Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Saving On A Shoestring

So, I found this article from MSN Money that I printed a couple of years ago (2004) that had some really good tips on it and I thought I would share a few of my favorites:

Accept frugality as your savior. Become a closet cheapskate and emulate your frugal friends. Note that they fix the shower curtain instead of buying a new one. Sit down with Depression-era relatives and ask about economizing.

Cry poverty -- with style. Learn handy phrases like, "Let's eat somewhere cheap." And "Shopping? Blech. Let's go for a bike ride." It's less embarrassing than you'd think, because more people are in your shoes than you think -- and they'll be grateful you spoke up.

Don't even think about it. Direct deposit is a saver's best friend because the money is whisked away into your IRA, 401k or money market account -- and you don't have to do a thing, Except drop by your payroll department and/or your bank and fill out the damn forms. Today.

Play money games. Whenever you get a $5 bill, put it aside. Or do it with ones, with quarter, or all your spare change. You'll have a nest egg before you miss a nickel.

Toss the catalogs. The most insidious form of spending temptation known to man or woman. Chuck them straight in the trash. Yes, including Victoria's Secret.

Re-evaluate. Re-evaluate. Re-evaluate. That dinner out cost more than you spend on groceries in a week. That pair of shoes is worth half a commuter pass. Learn what your money is worth, and you won't be so quick to dispose of it.

Never pay full price. If you must shop, for pete's sake, discover the online world of discount web sites. Ebay is still ok, but and are excellent sources of "lightly used" goods -- everything from books to jewelry to office furniture -- to the entire first season of Star Trek on video.

Don't pay unecessary fees. Like the $1.50 you pay just because the ATM is right there, right now as opposed to walking two blocks to your bank, where you don't get charged every time you use your cash card. Or the late fees for returning videos. (Netflix people!) I know a woman who paid $60 in late fees to a video store last year. (It wasn't me.)(Ok, it was.) Or those fat charges banks hit you with when you write a check that, well, bounces.

I'm so guilty of the last one! Pay attention to my'll see what I mean. I especially like the second to last tip. Re-evaluate. I have noticed that with tracking my spending and actually paying more detailed attention to where my money goes I am more concious of my spending. Hopefully by the time the end of the month rolls around I will have brain-washed myself into a more frugal way of living!


Blogger Jane said...

I like the Play Money Games idea. Don't know if it would work for me, as I don't carry much cash. But an interesting idea.

11:58 AM  

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