Saving Money

  • Use coupons!  My wife has a site that can give you the whole rundown on coupons Super Coupon Lady
  • Shop yard sales, thrift stores, online resale (like ebay, craiglist).  Make sure you go with what you need in mind and a budget of how much you are willing to pay.  
  • Take advantage of rebates.  You can also check that out on Super Coupon Lady.  Click the rebates tab.
  • Produce, fruit, and herbs can be expensive in the store, so why don't plant your own!  Even if you live in an urban condo you can still have a container garden on your patio.  You can even have potted herbs indoors.
  • Never Pay Full Price!

Eating Out

  • One of the main things that can eat up your money is eating out!  Try to cook more at home, have friends over instead of meeting at a restaurant.  It's also a lot easier if you have kids because they can play with your friends kids and your not worried about them tripping up the waiter or making a scene.

  • If you do go out to each try to get a coupon or a gift certificate.  I like, a lot of time you can get a $25 gift certificate for $2.  I like to think of them as a coupon because there are stipulations like you have to spend $35 (make sure to read the rules for each restaurant).  They are good because you can get a $35 meal for about $12 plus tax/tip.  So not bad if you are going out to eat.
  •  If you do go out to eat order water to drink.  Sodas cost about $2 and that can really add up!

Conserve Energy:

  • If you have a programmable thermostat make sure to set the temp so it doesn't run as much while you are away from home.  If you don't have one, then make sure to turn it up/down (depending on season) when you are away.
  • Shut off lights and fans when you are not in the room.  Fans only cool you while you are in the room, they do not cool the room.
  • Replace your light bulbs with Energy Smart/Florescent bulbs.  You can save lots of money on your electric bill, check out the info about how much you can save here.
  • If you live in a place where you can, ride your bike more (burn the fuel in your belly instead of your engine!) OR carpool.  This can really help you save money on gas.
  • When you do go out try to do everything in one trip.  You waste a lot of gas having to make several trips out, gas=$

  • Pay your bills online.  Suntrust is having a promotion until April 30, 2010 see info at MAKE $150!!!! You also save money paying bills online because you don't have to pay postage and you avoid late fees. 
  • Search around to see which bank is offering the best deals...high interest checking, free checking, no fees.
Personal Care
  • We just went for the first time this year to a local Beauty School to get a haircut.  It was about 1/2 the price of a barber or salon and they did a great job.  The instructor came by and made sure the student was doing everything correctly.  My wife was excited to find out that she could get a manicure for $5 (you will have to check your local beauty/barber school for pricing info)
  • Shop at Drug Stores that offer incentives.  For example, CVS offers ECBs (Extra Care Bucks) which means they give you coupons (like cash) to buy stuff at CVS when you buy certain items.  Again, you will have check Super Coupon Lady for that info.
Other Ways to Save:
Want a book, video, or audiobook?  Go to the library! They usually have a great selection of items and if your local library doesn't have what you want they can usually get it from another library in their branch.  They will even deliver it to your local library.

Get your mortgage costs down.  If your rate is to high, look into refinancing.  Are you paying PMI?  If your equity in your home is greater than 22% demand that the bank cancel it.  It's the law.  

Do it yourself.  That goes for cleaning your house, bathing your pet, fixing little things around the house 
(that you are able to do, we are not saying to fix the AC unit when it breaks but minor things)

Quit Smoking! I know it's easier said than done.  It took me 3 years to finally quit.  You can save a LOT of money if you didn't smoke.  If you put the money towards debt that you put toward cigarettes you could pay your debt down $312 per year (1 pack a week).  In 3 years almost $1000!!

Last, but not least, Cut Up Your Credit Cards!!