25 Ways to Save Money Today

 

  1. Make the coffee at home.
  2. Use Gas Buddy or a similar app to save money on gasoline.
  3. Drink the coffee at work.
  4. Brown bag it.
  5. Think about your routine and change it if it involves spending money mindlessly (I’m talking to you, Mr. Gym Rat Who Buys Cold Drinks Every Day).
  6. Avoid the convenience store like a plague. See coffee tips above.
  7. Shop for loss leaders, the ridiculously cheap sale items on the front page of the grocery flyer.
  8. Shop around the perimeter of the grocery store, avoiding the center aisles where the processed snacky crap lies in wait.
  9. Politely decline the office betting pool/lingerie party invite/buy-a-calendar-for-my-kid’s-soccer-team opportunities that come your way.
  10. Order water with your meal at the restaurant. Pass on the Irish Coffee at the end.
  11. Use coupons or take advantage of special daily deals if you’re eating out.
  12. Go to a nice restaurant for lunch, instead of dinner.
  13. Stay away from stores. Especially stores where you tend to spend money mindlessly.
  14. Be That Guy who orders a soda instead of a mixed drink.
  15. Take advantage of free stuff whenever the universe sends it your way.
  16. Invite friends over for potluck and game night instead of springing for dinner and a movie out.
  17. Convince your children that the library is by far the coolest place on earth, because it is. And you can get tons of free stuff there, including movies, books, and entertainment.
  18. Do something for yourself that you usually outsource: mow the lawn yourself, bake a birthday cake instead of buying one, fix the sinker-thingie in the toilet and see if that fixes the problem before you call the plumber.
  19. Avoid the free samples at Costco. No, really. You’re just lying to yourself when you say that you’ll go there and just enjoy the samples without buying a thing. You and I both know you’ll come home with enough toilet paper to cover the White House when the next occupant gets in there. Just, no.
  20. Look for free stuff to do in the community, especially if you have kids.
  21. Fire your gym. What can you do for fitness that’s cheap or free? Can you replace the gym experience? I’m currently watching Craigslist for some cheap free weights in order to fire my gym. My goal is to pay two months worth of gym-rent to eliminate all gym-rent in the future.
  22. Make a list of everything you didn’t spend that day. Try to beat your total tomorrow. You get bonus points if you talk to your Significant Spousal Or Other Unit into doing it too, and you totally score if you end up getting to gloat because you saved more.
  23. Go one full day without spending money.
  24. Spend the time you would’ve spent mindlessly consuming Doritos while watching tv doing something else—like researching side gigs that will make you more money, or making a kick-ass grocery list, or investing in your kid by teaching her about money. You save on Doritos and you reap future financial benefits (hey, you don’t want to be eating cat food in your retirement, and teaching your kid how to manage her money means she can support you in comfort instead of kitty chow.)
  25. Join those loyalty clubs at the grocery store, pharmacy, and at restaurants you frequent. You can get free stuff that way or at least save some bucks on specials. If all else fails, you can laugh at the very idea of spending that money.
  26. And one special bonus: Teach, mentor, help, or give. The universe has a way of bringing acts of kindness back to you. I’m not saying you do good stuff just to see what you get back financially. I’m just saying.

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25% Toolbox: Your First Tool

 

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The most powerful money-saving tool you have at your disposal isn’t a coupon, a code, or a great stock tip (though if you have one of those and want to share it, my contact information is here on the blog). The most powerful money-saving tool isn’t online, in a book, or held by a mysterious cabal of Wall Street wizards. Nope.

The most powerful instrument you have for making more money, saving more cash from that new-and-improved paycheck, and living the life you want to lead is your brain.

Think about it: in your quest for financial information, you use your mind in astonishing and creative ways. You find blogs about living well on less money. You make a grocery list and shave your grocery bill by 25%. You decorate your house using frugal ideas from Pinterest. Your brain is a money-saving powerhouse.

So how can you harness the full firepower of your brain to make your financial future even brighter? Here are a few ways.

*Brainstorm through financial problems. Brainstorming means any and all ideas are on the table, and no idea is too far-fetched or commonplace, and its power lies in the fact that you do have choices. There are solutions. Brainstorming unlocks the possibilities.

*Make lists. Of course your grocery list will save you big bucks, but there are other lists that help you reach your financial goals. Keep a list of money you didn’t spend and watch how many frivolous purchases you give up.

*Prioritize. You can’t do it all, all at once. Setting priorities is a fact of life, and using your brain to set these priorities brings financial goals into focus.

*Strategize. Use your brain to bring to bear your experiences, your conclusions, your hunches, and your hopes. Make a plan. Dream big, and plot the steps to make your dream come true. My freelance writing is only one step on my way to a debt-free Master’s Degree, which is one strategy I have for living the life I want to live as a counselor and writer.

Your brain is the most effective tool you have in your financial tool chest. Tap the power of your mind to identify, pursue, and achieve your goals.

 

The 25% Solution: Live Better on Less

How would you like to make 25% more? Tax-free and without adding hours to your work-day? Well, I can’t magically make your paycheck bigger, but I can show you how to live on 75% of what you earn, how to live well, and how to save money without compromising your values or even your fun. The 25% you keep in the bank can grow and fund your dreams, help you sleep at night, or support the causes you love when you give it away.

I can show you because I’ve done it and I’m still doing it. At this point, I live on about 65% of my income. In a few years, when I make a radical change in my lifestyle to support a long-time dream, I’ll live on a smaller income and I’ll be ready to follow my dreams.

Join me in the 25% Solution.

 

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