One of the best things I learned to do is to say "no".
Being overwhelmed with things to do is not good for your health or your budget. When you are flat out is when you spend without thinking, opt for takeaway because it's easier and go for convenience over price and health.
Of course there are times when that's OK. But being flat out because you didn't want to hurt someone's feelings or appear impolite is a problem.
Learn to say no.
You don't need to offer an explanation; in fact, if you do, you are leaving yourself open to be offered an alternative.
Just say NO! - and then change the subject.
This was first posted on Debt Free, Cashed Up and Laughing
I don't have strange ingredients in the back of the pantry. Or rather I don't have ingredients I don't use at the back of the pantry (some of the things I use may be a little strange to some folk).
I tend to buy the same basic groceries over and over and over and just rearrange them into different recipes. It means my grocery bill rarely varies from month to month and is predictable, unless of course there is a price rise (drat those price rises).
Wendy talked about using coconut milk in a recipe and finding it overpowering, so she gave it another go and that recipe failed the Family Approval Test too. In the end she donated the remaining can of coconut milk to a food drive.
I use coconut cream in curry and satay and to make custard. My family likes coconut so it is a pantry staple in our home. Wendy's family isn't so keen on it and so it is an extra ingredient. Those strange ingredients in a recipe will depend on your taste, your budget and your daring as a cook.
In the interests of keeping a happy family we try to have one new recipe a month. It may be a main meal or a side dish, it might be a cake or slice, sometimes it is a new jam, sauce or pickle. Everyone takes turns choosing the recipe from the dozens of recipe books on the shelf.
Sometimes a new recipe is a hit and goes onto the regular recipe rotation; sometimes it is a dud and we all vow to never, ever try it again (like the infamous SALMON DISH - and yes the kids talk about it in capitals, they shudder at the very mention of it).
If a new recipe uses an ingredient that's not in the pantry I try to find a substitute I already have. If I don't have a substitute and I really want to try the recipe I buy the smallest size I can to try it.
Then if we like it and it's an ingredient I can use in other things I'll look for the cheapest way to buy it.
Here's a list of substitutes you can use when you find you don't have all the ingredients you need for a recipe.
Living on a budget is the key to financial freedom, but getting started can be frustrating. When we look at our expenses and see all of those bills we're paying every month, it's easy to throw our hands up in disgust. But what about all those little expenses we incur? You might be surprised to find out just how much they amount to.
It's easy to dismiss cutting back on little things. A few dollars a month won't make a significant difference in the big picture. But a few dollars here and a few dollars there adds up to a few more dollars. When you cut back in a lot of small ways, you could end up with a lot more money at the end of the month.
From Debt Free, Cashed Up and Laughing
I watched a fascinating documentary today about Warren Buffet, who takes turns at being the world's richest man with Bill Gates. It's called The World's Greatest Money Maker: Warren Buffet
Mr Buffet has a personal wealth that is estimated to be more than $37 billion. His company, Berkshire Hathaway is worth $150 billion, he owns a quarter outright.
So what makes this billionaire different to all the other wealthy people in the world?
His attitude to money. This man lives life frugally, he embraces the Cheapskates way of life and is proud to say so.
He lives with his wife in the house they have lived in for over 50 years. He and his wife raised their three children in this home, and they were by no means spoiled. Indeed his son Peter tells the story of asking his dad for $5 so he go out with his friends and buy McDonalds for their dinner. His father gave him the $5, but he told him to bring the change back (which we have always done with our kids). He said it with a smile, but he meant it. He wanted the change.
His wife clips coupons and shops on a budget. She runs the household on a strict budget and lights are turned off when no one is in the room, food isn't wasted and nothing is thrown away unless there is absolutely no other use for it.
Bill Gates says of Warren Buffett "he has never ramped up his ability to consume". What a testimonial! he lives as he did when he had no money and was a struggling young husband and father! A lesson to learn for all of us. In this day and age of out of control consumerism, knowing the richest man in the world shuns it is an incredible example for anyone wanting to live the Cheapskates way and enjoy debt free, cashed up life.
But for me the thing that sets Warren Buffet apart from other wealthy people is that he doesn't judge what he does by the standards of other people.
Instead, he lives the way he does and works the way he does so he can enjoy the things in life that are important to him.
Just like we do. I've always said we choose to not spend our money on things that aren't important to us so we have the money to spend on the things that are.
It's why we are Cheapskates and live the Cheapskates way, to live life debt free, cashed up and laughing.
This post was first published at Debt Free, Cashed Up and Laughing