Tired of not having enough money in your wallet? Is your bank account in need of a stimulus package of its own? Are you sick and tired of having to eek your way through life? Then allow Pete Magete Blog to provide you the map for the road to riches! Well not really. I’m no expert in high finance or playing the stock market, but I am pretty well versed at penny-pinching. Here are 9 of my tricks to save a dollar here and there.
1. Don’t drink. Don’t smoke.
This may sound preposterous to a lot of you, and you may have a hard time imagining your life without altering your mind with the use of a substance, but look at all the money to be saved. Nothing is taxed more mercilessly than booze and tobacco, so they’re guaranteed to be expensive. If you buy drinks at a bar or restaurant, the prices are jacked up even more. Then you have study after study shows that heavy drinking and use of tobacco are hazardous to your health over time, which costs a lot of money in health care costs. And finally, alcohol can lead to all kinds of trouble with the law, which always costs a lot of money. This one seems like a no-brainer, but if you really think that you have to drink for certain occasions, just go with the cheap route of “pre-gaming” before going out.
2. Don’t drink coffee.
As a non-coffee drinker, I don’t understand the appeal of coffee at all. I’ve given it at least 3 or 4 honest tries, and each time it disappoints. Since so many tell me it’s “an aquired taste” I guess this advice will be most easily taken by those who haven’t started drinking coffee yet. Don’t start! Why acquire a taste that will only leave you addicted to a substance that requires you to start every day with it, otherwise face a lethargic day? Not to mention just how expensive these joints like Starbucks are. If you think you need coffee, well, you’re kidding yourself. And if you can afford it, more power to you, but if you can’t understand why your checking account is always so dangerously low, and yet you buy a $4 (insert coffee type drink name here) 5 times a week, you should probably consider kicking the habit.
3. Drink water when eating out.
Sticking with this drinks theme thus far, this one is really simple: If you’re paying $10 for a burger and fries at your favorite greasy spoon, why pay another $2.50 for a fountain soda that cost the restaurant 8 cents? Plus they always load these things with ice, so you get even less soda, which brings me to another one of my tricks: asking for no ice. Anyhow, water is always complimentary, so I’ll keep my $2.50 and spend it on adding a second patty to my cheeseburger.
4. Avoid paying for parking if you can help it.
I think George Costanza says it best: “Parking at a garage is like going to a prostitute. Why pay for it if you can apply yourself and then maybe you can get it for free”. George may go a little far with that analogy, but I can’t help but feel dirty and ashamed after paying for parking. Sometimes you really have no choice, but you’d be surprised what you can find if you try hard enough. You just have to leave a little sooner to hunt for a spot, and be prepared for a bit of a walk.
5. Don’t pay for haircuts.
Buy a set of clippers instead. Even the best of quality clippers will pay for themselves within 2 or 3 cuts. This works much better for men, but some girls trust each other if they’re handy with a pair of scissors.
6. Change your own oil, wash your own car
If you have to pay for these services, you’re either lazy, or a woman…or possibly a lazy woman.
7. Bring your own lunch to work/school.
You’d think this one would be pretty obvious, but it amazes me how much money some people throw away by eating out everyday for lunch. Even fast food adds up pretty quick. I take it to the extreme: 2 PB&J’s a day. That’s it. According to my estimates, it only costs me about 85 cents a day. I defy you to come up with a more satisfying lunch for under a dollar.
8. Make going to the movies a special occasion
Let’s face it, Hollywood is basically a crappy movie making machine these days. 95% of what they produce I have zero interest in ever seeing, and of the rest of those movies, I realize that the experience of watching them in the theater isn’t going to add that much. So waiting for a DVD release for me to rent it, or even better yet, waiting for it to show up on cable in a year and a half isn’t that hard to swallow. If I’m really excited for that one or two movies each year, then going to the movies has become more fun, instead of something I take for granted, and that’s a lot of $12 movie tickets I don’t miss paying for.
9. Don’t spend more than you have
This one can help you more than the other 8 combined if you’re not following it. It sounds simple enough, but I’m amazed by how many Americans love the idea of getting something now, and paying for it later, whether that’s with putting too much on their credit card and only making minimum payments, or financing a car that they can barely afford, instead of buying a reasonable ride straight up. There’s a reason why there are so many credit card companies that are willing to give you ridiculous rewards for all the money you spend with them: because they’re getting rich off of you if you don’t pay off your balance each month.
Well, there you have it. Now that you’ve got a couple extra dollars lying around, you can give it to your favorite charity or somebody who needs it more than you.
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” – Luke 6:38