As the last drop of Martinelli�۪s cider is siphoned from the bottle in celebration of your teen passing his or her driving test, you realize you have a precarious financial situation on your hands. It�۪s likely they�۪ll want to get on the road as soon as dawn breaks and you haven�۪t added them to your car insurance plan, bought them a vehicle, or even considered all the additional expenses.
A new driver adds a laundry list of new expenditures your wallet isn�۪t ready for. Vehicle repairs, car registrations, and increased insurance costs are only the tip of the roadway iceberg.
You are up a creek without a steering wheel.
Help is here.
The tips below will not ease the anxiety of rising fuel costs, the stress of finding the right car, or the gut-wrenching nervousness endured while awaiting the safe return of your teen each time they leave the house on wheels, but they will prevent your bank account balance from heading south.
Here are some great ways to save in other financial areas, so you can afford to have a new driver in your family:
1.Reduce phone costs
Cell phone bills can be outrageously steep, but two cups and a string, messenger pigeons, smoke signals, or a traveling horse courier can be much cheaper options.
2.Create a bartering system at your local market
Before money, clans and tribes got what they wanted by trading. Animal furs, moccasins, and pelts make great bartering tools so stock up on whatever beaver, possum, and cheetah fur you can get your hands on. You should have no problem acquiring the household basics with the right trading loot. I know what you�۪re thinking; where am I supposed to get my hands on some cheetah fur living in Nebraska? Don�۪t fret. Those old slippers currently taking residence in the back of your closet, now home to several species of household insects can be passed off as moccasins. They should net you at least an egg or two.
3.Hire Jillian Michaels from Biggest Loser
Food is an essential piece of our survival but today most Americans overeat. You can cut costs by having Jillian hang out in your kitchen and yell obesity slurs at your family any time they go to take a bite of anything. Rumor has it she just loves yelling, so she�۪ll work for free.
4.Change Golf Saturday to Bird Watching Wednesday
A round of golf with your closest pals can be a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon, but it�۪s costing you a fortune. Trade in those clubs for a pair of quality binoculars you�۪ll be watching birds instead of trying to putt for them in no time. Your wallet will thank you.
5.Get a new roommate named Rumpelstiltskin
Adding another person into the family fray could add additional risks, but one who can turn the loose straw in your yard into gold, could really prove his worth.
6.Stop shopping, and begin Hunting/Gathering
For years civilizations survived on hunting and gathering techniques. These long lost methods can still work today, unless you are gathering in your neighbor�۪s garden. In that case, you probably don�۪t want to be the only inmate in jail for stealing a zucchini. Gather wisely. This will cut down on food costs, but not necessarily decrease the chances of getting poison oak, so be safe out there.
7.Put a Lemon shark in your pool after Shark Week on Discovery Channel airs ;
Pools provide an excellent form of fun for the entire neighborhood, but are expensive to maintain. On a hot day a dip in the pool can cool the skin, invigorate the senses, and trigger our innate, primal feelings - unless there is also a flesh eating fish in the pool. One look at the ferocious creature and the kids will go running, and your maintenance costs will plummet. ;;
8.Exchange your pet for a stuffed version of the animal
Pets are great, but food and care for them can be expensive. Find a good home for your current feline or mutt, and then find a similar looking stuffed version. Periodically move the creature around the house so it appears to be moving around. Perhaps start with a couple of hours by the food dish, another few at the edge of the bed, then a couple out in the yard, so your family gets used to its routine. Although there haven�۪t been any confirmed trials to support, it�۪s safe to say that a stuffed animal will eat far less than a real animal. You should be able to start saving on pet food costs immediately, and you�۪ll then be able to afford the month�۪s car payment for your teen.
Movies are fun to watch, but they can be pricey. At $12-15 a pop, taking a family to the theater can cause you to wake up the following day with a financial hangover. Instead, take your family to a local park, preferably one with large trees and plenty of foliage. When they least expect it, sneak away and slip into a Bigfoot costume. Then, start foraging around in nearby until you hear a scream. If you can�۪t afford a costume, just make sure to find a shaggy brown dog in your neighborhood and shave him when your neighbors aren�۪t looking. This is a much cheaper form of entertainment than four tickets to Madagascar 3.
10.Find another source of electricity
With the world of competitive biking become more popular every day, there is a lot of energy going to waste. Have an aspiring biker come over with a stationary bike and hook it up to run your household devices. Assuming you find an athlete with quads of steel, you should have enough electricity output to cancel your electric bill. If you can�۪t find any bikers locally, find a squirrel with an insatiable appetite for running on a wheel.
If you adopt some of these techniques you�۪ll find yourself saving money in no time, and haves happy teen on your hands.