5 Ways to Save $1000 a Year
I was surfing around Yahoo! Finance a while back and I stumbled upon the article Five Practical Moves to Help You Outrun Inflation, by Jennifer Openshaw, that I found thought provoking and wanted to pass along. The author made the argument that you can save $1,000 a year on each of these 5 lifestyle changes. Some I agree with and some I think are a little exaggerated. With that said, here are the major bullet points followed by some commentary by yours truly.
- Make Water Your Beverage of Choice. Openshaw makes the argument that you can save $20 a week on beverage costs if you drink water or juice concentrate. My initial reaction was, “No way. You can’t save that much money!” But then I started thinking about the vending machine at work where a soda costs $1.25 and if you eat in a restaurant, say twice a week, a soda will run you $2 and a small beer or glass of wine is $3.50, the math starts to add up. I already drink mainly water, but I know friends that could easily save $20 a week in beverage costs. Plus, the health benefits of drinking plenty of water are numerous.
- Cut Back on Driving. For me, since I live out in the country, this means combining trips when running errands, something I need to get better at. But for those city folk, it means alternative forms of transportation like riding the bus, carpooling, biking, and walking. Depending on your car’s gas mileage, you could easily save over $1,000 a year in gas by doing these things.
- Buy Clothes From Thrift Stores. I love thrift stores for threads. Most of my jeans come from thrift or discount stores like Ross. I don’t think I have spent $1,000 for clothes in my entire life, let alone one year! But hey, what can I say, I’m a dude. Recently, I have seen jeans with holes in the knees or paint splattered on them for sale in department stores for a ridiculous price and it always provides a good laugh. Why would anyone pay full price for those when they could doctor up a thrift store pair for pennies on the dollar? I’m not their target market, to say the least!
- Get Handy Around The House. Fire the gardener! Fire the housecleaner! Fire the French masseuse! Find time to do these things yourself and you will easily save $1,000 a year. Plus, Openshaw makes the great point that the satisfaction you get from either fixing the toilet yourself or mowing your own lawn is hard to put a price tag on.
- Cut Back on Unneeded Services. This one is surely part of the 10 commandments of frugal living! Scrap the excess in your life that does not add to real happiness. The 200-channel cable subscription, in which you actually watch maybe 10 channels. Other things that come to mind are gym memberships, magazine subscriptions, and cell phone packages. I like how Openshaw used the example of the pest control service and asks the question “Could that pest control be done every other month instead of monthly?” It does not have to be an all or nothing proposition. Just look into reducing and the savings will follow.
In keeping with tradition, here are some online coupon codes that may not be able to save you a grand, but can hopefully save a few bucks if you were planning on shopping for something you needed anyways.
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Disclaimer and Legal Mumbo Jumbo
I'm just an average mom, trying to live a frugal life and get out of debt. I write about things that have (and haven't) worked to improve my family's financial situation. What works for me may or may not work for you, and you should always consult a financial advisor before making important financial decisions.
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