Lets face it, you could always use more money. I’ve tried to take a frugal approach to my spending habits. I’m not perfect, but I’m getting better. I’m going to give you some tips on ways to save money. The less money you spend, the less you have to work. None of these tips will make you rich, nor will the results be instant. With a little discipline over time, you can save a hell of a lot of cash. Please feel free to add your money saving tips in the comments section at the end.
15 money saving tips
- Drive Less. Or better yet give up your car all together. Doing it for the environment is noble and all, but with gas prices over $3.00 per gallon, doing it for your pocket book just makes sense. Take public transportation, walk, bike, or carpool when possible.
- Quit Smoking or Drinking regularly. I’m working on the process of quitting smoking cigarettes. I need to quit. I will save roughly $2500 per year if I quit smoking. I’m doing it for my health and my pocket book. Think of the vacations you could take instead of smoking cigarettes or drinking all the time.
- Don’t Go Out to Eat. My parents never cooked meals when I was growing up, we went out a lot. As an adult I’ve come to discover the "Joy of Cooking". I cook my meals, eat leftovers, and pack a lunch for work. I’ve begun to really notice the savings.
- Use Coupons. But don’t use coupons as an excuse to purchase something you wouldn’t normally be buying anyways. Knowing when things are on sale can save you money over the long haul.
- Cut the cable. Turn off the TV. Cancel your cable service. You don’t need hundreds of channels playing infomercials all night. We have the Internet now, TV is obsolete. Use not having TV as an excuse to go outside for once. $100 a month can be much better spent.
- Shut Up. If you have a huge cell phone bill with tons of minutes, or you go over your plan often, you need help. Nothing beats face to face contact. If face to face isn’t an option, get yourself a prepaid cell phone and use it less. Go out for coffee with your friends to play "he said she said" instead of paying a phone company for the pleasure.
- Spend less on entertainment. You could be spending your time going on a walk, playing a board game, talking, having sex, or playing sports. All of that is free. Find some free events in the community or your neighborhood. Invite friends over for dinner.
- Buy used. If you are searching for consumer goods such as kitchen equipment, furniture or electronics, check Craigslist. Go to a rummage sale (hey free entertainment!). Thrift stores can be a fun adventure too.
- Buy Online. Many times prices for products online can be cheaper than in stores. When you buy items in the store you are paying what I call an "Instant Gratification Tax". Sometimes this tax can be higher than 20% of the cost of an item. Buy it online, and for waiting a couple days you’ll save big.
- Buy in bulk. If you are constantly running out of things and going to the store each week, you are wasting a lot of your time and money. Buy in bulk to save cash on volume discounts, save gas money, and save your precious time.
- Be flexible. The real world isn’t Burger King. Sometimes “Your Way Right Away” costs a lot extra. If you are willing to settle for "good enough" instead of "bling bling" you’ll actually have more dough for some used bling bling!
- Use Online Banking. Avoid late fees. Never buy a stamp again! Save time by paying bills automatically. Online banks pay higher interest rates than brick & mortar establishments.
- Use less electricity. Unplug your power strips. You can save a bunch of cash by unplugging unused electronic devices. Even in a standby mode the electronics consume electricity. Those red LEDs arent self powered. Replace your light bulbs with energy efficient bulbs that last for years.
- Drink Water. Carry a refillable water bottle. Stop drinking soft drinks and other high cost specialty drinks. (Sorry, but I will never give up my coffee, but to each his own)
- Be consistent. If you stick to your plan you will save tons of money. One binge can wipe out your savings though, so be careful and make it count.
I hope that list will give some of you some ideas for controlling your consumption. Being able to control your consuming habits is a key skill for a lifehacker. Goodluck.