Earlier today, I posted some ways yous can bring in a little extra cash to go toward paying for your BlogWorld ticket. I know some people are still frustrated, though. So, I’m going to do a brain dump right here, right now.
Growing up, my family didn’t have a lot of money. We weren’t living in a cardboard box or anything, but we certainly couldn’t afford the latest fashions or eating out very often. I credit my ability today to save money to the wonderful skills my mother taught me. Sharon Boyer knows how to clip a coupon.
Beyond buying items on sale and clipping coupons, though, what are some things you can do to save up money for BlogWorld? Brain dump commencing in three…two…one…
- Have a yard sale. I recently participated in my community’s yard sale and raised $50 or so getting rid of old junk. I didn’t even have any big-ticket items to sell. You can also sell items on Craig’s List or eBay to raise some cash.
- Get a library card. Even used books can start to add up if you buy a few every month. The library is free!
- Give up your gym membership and instead look for natural ways to work out at home. I run at my local park, for example. You can also check out your community center – many have an exercise room that you can use for free.
- Switch your hosting. Often, if you shop around, you can find the same or better hosting for slightly less money. Even if you’re just saving a few dollars, remember that you’re working toward a goal. It all starts to add up. Sometimes if you call your host, they’ll give you a discount if you ask just to keep you as a customer.
- Change your cell phone plan. Do you really need unlimited texting? Can you live with half the number of minutes for the next few months? If you use your cell phone for business, the answer might be “no,” but if your phone is primarily for pleasure, you might be able to save some money on the monthly bill.
- Ask for no ice. This is my favorite “save money” tip, and I use it every time I pick up an iced coffee or soda at a fast food place. Ask for no or light ice and you’ll get double the amount, half of which you can save for later instead of buying a second drink.
- Downgrade your television service. Like with a cell phone plan, people are often paying a lot for cable or satellite because they want it, not because they need it. Can you survive a few months without the movie channels? If so, you can save enough to pay for a night or two at one of the BlogWorld discounted hotels.
- Turn off the AC and get outside. Yes, it’s summertime. Yes, it’s hot. Put on some shorts and sit outside unless you absolutely can’t stand it. The AC will eat up your electricity, skyrocketing your bill. If it really is too hot to function, consider going to the library or another WiFi area to work (but skip cafes where you spend money on lunch!).
- Skip the pre-packaged snacks and make your own munchies. At the beginning of the week, cut up veggies and put sandwich baggies of them in the refrigerator. You can also make trail mix, bake cookies, or otherwise create your own snacks. It’s much cheaper than packaged treats.
- Take shorter showers. You’ll save on both your heat and water bills.
- Start a dinner club with your friends. Instead of eating out, go to someone’s house once a week for dinner, with that person cooking for everyone. You still get the benefit of not having to cook for the night, but you don’t have to pay high restaurant prices. Cooking dinner for your friends every few weeks is much less expensive than eating out every week.
- Check out your local hair salon instead of a chain at the mall. You’ll often spend just a fraction of the cost by choosing a small business owner.
- Shop for seasonal ingredients. Fruits and veggies that are out-of-season cost more since they have to be shipped in from afar. Added bonus: seasonal ingredients are fresher, tastier, and better for the environment!
- Trade baby-sitting. For those of you with kids, instead of hiring a baby-sitter so you can have date night, work out a deal with some other families in your community. If everyone hosts neighborhood movie night once a month, couples can enjoy some alone time for free.
- Combine errands to make one trip. You’ll use less gas if you go to the grocery store, post office, library, etc at once instead of splitting up the trips. You can also take your bike to places close by to avoid using gas completely.
- Check out community center activities for the kids. Many neighborhoods have free or very inexpensive programs during the summer or after school, which is much less expensive than paying for a sitter or day care.
- Look for local drive-in movie locations. This is a personal favorite of mine! You get two movies often for a price lower than what it costs to see one at the movie theatre. Plus, you can make your own snacks instead of buying high-priced treats.
- Check out the Salvation Army or Goodwill before you buy anything. Second-hand stuff can be just as good as new stuff, as long as you give it a good scrubbin’ when you get home!
- Pump your own gas. You’ll save money on tips if you go to a self-service center. Of course, this isn’t possible in all states, but if you can, take a moment to get out of your car.
- If you live in the suburbs, take the bus into the city instead of driving. In general, take the bus whenever you’ll have to pay for parking.
- Give up smoking. Yes, this is a tough one for some of you…but you’ll spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars every year on cigarettes if you don’t! At least cut down in over the next few months to save up some money for BlogWorld.
The key to all of this is that every time you save a dollar, put it in an account as though you’ve spent it. Otherwise, you’ll spend it somewhere else if you’re anything like me!
Ok, I’ve spent 1000+ words telling ya’ll how I save money. Your turn – leave a comment with a few of your best money-saving tips.
Allison Boyer is a writer for BWE’s blog and the owner/manager of After Graduation. She is still waiting for someone to buy her a tiara.
Image credit: sxc.hu