One of my new hobbies is to look at personal finance blogs to find out how to save money. OK, so I am a nerdy accountant, but saving money for the future is a good habit to get into. It's the little things that kill . . . eating out (which is Dana and I's vice) . . . shopping . . . netflicks . . . toys . . . tanning . . . it all adds up. I've even thought of starting a personal finance blog to add my own thoughts and link to others' great posts that I read for the day. So without further ado - here are some ways that Dana and I have found to save money:
- REDBOX: How can you beat a new release for a dollar per night? You don't have to pay for a monthly membership, you can reserve them online, it beats $5 for 5 days at Blockbuster (who watches them more than once per day anyway?), there are even codes for free rentals online. Savings = 5 movies * $5 (Blockbuster price) - $5 (Redbox price) = $20 per month.
- WAL-MART PRICEMATCH: Do you like shopping for deals? I do . . . but hate driving more than I need to. If you get newspaper ads in the mail, plan your meals based on what is on sale, then pricematch everything at Wal-Mart. They will meet all competitors' prices. This saves Dana and I about $30-40 per month.
- RABBIT EARS: I know, we are crazy. We were once DirecTV-aholics, but found that we can get all the major channels by buying some high tech rabbit ears (about $40 bucks) and get free TV. It does get a little grainy sometimes, I miss ESPN, Hailee misses the Disney channel, and Dana whines that Gilmore Girls is not on, but I think it is worth the savings. We don't watch as much TV. Savings = $50 per month.
- NO HOME PHONE: We have cell phones, but no home land line. We don't really need it! Our cell phones are a necessity to keep in touch and for emergencies, but who needs to fork out an additional $25 per month for a landline? Savings = $25 per month.
- CRAIGSLIST.ORG: Free online classifieds for anything and everything. We bought 99% of our furniture, some tools, a baby swing, and yard equipment off the site. Great deals. Savings = ?? (lots!)
- GYM PASSES: these are beginning to be a necessity, especially when it gets cold outside. If you are like me, you don't want to get into a contract to pay $25 per month. So, if your local gym will do it, buy a contract off someone that has prepaid for 1, 2, or 3 years. I paid $300 for 3.25 years of Gold's gym membership. Savings = $25 - ($300 /39 months) = $17+ dollars per month.
- HAIRCUTS: OK guys, I know you like to go get your hair cut by a professional, but ever since Dana and I got married, she has cut my hair. I admit, the first time after we bought the $30 Wahl haircutting kit and Dana was going to buzz my melon, I was nervous. There have not been many "oops" moments either . . . but now, she does an excellent job in 20 minutes time. To add to this, Dana reminded me that I have dyed her hair a couple of times (please don't tell anyone though, or I will have to turn in my man card). Savings: $12-15 per month.
- SCOOTER??: I haven't put this one into practice yet, but with gas nearing $4 per gallon, why not drive a vehicle that gets 90 mpg? Used scooters (on craigslist mind you) are anywhere from $700 - $1500. Driving to work (with a helmet) saves a lot. Savings = ??