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Money in the News: Saving Money and Budgeting Edition, When a Beater Car isn’t a Beater

MSN Money gives you a list of fun things to do when you’re broke.

Ideally, some of the following suggestions will prove so enjoyable that they’ll become part of your regular entertainment rotation. If so, you can set aside some of your monthly fun budget and pay cash for next year’s holiday…

…Learn a new skill
Entertain your winter brain by picking up a new hobby, craft or ability. Some will save you money, and some might even earn you money. The Internet is bristling with ways to learn things as varied as toilet repair and search-engine optimization.

I was so excited to read an article from Edmunds.com where they are doing a “Debt Free Car Project”. Essentially they are doing an experiment to show us that you can by a nice, reliable car for about #3,500, whereas most people avoid buying cars like these because they think they are beaters. I’m so inspired by this post, I intend to do the same experiment when I get the extra cash to buy my dad a new vehicle.

As we researched other Buy Here Pay Here transactions, we saw that buyers were making down payments in the $3,000 range to acquire cars that would not require reconstruction or constant repair. Based on that, we decided to pay no more than $3,500 for our used car, including taxes and fees. And we wanted a car with no more than 165,000 miles on it.

If someone told you that he’d bought a used car for less than $3,500, how would you picture it? You’d probably visualize a beater with mismatched doors and torn seats, riding on wheels that were missing hubcaps. Such is the stigma attached to cars in this price range. And it’s this stereotype that leads many people to purchase cars that they may not be able to afford.

Health on a Budget posted some tips on saving money on vision care products.

Use Online Coupons
Take advantage of monthly coupons from reputable online retailers of eyewear, such as Coastal.com, ACLens.com, and VisionDirect.com. Typically, online coupons will save you 15% to 20% on your purchase, including free shipping. It pays to shop around online as prices between sites can vary widely.

People often ask me “How to make a Budget”. Well Need to Speak Out recently posted some ideas on how to do just that.

Due to my extremely limited income, and thus, extremely tight monthly budget (of $725 cash, plus food stamps, per month, for me and three children – two of which are twin babies) and the fact that I’m still surviving somehow, and even able to plan ahead and accommodate things like holidays, birthdays, back-to-school expenses, and the like, I’ve had several friends and family members ask me how my budget works.

The answer is very precisely.

Alternatively, Live, Real, Now posts about how to maximize your income and reduce your expenses.

The answer lies in getting tough with yourself, carrying out a review of your current spending patterns and working out a sensible budget. Essentially you need to both maximise income and reduce expenditure – both sides of the coin. There are plenty of ways to do this when you start thinking, so be creative and start thinking outside the box.

About Crystal Groves, Google+

Crystal Groves is a farmer, web developer, musician, blogger, and personal finance enthusiast from the back hills of Maryland and Pennsylvania. She started Money Drain as a project to encourage people interested in fixing their financial situation to share their stories and learn from the stories of others. We all make mistakes, but in order to change we have to make changes.

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