Two weeks ago, we talked about saving more by living on less. Continuing that discussion, here are some more ideas.
Barter with your friends and neighbors.
Examples of swapping services:
- Save on the cost of baby sitters by swapping baby sitting services with your friends.
- Mow your neighbor’s lawn in exchange for your neighbor trimming your trees.
- Swap cooking: You don’t do well with baking but you are great with freezer meals. Your neighbor loves to bake but hates to fix meals. Let her bake for you and your family while you fix freezer meals for her family. She can purchase the ingredients for you to make the freezer meals and you can purchase the ingredients for the baking.
Save on entertainment:
- Instead of meeting family or friends at a restaurant, have a covered dish get together at your home. Have everyone bring their favorite dish. Don’t try to coordinate to make sure you have a perfect menu. The fun is seeing what everyone brings and making a meal out of it, even if all you have is desserts.
- Have a game night with family or friends — create new traditions. Have everyone bring their favorite game. You could even combine this with the covered dish get together.
- Instead of going to the bar for the big game, invite everyone to your home to watch the game. Have each person bring their preferred beverage and snacks. This one action could save a group of 6 up to $120.
Save on utilities:
- Turn off the lights and the TV when you leave the room.
- Unplug your chargers for your electronic devices when you aren’t using them.
- Wash your clothes in cold water.
- Only run the dishwasher or wash clothes when you have a full load.
- Use a programmable thermostat.
Save on taxes (if you itemize)
Declutter your home and give the unneeded items to charity.
Many of the ideas we have talked about for saving money have other positive consequences besides gaining extra cash (thanks, Theresa):
- Taking your lunch to work instead of buying it not only saves money. Those meals will, most likely, be healthier and it will help teach your children good eating habits.
- Saving on utilities conserves energy and helps the environment.
- Spending time with family and friends at your home instead of in a public place allows you to get to know everyone better and have more meaningful time with them.
- Giving items to charity clears your home and also helps others and even creates jobs.
While you are reading this article, I’m sure you have thought of many more ideas and ways to save money with positive consequences. Share your ideas!
Judith Ackland has more than 26 years of experience in accountancy and financial planning, including seventeen years as a CFO of a diverse business. She started Crystal Financial in 2010 to help a wide array of individuals, families, and business owners better understand their finances and how good financial management could help them achieve their goals. Judith has an MA in Professional Accountancy from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln as well as a Certified Public Accountant Certificate and a Certified Financial Planner designation.