WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

Week 12 of Back to Basics: Pulling it all together

Posted April 1, 2010

It’s hard to believe we are coming to the close of our 12-week series on getting back to basics! During the past 3 months, we have covered basic household finances, cutting grocery bills in half and frugal ways to cut expenses all around the house. All of the techniques and ideas offered in the articles work together to help you live within your means. The goal is not to save a quarter here and a dime there using coupons and turning off lights every once in a while. The goal is to work diligently at becoming debt free so you can reach your short-term and long-term financial goals and retire comfortably.

If you are just starting out on your frugal journey, begin by creating your household budget to see where your money is really being spent. Then focus on slashing grocery bills and targeting ways you can be frugal everyday with your household expenses. The articles for all these topics are listed in the gray box. Click on any of the links to read any articles you may have missed or just want to re-read.

I look forward to hearing your success stories as you implement the techniques we have covered in the last 12 weeks. If you have questions or need help with a technique, feel free to send me an e-mail or post the question on the blog. As I always say, it’s your money – spend it wisely!


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  • Faye Prosser - Smart Shopper Apr 1, 2010

    abswitala - Congrats on being debt-free! That is an awesome place to be and puts you in a better position than soooo many others. If you feel you have cut as much as you can and you are using all the frugal living techniques I've talked about, you may want to consider downsizing your housing or consolidating cars (if you have not already taken that step). A good alternative is to find another stream of income. Many people sell items on e-bay, work part-time at the mall or deliver papers. If you have any skill that can translate into another 10-15 hours a week of employment, that may be a good source of income to help you save for college and retirement. You may also want to read some of the Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover materials. Although you are debt free, he does offer very good advice on how to find every extra penny and how to use every extra penny. Thanks for your comment and I hope others offer suggestions as well.

  • abswitala Apr 1, 2010

    Got it! Triple-couponing, turning off lights, not going out to eat, debt-free... I'm doing all the things that you have encouraged us to do, but I am finding that there is only $10 each month to go into savings, nothing for college, and 3% into the 401K because we can't afford more. Is there anything else that can be done to save significant money? (Spending a brief moment on my soapbox, if I had blown all my money and gotten into deep debt and had nothing in savings at all, the government would qualify us for every program out there- doesn't really seem fair! I know many North Carolinians are in this same situation.)