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Monday, January 26, 2009

20 ways to reduce your spending. . . .

At the beginning of my frugal journey, I took a good look at the money that was leaving my life each month on a regular basis, and made some difficult decisions. It was more important to me to pay off my credit cards (which I did in November of 2008!) than it was to live the way I was. With that in mind, I made some changes to my lifestyle that ended up helping me pay off my credits debt. I still have that $56,000+ in student loan debt staring me in the face, and after 2009, that will be my next challenge. These money-saving tips will help me on the next phase of my journey. . .

  1. Cancel or downgrade cable channels
  2. Sell unneeded or unwanted items on Ebay or at a yard sale
  3. Turn off and unplug all unused appliances and electronics (DVD player, microwave, etc)
  4. Turn the thermostat down five degrees (or whatever you're comfortable with) in the winter and up five degrees in the summer, if you have A/C
  5. Grow your own vegetables
  6. Walk, cycle or take public transportation to work
  7. Start a compost pile to decrease your garbage bill (I have pickup just once a month now)
  8. Never grocery shop when you're hungry
  9. Turn lights off when you're not in a room
  10. Switch to CFL's rather than energy hogging traditional lightbulbs
  11. Wash clothing in cold water rather than hot
  12. Air dry clothing and other laundry when at all possible
  13. Use white vinegar in place of expensive chemical based cleaners
  14. Invest in a crockpot, and use it!
  15. Take leftovers to work and school instead of purchasing food
  16. Communicate with far-away relatives and friends via email
  17. Get a pay-as-you-go cellphone plan if you don't use your cellphone much
  18. Cancel magazine subscriptions
  19. Visit the library and borrow books rather than buying new
  20. Create a zero-based budget before each month, and try to stick to it!
Even if you were to take only half of the suggestions on this list, think of the money you could save, which could go to either debt repayment, or investment!


momstheword said...

I do a few of these but I still need to be doing more. I am hoping to do a container garden this spring.

marci357 said...

Nice listing...
and what a difference they have made in your life :)
Keep it up!

Finally Frugal said...

Momstheword: I'm also considering a container garden! My tomatoes didn't do very well in the ground last year, and I'm wondering if I can do better with containers. . . we'll see!

Marci: great to hear from you! You're right; I couldn't have paid off my $5,000 in credit card debt last year without these changes. I still have a ways to go---other things that I can consider as far as frugality, and habits that aren't quite 'gelled' yet. It's a journey, as you know yourself!

marci357 said...

It's not only a journal, it's a mindset. And you have to be able to 'go against the flow' in your thinking and know within yourself that it's OK NOT to buy all that stuff you really don't need but that media and even friends seem to think you do need :) Good luck with it - sometimes it's a lonely feeling.

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