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Money Saving Tips

January 26, 2012

Time is money, but Money is really Money.  So saving money is a great way to have more money.  Now I’m not as “busy” as I was since one of my jobs ended but I’m still “poor”.  So money saving is important to avoid going into debt.

Tip number one: Find money leaks and plug them.  Money leaks are little bits of spending that you can do with out.  I know, people always say “stop buying that triple-cholate-moach at $5 a cup”.  But since people keep buying them the advice is more of nagging than advice.  Nothing wrong with buying things, what is wrong is how much you buy of it.  Now lets take my family for example.  We found a money leak in our TV/Cable bill.  We have been getting 200+ channels but really were just watching the four big networks and PBS.  And even then we were mostly watching on shows on the computer or other on line methods.  So we “down graded” to Basic TV.  Oh, we miss one channel but that was it.  We are now saving $27 a month. ($324 a year).

This does not mean I’m saying you should go down to just Basic and only watch that.  We kept our Netflix account and Hulu account.  Our TV will show those shows very well with our network device.  We just looked at what we were watching and found a place we were spending money and not getting value for it.  That $27 is the same as what I would earn in just over two and half hours of work a month.  That leak was eating up almost three hours of my life (or one and a quarter of the wife’s).

Tip number two: Shop with a list.  By making a list of what you need, it is easier to stay on track when shopping.  Because you have a list it is easy to say to the kids “No we are not getting the (type of sugar over loaded cookie/candy/cereal/treat) because it is not on the list.”  They understand the idea of lists, and by not having it on the list gives you an easy out with lower likelihood of drama.  (some times it seems like it’s the end of the world when you tell them no chocolate frosted sugar bombs).

Tip number three: Look down when shopping.  Really.  The prices tend to be lower closer to the floor vs eye level.  I’ve been told it is due to the brand names paying for eye level shelf space but that does not explain the soup section.  Tomato soup is low price and tends to be on the lower shelf.  Same brand Cream of trademarked character soup is expensive but on an eye level shelf.  Either way, look down and save a few dollars per shopping trip.

Tip number four: Watch out for fee’s.  We just recently found a fee we had been paying for the last four years that was costing us $7 a month. ($336 over four years)  The fix was simply calling up the company and asking them to stop taking the fee out. Since then we have been looking over other bills to find fee’s we don’t have to pay.  Do you really need “wire insurance” on your electric bill?  This is a monthly fee to cover the cost of fixing the wires in your home between the outside connection and the distribution box in your basement…something the company is responsible for anyways.

Tip number five: Ask for a cash discount.  When buying a big ticket item, save up first and then pay with cash.  Your larger chain stores might not go for that, but your smaller local business will love the idea of not paying the cost of using the debit card.  It may not be much, 3% or so, but that adds up.

Tip number six: Shop at the “scratch and dent” places.  True story – our first washing machine was $50 from a fellow Soldier in the unit who had bought it just 9 months earlier.  Their dryer burned out and they got a new one, but it did not match the washer.  So “of course” they had to get a matching washer to go with the new dryer.  When the Solder dropped it off he asked me to keep a secret from his wife, the washer had a scratch on it!  He had bought it for 40% off because of that but if his wife had known he would be in big trouble.  While I’m thinking “hey 40% off the price for a cosmetic issue on a side you can’t see? What a Deal!” he was worried his wife would find out that for the last 9 months she had been using a “damaged” washer.

Next post will be a really good Oma recipe and maybe another Aunt Ginny one too.

One Comment leave one →
  1. permalink
    January 29, 2012 17:27

    I completely agree with everything you have written here – I like the “find money leaks and plug them” idea…very good! Another idea is to save money on gas by driving more efficiently or limiting use of the car to journeys that are absolutely essential. You’d be surprised how much of a difference it can make.

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