- Call your credit card company and ask for a rate reduction. Take any of your credit cards that are carrying a balance, flip them over, and call the number on the back. Tell them that you want an interest rate reduction or youʼll take your business elsewhere. If the first person you talk to wonʼt do it, ask to talk to a supervisor. If you have a $5,000 balance, even a 3% rate reduction saves you $150 a year.
- Clean out your closet. Go through your closets and try to get rid of some of the stuff in there. You can have a yard sale with it, take it to a consignment shop, or even donate it for the tax deduction – all of which turn old stuff you donʼt want to use any more into money in your pocket. Not only that, itʼs often a psychological load off your mind to clean out your closets.
- Buy games that have a lot of replay value – and donʼt acquire new ones until youʼve mastered what you have. My video game buying habits have changed quite a bit since my “game of the week” days. Now, I focus on games that can be played over and over and over again, and I focus on mastering the games that I buy. Good targets include puzzle games and long, involved quest games – they maximize the value of your gaming dollar.
- Drink more water. Not only does drinking plenty of water have great health benefits, water drinking has financial benefits, too. Drink a big glass of water before each meal, and not only will you digest it better, you wonʼt eat as much, saving on the olʼ food bill. Youʼll also find yourself feeling a bit better as you begin to get adequately hydrated (most Americans are perpetually somewhat dehydrated).
- Cut back on the convenience foods – fast foods, microwave meals, and so on. Instead of eating fast food or just nuking some prepackaged food when you get home, try making some simple and healthy replacements that you can take with you, like homemade bulk breakfast burritos. An hourʼs worth of preparation one weekend can give you a ton of cheap and handy meals that will end up saving you a lot of cash and not eat into your time when youʼre busy.
- Give up expensive habits, like cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs. Those habits cause money to flow away from you with nothing in return. Call up your fortitude and work hard to kick the habits and youʼll find that money staying in your pocket instead of burning up and floating away.
- Make a quadruple batch of a casserole. Casseroles are nice, easy dishes to prepare, but on busy nights, itʼs often still easier to just order some take-out or eat out or just plop a prepackaged meal in the oven. Instead, the next time you make a casserole, make four batches of it and put the other three in the freezer. Then, the next time you need a quick meal for the family, grab one of those batches and just heat it up – easy as can be. Even better, doing this allows you to buy the ingredients in bulk, making each casserole cheaper than it would be ordinarily – and far, far cheaper than eating out or trying a prepackaged meal.
- Be diligent about turning off lights before you leave. If you spend one minute turning off lights before a two hour trip, thatʼs the equivalent of earning $50 an hour. Thatʼs some impressive savings, particularly if you do it before longer trips. The key is to use less energy, particularly when youʼre not using the device.
- Swap books, music, and DVDs cheaply on the internet via services like PaperBackSwap. You can very easily swap the books and CDs and DVDs youʼve grown bored with via the internet with others. Just use sites like PaperBackSwap, clean out your media collection, and trade them with others online. The best part? Youʼll get a flood of new books (or CDs or DVDs) to enjoy, mailed right to you – for free.
- Maximize yard sales. I like to stop by yard sales if I see them, but I recognize that often the stuff there is junk. Thus, Iʼm careful about what I buy and I use clever tactics to find it – and lower the prices. That way, I wind up with a really big bargain – or else I can just walk away with the money in my pocket, having been entertained for a bit.
More frugal tips will follow in the next post.
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This is part of a series of posts begun July 15, 2015 – The Simple Formula for Creating Wealth.
Learn how to manage your money, eliminate debt and build wealth in my book, Your Financial Success.Wishing you well,
Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.