Frugal Strategies

Since everything is always changing, I think the most important money-saving strategy is being aware of your use patterns and being flexible.

There is no one money-saving tip that will work for everyone, though there are a few that are generally good: tracking expenses for awareness, spending less than you earn, automated savings.

I think our phone use patterns are an excellent example of changing your strategy to meet currents needs and not overspend.

Ten years ago, we had a landline with an answering machine that cost $16 per month.

When beloved daughter was fourteen, she wanted a cell phone. All her friends had them. Really. So I bought her a pay-as-you-go cell phone and she had to pay for the minutes, although she often got minutes for her phone as birthday or Christmas gifts.

A few years later, I got myself a pay-as-you-go phone. Then a couple of years after that middle son wanted a phone as he was always having to borrow one to call me to get picked up from activities.

So, we had a big change, got a family plan with four cell phones, cancelled the landline and beloved daughter pays me $10 per month for the texting on her phone.

As they leave home, I can drop the extra lines and go back to a pay-as-you-go. Or I might get one of those fancy data phones and drop the wireless at home. I guess it depends on what my use patterns are then.

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