Welcome to the inaugural event here at Bohden James where we are going to make it our sole purpose in life to show you easy simple ways on how to save money, right now! With the economy going into the tanker, more and more people are trying to find ways to make that dollar stretch just a little bit further than it did before. It’s hard. And one of the hardest and probably worst things that people find with trying to save money is telling themselves “No”! For one you want it and two you made the money to get it, so why shouldn’t you have it? Well, because you don’t have enough for that and also make ends meet come the end of the money. And therein lies the problem. Wants versus needs and being able to pay the bills and live comfortably in the process.
The hardest part to get across to anybody is that if you’d just take some time and save money for it, you could get it eventually without stretching yourself beyond your means. And believe me, there are plenty of easy ways to save money everyday. But boils down to whether or not you’ve got the p’s (patience, perseverence, persistence) to make your dreams come true and live frugally in the process. And to kick things off here, here’s 8 money saving tips to fatten your wallet right now.
- Stop smoking or dipping snuff: Every January 1 people all over the country and the world roll-up there sleeves and make that never ending pact to quit smoking. Only my guess is probably greater than 80% of them ever achieve that feat and pick up the habit once again a little ways down the line. This little habit costs people thousands of hard earned dollars year after year after year. It’s not hard to break down just sometimes people refuse to look at those numbers. Let’s take premium cigarrettes as an example. On average they are about $5.00 a pack nationwide. If you smoke 1 pack a day for a year, (5 x 365) you’d be spending around $1800 to $2000 dollars a year alone in smokes. Think of it this way, for most that’s more than a house payment and that’s saying a lot.If you can’t quit, and I’m not advocating smoking or getting on my high horse here in any way shape or form as I’ve been a part of this type of addiction for many years and have seen the struggles that go along with it, try and cut back or switch off of those premium brands. If you can make that pack last 2 days you’d be putting around a $1000 back into your money bags and active collateral. If you switched off the premiums to a cheaper generic brand it could even be a whole lot more.
- Dump the gym: This to me is somewhat comedic at times. People have gym memberships. People you know have gym memberships that you would never expect to have a membership anywhere. You’re shocked sometimes to find out that these people have memberships to the same gym you do because you never see them. Could be because you don’t go at the same times or on the same days or even at all. Well, it’s time to come down to brass tacks with this one. Hold up your hand if you’re guilty. Don’t worry, nobody will see you if you do and the ones that do won’t know why you’re holding up your hand anyways cause chances are they aren’t reading this at the same time you are. You’ve got to be honest with yourself on this one and here’s a fairly simple money saving tip to follow. Ask yourself this question and put in the first person: Do I use my membership 3-4 times a week? Be honest, if you’re not, then drop it and save that money every month for something else. If you do, is it doing you any good? Could you accomplish the same things taking a walk or run around the block 3 or 4 times a week. What would happen if you dropped your membership and did some road work for a year saving that money to actually purchase a home gym that you could pay cash for 1 time.
- Quit buying magazines: At this day in age? This blows me away when you’ve got the world at your fingertips. Most people that have magazine subscriptions typically don’t have just one. You’ve got “Parents” and “Health” and “Women’s Health” and…the list goes on. Although it’s not a ton of savings but probably a good hundred or so a year and even more if you don’t have a subscriptions and pick them up in the checkouts at your local supermarkets on your weekly run. Here’s a tip, peruse the covers but don’t pick them up. Look at what the covers are talking about and then use what you’ve already got (cause your reading this), the internet. Click around, find out what’s going on and either stop buying the magazines or cancel the subscriptions. Most subscriptions, if you didn’t get them at the discount rate, will give you a refund and if they won’t don’t renew when it comes time.
- Use the coupons, please: Alright, I’ll keep this one short as it’s pretty simple. It’s paper money, plain and simple that most people walk right on by or don’t cut out and use simply because they have money. Coupons are for people who don’t have money. Give me a break!! If you use the products, use the coupons.
- Ask for discounts: This one floors me. People, just because it has a price tag doesn’t mean that that is the price you have to pay for it. The barter system is still alive and doing very well thank you. I can’t recall the last time I paid full price on a big ticket item, but there’s a catch – you’ve got to have cash. Cash is King and the end-of-month is your friend. I’ll give you an example from my own personal experience. We window shopped for a long time (without taking a penny or a credit card in the stores with us) and while we were finding the one we wanted, we saved. Till one day, there it was, beautiful and $1800. We waited about another week till it got closer to the end of the month, see they have to make numbers, and then went in with the cash we had saved. Talked to the sales guy, whipped out the $1200 we had saved, got the manager, asked for a discount while holding the $1200, lot of small talk, got up to leave as we didn’t have to have that couch that day. Before we could get to the door, he met us and the couch was ours for $1200 flat, not a penny more. See, most people won’t get discounts because they’ll never ask. This is one of the money saving tips that I use quite often and frequently, don’t be proud, ask for the discount.
- Dispose of the coffee: We are a society flat-out addicted to coffee. I’ve never liked the taste of it personally and have been able to successfully avoid that money pitfall. But if you are and you do drink coffee daily, do yourself a favor and stop. Coffee’s expensive and is definitely not a necessity. Take better care of yourself, get in better shape and get more sleep so you’re not so tired and edgy that you feel like you need it. Here’s another 80% number for you, my guess is half the country doesn’t get the recommended (um, required) 8 to 10 hours of sleep a night that your body simply needs. If you simply gotta have it, make it yourself and for goodness sakes stop buying those expensive gourmet brands. Stop making StarBucks richer and put the money back in your pocketbook.
- Don’t eat out: This one was a tough adjustment for me and my family personally but I have to say a very cost saving one. Eating out for dinner is expensive, especially for a family of 5. We still occasionaly eat out, but now instead of eating out for dinner, we go for lunch and everyone agrees to eat off the lunch menu, no exceptions. Plus nobody gets a soda. It’s waters for all. Most restraunts these days, the soda’s are around $2.00 a pop. For 5, that’s an extra $10.00 a meal. We set a budget for it and once that budget is gone, we’re done eating out. What we’ve found though is this, dinner’s expensive, lunch is cheaper but breakfast is the best. Eating out for breakfast we save almost $25.00 a meal, plus it gives us a chance to start the day as a family and just talk. Plus, most breakfast menu’s have a ton of fun and delicious stuff on there for the kids as well.
- Stop using the gas hog: Gas prices, what are you gonna do with them? Well, for one you could stop driving as much as you normally do. Make a permanent and staple list that you can follow and only go out for those necessities once a week. We used to be terribly guilty with it, oh I forgot this, gonna run down to the corner store and pick it up real quick. Not anymore, if it’s not on the list and we don’t have it, it can wait. Plus, how many needless errands and trips do you take? Gonna run over to the friends house to say “Hi” sort of stuff. Stop it. Pick up the phone and call.Here’s another good one for you. Carpool or take the bus a few times a week. Who knows, you might actually enjoy it being able to have an in-person conversation with someone instead of on the phone while driving to work. Bottom line is, cutting back on your driving cuts back on your gas bills, and these days, that puts quite a lot back into the bank for those actual needs that tend to crop up.
Well, that’ll about sum it up for this weeks edition of money saving tips. Be sure to check back often as we’ll be submitting new and exciting ways to hopefully show you how to save money and put that money back to use for you to free up your budget and get you on a path to saving more money today.