Monday, July 22, 2013

Money Saving: Ways of the Cheap

Want to save money? Here are a few things that I do.

1. Wear the same clothes you've been wearing for years. The majority of my wardrobe is a year old. I have bought new items in the past year, but I just find myself wearing them a few times and stuffing them into the closet for permanent storage. It's always back to the old stuff that I'm comfortable with. My shoes are just about two years old now and the right shoe is starting to show signs of wear (i.e. fall apart). Therefore, I've sort of given up on buying new things. To do this, unfortunately, you may have to give up on a life a certain degree, get old, and stop caring. Oh, and your workplace must have a really low standard of dress (i.e. you can dress like trash and still be one of the best dressed).

2. Stick to cable TV and the interwebs for entertainment. My cable and internet bill is about $120 a month and they keep me entertained for hours a day. In comparison, a single movie ticket is $12 for two to three hours of entertainment. Do that for 30 days straight and the cost is $360. You might eventually want to kick yourself after a while though. People might call you a "loser" and comment on how you may be wasting your life. Once again, a little bit of giving up, getting old and jaded, and not caring helps.

3. Use a dumb phone. I use a three year old non-smartphone. It's prepaid and the cost is about $115 a year, which averages to a bit under $10 a month. The device can text, call, has voicemail, and only set me back $60. I don't feel the need for a smartphone, its email ability, internet connectivity, and advanced functions. From the research through the flirtations I've had with switching to a smartphone, I am under the impression that a smartphone would cost at least $50/month. You may be called a "dinosaur" and not be "with it".

4. Use a standalone GPS. Completely related to #3 because the more hip and expensive alternative to a standalone GPS is having a smartphone with a maps app. I went and bought the cheapest Garmin available for a bit over $100. No ongoing data plan or costs. Even my 50 year old coworker pulled out his iPhone when we got lost in the country...

5. Skim on lunch. I'm too lazy to pack a lunch, and I prefer the freshness and variety of something bought. However, once in a while I start counting how much I blow on lunch regularly. Instead of completely starving myself, I go for the cheapest stuff in the restaurant that would only be filling for a 5 year old. The result is that I go hungry in the afternoon and save a whole dollar or two!

F___, I'm old, cheap, and jaded...

Money Saving: Saving on Expenses Over the Year
Moving Away for College: Furniture and Dumpster Diving
Online Shopping: Couriers + Oversized Packaged = The End?