Americans Are Cutting Back

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glossymoney3Consumer spending in 2013 decreased 0.7% from 2012, following two years of increased annual spending. On average, consumer units spent $51,100 in 2013. The distribution of that money hasn’t changed too drastically, but even small shifts show a bit of a trend toward reducing expenses. Here are five categories where consumer spending went down from 2012 to 2013.

1. Dining Out

In 2013, consumer’s have manage to wise up about spending money on dining out. Food is much more expensive when dining out than dining at home. So while dining out has decreased overall food spending has stayed the same, consumer’s are spending more at the grocery store to increase the home experience.

2. Clothes

Consumers seem to have cut back on shopping sprees, using thrift stores more and coupons

3. Gasoline & Motor Oil

It has become trendy to save money on gas. Buying gas with discounts offered by grocery stores seems to be the new norm.

4. Entertainment

In addition to dining out, entertainment is one of the most popular places people go when trying to trim their budgets. Getting together at homes seems to also be on the rise as well as outdoor things that can be done on a tight budget. This frees up money for other expenses.

5. Miscellaneous

The little extras — whatever they may be — can add up quickly and hurt your bottom line. Miscellaneous expenses soaked up less of consumers’ cash in 2013. Some households have cut cable, cell phone plans, gym memberships, paper towels and cold cereal are all expenses that some folks consider extras.

Keeping expenses in line with your income and savings goals is crucial to staying out of expensive, credit-damaging debt in the long run, even though it’s sometimes very difficult to determine what to cut. Needs and wants vary by person and household, but no matter how your expenses break down, the most important thing is to focus on living within your means.

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Debt Free Today ? Can It Really Work In Today’s Economy

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accountantAverage household today brings in close to 55K / average household holds 3 people/ average rent / mortgage is close to 1,500 per month 18,000 per year

Now our household has 37000/

Utilities average at least $3,500 this is water,gas and electric and this is low for most areas and families./ Now our household has $33,500

Food just groceries no eating out will run an average family of 3 at least $4,800 per year

Now our household has $28,700.

Next we need transportation (question is do we need one or two cars based on where we live?) (Let’s say one car and one metro pass /let’s say the car is paid for but we will go with setting aside $2,000 per year for either repairs when it starts breaking down or for replacement / So we will say the car cost $5,000 per year this includes $2,000 for repairs or replacement/ this leave’s $3,000 per year for driver’s license, tolls, parking fees, tickets, insurance gas and regular maintenance like oil changes, wiper blades, we all no this can be much more! /The person with the bus/public transportation ticket will get $1,800 as the allowance to buy transportation for the year (this again is low) .

Now our household has  $21,900

Next let’s talk clothing $300 twice per year per person is a very low but workable clothing allowance.

Now our household has $20,100 left for the home.

Next up is health care this averages roughly $3000 out of pocket for the average American we are talking all items bought at drug stores, every stop for meds, doctor, dentist,glasses , contacts, etc.,co pays,special items like canes, special shoes everything that falls under health care.

Now our household has $11,000.

Cellphones, Cable TV, Netflix, Gym memberships,Hair cuts, Nail salon

Entertainment, Holidays , Vacation,Eating out including lunches at work

Extras Increases in cost of groceries , utilities, or other needs or spluges.

Additional items not mentioned above Child Support, Education, Repayment of old debt,Loans etc.Taxes, Professional dues.

Renovations to the home, maintenance to the home, yard care,snow removal, trash, unexpected travel  expenses like going home for funeral etc.

 

Is it possible to stay out of debt ????? Do we want to or even care if we do stay out of debt is the standard of living higher if we use credit?

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Restaurants and Eating Out

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images (2)Do you “research” restaurant menus *before* you go out?

Today several of my friends and I are getting together for a celebratory lunch for one of us. The friends suggested we go out to celebrate. We’re all are somewhat frugal, but I’m definitely more frugal out of the bunch the grew out of a need. This puts me in a tough spot.

Fortunately, the desired restaurant is a place that actually has menu items that I enjoy, so I don’t feel as though I’m wasting money.

Yesterday afternoon, I went online to the restaurant’s website and studied their menu. The one item that I would truly enjoy is the  Soup. It comes with a choice of side — a dinner roll, a small bag of chips, an a, or a 5-inch length of a baguette. I will choose the baguette with the soup that should fill me up. If not I will have a small snack later at home.

This way , I know ahead of time what I will order and what my lunch will cost. This means I can just relax and enjoy myself with my friends.. I’m a very mindful consumer, my spending is always very intentional. This behavior has kept our budget on track to meet our goals through the lean times, while still enjoying some of the fun things in life that aren’t free.

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Economic collapse???

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downloadPreparations are needed here are things that you can do now that will make you better prepared than 90% of the population. And everything is available at your local shopping center – so it’s easy.

You can do all these steps at once or divide each into a separate week and shopping trip. But you need to get it done as soon as possible. Keep in mind that this is only a starting point and isn’t presented here as a completed list.

Pick-up 20 lbs. of white or brown rice and 20 lbs. of pinto beans. White rice has a better storage life while brown rice has more nutritional benefits – your choice.

   5 lbs. mixed beans, 5 lbs. of white sugar, 5 lbs. of iodized salt, one gallon of olive oil (can be frozen to extend shelf-life), 5 lbs. oats, 10 lbs. each of white or wheat flour and cornmeal.

20 cans of canned fruits and 20 cans of canned vegetables. Buy only what your family will eat. If they will not eat it then you are just wasting money.

Pick-up 20 cans of various meats, salmon, stews, spam and tuna. Again buy only those brands with contents you normally eat and nothing your family will not eat.

80-ounce of peanut or cashew or almond butter. Whatever those in your family can tolerate.

  drink mixes –  pick up two72 Ounce Tang  (provides 100% of the US RDA vitamin C requirement per 8 oz. glass). Also grab six 19-Ounce Containers of Kool-Aid Drink Mix. They will drink the Kool Aid if there are no other choices. The mixes are easy to store.

With the above list you have a good start at survival needs storage.

I would add beans refried, dry and baking beans as needed.

If you have room and the cash add some granola bars 80 bars per family member.

The list gives your family a running start.

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This Old House

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1524746_477354952374900_795402959_nI have taken care of a home now for almost 40 years and all of the people who have decided to dwell inside the home with me. Everyone else has had income from jobs outside the home,  I too have had small amounts from time to time for babysitting and other small odd jobs. (Most of this I have used to purchase gifts for others) Last week as I was shoveling the drive and thinking ahead of washing screens for spring, I realized I have zero saved for retirement.

What does a homemaker do for retirement?

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3% Hydrogen Peroxide

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Uses for 3% hydrogen peroxide :

Wash vegetables and fruits with hydrogen peroxide to remove dirt and pesticides. Add 1/4 cup of H2O2 to a sink of cold water. After washing, rinse thoroughly with cool water.

In the dishwasher, add 2 oz. to your regular detergent for a sanitizing boost. Also, beef up your

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Sharing The Resources

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If America is going to not only survive /but thrive , we need to all start sharing the resources. Do you have items in your home that you consider clutter? Clear the clutter and give it away for free. The Karma alone will repay you several times over. Many folks would love to have

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Co-Operative Living For Baby Boomers With Very Little Retirement

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Co-Operative living is like having roommates but it goes beyond that with a contract and everything spelled out for all parties.

This way folks can not just up and decide to move out leaving others hanging.

Co-Operative Living divide cost evenly with all members of the home it often also divides labor.

Many Baby

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