I need some tips for saving money.

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Trevorus, Feb 16, 2005.

  1. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    I just made some straight cash the other night, and now I have no idea where it is. I spent almost 70 dollars, and I have nothing to show for it. My credit card balances are only getting higher, and I have nothing of any worth to show for it. I am sick of being poor when I am not really that poor, it's just that I cannot hold on to money. I plan on leaving my credit cards at home, unless a true emergency comes up. This will keep me from making impulse buys, because it'll be too much of a hassle to get the card and come back. Any other tips that you guys can offer me? Thanks for any and all advice.
  2. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    0. Do a budget (work out where you are spending money)

    1. Always make your own lunch for work;

    2. Don't smoke

    3. Buy 1 case of beer per month / fortnight (depending on how much you drink) and if you run out, tough. You'll learn to ration better.

    4. Never use your credit card unless its an emergency.

    5. Don't waste ingredients when cooking - plan your meals 1 week in advance and buy ingredients that you can get the most milage out of.

    6. Less meat = less money. Make pastas, chicken salads etc. That way a little bit of meat goes further.

    7. Don't eat take out unless it really is cheaper (ie pizza).
  3. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    I think eating out is a big weakness. I have been weaning myself off of soda recently, and fast food is next. About the only fast food thing I'll eat is bean burritos. Cheap, fast, and not a bunch of wierd gentically altered stuff. Or so I like to think. I am pretty much the one responsible for most of the bills in my house. My wife goes to school, and she pays most of the insurances. I pay everything else. We own both of our vehicles, and live in a cheap place. Though the power bill is a bit high, I really should have more numerals in my account balances. I hate living on the edge of brokeness.
  4. Sage advice! Cheers!
  5. well, for most people i would suggest stop coming to this website. :bag:
  6. RoyQBiv


    Nov 8, 2002
    Bellingam, WA
    Before buying any luxury items (or toys), think about how many hours you worked to pay for that particular item. If you have a minimum-wage job, is that $100 pedal really worth 18 hours of flipping burgers? (Not assuming you're a grill jockey...just an example...)

    Be warned that this isn't fail-safe, though. Do not, I repeat, do not use this technique when deciding whether or not to buy an SX. The SX always wins. Dinner out less often.
  7. Zirc


    May 13, 2001
    Los Angeles
    Stop eating fast food period. It's the worst thing in the world for you and it's expensive. Eat salads instead, cheap, filling, easy to make, etc.

    Keep ALL your receipts and do an excel file of everything you charge.

    Spaghetti is good and cheap, so is mac and cheese. Leftover spaghetti is REALLY easy to prepare. You could buy burger patties in bulk, cheap, easy to make.

    How many mpg does your car get?
  8. don't buy hookers, dont eat out, dont do stuff you don't have to. walk to the grocery store instead of driving (if its feasable...) etc
  9. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    No one has yet suggested a way to actively save money up, which is what I assumed is what you want to do.

    Make a deposit into a savings account every month. Treat it like a bill you have to pay. Pay whatever you can comfortably afford into a seperate account. Make it a set amount, and work it into the budget. I fought my wife on this one for a long time. Once she got me to agree to it, I was amazed at how fast we were able to build it up to a good sized amount. If you think you may be tempted to dip into it for a few bean burritos, open an account at a different bank, and do not opt for an ATM card, or checks from the account.

  10. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    +1x10^6 This is probably an extreme example but. My wife and I tried to save up for a house and never got anywhere. We where never broke, but we never had any savings. So we decided to put $1,000 aside automatically every month.

    Since the account was short term, we put it in a non-RRSP money fund. At that time we had to give a weeks notice to get the money out, so no impulse buying.

    It was hard. We almost never ate out. I made my own beer. We went into overdraft every month and about every third or fourth month we had to draw from the savings to get back in the black. But in about a year we had a downpayment!

    We bought ourselves a very modest home (< 1,000 sq feet) but it is ours!

    Bonus active way to save money: With interest rates so low, look at getting a loan to pay off your credit card debt. Then make sure you pay your credit cards every month, even if you have to dip into your savings.
  11. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    I have an automatic transfer set up so every paycheck my savings account gets a deposit. I have it done automatically so I don't have to remember to do it and since it's done on payday I never get a chance to miss it. So far I've managed to divert about $5K to savings at a rate of about $200 per month.

    After a while you won't miss it, and watching that savings account balance go up is a great feeling.
  12. dedmyers


    Dec 23, 2003
    Two words
    Dave Ramsey

    Helped change my family's lives
  13. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Sounds like you've got some compulsive spending issues.

    Having gone through dealing with this sort of compulsion, I can give you a few tips:

    1. Get some objective, professional help. There's lots of stuff online dealing with "compulsive spending" to get you started.

    2. Don't carry money around in your pocket. Leave your credit cards at home, or better yet, get rid of them all together. Doing this removes any ability to give into the compulsion to eat out, buy beer/booze, drop cash on unnecessary consumer goods, and so on.

    3. Although having a budget is generally a good idea, the fact that you write something down on paper doesn't help your compulsion. Deal the with problem, not the symptom.

    4. To save money, pay yourself first (as per "The Wealthy Barber"). Before even buying groceries, put 10% of your paycheque into some sort not-easily-accessible savings instrument.

    4. Realize that there is no "quick fix" for this, and....

    5. Take one day at a time.

  14. Save money? Tough one. I'm only now kinda learning the same ropes. I was at a point where I was scheduling and configuring payments around my bi-weekly paycheck... "ok, well I make this, so I can pay this and this and part of this and leave this dangling a tad".

    It sucked.

    I drew an annual budget. Got a figure that was realistic + 10% extra (for surprises) and broke that down into consecutive 26 installments to get a figure of what I needed in the bank every pay period, and scheduled my bills to be paid electronically at these intervals. I was surprised, between what I and my Wife made, WHY I would EVER have a hard time with bills. Easy. I piss thru money like water if it's in hand.

    Then I took a figure of the residual (or what some consider "mad money") and halved it. The latter half I bank in a seperate savings account that I dare not touch. Sure, it's a basic savings account, and doesn't accrue much interest, but when it reaches a substantial amount, (like a few thousand or so) I plan to roll it into CD's or some other method to lock the money away so I LEARN to live without it.

    That is the key for me. If I have it on me, it's gone. I don't carry hardly any spending money anymore. 10 - 20 bucks tops, and try to make that last the 5 day workweek. Bring lunch. Eating out can EASILY eat 50-100 bucks a week without batting an eyelash. Ditto on the puffs and drinks. I debit card everything now, and think if I don't really need it it's not worth the hassle.

    The only vice I have is a bagel and soda / coffee in the morning. Dunkins can have me in this for $2.50 a day. Other than that, I simply refuse to spend it. There are ways to do it, just do it. Commit to a change.
  15. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    One needs to get laid off to learn to break alot of bad spending habits.

    After getting laid off in 1985, I learned to:

    Buy groceries and not eat out so much. Even now I still make a lunch at home.

    I earn a decent living but I keep my GIG earnings separate for saving & buying new gear.

    Allow yourself some fun spending, but take care of your priority expenses first.
  16. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    C'mon, the guy's gotta live.
  17. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Ugh! Credit Card debt is just the worst!!!

    Would you pay $30 for a Big Mac? No? How about buying a Big Mac with a credit card and then having it collect interest on that $1.99 (or whatever it is) for how long until you actually paid it off?

    That's what you do with credit cards. You buy something now for what seems like a great price. But if you don't pay it off immediately, that good price turns into a bloated amount that you never would have paid if you had to come up with the same amount in cash, at the time of purchase.

    My wife and I just refinanced everything and consolidated all of our credit card debt into one low interest loan payment. We now have one credit card each, for emergencies only, or if we absolutely must use one (a hotel reservation or rental for example). But we still will pay it off immediately so there is no interest.

    Consolidating our debt into one loan has freed up $300 a month. Instead of taking that $300 and using it to buy things we couldn't afford before, we pretend we still don't have it and we just put it into savings.

    Big +1,000 to getting rid of credit card debt. That, more than anything will drown you.
  18. I have so many friends with so many nice doodads, total technosexuals...gotta have it. So they put it all on credit. Then they cry broke.

    If I can't afford it cash, I don't buy it. CC's for emergency only.
  19. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    I'm lovin' this thread! I'm currently pretty broke and trying to catch up with my debts. I'll follow this thread closely to see all the great advice!
  20. BigJH


    Jan 20, 2001
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    If you really want to get your finances in order read this book by David Bach The Automatic Millionaire. It will give you some great tips on how to save money for the future.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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