With our declining economy and weakening dollar here in the United States, it is going to be time for us to return to some old fashioned money saving tactics. The price of gasoline, the price of food, all contributing to a much higher cost of living overall, and driving up almost every market we work and interact in. In my mind, you can sum up the old fashioned money saving techniques in one short phrase – “delayed gratification”. ARGGGGHHH!!! EEEWWWWWW!!! Yucky. Nobody wants to do that. We all want to find some magic bullet to save us, while we keep all our vices and entertainment. Well I want to submit to you today, ten old fashioned, smart, family oriented, money saving ideas that can produce massive benefits to you down the road:
- Can the junk food.
That’s right, I said it. One place you can really save on your grocery bill is to cut out all the snacks. Cookies, ice cream, chips, cokes, candy, etc. are completely unnecessary, and are very expensive. I am a sucker for chips and cokes, but we rarely ever buy them anymore. Now don’t get me wrong here, you ought to have a treat every once in while, but certainly not everyday, maybe not even once a week. The point is, cutting this junk food out, at least for the most part cutting it out, will save you an extreme amount of money each month.
- Stop Eating Out.
Again, this is one that nobody wants to do. But just look at and total up the money you spent eating out last month. How much did you spend? $100, $200, $500, $1,000? What could you do with that extra money? Eating in is much healthier, and we have found through the grill and trying some recipes that a home cooked meal tends to taste as good or better than eating out. Again, I am not saying never eat out, but make it a once or twice a week thing, not everyday.
- Don’t go shopping.
Most people out there can’t go shopping without buying something. If you are one of those types that likes to go shopping but hates spending money, then go ahead. But most people just need to avoid the malls, outlet stores, etc, and stick to basic needs only. Ouch, did he really say stop going shopping? Yes, I did.
- Cut out all the ridiculous entertainment.
You don’t need to go out to a movie every week. You don’t even need to rent one every week. You don’t need to golf every week. You don’t need to go to a water park every week. Focus on small dollar entertainment, like going for a walk, doing puzzles, watching videos on youtube, and other free or very low cost types of entertainment.
- Watch those miles.
Plan your trips. If you plan the trips you make everyday, you will not make mistakes that will cost you additional miles on your car. Try to do banking and other business over the phone, mail, and internet wherever possible. If you can, get a job that allows you to work at home most days, using your computer and phone. There are many more out there than you think.
- Sell that ridiculously high payment car.
Don’t every make payments on a car. Yes, I said it, don’t ever make payments on a car. Always buy a car for cash, and drive the wheels off of it. Stick with 5+ year old cars, that have already lost most of their value, and drive them to death. You will save so much money.
- Go down to one car to a couple.
My wife and I only have one car. That means only one gas tank, only one insurance bill, only one yearly tax, only yearly registration, only one yearly inspection. Start to make sense? Cars are very, very expensive. Do without, wherever possible.
- Switch electric providers.
I went with a seemingly cheap electric provider, but over the last year and a half, they have jacked my rate up about 30%. What do you do? Well, in deregulated areas, you go to the competition. That’s what I will be doing shortly.
- Keep the AC on 80, the heat on 70, and don’t water the grass much.
Trust me, heating and air conditioning are the most damaging electrical costs that you have. Run fans during the summer, get a space heater for your room during the winter. With rising energy costs, you will definitely see the difference.
- Make a savings goal, and keep yourself accountable.
Come up with a realistic number of dollars you can save every month (using the techniques above and anything else you can think of) and then have your spouse or best friend hold you accountable to it. Peer accountability is a fantastic motivation to keep to your goals. I have given you some simple, solid tips for saving money, but if you don’t do them, you won’t get anywhere. So get with a friend have them ask you once a week about how it is going. You will find you will do a lot better this way.
So there you have, the in your face, this is the real way to save money techniques. Nothing fancy, just solid advice to help you keep more of your hard earned money. ‘Til next time…