Lifestyle Ideas for Frugal Families
As the economy and stock market continue to sputter along, creative parents are devising clever ways to save money, get the most out of what they already have, and enjoy life to the fullest. When used correctly, minor lifestyle hacks can make a huge difference for busy families trying to juggle jobs, school, piano lessons, mortgages, and more. With fuel prices at record highs, public transportation modes like light rail and buses are gaining new fans.
But for moms and dads who need a major financial break, one of the smartest ploys is to refinance Parent PLUS loans to reduce monthly payments. Other families get more bang for their food bucks by acquiring stand-alone freezers to store meats and other items. Vegetable gardens are also popular choices for those who like the idea of eating fresh produce at a low cost. Here are details about several of the more effective tactics for living well in a tough economy.
Refinance Parent PLUS Loans
For fathers and mothers who used Parent PLUS loans to cover a child’s college expenses, the financial burden can come as a not so pleasant surprise after graduation. While Parent PLUS loans offer families a straightforward way to pay for college, they’re not always the best choice. Fixed interest rates can come back to bite you when the market changes.
Likewise, Parent PLUS loans accrue interest from the time of disbursement. What’s the solution? Check out a helpful and detailed guide that explains how to decide if refinancing your Parent PLUS loans is a smart idea. In many cases, refinancing can deliver solid results for parents who want some relief from college-related debt.
Get a Food Freezer
Owning a large freezer is an efficient way to save on items like meats, cheese, prepackaged dinners, vegetables, and more. Homeowners who stash a freezer in the garage can save a ton of money on groceries and rarely must make last-minute trips to the store. If you’ve never owned a freezer, consider getting one on a trial basis, as most sellers are happy to let you estimate your capacity needs for a few weeks before deciding. When combined with a backyard vegetable garden, freezers are a powerful way to reduce monthly expenses for families and individuals.
Use Public Transportation
Cars can seem like a major convenience until you start to tally up the operating costs, particularly at a time when pump prices are stratospheric. Mechanic charges have also risen substantially, as have the sticker amounts on new vehicles. In all, it costs much more to own a car in 2023 than it did just one or two years ago.
However, consumers are discovering the incredible savings and convenience of public transport modes, especially light rail, and city buses. Compared to the cost of owning one or more cars, public transit is a massive bargain. For those who have always relied on private vehicles, it takes a while to learn the schedules of local trains and buses. Frugal families who own cars can still save big by using public transportation as often as possible and leaving the gas guzzler at home.