Saturday, September 29, 2012

Go on a Money Strike

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The teachers in Chicago were on strike for a week and a half due to the inability to agree on renewal of the teachers’ contract.  To solve a problem or crisis you may have to make hard sacrifices.  This same principle can be applied to your finances. 

Over 2.5 million homes were foreclosed in 2011. Over 1 million Americans file for bankruptcy every year. According to, there are over 700 million credit cards in use in America more than any other country in the world. 

Everyone wants to live the American dream but the American dream is not possible unless you make sacrifices. Money is a tool that should be used to generate wealth but most Americans use money to go into debt. 

It can be difficult to resist the temptation of the instant gratification culture of America.  Advertisers make it easy for consumers to buy everything instantly by creating online shopping, instant meals, and the ability to make credit card or debit card purchases anytime anywhere.  Most Americans buy an item immediately when they see it in a store or online.  This bad habit has caused many Americans to overdraw their account, pay overdraft fees, spend more money than they have, damage their relationship with their bank and may lower their credit score.

One solution to solve your financial problems is by going on a money strike.   A money strike will help reduce spending and assess your spending habits. Going on a money strike requires participation from the entire family.  A money strike will require discipline, sacrifice and will-power.  A money strike will help you to save money, increase your savings, pay down debt, free up time and improve your overall financial situation.  You can do a money strike for 30, 45, 60, 90 days or for an entire year.  The time period is up to you but the minimum time period should be 30 days because it takes 23 days to break a habit.  Here are 33 things to do when going on a money strike. 
  1. Acknowledge that are not where you want to be financially or that you are struggling to manage your money.
  2. Create a budget.  Write down everything you spend money on for the next 30 days.
  3. Buy only needs – food (generic when possible), clothing (no –brand name), prescriptions, gas for car, car maintenance, toiletries, etc. The barber, hair salon, spa, massages, gym trainer, etc. are not necessities.
  4. Pay for everything with cash. Don’t buy an item just because it is on sale.
  5. Avoid going to the mall or department stores and don’t go window shopping.
  6. Avoid eating out. Cook all meals at home and take your breakfast and/or lunch to work. Also avoid vending machines and snack bars.
  7. Avoid Starbucks and other place to buy coffee, soda, juice, shakes, smoothies, bottled water or alcoholic drinks.
  8. Avoid buying gifts and greeting cards. Send a free e-card.
  9. Donate items to charity or have a yard sale.
  10. Use arts and crafts to make gifts.
  11. Avoid shopping online or shopping retail catalogues.  Avoid browsing sale items.  Avoid reading the newspaper unless you are clipping coupons.
  12. Avoid going to the movies and renting movies.
  13. Don’t engage in conversations about shopping.  Walk away or change the subject.
  14. Pay all of your bills on time or before the due date.  Use online bill payment or automatic paycheck deduction when possible.
  15. Find at least 1 way to save money each week (carpool, take public transportation, eat at home, rent movies, use coupons, buy items on sale, etc.).
  16. Don’t loan others money. If someone owes you money get your money back.
  17. Buy packaged foods, canned goods, household goods or paper products from discount stores such as Walgreens, Wal-Mart or Target.
  18. Buy fruits and vegetables from Omish markets or local farmers to save money.
  19. Reduce your cable and cell phone plan to the cheapest plan possible. Call every 6 months to ask about specials and discounts.
  20. Buy generic instead of brand names.
  21. Combine nearby trips on the same day when driving.
  22. Skip the high octane. If your car can run on unleaded gas purchase it.
  23. Skip the dry cleaners.  Buy home dry cleaning kits or air clothes out.
  24. Entertainment. Skip the happy hours, nightclubs, parties and other entertainment.
  25. Avoid watching TV especially the shopping channels. A 30 minute show includes 6 minutes of advertisements.  An hour show includes 9 minutes of advertisements.
  26. Throw away all junk mail without reading it. Use a shredder or cut up before throwing away to protect yourself from identity theft.
  27. Unplug appliances and electronic devices when not in use.
  28. If you out of a room for more than 20 minutes turn lights off or use night lights to light the room. Leave blinds open during the winter to heat rooms. Close them in the summer to cool rooms.
  29. Adjust thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit to heat your home.
  30. Rent music movies at the library for free.
  31. Wash clothes on the weekend or after 7pm.
  32. If you smoke try to quit.
  33. If you have a food addiction or are an emotional eater eat 3-5 small meals a day to lose weight and save money.
See how much your spending habits have changed during your money strike.  Be a role model for others and encourage them to improve their spending habits.  Live for tomorrow instead of today and plan for your future and your children’s future.


James said...

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Members include: This seeking personal Finance Help and info, Personal Finance Experts and Professionals.
It's easy to do, just cut and paste the link and it automatically links back to your website. You can also add News, Photos, and Videos if you like.
Email me if you need any help or would like me to do it for you. I hope you consider sharing with us.
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James Kaufman, Editor

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