Step by step tips for saving money and time in your life.
Since we’ve never met, I have no idea what level of money saving master you already are. There are many of you who could teach me tips, tricks and techniques for years on end. I’m sorry if this is too basic for you – we’ve all got to start somewhere. There will be many more juicy tidbits in coming episodes.
1- Don’t think because you’re starting a new hobby, you have to buy all the associated equipment. For example, if you’re starting an exercise program, you don’t need to buy a bunch of new outfits, devices, accessories and such. Just get out there and walk. Virtually any new undertaking you start will have literally thousands of dollars in “stuff” to do it better, faster or more fashionably. Ask yourself in a day, a week, a month or even a year if you NEED that thing. Chances are you may be onto a new hobby by that time.
2- Deposit the top 10% of your earnings into a savings account you don’t touch. I know. It’s impossible. Cut down on the retail coffee, take out, dine in dinners and other regular “must haves” that many, many people do without and still live pretty happy lives.
3- Get your residence tight as a drum by caulking, insulating, having thermal curtains and other methods of making sure the heating and cooling you pay top dollar for stay inside your home. MoneySaving.com
4- Make a list before shopping for anything. It is way too easy to buy with emotion, want and novelty. Think of what you need for the reason you are currently shopping (birthday, other holiday, groceries, etc) and then stick to that list. While we’re at it, as they say, don’t shop hungry!
5- Get the kids to go run around outside and play there instead of investing another $30-$100 on some video game they’ll be entertained by for a few weeks and then want the latest, greatest thing. If they’ve got to have it and you can’t have any peace, try renting it.
6- Clean out your closet. Go through everything you own and see what still fits, can be easily repaired and worn again before going clothes shopping. 100% sure you’ll never wear it again? Doesn’t fit? Goodwill, not landfill.
7- Drink more water. It’ll improve your health (within reason), flush out toxins from your body and keep your more full more often so you’re not as likely to pig out on the next fast food place you pass. In theory, it’s free
8- Go to local book fairs held at libraries, they are a great source of dirt cheap DVD’s, music CD’s and books galore – you’d be surprised how much entertainment can be had for very little money.
9- Save electricity by using CFL or LED light bulbs where it makes sense. At the moment LED bulbs are still very pricy, so look for sales or incentives by either the manufacturer, store or utility company. From my personal experience CFL bulbs don’t cast light as far as traditional or LED – so if you’re lighting a stairway for someone elderly or with limited sight, you may pass on CFL in these type of locations for ultimate safety.
10- Limit credit card use and pay down balances to zero. I have personally fought this demon many a time in my life – it took many financial injuries for me to learn this lesson for good. It is simply too easy to have a feeling of unreality when a simple piece of plastic is involved – but when you’re up to your eyeballs in debt, you feel just how real all that money really is.
11- Take a bit of time looking for sales and discounts before getting into motion to buy. A few moments of research online could save you big money in the long run – plus it’s fun to play price detective.
12- Don’t spend out of boredom. No matter how great you think the thing you’re buying will be, there will come a day when it is dust covered junk you probably can’t even give away. Years ago we bought a gorgeous, 36″ flat screen (not flat panel) TV – it was huge and weighed hundreds of pounds. It served us so well for so long, incredible picture – when it came time for us to move to a smaller space – we literally couldn’t give it away.. no matter how hard we tried. Charity after charity turned us down flat because they only accept flat panel sets. Friends, family, co-workers – nobody wanted this monster. Consider the entire life-span of something before you buy.
13- Make larger meals. Instead of preparing one meal, create enough for several and freeze the extra. Not only will it be cheaper for the bulk ingredients but it’ll save you time and effort each time you only have to reheat the leftovers.
14- Keep a pen and notepad in various locations. It is amazing how many good ideas go out the window because they get forgotten. You never know when a gem of inspiration will strike that could save or make you a ton of money. Or even a little. More is more, no? Saved or earned – it’s YOUR MONEY!
15- Maintain and appreciate the things you already have. It is truly amazing how wealthy an average human being in this society can feel when they simply take care of and are appreciative of the things they already have full use of. Even your own body. How much would you pay to restore eyesight, hearing, use of a limb or something else if you lost it? Almost anything? Well appreciate and value that use right now! Take care of yourself and your things, they’ll last longer and provide even more value over a longer run if you do. And their perceived value will skyrocket – making you richer without having to earn or save one cent over what you already have. (This is a huge one, especially if you master it)
16- Pre-plan your trips. If you are running to “A” Town to do some banking and there is a grocery store in the same parking lot – why not do your grocery shopping there, instead of later going to “B” town that is 8 miles in the opposite direction? What is already on the way of the places you already go to? Make good use of already being places. It’ll save you time, effort, gas money and simplify some of the to-do lists in your head.
All the very best to you! If you save any money or learn anything from this site, feel free to tell a friend!