5 Quick Tips to Start Saving Money

by Frugal Finder

5 Quick Tips to Start Saving Money

When a recession is full on, unemployment is up, and there is so much uncertainty in the world, many people start getting frugal. Cutting your expenses and socking that money away for a rainy day is not only smart, it is necessary in this day in age. Here are five quick tips to get you started saving money today.

1. Cut the cable or satellite TV. Sitting in front of the TV is a horrible waste of time. However, if you really need your fix, go online. There is a whole host of shows available through Hulu (hulu.com), Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim (adultswim.com), and Comedy Central (comedycentral.com). They don’t have just clips, but entire shows. Sometimes they even post shows online before they are broadcast. For those who are looking for something less mind numbing and more mind expanding, you could try Ted.com or Fora.tv. The best thing about watching TV over the internet, you have far less commercials to deal with. You can also watch an entire season of a show in one sitting. With more control and less advertising, why does anyone still put up with traditional TV?

2. Wash your dishes by hand and hang out your laundry. Most people do not realize that dishwashing machines and clothes dryers suck up a huge amount of energy. A typical dishwasher uses 1200 to 1500 watts per hour, and an electric clothes dryer uses 4000 watts per hour (http://www.absak.com/library/power-consumption-table). Simply washing the dishes by hand once or twice a week will save you quite a bit on your energy bill over the long run. Drying your clothes on a clothes line or drying rack once a load will also save you a ton. An added bonus is the Zen-like experience of doing a simple task like washing dishes or hanging clothes. It will rest your mind much better than vegging out in front of the TV for a couple hours after work. You’ll also get that little psychological boost of getting a small physical task completed for the day, which is much better than anything Farmville can give you.

3. Stop paying retail prices for books. There is really no reason to pay the retail price for a book. You can cut the cost down several different ways. First off, check out Amazon and look at the used books available for your desired title. Many paperbacks can be acquired for just a dollar or two over the cost of shipping, which is only $3.99. Secondly, go browse a used book store. Half-Priced Books (if you have one near you), has not only great prices for popular books, but a discount section where very interesting books can be found for $1 apiece. Finally, join a book trading group. There are a ton of book sharing sites that allow you to mail your books to other members and request titles from others. Checkout: bookmooch.com, bookins.com, paperbackswap.com, swap.com, and whatsonmybookshelf.com.

4. Listen to some calming music while you drive. The quickest way to kill your gas mileage is to drive aggressively. You accelerate faster and brake later, which really hurts your fuel economy. The best way to get around that is to listen to some calming music while you drive. Head-banger trash metal is a definite no-no. Download some calm classical or elevator music and make your commutes as stress-free as possible. It also pays to have a dash of empathy while you are driving. That guy probably didn’t cut you off to spite you, but to stop his two kids from fighting in the back seat. We all have our off days and make mistakes. When someone breaks traffic etiquette, don’t start screaming. You’ve done the same thing in the past and will do so in the future. If you remember that, your wallet will thank you.

5. Cut down on the vices. If you smoke…stop. It is not only destroying your health (which will cost you in the future), it is destroying your wallet. If you really have to have that nicotine fix, look into rolling your own cigarettes. Not only does it look cool at parties (which is why everybody smokes right?), but it also tends to be a great deal cheaper. The actual labor of rolling will also cut down on how many of those cancer-sticks you will puff through every day. If you don’t know how to roll, check Youtube for a plethora of videos on how to do it. Then get a pack of papers and some oregano to practice. You’ll be a pro by the time you make it through the whole pack. (just don’t smoke the oregano) If you drink, it may be time to start a new hobby. Home brewing can be extremely cheap and fun to boot. From extremely simple setups to elaborate kits, you can start just on just about any budget. Don’t think that you can only brew beer either. Wine and mead are also very easy to start doing yourself. It doesn’t take a huge amount of effort, and it is usually pretty fun. Just checkout homebrewing.org to get you started. Living a frugal lifestyle doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on anything, it just means that you have to start being creative and learning new skills. That can mean you learn how to brew your own beer or join a group and start swapping books. If you are looking to cut back due to some financial hardships, then you are in luck. You are in a perfect position to really expand your horizons. Your lack of funds is not a handicap, it is an opportunity. Don’t let it pass you by.

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