a Receipt
My grandmother used to donate to a few charities. It had been an interest of hers for a long time and even though she didn't have much money she managed to set aside enough to make small donations to those in need. And she was meticulous about keeping the receipts so when tax time came along these were all claimed as deductions and my grandmother didn't pay much tax. This isn't just about keeping receipts but about being thorough with your finances. We are now totally reliant on computers to handle our transactions but even computers aren't infallible. Check out your bank statement, make sure the power company is direct debiting the right amount from your account, know your tax deductions and keep the right paperwork. They're only small things but being on top of them could very well help you save.

Even though times have changed some things remain the same and in some ways saving money is one of them. My grandmother was never a rich woman but her children never wanted for anything which means she must have been doing something right.

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