Mature Life Features

Cecil Scaglione, Editor

Tightwads Can Have Fun, Too

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Be a tightwad.

That doesn’t mean being miser­ly. You can still enjoy life, dote on your kids and grandchil­dren and enjoy va­cations.

But don’t throw your money around. Rich people don’t.

The road to tightwadism is at­tained by pinching pennies. That’s also the first step to­ward saving, which is in the general direction of invest­ing.

One thing requires clarifica­tion. Be­ing a penny pincher does not mean you buy “cheap.” It means you make cer­tain you get what you want and good value for what you pay. It doesn’t mean you buy the cheapest cut of steak. It means you buy the cut with the least fat and bone on it.

One of the first things you should do, if you haven’t al­ready, is consol­idate as much debt as possible, espe­cially if it’s size­able. A good working definition of debt is the amount of money still left to pay after you’ve paid all your month­ly bills. A mortgage is debt. (Al­though this can also be consid­ered an in­vestment, which al­ters the pic­ture.)

A car loan and size­able credit-card and store bills also are debt. And the in­ter­est rate on this type of debt can be expen­sive.

So, in true tight­wad fashion, con­sider consolidating all this debt into a home-equity loan, on which the inter­est is much lower than what you’re paying on your credit cards.

If you have to make a major purchase such as a piece of furni­ture, an ap­pli­ance, or an au­tomo­bile, wait un­til the end of the month to shop. That’s when these business oper­ators are anxious to meet monthly sales quo­tas. Before you go out to make such a purchase, take a hard look at what you intend to re­place to see if it can be re­paired or last another couple of years.

It’s also a good idea to buy ap­pli­ances in the off-season. Buy an air-conditioner in win­ter and a furnace during the summer.

You can pinch pen­nies around the house without even noticing it. Repair leaky faucets and re­place your light bulbs with flo­res­cent lighting. Open your drapes during winter to let the sun warm up your home. Close them during summer to keep it cool in­side.

Grocery shopping is a constant, so make a list of things you can buy in bulk — sugar, flour and condiments, for ex­ample — to save cents. And cook your own meals in­stead of calling for de­liv­ery. Chi­nese food and piz­za can be made at home for less cost and in about the same time it takes to be delivered.

Shop around for ge­neric drugs. Get approval from your doctor and druggist to do so. Then you can slash prices on some of your medicines.

When you shop for clothing, avoid anything with a label re­quiring “dry cleaning.” Wash­able clothing is just as good-looking and just as comfortable.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

October 25, 2021 at 5:00 am

Posted in Finance

Tagged with ,

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