- Drop your landline and rely on your cell phone
- Make your own gifts
- Cook more and eat out less often
- Be aware of bank fees
- Make a list before grocery shopping
- Buy generic products
- Explore free activities on the weekend
- Shop your wardrobe
- Wait on purchases before buying them
- Seal up air leaks in your home to cut heating and cooling costs
- Turn roaming off and rely on WiFi when traveling
- Know the right things to buy in bulk
- Turn off lights that aren't in use
- Use cold water to wash your clothes
- Hang dry your clothing instead of tumbling it in the dryer
- Hand wash your clothing instead of taking it to the dry cleaner when possible
- Drink tap water instead of bottled water. Consider investing in a filter
- Cancel cable and watch your favorite shows online
- Work out outdoors, play sports, or go to a friend's gym instead of paying for a gym membership
- Shop at the farmers market
- Swap clothes, bags, and accessories with friends
- Google coupons and promo codes before buying something online
- Renegotiate your cell phone plan, find a new carrier, or cancel some features to save money
- Use a prepaid phone instead of signing up for a phone plan
- Read books and magazines from the library
- Return the purchases you need to return
- Sell your old things and buy used items
- Automate payments so you won't forget and be charged with late fees
- Negotiate a lower APR
- Upcycle your old items instead of throwing them away
- Always comparison shop
- Find a good rewards credit card and use it smartly
- Don't feel obligated to say yes to every invitation (this includes weddings, dinners, events, etc.)
- Eat right and exercise and get enough sleep, so you won't have to pay with your health
- Pay bills online to save on postage
- Compare gas prices to find the most affordable gas with sites like GasBuddy.com
- Avoid out-of-network ATMs
- Keep track of your money with a spreadsheet or Mint.com
- Keep your receipts or take a pictures of them in case you want to return an item
- Vacation closer to home
- Don't check in your luggage
- Check out Airbnb or HomeAway instead of hotels
- Travel during an off-peak season or time
- Use reusable grocery bags
- Join loyalty programs
- Feed your pet the right foods and keep it in shape to reduce vet bills
- Review your receipts to make sure you're not being charged for odd items
- Check your bank account daily to make sure there aren't any weird charges
- Don't use your credit card overseas unless it doesn't have foreign transaction fees
- Rent movies instead of going to the theater
Everyone's making plans for a fresh start this year, and if one of your goals is to save money, make a few changes here and there to save a little or a lot of money. Remember the little things do add up! Here are my top 50 frugal picks for saving money in 2015 from SavvySugar.
The end of 2014 is here, most of us look ahead to the new year and make a handful of resolutions, goals, wishes, intentions, dreams, whatever you wish to call it - the slate is clean to start fresh and new!
Some of the most common new year's resolutions are... 1) lose weight, 2) make more money, 2) eat healthier, 3) get out of debt, 4) spend more time with family and friends, 5) help others 6) quit smoking/drinking, 7) get organized, 8) reduce stress, 9) improve career/job, 10) take a trip.
I consider myself fortunate that I've either achieved or don't need to worry about some of the most common resolutions listed above. For instance, I am pretty organized, I try to eat in moderation, my only big debt is my mortgage, I don't smoke or drink (too much), I hardly have any stress, I spend as much quality time with lifelong friends and I take a trip at least once a year.
At the end of 2013 I made a list of goals for 2014 that I either maintained or achieved. For example, I am (finally) going to Paris in August. I go for daily walks combined with additional income by starting my own dog walking business. This one achievement ticked off 3 of my "resolutions" for 2014... 1) go for walks, 2) improve my finances, 3) be around more dogs. However, there are still some wishes, dreams or resolutions that I have added to my list for 2015.
In 2015, I plan to continue to strive to achieve these on-going goals:
The main goal I had in 2014, was to have financial freedom. I believe I have accomplished that. By having a simpler lifestyle and being aware of how I spend my money I feel "richer" in more ways than one. The most important insight I have learned this past year is that our true purpose is to have JOY in our lives. My main resolution for the new year is to be joyous and abundant in every way.
Most of us are consumers, especially during the holiday gift giving (and receiving) season. Why not take this moment to reflect on all the wonderful people and things you already have in your life. Instead of acquiring new stuff and things, re-evaluate what you already have in your possession.
The "thrift tree" (as I call it) illustrates what is important in priority order. Applying these principles will not only save some money, but they will save our planet.
1. USE WHAT YOU HAVE - whether it's clothing, shoes, smartphones, furniture, cars, etc... unless it's broken, torn, damaged or simply does not work anymore, use it. If it needs minor repair, fix it - it will usually cost less than buying new.
2. BORROW - when I've needed something for a short duration, I usually ask to borrow it from one of my neighbors (for example, a ladder). I have also borrowed a dress from one of my friends for an evening event. Unless you will need any particular item for more than a couple of times, consider borrowing it first.
3. SWAP - I've often posted to swap stuff with friends. Collect stuff you no longer have use for, such as clothes, purses, jewelry, household items, books and magazines you've already read. You can make it extra fun by holding a "swap party"! Any items not "swapped" can be donated to a local thrift store.
4. THRIFT - speaking of thrift store, I always check my local Goodwill, Salvation Army, ReStore, or other thrift stores first for clothing items, accessories, or home decor items. Not only do I save money, but I feel good about helping out these local organizations. I also shop garage sales, swap meets and flea markets!
5. MAKE - this is the season for gift giving... why not make the gifts instead of buying them. There are many wonderful homemade gift ideas, such as baked goods, candles, soaps, plant or floral arrangement, etc. You can also use recycled gift wrapping, gift bags, ribbons, etc. Personalize the card by making your own using the recipient's photo.
6. BUY - let's face it, there are just some things things that we have to buy. Most of these fall in the category of food. However, if possible, try to grow your own herbs, vegetables, fruits, etc..
Although it's nice to have something brand new, consider whether you really need another pair of designer jeans before you break out that credit card.