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The Money Alphabet by Jesse Bluma

The Money Alphabet

A:  Act.  The genesis of saving and creating money begins with the word.  Think about your values, goals, and standard of living.  Write them out.  Then act.  A change in behavior will bring a change in attitude and takes place over a few weeks.

B:  Be healthy and well with diet and hygiene.  This will bring long term savings.

C:  Cut open products.  See that toothpaste tube?  That shampoo bottle?  That motor oil?  You will be amazed at how much you will find at the bottom of these products.

D:  Do-it-Yourself.  Tasks such as replacing a car filter, mowing the lawn, washing your car, and building a simple furniture piece is well within your skills.

E:  Eat in.  This includes brewing your own tea or coffee.

F:  Freeze leftovers.  Wasting food is not good on many levels.  Place only what you will eat on your plate, you can always go back for more.

G:  Grow your own fruit, vegetables, and herbs.

H:  Hold off on upgrading electronics, cars, and gadgets.  Take enjoyment in the feeling of saving and investing, rather than a momentary high from a product that will be out of date tomorrow.  A previously owned car with a good warranty from the manufacturer’s dealership may be best for you. Minimalism is good.

I:  Insulate.  You can start small by purchasing electrical outlet and switch sealers and install them yourself.  Attic, ceiling, wall, and basement insulation is something you may wish to leave to professionals.

J:  Just say no...delay gratification.  The more you exercise this muscle the closer you get to your aim, and the better you will feel.  Hold off on that vacation, car, home, or computer and you could possibly get a better one later.

K:  Keep a grocery list in your car, on your phone, or in a quick kitchen file to take to the store.  Grocery lists keep us on budget, with the aid of coupons for items that we actually need and are good for us, as well as comparing unit prices.  Look for coupons in the mail, newspapers, online, and store websites.  Also, purchase store brands that are of equal or better taste, nutrition, and quality.

L:  Library.  Check out books at the library and search for free books online, rather than buying new books.  Waiting to see movies on TV is a smart use of money too.  This may be a good time to readjust your cable or satellite package too.

M:  Make your own lunch for work or school.  Save time and prepare lunches in advance that can be frozen until use.

N:  No cell phones for kids.  Yes, you will have to be the uncool parent.  At least you will be parenting instead of being your child’s personal Santa.  Your child’s teacher will thank you too.  A cell phone is not a need, children did not have them for most of history.

O:  Off-season.  Plan trips and vacations right before and right after peak travel times.  Check with well seasoned travelers, reliable websites, and travel agents to verify good travel times.  This is especially true if your plans include spending all or most of your time indoors.

P:  Plan your burial services now.  Yes, this is not something many of us like to think about.  If we put life into perspective and plan now, we can save money and alleviate this stress from our loved ones.

Q:  Quality does matter.  Buy clothing and shoe items of quality.  Inexpensive clothing and shoes will wear faster, pill, and fade faster.  It is better to have fewer, nicer clothes than to have clothes that need replacing every year.

R:  Repairs and remodeling.  Hire contractors off season, tree trimmers, roofers, and repair services.  Respect the work of a true professional.  Attempting to hire someone that gives a lower estimate may cost you more in the end.

S:  Seasonal foods.  Seasonal produce is usually less expensive.  Check the organic sections of your market, often times sales on organics beat the price of non-organics.

T:  Type documents using Century Gothic 10 and print documents in draft mode.  These two steps will save a lot of ink and paper.  This is a good tip at home, work, and at school.

U:  Unplug devices and machines that are not in frequent use and turn off lights when leaving a room.

V:  Virtual payments.  Make pretend payments to see if can live with loan payments for a house.

W:  Wash and dry all can tops from the grocery store at the same time.  This will help cut down on your water and heating, as well as save you time.

X:  Xerox or print duplicates of self-made gift, get well, and holiday cards.  Making your own gifts with a personalized card can mean a lot to someone.

Y:  Yield to good road sense.  Of course you know driving the speed limit, rather than speeding will save you money.  It also makes good road sense to write a monthly reminder to yourself to check the air pressure of your car’s tires.  Properly inflated tires will help with gas mileage.  While checking the air pressure inspect those tires for wear and tear.  Leaving an untouchable amount in your bank account for only auto repairs and maintenance is invaluable.  *A special note from all those that drive the speed limit to all those that drive too slow and hold up traffic:  it’s not polite.  Riding that brake only eats up money.  A slow and safe slow down or turn without braking or minimal braking helps save money in lots of ways too.

Z:  Zip through ironing on Sundays.  This avoids having to heat up the iron several times a week.  Begin each week by ironing your own clothes for the week.  Properly ironed clothes will remain unwrinkled if hung up.  Use the dry cleaners sparingly, read clothing labels to see if items really need to be taken to a cleaners.  George Jefferson may not appreciate it, your wallet will.

There are many ways to be wise and show respect for the power of money.  Below you will find a few more tips from other Etsy Organic Team members like me.  Please share these tips and post some more of your own below.

cubits (  “Grow your own food!”  and “Use reusable products like cloth diapers”.

rebourne (  “Plan meals out once a week, using a free service like It generates your shopping list.  Put your other weekly needs, like coffee and creamer and milk and bread, on your list. They will stay on your list along side your new recipes for the week.  This helps minimize wasted food, time and money, and can help you stay within your food budget. Of course you can always use other recipes, just manually add the ingredients to your online shopping list. The shopping list can be emailed or viewed on your phone, and you can check off items as you add them to your cart."

TwoSweetPotatoes (  “Freeze homemade leftovers in individual Pyrex containers. You'll be less likely to grab quick fixes, which cost more and are less healthy and not as tasty than what you're making at home.  If you've used your stash of recycled gift bags you can always create your own by sewing them out of upcycled materials. Old flannel shirts and sheets would work great for Christmas-theme.”

Karyn (  “Here I bake our own breads and treats, the further away from packaging the better. Food is better for you the less it has been processed. Put your money into basic pantry supplies, flour, sugar, salt...Buy a good cookbook and use it. Stay away from the center isles of the grocery and try to shop just in the outside isles, this is where the natural unprocessed foods are.”

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