We all know that life can be expensive. There are always unexpected expenses that aren’t precipitated by unexpected windfalls. And as you likely know, there is only a small percentage of things we can actually control in our lives. One of those things is the amount of money we spend to run our everyday lives, barring those unexpected expenses.
If you apply these tips to your daily life, you will have money left over so that you can actually save for those unexpected expenses and not have a panic attack when, say, the roof starts leaking. Or in my case, go on holiday and learn self-control.
1. Get Rid Of Your Cable
Okay, I know – you are panicking. If you are not panicking, your football-watching husband is panicking. Here’s the deal: I can watch all the garbage TV that I want (and I like me some garbage TV – i.e. The Bachelor, Real Housewives etc) on line or through Hulu Plus. And you can get all the networks (NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX) and MANY more channels on your TV with just rabbit ears. Go to Target and pick some up for $10. You don’t need anything fancy. I swear it’s true. We pulled the plug on our cable and now spend about $12/month for Netflix (movies and tv shows galore) and Hulu Plus (all ‘just aired’ sitcoms, dramas etc)
2. Clean With Vinegar
Now you think I am some crazy environmental hippie. Not true. I am cheap and a tiny bit paranoid about chemicals. You really can clean it all with a little vinegar and water. I occasionally use Ajax in the toilet or on a really terrible stain but I do my counters and floors with vinegar and water. And yes, it smells like vinegar. But only for about 5 minutes, so get over it. Save your money by not buying ridiculously overpriced cleaning supplies that will probably give you cancer.
3. Buy Good Toilet Paper
It’s worth it. Go to Costco and get the fancy stuff. You use half the amount. I could write a whole thesis on this topic. Just pay the extra and you will save money.
4. Don’t Buy Processed Foods
Okay, now you really think I am an insane, TV-hating hippie (with excellent hygiene) Not true. I just know how expensive processed foods are. I have had terrible food habits throughout the years. I have lately been obsessed with the 100-calorie packs of junk food. I have been paying for self-control. But they are so expensive that I have decided I would rather be fat. Kidding. I would rather portion my own food. Seriously, make your own cookies and you will not eat as much. Take it a step further and make your own bread and you will really savor it. You can thank me next summer when you are in a bikini. Further to this, bring your own coffee to work and make your own lunch the night before. Now I am being annoying, I know. But I save thousands of dollars this way. And I get to go on regular vacations. So there.
5. Give Everybody A Monthly Allowance
Are you actually going to go to the bank machine and withdraw cash every month and dole it out to your respective family members? Do you want to go on regular vacations? Do you want to be that woman flouncing around in a bikini? Heed my advice. Write it on your calendar for the first day of every month. “Get cash from ATM!” Then give it out to each person in your family. That is their money to do with as they please. Dinner out, a movie, a toy, fancy stationery…whatever your bag is. But that’s it. That’s all there is. So don’t make it a ridiculously small amount. Know what you spend on ‘extras’ each month and then make your allowance for that amount. Spending cash will save you money.
Now after implementing all 5 of these tips, you might think life will seem pretty bleak! Not true! I still watch TV and eat homemade junk food (popcorn) while enjoying my chemical free home with the fancy toilet paper. And that’s without spending my allowance. See you on the beach, Skinny!
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