Dollars and Cents

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Maybe you do fine managing your finances when the economy is running smoothly. But what happens when a slowdown occurs? That’s when you need to dust off Grandma’s Money Plan: A penny saved is a penny earned.

Here are three tried and true penny saving strategies from the past.

  1. To accumulate big bucks, sock away small change. Not interested in picking up pennies? Go for half-dollars, quarters, dimes and nickels. Coins tossed into a jar—or a sock—can add up. Get the whole family into the habit of emptying their pockets daily and the coins will become bucks even faster.
  1. Lower your insurance premiums. Back in the day, before mega insurance companies and mandated coverage, people self-insured. Today, deductibles—the amount you pay before your insurance kicks in—are a form of self-insurance. Being willing to shoulder more risk by raising the deductibles on your auto and homeowner’s policies can save you premium dollars.

    Another way to save on insurance: Know what your policies cover. Review them yearly and delete coverage you can do without. For instance, you may find you can cancel life insurance once your children are grown.

  1. Practice bunching. During gas rationing in World War II, people bunched trips—that is, they combined several errands into one excursion to save gas. Rationing is a thing of the past, but no doubt you’ve noticed the price of gas these days. Dropping the kids off at school, running to the market, then stopping at the post office—all on your way to the office—makes a bunch of sense.

    Carpooling with co-workers, neighbors or friends is another way to bunch together in order to beat the high cost of transportation.

Grandma’s Money Plan wasn’t original with her, of course. It came from an even earlier era. In modern terms, she re-purposed old ways to suit the times in which she lived. Recycling what works—now there’s a thought that’s worth more than a penny.

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