A few days ago, I stumbled across a heartwarming post on our Living Below Your Means (LBYM) discussion board. In it, "Yddeyma," an engineer from Georgia, said:
Hi all! Its been a year since I registered here at the Fool, and before I even signed up for any newsletters I marched straight here to the LBYM message boards for tips. Here are all the tips that you guys gave me that really helped change my finances this year!
She then offered this list (I'm including just a few of her items; my own comments are in brackets.)
1. The Grocery Game: I save between $150 and $250 a month compared to my pre-game grocery spending. [Learn more about the Grocery Game in this discussion. You'll find that many denizens of our LBYM board will be happy to earn a referral bonus by helping you sign up, if you're interested.]
2. Freecycle.org: Oh my gosh, what a find! That place is awesome. I got all my monster azaleas dug out of my yard for free because people wanted them!
3. Foodsaver: I got one for Christmas last year and love it. It also helped cut down on the grocery bill.
4. Insurance: I lowered my car and house insurance with one phone call and didn't really lose any coverage. It just hadn't occurred to me to really go over my bill and get rid of the fluff. This saved me about $200 this year!
5. Lands' End Not-Quite-Perfect clothes: I got a bathing suit from here for $10! That's the cheapest suit I've managed to find in a while. [When asked, she explained that she found many such items via Overstock.com.]
6. Tracking spending diligently: I always tracked my spending before, but now I have it categorized and sub-categorized. Makes it much easier to control my spending (definitely not a budget, just makes me aware of my spending).
11. Got rid of the "extra" channels on my cable bill. Savings: $25 per month. [Note how these sums are adding up? This one alone amounts to $300 per year, or $3,000 in just 10 years. She's probably saved more than a thousand dollars in this year alone, thanks to advice found on our Living Below Your Means (LBYM) discussion board.]
12. Upromise: I have an account for my nonexistent future children. I already have $32 in it! [Note that Upromise, which helps people save for educational expenses, was recently bought by Sallie Mae
(NYSE:SLM). Details here.]
She wrapped up her post by saying, "See, I learned a lot this year and saved a bunch all thanks to you guys!" You can read her whole message, and consider adding some of your own thoughts to the discussion.
If you're interested in more money-saving tips, check out Elizabeth Brokamp's recent article, 50 Simple Tips for Big Savings. And for more straight talk on how to keep more money in your pocket while still making the most of life, click here to check out our brand-new personal finance newsletter, GreenLight. You can try it for free for a whole month. You'll get access to all past issues, and there's no obligation. Recent issues have tackled topics such as:
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