Frugal Resolutions! Save Your Way to a New Home in 2010!

By
Real Estate Agent with Boardman Realty Minnesota License#90858

As we celebrate the beginning of 2010 many are asking, "How will I ever be able to afford a new home, new car or vacation?" I was taught by my grandmother, if you take care of the pennies, they will become dollars. The New Year is a perfect time to assess spending habits and make a few frugal resolutions. Here are few ideas of where waste could be occurring in everyday spending. By making a few small changes now, you could build a big down payment by 2011!

  1. Brownbag It! The average American spends an average of $6 when they go out to lunch at work. I don't remember a lunch out with the girls to be less than $10 myself. But if you chose to brown-bag at lunchtime, the average cost drops to $2! That works out to $4 a day, $20 a week, or over $1,000 a year.
    Savings House by Teri Eckholm Realtor

  2. Check it Out at the Public Library People forget all of the publications that are available in the public library. A person can save on books, magazines, and DVD rentals. If your family buys an average of 2 books, 2 magazines and 3 DVD rentals a month, that can add up to nearly $500 a year. If you are like my family and like to OWN your books and DVD's, consider buying at a used book stores where prices are 50% off the list price.

  3. Ask for Discounts Most people would never consider paying sticker price for a car but forget to ask about discounts and sales at other stores and restaurants. If you belong to AAA or employed by an organization offering a MERSC discount, this can save $3-5 and more on every day purchases like oil changes, haircuts and lift tickets at Wild Mountain. Many companies provide discounts but only for those customers who request them. The total annual savings can be significant depending on the number of offers that your family takes advantage of.

  4. Declutter and Sell Don't wait to spring clean! Go through your closets, garage, basement and attic now and find the items you no longer use. In the spring have a garage sale. Or locate stores which buy and sell used merchandise for cash or will do consignment sales on EBay for you. My family has held periodic garage sales over the years and sold hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars of unwanted stuff during each sale. We pack up what hasn't sold and donate the rest to charity. A clean house, money in our pockets and a donation to boot...what more can you ask for?

  5. Print and Clip Coupons Many store have coupons and discounts online that other shoppers are not aware of. By registering for emails from favorite stores and restaurants, we save hundreds of dollars a month at stores shop at regularly. SuperTarget has weekly coupons that you can select and print to take to the store for additional discounts. Sometimes the price is discounted so much it is nearly given away for FREE. A local Forest Lake and Ham Lake favorite, Mansetti's emails a new coupon to registered customers weekly to print out and bring in. My family is also registered with TGIFriday's in their Give Me More Stripes program which sends out coupon special s in a similar way. It may seem like only a few dollars here and there but when I tracked our savings for a few months, it was several hundred dollars EACH month!

  6. Shut off the Lights...And Turn Down the Heat! If you haven't already switched over to lower energy, long lasting light bulbs, now is the time. By installing a programmable thermostat in your home, you can save gas by having the heat turned down automatically when you are not home. When we first had a programmable thermostat installed decades ago, we saw a 25% drop in our heating bill! Pretty significant money was kept in our budget.

Simple changes in your shopping patterns and daily life can mean huge money in your bank account over time. And then you can use the money for that trip to Hawaii, new car or as a down payment on your new home!

Posted by

Teri Eckholm. REALTOR with Boardman Realty, is a native Minnesotan who has lived and worked in the Minneapolis St Paul metro all of her life. She specializes in lakeshore homes, acreage properties and first time home buyers but assists anyone making a move in the north and east Twin Cities metro.

If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional REALTOR®, give Teri , a call or visit her website for a FREE Home Buyer Success Guide or FREE Home Value Report She specialize in acreage and lakeshore properties in the north and east Twin Cities metro area including Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake School District! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

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Rainmaker
720,762
Teri Eckholm
Boardman Realty - White Bear Lake, MN
REALTOR Serving Mpls/St Paul North & East Metro

Lenn--When I am home alone I have the heat set really low and where a sweatshirt....No point in wasting too much on heating the whole house for one person. Come to think of it...I don't turn it up too much when the kids get home either...they can wear sweaters too. lol

Laura--People should cut back where it makes sense for them...I know a family that sets the thermostat at 55 and bundles up but I would never go that far...even to save a buck or two.

Marc--That is a great tip...I don't pay late fees. I consider them wasted money that I work too hard for. Planning and organizing to get taxes done and in on time could save lots for many of my friends though! ;)

Andrew--It is a tough lesson to teach that good things come to those who can wait...and plan. But once you learn it, you never forget.

Marianne--I like that idea...pay yourself what you saved last month using coupons! If you do well, you should have a tidy sum!

Jen--I will have to check out restaurant.com. I like it when it is BOGO too...especially with teenagers!

Claudette--I haven't paid interest on a credit card in years...since they took away the tax deduction. Just like the penalties and interest on taxes, I can't stand to give away money that I work so hard to earn.

Jan 06, 2010 11:22 AM #41
Rainer
129,171
Deena Cottingham
GreenApple Staging & Images, Calgary Staging & Photography - Calgary, AB
Home Stager & Photographer

Thanks for the great tips, Teri. A few of those are some of my favs, too. I'm a huge fan of the local library!! Why buy a book you are only going to read once, when you can just borrow it? I've bought so many books in the past with good intentions, and still haven't even cracked them open!

Having a specific goal makes it easier to also control impulse spending.

Happy New Year to you!

Jan 06, 2010 12:46 PM #42
Rainer
94,301
Lisa Bosques
Burien, WA

Great post! I'm all about being frugal and saving money.  This important life skill is what has kept our family afloat these last couple of difficult years.  As frugal as I am, it is amazing the number of places where you can save money in your life.  I've learned how to play the coupon game too and get free or nearly free items with coupons every time I go to the store.  The people behind me in line hate me but I know they're just jealous!:)

Jan 06, 2010 12:58 PM #43
Rainer
49,313
Revats Real EstateVirtual Assistance & Technology Services
REVATS.net - Raleigh, NC

GReat tips! We could all spend a little less, thats for sure. Think I will have to wait for this "arctic blast" to be over before I turn down my heat though! I work from home and have a 3 year old here all day. Although my mother-in-law already thinks my furnace is broken becuase I keep it too chilly for her taste! (Good excuse for her to go home! lol)

Kim

Jan 06, 2010 01:42 PM #45
Rainmaker
414,920
Andrew Monaghan
The Monaghan Group - Glendale, AZ
CRS, GRI, EPro Associate Broker

Love it, a book i read by David Back calls it the Latte Factor

 

Jan 06, 2010 01:43 PM #46
Ambassador
1,654,644
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

Teri all great ideas that can be implimented by all.  The library is a wonderful resource that the community funds so it make sense to use it.

Jan 06, 2010 02:38 PM #47
Rainmaker
232,107
Emily Lowe
The Lipman Group | Sotheby's International Realty - Nashville, TN
Nashville TN Realtor

All great ideas!  I've been thinking to save and start putting the money into CD's.  This way when money gets tight, I won't go grab for it!

Jan 06, 2010 03:34 PM #48
Rainer
214,239
Anthony Ebright - NMLSR ID #247647 Purchase and Refinance Mortgages
FHA, VA, Conforming, Jumbo - Wells Fargo Home Mortgage - Santa Rosa, CA

Teri, these are wonderful rules to live by whether times are tough or not. We seem to have lost touch with the fact that we don't need things to make life beautiful and enjoyable. Thanks for the reminder to live frugally!

Jan 06, 2010 04:23 PM #49
Rainmaker
26,286
Peg Silloway
The Silloway Press - Beaverton, OR

Teri, isn't it good to know that those of us who grew up frugal are now cool?! My grandparents' mantra was "Buy it new, wear it out, use it up, do without." They paid cash for everything (credit cards didn't exist then - what a thought!) and managed to live very comfortably and leave a financial and spiritual legacy for their children and grandchildren.

Jan 07, 2010 02:20 AM #50
Rainer
50,898
Iryna Sysenko
Realty One Group - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas and Henderson Real Estate

Great tips! Thank you Teri.

Tip #6: Make you coffee at home

Jan 07, 2010 03:27 AM #51
Rainmaker
479,439
Lana Robbins Realtor ® Licensed Real Estate Broker
Aloha Kai Real Estate - Clearwater, FL
Licensed in Florida, Washington, and Hawai'i

Hi Teri. I like your suggestions especially about packing lunches. I usually take my lunch and snacks to my office. ~ Lana

Jan 07, 2010 12:16 PM #52
Rainmaker
720,762
Teri Eckholm
Boardman Realty - White Bear Lake, MN
REALTOR Serving Mpls/St Paul North & East Metro

Sam--We save up all our change and cash in just before we go on vacation every other year. Usually there is a couple hundred of spending money. Great way to save!

Marzena--I try to give tips with some kind of a home buying, selling or owning angle...Lots of opportunities to provide good info!

Craig--I did listen! :)

Joe--We didn't give up eating out entirely but we do it much less frequently and when we do, we always use a coupon or special...ALWAYS!

Dawn--Good tip! But in MN where it is icy, some vehicles need a bag of sand or two to weigh down the back end for traction....As long as you remember to remove it again in the summer. I know people who leave it there year round.

Irene--Libraries have so many great items to select from! And yes, kids love being "green"!

Vickie--Don't give up your favorites! Save where you can so you have the funds to splurge on a few things without the guilt!

Jan 07, 2010 01:27 PM #53
Rainmaker
1,607,755
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services Inc - Gulf Breeze, FL
Buyers Agent 800-309-3414 Pace and Gulf Breeze,Fl.

Thanks for some great tips that are actually useful. BTW loved the comments as well.

Jan 07, 2010 03:51 PM #54
Rainmaker
720,762
Teri Eckholm
Boardman Realty - White Bear Lake, MN
REALTOR Serving Mpls/St Paul North & East Metro

Barbie--The ideas are meant to be easy so that people realize they can still buy a house...just have to cut corners where they can for the big items.

Patricia--Thanks...so glad you enjoyed the ideas!

Tim--My husband brown-bag's it for both of those very reasons too! (Actually it is a black reusable bag...lol).

Aaron--Your comment made me really lol...Before Al Gore invented the internet...hee hee hee. Still chuckling! :)

Marian--So very true...tough times bring changes to how we think and do things.

Kristi--Thanks for subscribing! :) One of our kitchen change holders is a ceramic jar my son made in 5th grade art class...that small change adds up quickly!

Lori--Love coupon queens! And I think your 30-40 degrees would be heaven right about now too!

Sibley--Thanks...easy with a great reward at the end!

Jan 08, 2010 08:46 AM #55
Rainmaker
720,762
Teri Eckholm
Boardman Realty - White Bear Lake, MN
REALTOR Serving Mpls/St Paul North & East Metro

Maribeth--Educating teens to not be self-focused is difficult but the lessons learned are not soon forgotten. ( I have 2 at home myself).

Jim&Maria--$9000? That is AWESOME! When I first started with the coupons, I asked my husband to "pay" me what I saved. I After a month and it was well over $1000, he didn't pay up but started using them too. It is nice that stores now track the savings at the bottom of your receipts so you can easily see what was saved!

Will--Sounds like you are learning...I was not always frugal. But I did always like a good deal. Being cost conscious makes your money go farther. It doesn't mean you do without. That is the real lesson to be learned.

Jim--I did start long before the economy was "bad". The sooner you learn to save where ever you can, the better off your pocketbook will be in any economy.

Gordon--Everyone has to make their own plan...my late sleepers wouldn't go for breakfast out but we do hit the early movies to save a few dollars. I like your idea...we use it on the lunch rather than dinner menu. :)

Karin--The NERDY-Moneysaving game...I'm in!

Claire--I don't think I could do that but do know people that collect the cans for the 5cent refund when ever they pass through a state still offering the rebate.

 

Jan 08, 2010 09:03 AM #56
Rainmaker
1,607,755
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services Inc - Gulf Breeze, FL
Buyers Agent 800-309-3414 Pace and Gulf Breeze,Fl.

Such good resources and ways to save money. I love it and thank you for sharing with us.

Jan 08, 2010 03:38 PM #57
Rainmaker
720,762
Teri Eckholm
Boardman Realty - White Bear Lake, MN
REALTOR Serving Mpls/St Paul North & East Metro

Michelle--Sounds like a fun store to shop at...I love bargains like that! Happy 2010 to you too!

Gary--I don't think we are so far off in our thinking. Spending frugually should be a daily way to save money so you can splurge on the higher ticket important things in life!

Damon--Wow! You would be...maybe start small and only eat out once or twice a week and bank the rest...$30per week times 52...big savings!

Deena--It take me so long to read a book these days that I buy them. But I buy them off the clearance rack at Half Priced books for $1 each. That way even if it takes me months to get to it, I don't feel like my money was wasted. :)

Lisa--I think you are right about the jealousy as I have had people in line at Target, even the cashiers sometimes, asking where I get the printed off coupons as the prices end up being very low.

Revats--I also keep my heat a tad higher on the really cold nights as frozen pipes cost much more to repair than the heat I would save. The thermostat works year round for central a/c too!

Andrew--Heard about that book...It is very true whether a latte', Diet Coke or scratch off tickets, there is something that could be saved daily that adds up to big dollars in the long run.

Jennifer--You are so right...our taxes pay for the library so it really makes sense to use it as much as you can!

Jan 09, 2010 05:56 AM #58
Rainmaker
720,762
Teri Eckholm
Boardman Realty - White Bear Lake, MN
REALTOR Serving Mpls/St Paul North & East Metro

Emily--Great idea...Out of sight, Out of mind, as they say! :)

Anthony--Exactly. You don't have to just live frugally when times are tough. If you learn these rules, you can stretch your money when the economy starts on the upswing again.

Peg--What wonderful grandparents we both had as they really taught us some valuable lessons.

Irnya--Good idea! I don't drink coffee much but I buy soda by the case when it is on sale to avoid paying for it when I stop for gas.

Lana--I do too...my son went snowboarding today and we sent him off with coupons for $3 off the lift tickets and a box of cookies and bag of chex mix so that he didn't go broke on concessions. Snacks and lunches really add up!

Joyce--You are very welcome...I am glad you enjoyed the post!

Jan 09, 2010 07:01 AM #59
Rainmaker
298,347
Ray Saenz
Exit Realty Laredo - Laredo, TX
Homes for Sale in Laredo, TX - Texas, Realtor

Teri
Great information as always , great resources to save money  , keep that good work :) ! ! ! !

 

Jan 13, 2010 03:59 PM #60
Rainmaker
720,762
Teri Eckholm
Boardman Realty - White Bear Lake, MN
REALTOR Serving Mpls/St Paul North & East Metro

Ray--Thanks!!

Jan 14, 2010 12:21 AM #61
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Rainmaker
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Teri Eckholm

REALTOR Serving Mpls/St Paul North & East Metro
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