Contact: Kevin Kavanaugh
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 30, 2009
Nursing Home Residents Offer Their “Top Ten List”
for Saving Money during a Recession
(CHICAGO) – Simplicity is in. And people who lived through the Great Depression are the best advisers on how to live the simple life.
The Health Care Council of Illinois, a state nursing home association, asked nursing home residents for their recommendations on how to survive our country’s current economic downturn. These elderly individuals came together at their facilities and brainstormed ideas, in part remembering the sacrifices their families made during some of our country’s darkest years.
Here is a “Top Ten List” of the best suggestions offered by some of our state’s most experienced, wise and frugal citizens:
10. Shop only for necessities – Take an inventory of your purchases and ask yourself: “Is this something I want or that I need?” Focus on purchasing just those items that you really need, and avoid the luxuries.
9. Throw away your catalogs – Families receive many catalogs throughout the year, full of tempting offerings. To reduce spending, throw away these catalogs as soon as you receive them and only purchase necessities. Also, try to avoid trips to the local mall and shopping online to reduce temptation.
8. Avoid eating out at restaurants – Few things can damage a budget as much as frequent trips to restaurants. Make meals for your family at home. Establish a limit for you and your family such as one meal at a restaurant per month.
7. Don’t spend money you don’t have – “If you don’t have it, don’t spend it,” says Ed, a Naperville nursing home resident. Pay cash for as much as you can and avoid the use of credit cards. Try to pay down your credit card balances as quickly as you can, to avoid paying high interest fees. Take a close look at your monthly expenses and create a lean family budget, and avoid going over the amount you can truly afford to spend each month.
6. Don’t ever pay full price – Especially now, with our current recession, retail stores are offering sales like never before. If an item is full price, wait to buy it until it goes on sale. Look around for better pricing. In some cases, ask the manager if the item’s price can be reduced. Avoid the trendy department stores and only visit those stores that offer items on discount.
5. Plant more gardens – Now, during the spring months, plant a vegetable garden or expand the garden you already have in mind. Not only is this a fun family project, but you’ll save a lot of money on food purchases in the long run. “We had a garden and mom canned everything,” recalls Margaret, a 100-year-old Freeport nursing home resident.
4. Conserve on gas and become more energy conscious – On weekends, try to do all of your errands during one drive. Try to avoid long drives as much as you can. At home, turn off lights as much as possible and reduce the temperature setting on your thermostat.
3. Be thankful for what you have – What truly matters is life in not the accumulation of items but the relationships we enjoy with our family members and friends. Work to strengthen these relationships, and avoid the common trap of using shopping to provide a sense of personal fulfillment.
2. Pay yourself first – After receiving your paycheck, pay yourself first, putting aside a defined amount into savings or investments. Willie, a Chicago nursing home resident recommends, “If you make a dollar, save a dime.” Stick to your budget and consider this payment to yourself as one of your monthly bills.
1. Look for ways to help others – With people losing their jobs and facing financial crises, American citizens need support from their communities more than ever before. The best way to overcome the depressive feelings related to the economy is to reflect outward and ask yourself, “How can I help those who are in need?” Acts of selfless giving and kindness are truly the best way to ward off the recessionary blues.
The Health Care Council of Illinois (HCCI) is a professional association of more than 600 nursing facilities committed to quality residential health care in Illinois through a productive and responsible partnership between the private and public sectors. HCCI represents more than 65,000 nursing home professionals serving more than 52,000 residents.