I used to have a lot of bad habits, and then I looked at my wallet. The amount of money that I had been spending on vices and compulsive purchases astounded me, and it was enough to convince me to kick bad habits and start money-saving ones. Now I¬'m a new man: a non-smoker, a frugal consumer, and a shopper who cannot not research for online deals and discounts.
What are bad habits that one might want to kick to live frugally? What are some of the little ways to save money? Here are a few of my personal examples. Some of them might seem obvious, but everyone needs a bit of reminding now and then.
Stop smoking. I used to smoke a pack of cigarettes a day. Needless to say, that set me back more than a hundred dollars a month. It was difficult to quit cold turkey, of course, and I thought that my lungs will burn with longing, so what I did was look up websites that offered advice and support through chat rooms and community forums.
Don¬'t shop when hungry. Any hungry shopper faces a great temptation. The lure of the here and now, the prospect of immediately gratifying one¬'s self, is too much sometimes. I can relate. Before I used to go grocery shopping in the morning, before lunch, and I would be picking out all kinds of canned goods and potato chips from the shelves. Now I go to the grocery after I have eaten, so I wouldn¬'t think too much of looking for food and spending without a sense of proportion.
Cook at home. I used to eat so frequently at restaurants that I remember having spent about a thousand dollars a month on meals. That¬'s why evenings tired me; the dinners out also made me gain weight and lose a lot of potential savings. Now, I simply cook at home. I¬'ve bought a couple of recipe books so I can cook fine meals at home. I also eat leftovers and sometimes even bring my lunch to work.
Research first before finalizing travel plans. There are a lot of online deals being offered by travel companies and agencies. I used to ignore these and traveled rather capriciously ¬- whether the trip was for business or for leisure. Now, I actively search out deals and check the Internet before deciding on anything: I check bookings, cancellations in travel clubs I¬'ve joined, special package offers, and budget airline tickets. I also usually stay at cheap hotels that have loyalty programs for frequent guests.
Avoid too much loyalty and shop around. I used to be so intent on getting the best and most popular brands ¬- be it for fashion, for cars, for cellphones and for computers. Now, I first study what online deals there are available. Can I get something cheaper but just as practical? Am I paying a premium for the name of the manufacturer? Shopping around may take some time, but it also saves a little money.
Subscribe to Coupon Saver Blog