70. Dining Out
Eating out can be expensive. Rather than stop eating out, simply cut back and look for options of two-for-one. Restaurants of all calibers offer weekly specials and if you check in your Sunday paper, you can often find special bargains. You might even think about signing up as a Mystery Shopper on the Internet where you can eat at fine restaurants free or at a huge discount just for writing a report on the food, service, and cleanliness.
71. Plan Menus
Although it will take some time initially, after you have planned a week’s menu once, it will become much easier and best of all, it will save you money. Knowing exactly what you will be making helps you to shop for foods that can be used more than once. As an example, if you are going to have spaghetti on Tuesday, you could buy bulk ground beef at a better price and then use the other half for tacos on Saturday. Another option would be buying round steak where one night you fix Salisbury steak and then a few days later, you use the leftovers for breakfast hash. This will help you stretch meals and avoid last minute or impulse buying.
72. Coordinate Efforts
If you are married, make sure you and your spouse are working on the same agenda. If one is trying to save money while the other is busy spending, what is the point? When you work as a team, you can encourage each other to keep on track with your saving.
73. Computer Software
In order to keep on track with your debts and credits, you need to use some type of software such as Quicken or Quick Books. This will keep you focused on your goals and tasks while you strive to achieve them. Additionally, rather than buy software programs to download, first check Download.com or Freeware.com to see if there are free versions to download.
74. Life Satisfaction
Learn how to enjoy life and nature rather than possessions. The next time you feel like spending money, head to your local park where you can enjoy the warm sun, green grass, and towering trees without spending a dime. Being happy in life is far better than buying item after item. Having an inner peace is better than having a house filled with “things.” That does not mean you cannot enjoy some of the finer things in life it just means learning how to be happy with yourself and not “things.”
75. Live Within your Means
The quickest way to get in debt is to live beyond your means. Sure, most people want more than they have but life is not all about spending money. Be thankful for what you do have and learn how to enjoy the financial position you are in. This is where your budget will help identify the amount of money coming in against the amount of debt going out.
76. Christmas Fund
Many banks and financial institutions offer a Christmas Fund program. This is an excellent way to put aside some money for your holiday shopping so you do not end up with a ton of spending. With these programs, you do not even miss the money and better yet, less stress around the holidays.
77. Previously Viewed
Home videos and DVDs are hot items and perfect for any family entertainment. Now you can visit the major video chains and purchase previously viewed videos and DVDs for about half the cost. For example, at Blockbuster, you can purchase either one and get a 30-day warranty. This is still a wonderful way to have quality entertainment for a terrific savings. Another great option is to record your own movies either from TV or any of the popular cable channels such as HBO, Showtime or Disney. Rather than hitting the theater every weekend, make it a special occasion. Instead, pop your popcorn, grab a soda, spread out a blanket, and create your own theater-type atmosphere.
78. Dinner Guests
Invite friends over for dinner as a potluck. People love sharing their favorite recipe and by splitting dinner, everyone enjoys variety while saving money. In fact, make this a tradition amongst your friends.
79. Instant Messaging / Microphone
Rather than spend a small fortune in long distance, contact friends and family via instant messaging on the Internet. In addition, you can download a program that will allow you to connect a microphone and actually have a voice conversation free. All you pay for is the normal price of your Internet connection, which generally runs from $9.95 to $21.95 a month. Either option allows you to have real-time conversations for no extra money.