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How do you cut expenses?

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I know we had a similar thread some time ago but there's also a very different crowd here these days so I thought I'd ask this question:


What are the small ways that you cut spending? Five, twenty, a hundred dollars here and there... how do you make the dollar stretch a little farther?


I'm compiling suggestions for a friend who's in a tight spot right now and feeling a little anxious. She is married with one child. They rent their apartment. Her husband has a decent job but is going to school for a better one. She does some babysitting but has no "regular hours" job and wants to keep it that way so she can be home with her daughter.

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One way I cut expenses is to do all my errands in one area or on one day because gas is so expensive now. Another thing i do is use the stuff you already have and have fun with it. Get creative and ask God to show you what to do. Instead of buying books go to the Library they have a large assortment of catagories. :D

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Baby sitting/daycare is good, but can burn a mom out. I really enjoyed a year of fulltime daycare as it provided friends for my own kids and forced me to come up with a curriculum. My own kids always enjoyed a curriculum better with other kids involved.


To save I stopped going to the mall for entertainment. There is always something to tempt there. I would try to make do with what I had. I used craft paints to paint flowers on my kitchen chairs that I hated. It was both entertaining and like getting new furniture.


I learned to say no to my children more. They can talk you into buying anything. As moms we rationalize that our kids are only little for so long and so we want the pleasure of indulging them. But it has a cost.


When my kids were really little we had basic cable an no internet. We only ate out or bought pizza once a month. We used hand-me downs if we could get them from friends or relatives.


The main thing is to keep a strict budget. Years later you'll thank yourself as you finally have more money.

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