Sunday, September 6, 2009

How to control yourself

With more people having less cash, taking a little time to consider how to stretch your cash is a good idea to ensure that you can enjoy your life and not waste money unnecessarily.

New Year is a good time to make the decision to break some bad habits that will benefit your budget in 2009, at a time when everybody most needs it.

We all have habits that are costing us money, whether it's:

$ gambling

$ gum chewing

$ smoking or

$ sipping spirits

... and none of them will be very easy for most people to break.


Gambling is not a game - it's a highly profitable business.

Unless you are a professional gambler and consistently winning enough to pay taxes on the return you get, you probably could get a better return on your money than you will because of the odds against you.

I don't think any other business would be able to mark-up their products or services to the same extent without attracting close, negative government scrutiny. But, just about all governments allow various forms of gambling 'games', probably because of the revenue that the government get from the operators.

If You Must Gamble

Set strict limits on your flutters so that there is no risk that there will be any impact on yourself or those around you

Never keep betting to make up for what you've lost. The result of each bet is rarely influenced by anything that happened before.

The 'free' coffee and nibbles which many venues provide can become the most expensive that you ever have.

It's possible to become addicted to gambling to where you could lose of all your assets, your family and job.


Many people are unable to stop smoking without professional help and, even then, it can take a significant period of time - it's a recognized addiction.

But, most smokers can reduce their consumption which might help their budget even if it is unlikely to reduce the risks to their health.

You might start by reducing the number of cigarettes which you carry with you and avoid borrowing any from other smokers.

Recognize that smoking has a negative impact on people, your clothing, household furnishings, computers, children and pets. Only smoke in places where you can limit that impact as much as possible. That will help your budget as well.

Never light up another cigarette soon after you finish one. If the first didn't give you what you wanted, the second or third won't either.


I'm referring to drinking coffee, tea and fizzy drinks here as well as alcohol.

Over-indulgence in any of them will affect your budget and your health.

When you drink any of the items I listed above, some of the water which your body, especially to brain and kidneys, uses to keep running efficiently is removed.

A Little More Liquor

We've just got through another Christmas and a very happy New Year.

While we were cleaning away the remains of a family get-together, I remembered a way to squeeze the last drops of my favorite liquor out of the bottle. I held the bottle in the sink and trickled some warm water over the base.

Immediately, a few yellow drops appeared in the apparently empty bottle. This is not a magic trick-the glass absorbs a little liquor which the warm water persuades it to release again.

Water - cheap and healthy!

Water is the most valuable and under-valued resource that we have. The stock advice of drinking a few glasses of plain water every day has a solid scientific basis unmatched by any of those heavily promoted health drinks.

Drink more water each day and less of other concoctions.

If you or your children drink "Fruit Drinks" which are mostly water with added fruit juice, get your own fruit juice and add tap or filtered water. The cost is much lower and you are probably reducing the amount of sugar in your diet as well.

Make your own ice pops with fruit juice and water.

Jerry McColl decided to share the tips and tactics that he’s used to make a comfortable life for himself and his family. He has written a book called Cash Stretching 101And, “This book is designed to help you live leaner, lighter and better. I focused on practical, painless, and mostly quick tactics to get you better value when you have to spend money and to help you save more money without affecting your lifestyle. These tips worked for me and people I know with a wide variety of backgrounds.

Please, always keep in mind McCall’s Money Maxim:

“We should never just aim to spend money or to save money but to live well.”

If you just focus on squeezing the last drop of value out of every cent, you might have more cash at the end of each week but that isn’t living, just existing!


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