We are a society of instant gratifiers–the faster the better…that could possibly be why we are a society in deep debt. Get it now! Pay for it and the interest later. Well for those of you who like your food fast, your coffee instant, and results immediately–here are several approaches to saving money that you can feel the benefits of (nearly) now–or at least at the end of the month when that end actually meets the other.
TOP TEN WAYS TO SAVE THIS WEEK
1. Walk, bike, ride the bus, or ride-share to work (erideshare.com).
2. Take a lunch to work and/or take a lunch while running errands. (My favorite is a thermos of cold water and some PB&J sandwiches–this stops my kids in their tracks when away from home–they say they are hungry and they’ve just spotted golden arches.)
3. Cook your meals at home–its healthier, cheaper and in most cases more rewarding.
4. Follow the rule “Less than a mile walk or bike in style.”
5. Avoid phantom electrical charges–even when electrical gadgets are not in use they still consume energy. Unplug those babies or put them on a power strip and shut it off at the source.
6. Disguise and use up your leftovers. Here’s the skinny on leftovers, add a broth to leftovers and it’s soup–add a starch; potatoes, pasta, rice, quinoa it’s a casserole. You can also use those leftovers as lunch (see #2).
7. Get a library card–free books, movies, magazines, books on tape. Additionally, many libraries offer free discussion groups, classes, and lectures. Who needs to pay for media entertainment (when you have a resource like the library for FREE)?
8. Hang your clothes in your basement or attic to line and air dry. Indoor drying during the winter adds moisture to inside air. Winter drying is a bonus as a humidifier for your home.
9. Put your debit card out to pasture–calculate exactly how much money you will need to get through the week for gas, groceries, etc. and take only that amount out or use an envelope system to truly manage your money with cash. It is those small unexpected (and often unnecessary charges) expenditures that push us away from financial goals.
10. Go on a money fast. Jeff Yeager, The Ultimate Cheapskate, is passionate about money fasting–not spending for a day, a week, or A MONTH! Go ahead and try it–if you could avoid spending any money one day each week–what could that add up to for you?
This list is not exhaustive–I barely scraped the surface–but none of these items cost you in initial investments and you can start now. Have a happy and frugal day.