Do You Have These Frugal Living Habits

Frugal living requires skills and ways of looking at things that help you take advantage of the money-saving opportunities in life. The truly frugal person makes these into habits. Six of these habits are outlined below. These are techniques that can be learned in a matter of a day or two, and made into new habits a few weeks. Then they will save money for you for the rest of your life.

1. Frugal living requires a knowledge of values. How can you get a great deal on a car if you don’t know what a great deal is. Get in the habit of educating yourself on prices, especially before you’re ready to buy anything that costs a lot. It takes a few hours of looking at listings for sale, for example, to know what homes are selling for in an area, but this is knowledge that can save you thousands.

2. Learn from other people. Most of us know someone who always gets the best deal on cars, boats, homes, or even groceries. Why not ask him or her how they do it! One person will tell you that the cheapest coffee in town is $3 per cup, while another will say 50 cents. Ask the latter about coffee shops. People near you are living a good life on half of what you make. Investigate that. See how others do things, and you’ll know your options.

3. Frugal living means always looking for alternatives. You might have just as much fun taking a discount trip to Mexico as you would going to Jamaica. Maybe you happen to enjoy pizza more than fine French dining. If so, why not skip the expensive restaurant and call Dominoes. This isn’t about sacrificing, but about getting even more of what you really enjoy by paying less for cheaper alternatives that work just as well.

4. Pay cash. What happens when everything you buy costs an additional 20% because of the interest you pay over the years? You can’t buy as much! Everything is cheaper when paid for in cash instead of credit. If you want that new patio set, divide the price by the number of weeks you can wait to get it. Set aside that much each week, and buy it for cash when you have the money. Not only do you save on interest, but you’ll often get a better price when you pay cash.

5. Learn to do the math. Did you really save $400 on that car if it costs you $500 more in gas each year? Did you know that some stores are cashing in on shopper’s assumptions that larger is cheaper? It’s true. That gallon of pickles might actually cost more than four quart jars. Make it a habit to do the math if you want to save money.

6. Tell people what you need. Mention it in conversations. Many people get free or cheap things, just because they talk. For example, a neighbor wanted to upgrade her living room debt, and was thrilled that I would take her three-month-old couch off her hands for $30. I sure am glad that I mentioned I was looking for one. You need to make this little trick a part of your frugal living habits.

Do You Know What’s Going On With Your Pension Plan?

That’s a good question, do you know whether or not your pension plan is stable, and if so will it remain that way? Well, if you’re part of your employers pension plan, you should find out the answers to these questions. Once you find out, stay informed about your pension plan.

You say you know you have a pension plan but really don’t know what this is. A pension plan is a retirement account that your employer contributes funds as part of your future retirement. The amount paid to your retirement fund by your employer is based on the number of years you have worked and the amount of income you have earned.

How long will it take for me to become eligible for my employer’s pension plan? It is normally between 3-5 years that you become eligible for the plan offered by your employer.

What if I no longer work for the employer after I become eligible will I still be vested? Yes.

I hear some employers have terminated their pension plans, why is this? Some employers are finding it very expensive to continue with their pension plans due to: increased number of retirees, low interest rates and instability of the stock market.

My employer is terminating our pension plan, how will this affect me? The government agency Pension Benefit Guaraty Corporation will pick up pension payments when the employer defaults. Note, this agency pays a certain amount of your pension benefits on an annual basis. Unfortunately in most cases you will receive less for your annual pension amount then you would normally have received via your employer.

Is there any way to know if my employer’s pension plan is in trouble? If your company is showing signs of financial trouble, normally the first thing to go is the pension plan. If you are trying to find out if your employer may be headed for financial trouble consider checking the following: financial news information on your company, newspaper financial section, stock market, business financial magazines and the internet.

I just recently found out that an employer I worked for a few years ago just went out of business. How would I find out about the status of my pension plan that I had with this employer, I’ve been unable to contact them directly? If your past or former employer defaulted on it’s pension plan, check the Pension Benefit Guaraty Corporation website at to see if this program has taken over the handling of your former employer’s plan.

Stay on top of your pension plan, by keeping yourself informed of your plan’s current status. This is important because your pension is part of your retirement for your future! If you don’t stay informed about your pension, you may loose valuable funds that are important for your future retirement funds.