Spent – The Game of Life, 2011 Edition

I ran across a great exercise (via the article The Harsh Reality of Living with Next to Nothing) called Spent. It’s a website that challenges visitors to make it through an entire month living on very low wages. I made it to the end of the month once or twice, but only after making some very tough decisions. This certainly helps prioritize expenses (and makes you grateful for the things you can afford).

The Frugal Roundup

This is Why You Can’t Make Money in the Stock Market. Perhaps this is why it pays to be a contrarian investor. Sell when everyone else if getting in at the top and buy when everyone is selling at the bottom. Takes a lot of fortitude.

How Anyone Can Retire In 10 Years (or less). I really enjoyed this one because it is very thought-provoking. Often we focus on making big  bucks to become financially dependent, but the expenses side of the equation are just as important. (via The Daily Crux).

Cheap Ways To Buy Dividend Stocks. High quality, high-yielding stocks with a long history of increasing dividends may be the safest play of all over the next couple decades.

Putting Food on the Table When You Can’t Make Ends Meet. Unfortunately, this post will be relevant for far too many. My best advice to those facing a real hardship: do your very best to be self-sufficient, but don’t be too prideful to ask for help if you truly need it.

How to Make a Bug Out Bag: Your 72-Hour Emergency Evacuation Survival Kit. I always enjoy getting a look at others’ bug out gear. I just about always find some inspiration to add to our collection.

Should You Use an Inheritance to Pay off Debt? I say pay off your debt and move on with your life. Make the inheritance a true blessing by avoiding the behavior that led you into debt in the first place.

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  1. Thanks Jason for including the Spent game. It’s a great exercise and it definitely makes you think about your choices.

  2. Spent sounds extremely interesting. May have to propose this kind of a spending reduction experiment with my family, although we are already slashing quite a bit. It might be kind of fun… at least at first.
    Pat S.

  3. Spent is truly a way to save money in this economy, but it is kind of hard to tell the wife to cut back on spending, when I told her a week or so ago to splurge a little since she got a bonus at work 🙂

  4. Given the number of people in real life struggling to make it on next to nothing and highly reduced income, I personally find such a game offensive.

    Perhaps it works to develop compassion in those who have a high and mighty attitude about “cutting costs” and living frugally but who really haven’t had to live with truly, next to nothing. (As in no money for food, rent, etc.) Gee, surprise, you couldn’t make it thru the month and pay bills AND eat with $1,000? You need a game to know this? Really?

    Real life is NOT a game. We know real families struggling to survive after doing nothing wrong (no high credit card debt or overspending; no fancy houses, etc.no expensive vacations, etc.) and losing homes, jobs and their health.

    Instead of wasting time on a game, why not spend your time volunteering locally to help the people in your neighborhood who need help. Share meals with them, buy some groceries for them. Help them find jobs. Connect them with the services they need without making them feel ashamed and less than. Make them feel like they have hope.

    Help them find housing options.

    If all the people who spend so much time reading frugal spending posts and patting themselves on the back for their efforts took that time and energy and helped create local resources to help those in need, it’d be, IMHO, a better use of their time.

    Apologies to those who are already doing this, because I know that many folks on limited budgets already help others. (You need help in real life? Ask another working person in the trenches. The less some folks have, the more they still give.)

  5. My days of living on next to nothing are over. I grew up poor and it taught me to work hard. I still spend very little to this day, so I definitely don’t need this challenge.

  6. I hear ya! I barely had 2 pennies to run together most of my life. I scraped as hard as I could once I got old enough and finally I have a little something. I refuse to slide back into debt any more than is needed for certain things, if ever.

  7. I really like the article “How Anyone Can Retire In 10 Years (or less)”. It is really inspiring. Everyone can never skip retirement so we should be ready for it while were young.

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