I am not a very frugal guy. I refuse to cancel my cable just to save $30 or so per month. In fact, I think that spending a lot of money on your cable bill and for premium movie channels can actually save you money. So, I acknowledge the fact that you are missing out on the frugality topic of personal finance here on this blog. I am just not that interested in that topic. So, I do not write about it very often. But, it is important and shouldn’t be totally overlooked. So, I thought that I would write a quick post about ten things that I do to save a few dollars per month by being frugal.
Ten ways that I save money:
1. Brew Your Own Coffee. I am a big fan of David Bach’s book, “The Automatic Millionaire: A Powerful One-Step Plan to Live and Finish Rich“. In the book, he talks about what he calls the Latte Factor. A lot of us spend money every day on fancy coffee. If you take that money and invest it instead, it can add up to some serious money. It is a great way to find money to invest with despite a tight budget.
2. Pay Every Purchase With One Credit Card. My wife and I use our American Express charge card to pay for almost all of our monthly expenses, and then we pay the balance off every month…no exceptions! We do not write checks anymore, and we use the one card as a budgeting tool to see where our money is going and what we are spending money on. While it may not work for everyone, this system works great for my wife and me.
3. Use Credit Card Rewards For Christmas Presents. Like I said, my wife and I use our American Express charge card to pay for all of our monthly expenses. The card has a rewards program, and a few years ago my wife began spending our reward points on gift cards which we then give as Christmas presents to all of our friends.
4. Use Store Rewards Cards. My family does all of our grocery shopping at Bi-Lo, a grocery chain in the southeast, and we save at least 15-20% every trip by using Bi-Lo’s Bonus Card, reward and coupon program. Another great benefit of the store reward card is that it is included in the Upromise program. Upromise is a one-stop college service provider that helps families earn, save, and pay for higher education. With Upromise, families can automatically save money for college while making everyday purchases at grocery and drug stores, gas stations, restaurants, retail stores and online shopping sites.
5. Bring a Brown Bag Lunch To Work. I wrote about bringing a brown bag lunch to work a few months ago. If you bring a bag lunch to work every day and save the difference, it will add up to some real cash at the end of your career.
6. Earn Money Online. I have written before about getting paid to take surveys from PineCone Research. You can earn $3 per survey you complete, and they pay your PayPal account. I have been earning money with them for several months, and highly recommend them. And, now I just signed up with the survey website CashCrate after the recommendation of Peter from Bible Money Matters. He earned over $1,700 last year from CashCrate alone! If Peter is recommending it, it is definitely not a scam, and $1,700 is no chicken feed to sneeze at either.
7. Buy Half Price Books & Movies. I only buy my books, textbooks, DVDs, and CDs from Half.com. It’s not only half price stuff, books and movies actually start at 75 cents! I absolutely NEVER pay full price anymore.
8. Use Cell Phones & Skip the Land Line. My wife and I each have a cell phone, and we do not use a regular telephone in our house. We have been doing this for the past several years and have never had a problem, and now more and more people are doing the same thing. Hardly anyone ever says a word about us having a different area code than the area we live in.
9. Cancel subscriptions. We do not subscribe to our local newspaper or very many magazines anymore. Almost everything we want can be found online for free.
10. Take Advantage of Online Savings. My wife and I stopped renting movies from the traditional video stores a long time ago. Instead, we use Blockbuster and Netflix. You can get free trials to both for a limited time to try out. Blockbuster Total Access Two Week Trial & Netflix’s Free Trial
A few extras…
11. Pick up money from the ground and from vending machines, save in a coin jar
12. Put raises or bonuses in savings or apply towards debt
13. Use term insurance instead of universal life or whole life insurance.
There you have it. Those are ten ways that I save money by being frugal.