My Best Money Saving Tips...In One Post!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Over the past couple of years, I have published several posts highlighting money saving tips. Recently, a Chronicle reader suggested that I select the most effective tips and post them at the beginning of the year. I thought this was a great idea, but I thought it would be a better idea to have actual readers select the tips they enjoyed the most...and they did! So, without further adieu, here are my top 5 money saving one post! Enjoy!

1. Bring Your Lunch to Work - This is always an easy fix. The fact is that preparing your own lunch at home and bringing it to work will always save you money. I remember a few years ago, me and another colleague agreed to bring our lunches to the office and eat with each other during lunch time. We would sit in my office, or hers, and eat our home-prepared lunch. We went on like this for a few months, at the end of which we ended up saving a few hundred dollars. My colleague went on to purchase her first home, and I am sure the extra cash helped. Now don’t get me wrong….I understand that in the professional world business lunches are key networking opportunities. During these times, going out for lunch may be necessary. My suggestion is that you bring your lunch to work at least 4 times during the 5 day work week, and use the remaining day for power lunching. Try it for a week and let me know how much you save!

2. Sell It On EBay - We all have an abundance of items in our home that we do not use, nor do we intend to use them. As the old saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. So list your items on EBay, and turn them into extra cash. I do it all the time!

3. Do Your Own 'Do - Growing up I was one of those Divas who visited the hair salon once a week for an old fashioned shampoo, deep conditioning, and roller set. That was until I went away to college, and needed to hold on to the money my parents would send me every month. I always had a talent for doing my own hair, so I used this talent to do my own hair…and many of the women on my campus. 

As I entered Corporate America, I fell back into my weekly visits. Needless to say, a weekly visit to the hair salon isn’t the most frugal activity. As such, I recently ventured into the beauty supply store, and purchased a new hard top hair dryer, rollers, and setting lotion. Instead of going to the hair salon every week, I go every four weeks. In between time, I do my own hair. My initial investment in supplies: $70. Amount saved: about $90 per month….or $1,080 per year….need I say more!

4. Change Your Cell Phone Plan - A couple of years ago, I started looking for ways to cut back on my cell phone usage. Why? Because the bill was way too high! Every month, I exceeded my allotted minutes and text messages, and ended up paying much more than I anticipated when selecting the cell phone plan. I came across an unlimited plan that allowed me to do any and every thing I wanted with my phone for as long as I wanted for a low monthly fee. Needless to say, I immediately switched to that plan. A few months later, a friend of mine told me that our mutual cell phone service carrier recently unveiled a different plan with a better deal! So what did I do….I switched to that plan! The moral of this diatribe is that you should always stay abreast of new deals offered by your carrier that could save you money. The first step is to assess your current usage, and then see if your carrier offers a less expensive option. My savings in the end amounted to about $50 per month. Not too shabby!

5. Skip the Coffee Shop - A while back I read an article on My Thirty Spot that shared an easy way to prepare the perfect iced coffee (Get the Article Here!). It got me to thinking just how much money we spend in coffee shops each year. If you cut your visits to the coffee shop in half, you’d be surprised at how much you can save. Not convinced? Then check this out: Let’s assume that a Tall Caramel Macchiato from Starbucks costs $3.50….that’s $17.50 per work week….and $910 per year! If you cut your visits in half, you can save $455 each year. Did I do my math correctly? In any event, that $455 would look really good in your savings account!

Happy Saving!



Mrs. Pancakes said...

I tried the eBay thing and thought it was too much work but maybe I need to try again!!

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