On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me….12 Frugal Things

When you want to save money or pay extra toward your debt, sometimes it’s easy to think about big ways to save money and forget about the little things. Here are 12 frugal things you can do this week to save some extra money. Every little bit counts.

  1. Pack your lunch. If you spend $5 on lunch 5 days a week, you’ll save $25 a week by packing your lunch. That’s $1,300 a year…not chump change!
  2. Give up the soda. In our area, a twelve pack of pop costs around $3. If you go through one twelve pack a week, by giving it up, you will save $150 a year.
  3. Cut back your cable/satellite package. You can save $5-$10 a month by dropping down to the next level on your cable package. That’s $60-$120 a year.
  4. Don’t buy magazines. You can get them from your local library. If you save $3 a week by not buying, that’s another $150 a year.
  5. Get Active. Walking will improve your health, which will impact your medical budget. Even if it saves you only two doctor’s appointments this year, that’s an extra $40 if you have a $20 copay.
  6. Speaking of health, stop smoking. If you smoke a pack a day at $2.25 a pack, you save $67.50 over the course of a month and $821.25 over the course of a year. And that doesn’t even include the amount you’ll save by being healthier.
  7. Make the switch to CFL bulbs. You can save up to $30 a month by using CFLs instead of regular light bulbs. Assuming you save $20 a month, that’s $240 a year.
  8. Have a meatless meal once a week. If a package of meat costs $3, cutting out meat from one meal a week will save $150 a year.
  9. Drop the DVD rental package. My husband and I did this earlier this year, and we haven’t missed it. Our lower tier membership was $9.99 a month. We’re saving $119.88 a year.
  10. Sell your books on half.com. It’s really easy to list your books by the ISBN number. It only takes a few minutes. I listed mine at the beginning of last year, and I make an average of $10 a month with very little effort. That’s $120 a year.
  11. Use generic medication. You can save around $3 by using generic ibuprofin instead of Advil. And using a generic prescription medication can save you even more. When I switched to a generic prescription, I saved $36 a month! That’s $432 a year!
  12. Track your spending. By tracking your spending, you will avoid overdraft fees, most of which are around $25. If you have to pay an average of 3 overdraft fees a year, tracking your spending will save you $75.

If you save the maximum in all of these areas, it comes to $3,718.13! That’s a lot of money! I realize that most people aren’t going to be able to do everything on this list, but let this be a springboard for you to think of the little things you can do to save money. Then add up all the money you can save. You might be surprised at how the little things add up over the course of the year.

This wraps up the 12 Days of Christmas – Personal Finance Style! Make sure you work your way through the whole “song”! On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me….