How to Live Well during the Credit Crunch

Impractical Ways:

Firstly, take out as many credit card loans as you can, and buy everything you need to live for the next two years. My sure it is all non refundable, like clothes and food. If you buy a car you will have to return it. Then file bankruptcy!

Secondly, have as many children as you can. Adopt some, have twins, borrow other people's kids, but get several and take care of them at least 80% of the time. Then go to the welfare office and sign up for food stamps and health assistance. Go to the Energy Assistance office and sign up for that as well. And don't forget Daycare assistance! Oh, and if you adopt some handicapped kids, they will bring in Disability moneys, and foster kids also bring in funds.

Next; let your house completely fall apart. Let teh kids tear the doors off the hinges, run their wheelchairs into walls, play baseball in the house, clog the drain with play-doh, anything to create a real problem structurally. Then have your house evaluated and deemed unsafe. Sign up for Habitat for Humanity and have a room built for each kid by volunteers. After you spend your time (in hours) building another house, you will have your own brand new palace built with payments that fit into your budget!

Go stay with relatives when it gets really cold, and use their heat and water for a while. Your kids will get quality time with family, and you'll save on your electric bill!

Finally, send your "kids" to public school and sign up for all the free lunch, free book, clothe-a-child, and shoe-bus programs available. You'd be surprised what gets donated to needy kids in public schools!

After all this you'd be surprised how far your paycheck will go towards the funthings you always wanted. I mean, your food, clothes, daycare, and house are pratically free, you get money for the foster and disabled kids, and you are still working! Go shopping! Take a cruise! Save up and buy an Escalade! You deserve it!

Oh and petty theft, especially while on vacation, is great way to get souveniers, or stock up on things you need; like gas and propane, and candy.

Practical Ways:

Seriously now, if you are well established, have pulled yourself up by your boot-straps, and don't want to abuse "the system", there are things you can do.

Plant a garden and learn to can foods.

Learn to sew up holes and replace buttons, or hem your own clothes so you can continue wearing them. You could shop at secondhand stores and tailor your own found items.

Find a cheaper place to get your hair done, do your own nails or grooming, stop spoiling yourself so much!

Shop at discount grocers, or warehouse stores.

Avoid using credit cards at all. Just don't do it. Only buy what you can afford. Think about using cash because you will see your money leaving your hands and feel a sense of loss.. But don't carry a lot of cash around or you'll be mugged. :P

Don't eat out. Cooking your own food, even large dishes and freezing them for later, is much cheaper. Learn some cheaper recipes. Potato soup, ham and beans, chicken and noodles, casseroles, crock pot meals, and eat pancakes for dinner as these foods last longer or are cheaper than prepackaged foods and meals. Maybe even eat more vegetarian meals as pasta is cheaper than meat. But eat fruit and veggies in season, as they will be cheaper. Buy your meat in bulk, like half a cow or pig and stock up your freezer. Don't buy extra food that will just sit there and go bad in the fridge either. Plan your menu and shop to that.

Freeze food.

Carpool. If you can, invest in a hybrid vehicle, or keep your well-maintained to get the most out of your mileage. Walk to work, bike to work, or take the bus if those are options for you.

Recycle things. Bought some shoes? Use the box for storage! Finished with that butter tub? Wash it out and have instant tupperware!

Shop for things out of season, so catch those winter sales on sweaters in the summer, or shorts and t-shirts in the winter, and stock up.

Shop at yard sales and have your own.

Use coupons or switch brands to save.

Use cloth towels and rags to clean up spills in the kitchen instead of paper towels.

Freezer bags can be washed and reused.

Winterize your home and watch your meter readings on your electric bill, as they can malfunction. Set your thermostats back, wear layers, and shiver it out.

Wash more laundry in cold water.

Use your tax returns to pay off credit card debt.

And the single most important thing.. Make a Budget. Once you see where all your money is going, you can make the right changes.

The End

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