Life can be expensive. The fact that you can have just about anything that you want, pretty close to when you want it (for a price) doesn’t help either. You burn more gas because you don’t want to wait for a ride; you buy more expensive food, clothes and gadgets because you don’t take the time to look for deals; and you might even pour money into expensive dinner dates because you haven’t taken the time to learn to cook a good meal.
Here are a few practical tips for keeping more money in your pocket, while still enjoying your busy, fun-filled lifestyle.
Depending on your stance on dating, this tip may only apply to guys—but gals can keep these points in mind, too. If your date involves a meal, then take a look at the tip on food. On a thoughtfulness and effort scale, few things score higher than home cooked meals.
Otherwise, be creative and design your own entertainment:
• Put together a scavenger hunt.
• Bring cameras on a walk and take pictures of things that define you and discuss.
• An afternoon at a library: get two copies of a book to read and talk about.
You have to decide how important saving gas money is, because the convenience of going where you want, when you want can be hard to give up. It just depends on what you are willing to sacrifice.
• Carpooling: nearly cut gas bills in half.
• Take advantage of public transportation.
• If time is not pressing and weather permits, combine travel with exercise and ride a bike to a friend’s house.
• Maintenance: Keep up with oil changes, tire rotation and keeping your vehicle running clean. Built-up crud and worn tires will affect your mileage.
For some tips on backpacking euro-style (a subject I know little about), check out this link.
Even if your job requires that you own a variety of professional suits, it is possible to find quality clothes at heavily reduced prices. The key is patience.
• Wait for sales … if you’re patient, they will come!
• Hunt – deals can be hidden in the back of a store or may be at a different store.
• Frequent thrift stores – you would be AMAZED at what people give away.
Having fun is probably one of the easiest things to do cheaply, especially when combined with just a little creativity.
• Decide to eat in: Good times happen because of friends, not because of expensive food, and making dinner as a group is just fun.
• Work at finding a game (board game, card, etc.) a lot of people like. Once you find one you’ll always have a standby.
• Take advantage of free events: Many places have all kinds of free shows and exhibits and are listed together in the local paper.
There is certainly an art to saving money, particularly in enjoying the process as you go. However, with a little bit of determination and some patience, becoming an effective penny pincher can be easy and will leave you happier in the end.