Find a penny, pick it up!

Everybody’s got the answer on how to save money these days.  The problem with most of these money savings “plans” is that these people had a lot more money than I ever had to begin with, so tightening the belt for them doesn’t run the risk of not paying the electric bill.  Now, I don’t want to sound like I’m dirt poor, living on week old bread and water from the rain barrel out back.  I live pretty well and my family has the things they need, and a lot of the things they want.  But, if I read one more article about how to save money that starts out with something like “Fly coach to Milan instead of first class and save a bundle,” I swear I will puke.  So, how do I plan to save money? Excellent question.

  • Forgo a vacation.  Vacations are money pits.  You spend money that you really didn’t have on things you don’t really need.  Instead, try taking your kid to the local park and playing on the playground.  No, it’s not as glamorous, but you’re certainly going to save money, particularly when gas is around $4/gallon.
  • Wear your old clothes.  We’ve all got clothes we don’t wear.  They’re in the back of the closet; bottom of the drawer.  Pull them out and wear them.  Nobody that you know cares if they’re “out of fashion.”  I wear clothes ’til the holes in them make them indecent for public consumption, and then I use ’em to mow the grass or for painting.  If by some chance you’ve given away all your old clothes to charity, go buy them back.  The Salvation Army and Goodwill will sell you decent clothes and they can use that money as well.
  • Look for free outdoor concerts this year.  Not everything must cost money.  If the music is not worth listening to, at least you’re outside enjoying decent weather (hopefully) and walking away from it is good exercise.  While you’re at it, pack a lunch/dinner.  Nothing says picnic like peanut butter and jelly and a couple cans of root beer.
  • Eating out can be a very expensive habit.  Believe me, I know.  Cooking can be a hassle, too.  So, see if you can’t pair up with some friends and have a potluck barbecue.  That way you’re only footing part of the bill and you’re not likely to be plugged into the TV or the internet later.  Nothing like a couple of beers under the stars and conversation with good friends.
So…those of you who are desperate to save a couple of bucks, use these tips.  Those of you who think that only poor people could possibly conceive of doing any of the above…well, I feel a little bit sorry for you as you’re not living a full life.
See you in the funny papers!
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