9 Tips for saving potentially thousands of dollars a year

Everyone has habits that tax their income. For many people, as their income increases so do their spending habits. Life gets filled with unconscious habits that cause you to bleed money. In many ways, it is the little stupid stuff that adds up time and time again. It is not the $300 blender that sends you spiraling into debt as much as the $4 a day coffee habit.

Many working adults have a week’s cash philosophy where he or she takes out $100 or so dollars a week to spend. I know people who do $50 a week and others who do $200 per person. This money is often just blown through. Have you ever had $100 in your wallet and then suddenly only a 5 dollar bill? When you think about where the money went, can you figure out where the 95 dollars went? Most people cant.

The following tips may seem obvious, but see if you fall into any of these pits. These pits only apply if you are not saving as much as you want, are looking for ways to cut back, or your expenses are more then your income. I know some of the following are fun things that you may not want to give up, in that case cut them out until you raise your income.

 

9 obvious ways to save money

  1. Stop smoking and. If you smoke a pack a day, at 5 dollars a pack that is $1825 a year. That does not even count higher medical expenses through the course of your life.
  2. Stop drinking coffee. Coffee can range in prices, but most people are more then one cupers. If you only drink a couple cups of coffee at home and never buy it out, it probably costs around 365 dollars a year. This covers coffee, water, etc. Now if you have a coffee habit of buying starbucks once a day at $4 that is a $1460 habit.
  3. Stop paying for things you do not use. Gym memberships, country club memberships, season passes to amusement parks or other events, and magazine subscriptions are all examples of items that costs lots of money but may not have any return value. I don’t read magazines and if I did, the library has many of them. I read quite a few financial magazines when I am in an investment cycle, and I do it all at the library. Gym memberships cost $100s per year when you could walk, bike, or do stairs without a gym membership. The only thing nice about gyms are the pool and steam rooms. If you use the gym a lot, keep it, but don’t lie to yourself that you will start using it when.
  4. Give up cable TV. I am not a big fan of TV. Cable TV costs at least $40 a month and up to $100s. Even at $40 a month that is $480 a year. Can you say you enjoy TV enough that is worth $480 a year? There are other options, watch programs online, subscribe to netflicks which is only $17 a month (and no commercials!), rent dvds from the library, start a dvd swap with friends. Also, go out and do things, TV is watching life, go out and make a life instead.
  5. Don’t take vacations you cant afford. I see so many people taking a vacation or two a year, spending 2 or 3 grand per vacation. People tell me they need the vacation, they need something to look forward to, they need a break. They put the vacation on credit cards until they can pay for it. Don’t take a vacation unless you far the money by a long shot. That means, don’t take a vacation by using money from savings, credit, or barrowing from friends. If you spend $2000 on a vacation, if you put it on credit and pay the minimum it will cost you over $3500 to pay back on most cards. If you take a vacation and can pay for it, but it puts you in financial straits, it is not worth it. It takes away your flexibility if something good or bad happened
  6. Pay off all credit cards. Many credit cards are around 17 percent. This means for every $1000 you have on a credit card per year, you will pay 170 dollars in interest. If you have credit card dept, stop using them until they are 100 percent paid off. Most credit cards compound interest daily if there is a balance. This means, if you did not pay $100 last month, this month you pay interest on $100 and new charges, not just the $100.
  7. Eat at home. Eating out even cheap costs at least $10 a day for 1 person eating crappy fast food. That is $3650 a year. If you eat at decent places that puts you closer to at least $20 a day. That is $7300 a year. I am a single person and I spend around $30 to $40 a week on food. That is less then half of what the $10 dollar a day person spends.
  8. Say good bye to home phones if you have a cell phone. Cell phones rock. You can get a decent plan, take it with you everywhere, and good plans have lots of unlimited nights and weekend options. Many cell phone providers by default include call waiting, 3 way calling, voicemail and free long distance without any extra charge. I find the time I use the phone the most is nights and weekends because I am working during the day. Typically people pay around $30 a month for a home phone line and more money is spent in options and long distance. This is at least $360.
  9. Cut down expensive activities. Drinks at bars, sporting events, plays, concerts, nights out on the town, expensive dinners out, and movies add up over time. Dinner and a movie can easily costs $30 a person. Hitting the bar scene can easily get over $100 in a night.

Where can you save money? What little things can you cut that would free up your wallet? While I don’t advocate having no fun in your life or giving up everything that costs money, I do advocate spending money consciously. Would you rather have $500 worth of TV for a year or season passes to ski? Eventually the goal is though, to be able to have enough money that you can have both. Whatever you spend money on, spend it consciously. Don’t let spending become a habit you don’t even realize anymore.

Adrienne :)

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5 Responses to “9 Tips for saving potentially thousands of dollars a year”

  1. Jason says:

    Mmm, vacation… I went camping for a weekend a few months back, but I haven’t had a real week-plus long vacation. No, not I haven’t had one in 5 years, I haven’t had one. Period. I think I’m going to change that some time soon, though… have to save up some blog posts before I do, though. I’d hate to leave my readers hanging.

  2. [...] Adventurous Philosopher Thought is the only matter var sc_project=2403862; var sc_invisible=0; var sc_partition=22; var sc_security=”dd3c29d3″; var sc_remove_link=1; « 9 Tips for saving potentially thousands of dollars a year [...]

  3. Ben Lazzio says:

    This is So Cool Adrienne Thanks for the tips! I read throught them all!

  4. Chuck says:

    I have no problems at all with 8 of those things. So I do not spend much. But I like getting take out food. I grew up with a rich grandfather and we ate out at least 4 times a week.

  5. Adrienne says:

    @Chuck
    I am pretty luck, i enjoy eating at home. Being able to take my time and have everything just the way i want it. with as much or as little as i want.
    Thank you for reading :)

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