Before we had social media and personal finance experts to tell us how to stretch a penny or make our money grow, many of us had our parents and grandparents to show us the way. Their savvy thinking and proactive approach to living helped them survive the leanest and the meanest of money times.
Their foolproof financial advice will always be in style. Here are few of their money gems to refresh your money memory:
1: Repair before you replace
This advice usually applies to clothes, shoes, and accessories like handbags. Sometimes we doll out our hard-earned cash for a new item because we don’t want the hassle of taking our clothes to a tailor, dry cleaner, or better yet, our dinning room table to mend an imperfection ourselves. This simple yet powerful act really demonstrates caring for things that you have so you can hold on to them for the long haul.
2: Shop your closet
This old school advice complements the “repair before you replace” advice. One of the reasons we have duplicates and even triplicates of items is because we’re unaware of what we actually own. Take a weekend to Marie Kondo your closet so you can declutter. This process allows you to take inventory of what you actually own rather than live in sartorial ignorance. The money that you save from avoiding unnecessary shopping can be used for bulking up your emergency fund or paying down a credit card.
3: Phone a Friend
We’re living in a crowdsourced economy. The traditional carpool structure has become a business model for companies like Uber and Lyft. Use this same structure to your household and in your immediate circle.
It’s not tacky to share or to borrow large, seasonal items like lawnmowers, snow blowers or hedge clippers to keep from having to buy your own. And for super close girlfriends, there’s not a darn thing wrong with asking to borrow jewelry for a special event or a business suit for an interview if your money is funny, but you still want to make a good first impression. Just remember to make sure to return the items as promised, contribute to the costs of repairs, and be open to sharing in kind to avoid souring a friendship.
4: Use it before you lose it
If you have a collection of perfumes, lotions, make-up, or any other consumable, then you don’t need to buy another. These items are meant to be used and enjoyed, not stored and admired. You’re actually wasting your money and risking your safety the longer you don’t use these goods that carry implied or explicit expiration dates.
5: Eat everything in your refrigerator before your next shopping haul
We are all guilty of buying groceries and letting them go bad because we’ve opted to eat out or called for take-in. The latest USDA estimates calculate that American food waste costs about $160 billion (yes, BILLION) in a single year.
To save the planet and your budget, consider shopping with a list, shopping by meal, and hitting up Pinterest and Google, or calling up Grandma to give you some ideas on what to do with the ingredients in your pantry and refrigerator.
Common sense will never go out of style and if you incorporate at least one of these old school money hacks into your money toolkit, your dollars will stick around as well.