Money Saving Hacks

Instead of reinventing the wheel about saving money, I thought I would take a gander at some hacks already online that focus on saving and stretching money. Here are a few of my favorites

Living on Less

Here are 75 ways a homesteading family saves  and stretches what money they have. Not every tip will work for all of us, but some of them are sound.

My favorites

  • #5: Keep up with what’s in your refrigerator. This is a huge one for many of us. I know I always have some sort of science experiment going on in the back of the fridge. I’ve also had to ditch many good Snapware containers because of said experiments.
  • #16: Bartering for services. This one is geared just toward carpenters but it can include anything from hairstylists to house cleaners to ghost writers to personal trainers to personal chefs to event planners to photographers. Make a list of the talents you have and maybe you can use them to barter for the next job you that needs doing.

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Simple Ways to save

100 simple ideas for people to start saving money. The simpler the idea the easier it is to save money.

My favorites

#8: Invite friends over instead of eating out. This one can be even more cost effective if you turn it into a potluck. Each of your friends brings part of the meal and you’re not stuck with the bill of feeding everyone.

#39: Join up with a Volunteer Program. I learned something from this one as I did not know that you could volunteer with a different program and earn money to help pay off your student loans.

Creative Ways to Save

These are 94 ways to save money creatively, some I’ve seen before and well, some are very creative.

My favorites

#9: Take care of yourself. A healthier you costs you less money. It doesn’t take much to keep yourself healthy. Wash your hands often, take your vitamins, drink plenty of water, keep your servings at a healthy level, eat your veggies, dump the junk food, eat clean, exercise. These will save you money in the long run. The less sick days you have the more money you’ll have in your pocket.

#49: Check your labels. Anything that needs to be dry cleaned is going to cost you more money than just the initial cost shock. Have you checked out how much it costs for dry cleaning, not to mention the chemicals involved?

These are just three websites to get you started on the road to keep more money in your pocket to pay off your debt or just save more for those rainy days.

Wishing you wellness for a new day.

 

SAVING MY HEALTH & MY MONEY

Yesterday I decided for kicks and giggles to tally up how much money I would have to spend to feel as good as I do while take ASEA. I was dumbfounded by the amount of money I would have to spend in order for my health to be at this level and my life to be this good. Below you’ll find a list of products that I don’t have to take because I take ASEA. By taking ASEA I’m saving my health and my money, but more importantly I’m building a life.

One of the things that ASEA does is accelerates the body’s production of its own natural antioxidants, like glutathione, superoxide dismutase (SOD), and catalase.

A question I always need answered is where these supplements come from. Since ASEA accelerates our bodies own natural production of these antioxidants I don’t have to be concerned because they are made within my own body, but if I’m going to pop a pill to get these then I would want to know. Wouldn’t you? For instance, SOD comes from animal sources (www.webmd.com). Since many people today are vegetarians and vegans this is simply out of the question.

Since glutathione, catalase, and SOD helps with removing wrinkles, treating pain, and inflammation I’ve been able to stop using other single forms these products since I used to suffer from an autoimmune illness. Notice I said “used to,” because it’s been almost a year (next month) since I had my last flare up. I also used to have red, blotchy, scaly skin in different parts of my body which I haven’t had to deal with and I’ve been able to enjoy some of my favorite foods like grapefruit and an occasional piece of cheese. My face used to be screaming with redness on my nose, cheeks, chin, and forehead that would burn every time I washed my face. I had to use special cleansers, moisturizers, and makeup just to keep it from burning and showing every time I went out of the house. Now I use ASEA and I no longer have to wear foundation makeup because I have nothing that I want to hide.

Before ASEA

Below are the products I used.

Let’s see what’s the running total so far? I used to spend $380.51 a month on health products just for myself. I’d now have to double this to include the supplements my husband used to take for his health concerns. That’s a whopping $761.02 for dealing with both of our health issues individually. So when someone asks me, “Don’t you think $120 a month for a case of ASEA is crazy?” I say, “NO! Spending $761 a month is crazy!” Before I found ASEA I had no choice but to treat each individual health issue with different products. Now that ASEA has been a part of our life for over a year, we’ve been saving money because ASEA ($120) has taken the place of 10 supplements and numerous skincare products.

It’s not rocket science to figure out the numbers, $120 a month is a far better deal than $761. Saving my health and saving money in the process is only one half of the puzzle. The other half is that I get to share this wonderful product with all the people I meet throughout my day.

10 REASONS TO KEEP MOVING

Every day I wake up with the same agenda. Each day has the same components to it by the routine I choose to follow. Everyone has their own routine that makes their lives stand out as a success. It’s what we do daily that defines us. For many people exercising is part of that routine but for even many more, exercising is drudgery.  They will come up with every excuse not to exercise. And their excuses become their defining secret to why they are not as healthy they’d like to be. Some people are motivated by the endorphins exercising brings. You know that great feeling you get after you work out, like you can conquer the world, and enjoy more peace in your life. But for some people those endorphins don’t mean a thing, these are the people who are motivated differently.

I’m one of those people and here’s my 10 tips to keep moving.

physical-inactivity

  • Prevention costs less money than disease: The costs for having a severe heart attack back in 2010 was $780,000. For a mild heart attack it was only $38,000. Walking is free, riding a bike costs about $300 for an adequate bicycle, even less if you get a second hand bike. The math is easy go  figure it out.
  • Exercising prevents and relieves joint pain: When you are inactive your muscles weaken which could cause curvature of your joints and loss of the lubricating fluid in and around your joints. Exercising also keeps our joints flexible. If you have an auto-immune disease, like I do, moving is one of your best defenses.
  • Exercising is cheaper than therapy
  • Movement helps your digestion: It’s the cheapest and most natural way cure constipation.
  • Only way to ensure weight loss success: Eating healthy is one side of the coin, exercising is the other. They are dependent on each other for success.
  • Inactivity speeds up aging: If muscle atrophy and stiff joints aren’t enough of a sign that you’re aging quickly then the added weight gain and sagging skin are definitely a sign. Growing old gracefully can happen when you are active.
  • Physical activity improves learning and memory: Exercising stimulates new neurons in our brains. It protects the gray matter and slows the Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Enhances our immune system: Exercise improves heart function which pumps more blood. Your lungs can then handle oxygen and delivers it to the rest of the body. Exercise boosts immune system by providing your cells with a boost so they can attack bacteria and keep you healthier.
  • Diffuses anger: Exercise channels your emotions by raising the serotonin levels which regulates the behavior of your brain.
  • Increases sexual desire: When you feel better about yourself your sexual desire is stirred and you have more energy to engage in a loving relationship.

These are just my 10 reasons to keep moving.

What are some of yours?

TIP #29: KEEP A PRICE BOOK

Ever since the Tightwad Gazette came out back in the early 1990’s I’ve been keeping a price book. But now I have two of them. One is for all my online purchases and the other is for my purchases in grocery stores, health food, natural food stores and even clothing and electronic stores. With the many ways to purchase products now a price book is the only way to keep things straight.

The price book can be a simple notebook with columns in it for the different stores and the items with the prices each stores sell them for. It can also be kept on your cell phone as a note or a task. Since all my online purchases are made at home in front of my computer I just bring up my excel spreadsheet with all the online stores I use and the items I normally buy online with their different prices. I also keep track of all the sales that come out this way too. It helps to know who’s got what on sale and how much it will all cost once shipping and handling is figured in. Online Price ComparisonIf you’re not inclined to use a price book maybe you would use a phone app where you take a photo of the bar code and you’ll record the price and other information that’s hidden in the bar code.

The idea here is to know where to get the best price for the items you buy instead of running willy nilly all over the place to buy things. You’ll have a set list of items to get at each store.

 

TIP #27: SAVING UP

Before I get on to the post I just want to apologize for my absence for the week. I’ve been dealing with a family issue and trying to some sense of all that has transpired. The missed days will be added to the last post of March.

TIP #27: SAVING UP

I remember as a kid when I wanted something my parents could not afford they always told me to save up for it. Plus I also remember they too, saved up enough money to buy things like refrigerators, and other appliances, furniture, cars and even our house. We didn’t buy items on credit unless it was an emergency.

Piggy-Bank

What constitutes an emergency? Natural disasters, accidents, health crises, and unemployment are emergencies. Snacks from vending machines, a craving for a new pair of shoes, the latest video game are not emergencies, but for many people it is the latter where they use their credit cards, and set up their own financial ruin. In today’s society using a credit card only for emergencies is often laughed at and ridiculed. We’ve gotten so used to using our credit cards that when someone says “I’m saving up for a trip” they don’t know what to make of it. I’ve gotten many interesting comments and looks of confusion when I say that.

Here are some ways a credit card should not be used, I’m sure if you think about all the ways you use your credit cards you’ll be able to find out what you can cut out.

  1. Groceries: (Have a budget, use cash and only use what you’ve allotted in your budget, it will make you shop frugally.)
  2. Fast Food: (Stop buying it all together and you’ll save even more money.)
  3. Snack machines: (Remember you pay interest on everything you buy on credit. So for that pack of chips you just bought, you are paying interest on it too. Another idea: bring your own snacks from home and bypass the the snack machine all together.)
  4. Convenient stores or snack shops: (If you’re getting gas, purchase the gas without going into the store. Food items at convenient stores are priced higher than your regular grocery store. Convenience costs more.)

Remember when stores had lay away plans? Some are bringing this saving up concept back. You put something on lay way whether it’s clothes, furniture or electronics. Then you make payments on it at least once a week, until you pay for it outright. You can do this on your own for a few months and you’ll be able to purchase whatever you want. For instance if you know you’re going to need a new stove, go look up the brand you want, research what features you want and need. Then start saving at least 10% of the price each week or pay period. This way you’ll be able to get the stove you want without owing any interest, or fear that if you don’t make a payment, it will be taken away from you.

I bought my $1,200 sofa with monthly payments where if I paid it off in 6 months I didn’t have to pay any interest (6 months same as cash). So I made it a point to pay it off in 3 months and kept saving the monthly payments for another 9 months then I went back to the furniture store and was able to buy the love seat, club chair and ottoman because I had enough money and they were on sale, unlike my sofa.

Saving up is also a good boost for your confidence especially when it’s your first time. As a child saving up for something helps children learn not only the value of money but the value of work to earn that money.

Let’s keep in mind that emergencies don’t happen everyday and they aren’t something you can plan for buy you can prepare yourself to be ready either by setting aside an emergency fund or relying on a credit card or both. But remember that credit card should only be used for emergencies…I’m sure that latte you purchased this morning has nothing to do with an emergency.

Redefine your emergencies and you’ll redefine your life.

TIP #19: MONEY SUCKERS

Recently I had a conversation with a very wealthy friend of mine who made the comment, “A person with money problems shouldn’t be spending money on muffins, bags of chips, or going out to restaurants.” His comment has stayed with me for quite some time and I’ve been questioning all the purchases I’ve made in the last three weeks. Saving receipts on everything I bought. I found out that I’ve also been throwing my hard earned money to the money suckers without thinking about it. We all have our own money suckers they are unique to our lives but one thing is certain they will continue to suck money out of our pockets until we stop the behavior and say “NO MORE!”

Money Suckers

 I stopped  buying a cup of coffee at my local coffee house. I love their coffee but realized that a pound of their coffee ($14) was cheaper than a three visits to their coffee house. Because I don’t just order their coffee; I have to get a treat too.  So I still have my favorite coffee but only pay a fraction for it. Plus, I’m saving calories when don’t go into the coffee house.

Another area that stopped the money suckers in their tracks has been any convenient purchases. It used to be that I would run to the gourmet grocery store every time I got a craving for something sweet, salty, or didn’t feel like making dinner.   It’s difficult for me because this store within two blocks from my house and I love all their healthy but expensive treats. So now I just keep things on hand to make my own treats. If I feel the need for chocolate: I make a chocolate protein shake. If I want something salty: I cut up a cucumber and sprinkle salt on it. Both are much cheaper because I already have them in the house, and both are a whole lot healthier for me.

Then I got to wondering how many times in a month do I say “I don’t feel like cooking!” “I didn’t have the time to cook!” So both of us would go to our favorite restaurant in town and order a salad and end up spending more than $20. Or we’d end up at the gourmet store and order one of their sandwiches and drop $15. When all along I had the fixings for a good meal in my refrigerator and pantry. All I needed to do was plan better and use my cooking skills to come up with simple meals.

So what’s changed so far in the last month? I’ve spent less money, and have become more creative with what I have on hand. Yes, it’s difficult to walk past my favorite store every day (it’s on my walking route), but I’m saving my checking account and my health. 

It’s simple: The money suckers will always be there. You can give in and have no money left. Or you can stand strong and stop the money suckers from sucking your life away.

It’s your choice. Choose wisely.

TIP #18: SWAP MEETS REVAMPED

Just the thought of swap meets and you think of burly men trying to trade tools out by in a bad neighborhood or trying to sell their junk.  But it doesn’t have to be that way. Swap meets can be revamped to be whatever you want them to be. The negative connotation is taken away and we are left with a group of friends sharing what they have with each other, having fun, and saving money.

Swap Meet

A couple of years ago I had a clothing swap with some of the ladies in my new church. It was a great way to get to meet some of these ladies and a great way to swap out some of my old clothes for something new. Since then I’ve seen all different kinds of ways revamping swap meets. Each lady brought a bag of clothes to share. It was interesting because some ladies couldn’t attend, yet they still gave me bags of clothes. It was agreed upon ahead of time where the extra clothing would go (a woman’s shelter, etc), so there were no ill feelings.

This is a totally free way to get new clothes and have fun doing it. There is only one requirement in order to participate each person that attends needs to bring at least one piece of clothing that is worth sharing (laundered, no rips,  stains, pet hair, or holes). I served a light lunch before the swapping began.

Here’s a list of other things to swap with friends

  • Purses & shoes:  Have each person bring three purses and three pairs of shoes in order to swap
  • Books, CD’s, DVD’s, Video Games: Each person brings three that they are done with.
  • Cookbooks: Each person brings three cookbooks to swap and a dish from one of them. (My next one)
  • Kitchen Gadget Swap
  • Kid’s toys, clothing, baby accessories
  • Sporting goods

These are just a few off the top of my head, I’m sure if you think about it for a moment you could think of some that I haven’t. The best things about swapping is that you are doing it with friends, you’re laughing, and fun while each of you are saving money.