Monday, April 18, 2011
Smart Money Choices --
1) Don't buy a brand new car. The greatest depreciation on a car occurs in the first year. You can get very good deals by buying a one-year-old car. Some people buy a car and decide after a year that it's not the one for them. Others trade up every year, though this is not as common as it once was. Some buy a car and decide a year later that they can't or don't want to make the payments. These things means that there is often a selection of one-year-old cars for you to choose from. If you go this route, be sure the car is in good condition and was not returned because of an accident or design flaws. Also, do your research and determine what type of car you want fist. Then, look for a one-year-old in that make and model. Don't settle for something you don't want. If you buy a car when it is one year old, it should last you many years.
2) If you have a pet, investigate whether pet insurance is worth your while. Factors to consider are how much you would personally spend to keep a pet alive. Some owners would do everything possible; others would draw the line at certain expensive features. We have not found it worth having pet insurance yet. However, dear friends of ours do carry pet insurance, as they earn the cost back on the amount they must spend every year to have their dog's teeth taken care of. One thing to consider. As soon as enough people who use medical services in a particular field buy insurance, providers begin to assume that everyone has insurance. They begin to charge accordingly. This drives prices up. So, consider the overall picture when deciding whether to buy pet insurance or not.
3) The start up costs on a brand new garden may eat up any savings you would earn by growing your own veggies. However, if you plan well, you can save money in the long run. Consider your time. Do you want to spend the time it takes to compost, grow plants from seeds, save seeds, or do other things that will make your garden efforts most cost-effective? If you enjoy it, it's a great way to save.
4) If you can't do a huge garden, consider tub gardening. There are many varieties of tomatoes, carrots, squash, and other veggies which can be grown in containers on patios or decks. A strawberry jar is a nice way to grow some fruit if you are willing to wait for the harvest and can protect the strawberry plants during winter. Container gardening can produce a lot of veggies for not much cost or labor. Again, the profit for container gardening goes up in the second year, as you don't have to buy containers.
5) If you live in an urban or suburban area, investigate a shared garden, a community garden, or some other type of co-operative garden scheme. This can save you money and time when compared to both buying all of your food or doing a garden all by yourself.
6) If you don't know much about gardening or even if you do but you want to hone your gardening skills, consult one of your area's master gardeners. You can find one through your County Extension office. They can help you not only with gardening in general, but also how to get the most out of your local soil and local climate.
7) No matter where you live, you are probably within a reasonable driving distance of an orchard or pick your own farm. Investigate buying foods from orchards, pick your own sites, and other local farms.
Happy Home Keeping!