Posts Tagged 'frugal'

With slumping economy, Americans may be saving more

For a while, the national savings rate – how much people save instead of spend – was negative. But that trend may be reversing, says the Washington Post, because of the soured economy.

When people are facing job loss, higher credit bills, and less disposable income, they will seek ways to keep and save their money. Beware the unintended consequences, says the Post:

Ironically, even if consumers are saving more, they could be helping to make the recession worse. The more people save, the less they spend, driving down demand for goods and services, which in turn dampens economic growth. The economist John Maynard Keynes dubbed this “the paradox of thrift.”

Unfortunately for the economy, more Americans are cutting back on frivilous expenses, like hair stylists and dining out, because many fear unemployment and rising medical costs.

What about you? Are you saving more these days, or looking for ways to cut expenses? Let us know in the comments.


Earn extra holiday money this fall



Need to earn some extra money for the holiday season? The Frugal Village offers 15 great tips on how to do chores for others to earn some extra pocket money, including cleaning out gutters, hanging Christmas lights, babysitting, selling stuff on eBay, and working a seasonal job in retail.

American 1’s Christmas Club account is a great way to save up for holiday shopping over the year. Are your spending habits changing this holiday season? How do you save for Christmas shopping?

Make your own budget-friendly Halloween costume



First, a tip: don’t wear masks in the branches this time of year. Your bank robber costume may look authentic, but it could get you in a lot of trouble. If we can’t see your face, please don’t step foot in the branch. I hope the reason is obvious.

Second, the affordable costume tips, thanks to Frugal Village. “Budget Friendly Halloween Costumes” lists great costume ideas for kids (and adults!) using nothing more than household items and used clothing. With just a few simple items, you can create a princess, any animal, a hobo, or a scarecrow. For the crafty, Frugal Village offers these tips:

1. Use spray paints or craft paints. fabric dye, fabric paints and/or pens, to color recycled items to desired color. One year I used silver spray paint to color and entire outfit for my son’s tin man costume. We recycled aluminum foil to use in making the hat and the axe. Some silver body glitter on the hands and face put the finishing touches on this costume!

2. Use regular clothing to create an all-over color effect as with the animal costumes.

3. Consider mittens or gloves when you need hand color

4. A gallon ice cream bucket w/handle makes a perfect trick or treat bucket. I save these throughout the year and recycle for hundreds of other uses. Use neon paint or stickers to add bright decorations. This is a good safety technique to make kids more visible while trick or treating

5. Make your own face paint: You will need Corn starch, Water, Cold cream, and Food coloring.

What are you going to be for Halloween?


Frugal tactics to save money this summer

Trent over at the Simple Dollar blog always has great personal finance tips to share. Check out his “Eight Little Frugal Tactics I’ve Learned This Summer” for some pointers on how to not spend a bunch of money, but still have a good time, during these warmer months.

Here’s one we can identify with:

Community festivals can be a very cheap way to spend a summer weekend, particularly ones near your home or ones that line up well with other planned summer trips. Just take along a sack lunch, watch a parade and the other activities (or even participate), and even sample some of the local fare by buying one and sharing it with the rest of your group. Even better, you can participate in events that push you a bit outside your comfort zone and let you try something a bit different than usual.

Great idea, Trent. In fact, we’ll give you a few ideas on some fun, free, family-focused activities this summer. His other tips include no-brainers like growing a garden, using scrap paper for kindling, and actually getting to know your neighbors. Imagine that.



American 1 Federal Credit Union