Ex­ten­sion Home Econ­o­mist: money-man­ag­ing tips

The Covington News - - LOOKING BACK -


Read­ing the news­pa­pers, lis­ten­ing to the ra­dio or TV or just talk­ing over the back fence, you get the idea that the high cost of liv­ing cen­ters ex­clu­sively on the ris­ing food prices. The fact is, how­ever, the bud­get squeeze is ev­i­dent in hous­ing, cloth­ing, trans­porta­tion and med­i­cal care. So there’s a lot more to mak­ing the pay­check stretch than us­ing good com­mon sense at the gro­cery store.

Tak­ing the to­tal cost of liv­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion, home econ­o­mists at the Univer­sity of Ge­or­gia Co­op­er­a­tive Ex­ten­sion Ser­vice in Athens have come up with ten tips to help you pre­vent money prob­lems. Granted, none of them will make you rich, but putting them into prac­tice can help you stretch the shrink­ing dol­lar. Here’s what the ex­perts ad­vise.

Don’t let your in­stall­ment pay­ments take more than 20 per­cent of your in­come. A safer amount would be about 15 per­cent.

Keep your food bud­get in the 20 to 25 per­cent bracket, and this in­cludes eat­ing away from home. The se­cret here is to plan a fixed bud­get and stick to it. It takes care­ful plan­ning and a re­sis­tance to im­pulse buy­ing and con­ve­nience foods, but you can do it.

Rent­ing or hous­ing costs should not ex­ceed your weekly pay.

When you are buy­ing ap­pli­ances or house­hold fur­nish­ings on in­stall­ment plans, it’s wise not to ex­tend the pay­ments too long. One year is bet­ter than two.

Pay cash, or within the month, for things like food, medicines, cloth­ing, trans­porta­tion and en­ter­tain­ment.

Don’t be­come too set in your shop­ping habits. Try new su­per­mar­kets, cloth­ing stores and ser­vice sta­tions to see if you’re pay­ing the right amount for your pur­chases. Don’t use too many credit cards. It’s eas­ier to man­age your bud­get when you have one or two cards.

Don’t be ashamed to buy sec­ond­hand. Many house­hold items – chests, mir­rors, chairs, ta­bles, etc. —can be re­fin­ished to look as good as new.

Plan ahead on ma­jor ex­penses like school tu­ition, quar­terly or an­nual life insurance premi­ums, hol­i­days and va­ca­tions.

Keep track of your money bal­ance at all times. For ex­am­ple, you should know right now how much money you have in your wal­let and in your bank ac­count.

I have a handy, wal­let-size record in the of­fice. “Keep Ac­count Of What You Charge” is the name of this record.


This ad­vice, with a lit­tle change in word­ing, is as good now as it was in 1974.

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