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“Eat little and live long”

Clyde Holmes, the husband and father in the TTMF puppet family, has some advice to give you about stretching what you have so that it lasts longer. When economic times are challenging and you need to make your pennies stretch further, these ideas can help you “Eat little and live long”, and make a significant difference for you and your family.

Downsizing

As tempting as it can be to have the newest clothing or technology, it’s important to keep a realistic attitude and look at ways to downsize your expenses. Cutting down your spending habits in many different areas of your life can really add up. The savings can then be put aside for other financial goals. Julia and I decided to reduce our spending in several categories and we put aside all the savings so that our daughter Kelly can have an education fund. While it does involve some sacrifice, it’s so rewarding for us to see Kelly’s education fund increase over the years. Some months, the money we save goes towards helping us with expenses in future months, or costs that we didn’t expect (like medication for when Kelly got a bad flu).

Below are some of the changes you can consider implementing to get your expenses down, and your savings up.

  • Stretch what you have: Use what you have efficiently so that it lasts longer. For example, leftovers from dinner can make a great lunch for work the next day. That way instead of buying food for lunch, you can eat your leftovers and save the money you would have spent for lunch.
  • Transport: While I would love to drive a big fancy car, the reality is that it just isn’t a wise choice for our budget. So instead of going for the costly vehicle that will probably put you into debt, make a more responsible decision that will save you thousands.
  • Groceries: Instead of choosing expensive products, buy more affordable brands. For instance, supporting local food brands versus foreign brands can help reduce your bill as they often are more reasonably priced. You can also learn to make some of your own things instead of buying them. Julia enjoys cooking and loves making bread for the family so now we don’t even buy bread anymore! Not to mention the smell of freshly baked bread is amazing!
  • Lime responsibly: Find ways to lime with friends that are less expensive. You can go to the beach or to a river and share a meal instead of going to a restaurant or bar where the bill can add up quite quickly.
  • Staycation: Instead of planning a family vacation abroad, look at cheaper alternative or even have a “staycation” where you explore the country and discover beautiful parts of T&T that you didn’t even know existed!

Let us know which of these suggestions you try!