Elderly Couple

Tried and True Budgeting Tips That Work

Learning from The Greatest Generation ~ (1901-1927)

In today’s unprecedented times, learning how to save money from our quickly dwindling older generation is an important lesson that we can pass down to our children. The greatest generation, or the World War II generation, lived during a time where saving, cutting expenses, and living within your means was a common practice and necessity.

Recently, I face-timed my grandparents, as I often do, because they are snowbirds and are currently still located in the Sunshine State. We usually talk about many topics such as the kids, their sports, activities, etc., but this time was different, instead we talked about the current pandemic and how hard it is for some families. There are some who have no income coming into their households and are having a hard time making ends meet. To make things a bit harder, many of the relief programs still have not reached some of these families. My grandparents, who come from the Greatest Generation began to discuss the “Great Depression” and were easily able to give me ideas that I could pass along to you. During the Great Depression, families learned to limit the amount of money and resources they used by preserving electricity, food, water, medical expenses, and more.

The following are some suggestions my grandparents and their families executed when times were tough:

  • Get a side hustle – Everyone has a skill that can be used to make extra money. Tapping into that skill can be profitable during difficult times. Additionally, bartering is a great way to exchange products/services and save some money.
  • Save in the Kitchen – Start growing your food, canning, freezing, and preserving it. Having a garden will not only lower your grocery bill but it may prevent medical expenses by providing much-needed exercise and movement many may not be getting. Similarly, planting and harvesting your fresh vegetables and fruits will have you eating healthier. Cooking in bulk saves money and time so be sure to make double batches of any meal you cook so that the remaining can be frozen and used later. This also will alleviate the issue of fruits, vegetables, or other ingredients expiring before you have the chance to eat them.
  • Utilize the Weather – Using the sunlight is a money saver! Drying your clothes outside helps to lower the electric bill and will have your clothes smelling spring fresh. Open curtains to allow the sun to naturally heat your home which will lower your heating bill. Save on your water bill by collecting rainwater to water your garden or wash your car.
  • DIY Repair – Repairing torn clothes with patches or stitching can stretch the life of your clothes and save your clothing budget. Try to fix an appliance before buying a new one or check into DIY projects before hiring outside help. We now have the advantage of YouTube, Pinterest, and other online resources for the how-to instruction we need. Check them out!

Getting back to basics and saving your valuable resources is a mindset that takes time, patience, and a lot of discipline. Together we can get through this uncertain time and support each other when we can. Do any of you have any age-old secrets to savings you’d like to share? I would love to hear them. Send them to me at Creynolds@newdimensionsfcu.com or contact me at (207) 872-2771.