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Get Dat Cash Money!

My New Year’s resolution was to save money, so I’m looking to kick my bad money management behavior and start fresh with a new attitude. Thus, I’m posing this question: What are the most valuable things you do regularly to save money?

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Stay Single by AnonBCA

Stay single my friend.

4 Votes  - +
Transportation by VnutZ

Transportation is an absolute money killer. Do you have to drive to work? If so, changing your driving habits will save gas (shameless article plug). Can you take public transportation? Ride a bike? There was a time in Korea where I rode my bike to the Army base instead of driving and saved myself two fuel-fillups a month. It also actually saved me time by cutting out the traffic jams and was good exercise.

Here in NYC I figure how often I will actually ride the bus or not to buy the most optimal mass transit tickets. For example, when I’m in Manhattan everyday of the month, I’ll buy the unlimited monthly pass. But there’s a threshold of days where I save money buy buying the 10 pass discount instead.

4 Votes  - +
Food by VnutZ

Food is a HUGE killer of money. You make a rough calculation of how much each meal you eat costs – you know $ for a box of cereal divided by the number of servings you really eat from it. Same thing with sandwiches, etc. It’s much easier to guesstimate when you eat frozen foods since they’re pretty much all in a package.

But once you have that benchmark for "current state" – subtract a dollar or two from your daily quota. $2 a day for a year lets you put just over $700 a year. You’ll either find more creative ways to eat by forcing yourself to look at it or you’ll eat less. If you’re like most Americans, eating less isn’t going to hurt you so you’ll lose weight and save money.

Also … don’t buy coffee or alcohol. You may as well just be throwing the dollars out the window at that point.

Shop at thrift stores / Goodwill / Salvation Army for clothing.

In addition to costing a fraction of what shirts and pants do at retail prices, you’ll end up supporting a local charity and your clothes will be imbued with that rough-around-the-edges look that is all the rage…if you care about that sort of thing.

Thrift store jeans are sooo comfortable.

The easiest way to save money is to … well, not spend it. Live within your means so you have a large amount of income leftover to invest in this order:

  • Find a high-yield savings account you like and build up an emergency fund of three months salary.
  • Contribute enough to your company’s 401k to ensure you receive all available company contributions.
  • Open a Roth IRA and max it out yearly. (Also be sure to invest it in a fund that is aligned with your expected retirement date.)
  • Max out your company’s 401k. (This should also be invested according to your retirement timeline).
  • Pay extra on your mortgage / car / student loan / etc. (Interest is your enemy!)

Two tips to help you live within your means are to create a budget and postpone expenses as long as possible.

I was joking with someone recently about this. We both discovered that neither of us ever carried any cash and we both agreed that the reason was because every time we had any cash it somehow very quickly disappeared. Kids, wives, people taking up collections for endless things, etc. If I have 50 dollars in my wallet, at the end of the week it’s gone. (Sum= -50) If I have 0 dollars in my wallet, the end of the week still comes and I still have 0. (Sum=0) See — I’m 50 dollars richer already.

Truly, it’s not very practical all the time, but with ATM machines so prevalent, if a real need arises it’s pretty easy to get cash.

Other things :

Make your lunch at home. It takes discipline and it’s a pain, but - If you eat out everyday, it’s at least 5 to 7 dollars before you get all done. 5X5= 25 a week X 4 = 100 dollars a month! (Or more)

Credit card debt: Need I say more?

My grandfather always says: "A penny saved is more than a penny earned because you don’t get taxed on what you save."

that is my tip…i found that while video game consoles can be relatively expensive, if u look at them as an investment, then they are totally worth it…once u buy them, u have them forever…and most gamers can tell u, that u can actually save a lot of money by playing ur games bc u are not out spending it on other things…

Some might find this helpful, or commonsensical, but these are some of the things I’ve done (thus far) to cut cost day-to-day:

1) Stopped eating out!!!
2) Making a list before grocery shopping (i.e. only buying the things we need to makes meals)
3) Taking out a “cash limited” amount for weekend entertainment (i.e. withdrawing $200 and that’s all we can spend for the weekend’s entertainment)

Things I still need to do…

1) Packed lunches to work! This is really going to be painful for me as lunch is more then just a time to eat; it’s a time to get away from the office! Ideas…?

Question: is this really economical?

1) Sell my truck? A large chunk of my expenses can be contributed to commuting. My commute is ~30-45min, twice a day, and pubic transportation is NOT an option. If I can “break even” on the truck, would it really be economical to sell it?

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