MORE ABOUT FINANCIAL SURVIVAL TOOLSI continue to refine and gather more financial survival tools for my middle class poor financial survival toolkit. I have to. Financial survival continues to be more challenging. Social Security will go up $5 for us on January 1, 2017. Our cable bill went up $6. So we will start 2017 with a dollar less. Situations like this require continual accumulation of new financial survival tools.
MAJOR CATEGORIES AND FINANCIAL SURVIVAL RESOURCESFirst I would like to mention some general tools. Then I will get into major expense categories and tools that are specific to them. Here are some general tips:
• save change in as large a bottle as you can find
• avoid monthly fee checking accounts
• avoid credit card fees
• join groups that offer discounts to members
• make use of discounts you are entitled to for being a member for a particular organization such as AARP, the military and many more
• buy in bulk, only when things are on sale and always look for discounts
• make a purchase with a no fee promotion credit card that requires set payments over time
• use EBATES, GROUPON, etc.
REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLEBOTTLE REFUNDS This is probably one of the most important resources for not only the poor middle class but everyone. Redemption of bottles and cans is probably one of the best known tools for creating income through recycling. People in all kinds of circumstances do it. You paid for the bottle. You deserve to get the fee back whenever you can. Those nickels will add up. This is not income and it is not taxable. You are just getting back money you already paid out.
CLOTHES, FURNITURE AND HOUSEHOLD ITEMSDepending upon your financial status, you can make use of food pantries. They often have clothes in addition to food. For people who can afford to pay, thrift stores are a great resource for finding furniture and all kinds of household items.
TRAVELRefer to the post The Poor Middle Class Financial Survival Toolkit to learn about using travel specific credit cards.
PERSONAL EXPENSESClipped paper coupons, online coupons and text discounts proliferate. Get into the habit of only buying things on sale for a discount.
HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS EXPENSESI learned to make my own laundry detergent. It is amazing how much money it saves. The guideline is to make your own whenever you can instead of buying prepared products. It is easier than you think and saves so much money.
SHELTER, FOOD AND HEALTHCAREThese are three categories that can be the major areas of expenses in the budget of a member of the poor middle class. They are so important that a separate blog posts will be devoted to them.
This series continues with, The Poor Middle Class Housing Crisis