Wednesday, April 14, 2010

100th Post. 100 Hundred Ways of Being Frugal

1. Walk instead of drive.
2. Employ the $10/day plan for food when going out for work.
3. Select only 1 luxury a month, big ticket luxuries have to span over a couple of months.
4. Open up an emergency savings account.
5. Open up a either a 401K or Roth IRA or CD and don't touch the money.
6. Target blue chip stocks that pay out stock dividends.
7. Open up a DRIP investment plan (more on this later)
8. Shop at low cost stores like Wal-Mart
9. Shop at bulk stores like Costco and Sam's Club
10. Search for deals on
11.Use coupons.
12. Do not get a soda at a restuarant unless you absolutely want to.
13. Refrain from combo items; stick to the dollar menu when eating fast food.
14. Fill out surveys for free swag!
15. Buy stuff that is returned or on clearance.
16. Buy only one car and make it your for life car.
17. Have renters pay down your mortgage.
18. When thinking about buying an item, think about how bad you want the item at home and think of one way it can truely better your life within 24 hours. If you cannot think of anything to justify buying the item, leave it on the shelf.
19. Use #18 to resist 'impulse buys'
20. Use the 401(k) to lower your income tax bracket.
21.For long distances, carpool.
22. When renting movies, split the amount it cost to rent a movie at Redbox down the middle: you'll only pay 50 cents.
23. Use your change to pay for a purchase, that way you can not get hit up with fees for using a card to pay for something.
24. Eat at home.
25. Eat ramen; lots and lots of it! I saved a bundle doing this.
26. When you feel the need to impulse buy, think about how much the item costs, subtract that amount from your bank account and use that amount to invest in something, be it a book that gets you more knowledge, a stock, whatever. Repeat this and you'll be a impulse investor =)
27. Write your goals on a piece of paper and have that as your drive.
28. Read the Millionaire Next Door; over and over again. Emulate some of the habits in the book and you'll be on the path to success.
29. Save up to 10 grand starting out before doing any risky investing.
30. Surf Youtube; everything there is visual swag waiting to be watched!
31. Buy off brand groceries no one really cares.
32. Start your own blog. Blogger is free and it keeps me out of trouble ;)
33. Put $10 per week in an envelope and have yourself a $520 Christmas
34. Shop off of Criagslisgt for your appliances
35. Hit up used bookstores for new books to read; more than likely they have your silly Vampire romance novel there too.
36. Better yet, start  a book club at work and read each other's books.
37. Buy a used car and let that care be your "for lifer"
38. Get only one credit card that gives you cash back. You should shoot for 2-5% or a double mile card if you travel a lot.
39. Periodically eat like a college student; go for Top Ramen and Bomb Burritos (Just warn me if you have a B.B.)
40. If your going to drink, target $1 drafts or low budget tall cans and cap it off at $3.
41. Buy a PS2 and play only $5 dollar games. There are thousands of Playstation games on the market! I have about 80 games total!
42. Take your dates to free venues. Sometimes I come across bands that *gasp* actually have talent.
43. Carpool to work.
44. If your still a student, check and see if your city has year round passes. The one in my town cost $30 for a whole year! They are a good deal if you can get one.
45. If  you drink soda, try to target stores that offer $1 2liters. This will curb your craving for days.
46. Bicycle to work! Your body will thank you later.
47. Play the guitar, there are millions of free downloads on the internet.
48.  Exercise in your own home instead of the gym.
49. Unless it is urgent do not send or recieve mail via priority. Patience is a virtue that could protect your pocketbook.
50. If you want to lower your tax bracket and increase your bottom line, contribute to your 401K.
51. If you want to invest money that won't be taxed afterwards, the Roth IRA will make you an automatic millionaire if you start while your young and contribute the maximum.
52. If you absolutely need a car,  look for one with low insurance rates. Check the car for any machinical problems as well.
53. Write poetry and go to an open mike session. You'll be a star!
54. Subscribe to blog ring. You will have a smogaboard of  free reading material.
55. Better yet, subscribe to this blog! It well help put you on the path to riches.
56. Read articles off of !
57. Study a foreign language at home instead of  in class. You can also study what you want to study.
58. If you really want to buy that movie, try looking for  extra movies at the pawn shop. If it is only $2, then there is no kicking yourself when it  is terrible.
59. Go mountain hiking!
60. For those of you in San Francisco, go street hiking. The roads there are built like mountains!
61. Do not hire a contractor for small home improvement things, do it yourself.
62. Your tax dollars are paying that librarian's salary; use the library for free reading material. I am fairly sure they have at least one of your "New Moon" vampire romance novels there.
63. Instead of taking the plane every where you go, take the train.
64. Do not even use taxis. Why pay $40 to go 20 miles. They are only useful if you walk and you are going to be late to work. The GPS vanquished the cabbie. They even have pedestrian modes!
65. Walk everywhere for your cardio. Passive exercising is the way to go!
66. Get a used GPS. If you are in town why do you need all the bells and whistle to get from point a to point b?
67. Get a CPA when tax season gets complicated. They can find all sorts of loopholes in the tax code.
68. Take on doing your taxes yourself  if you have the free time. Just try not  to get yourself audited.
69. This might be a bit unethical, but if you have to take a date to the movies, sneak in your own snacks and drinks.
70. Only sign up for a monthly gym membership. Trust me; there is no need to sign up for a yearly one especially if you move around a lot.
71. Buy a pre-paid phone for out of  residence calls and use either Skype or the Magic Jack for in house/international calls.
72. Invent your own 100 frugal habit list!
73. Instead of going for 4 year college degrees, consider going for a lucrative certification program while working full time!
74. Take out fast food if it is not on your luxury list.
75. Form a 1 habit per month luxury list, big ticket items have to carry over.
76. Buy a take and bake pizza from Sam's Club and ration the pizza out for 4 days as your dinner.
77. Never pay for umbrellas. Just ask your lost and found for your "missing" black umbrella. (Taken from: A Million Bucks by 30 by Alan Corey)
78. Do surveys for free stuff.
79. Do psychological studies for money. Just avoid doing the ones with meds.
80. Borrow some of your friends games for some of yours. Then play through them and return the games.
81. Split the rent in a apartment.
82. If your more hardcore, split the rent of a studio apartment down the middle. Your bank account will thank you later!
83. Use grocery bags as your garbage bags. If you need bigger bags, look for a demo person at Sam's Club or Costco. They sometimes demo garbage bags.
84. If you have the time, attend free pre-concert tickets before the venue begins. I did this and got to meet Korn for free! I should have gotten a refund on the ticket though.
85. If you have a Pandora account, use it to listen to free music.
86. Go to Sam's Club and Costco and hit up the demo areas for free food. Why pay for free when it is being given away?
87. Panda yourself out for dares if  you do take yourself seriously. Your friends will just be paying you ffor laughing at you.
88. Become a side-job entrepenuer. All the free swag with none of the capital! This will at least keep you from paying for extra stuff.
89. If your work offers free food for prizes, abuse the system.
90. Eat the same stuff over and over if it is cheap.
91. Wear multi-purpose shoes; you'll be  dressed out for  a job interview and for a game of hoops! Why own 20 pairs when you don't have to?
92. Look for  deals in the local newspaper.
93. Read this list again.
94. Watch movies on your netbook, not at a rental store.
95. ATM $40 to use for the whole week on food and nothing else. That is how to avoide the majority of transacction keys at fast food joints.
96. At fast food joints, order from the dollar menu.
97. If you can,  do not pay for a soda and a side of fries at a fast food place. If you really  want them, then get a small and exploit the free refills!
98. Write down five people that you know of that have bad debt and list all of their bad spending habits. Afterwards do the opposite of what they do.
99.Now list 5 people that have good spending habits and seek them out for guidence.
100. Find your own financial niche and from there establish your frugality and limits on comfort.

And there you have it. 100 ways of being frugal. This actually took me some  time to compile this list and hopefully there are no repeats. If there are, then please let me know so I can adjust them. This is porbably the most challenging blog ever written to date, but hopefully it will give you ways to provide finacial harmony in such troubling times. Do not think just following this list will be your magic bullet. It will help you save and invest a little, but to truely invest, you will have to go beyond the spectrum of this blog. I would seriously start out  with the Cash Flow Quadrant and the Intelligent Investor along with the Millionaire Mind. These books will put you in the process of thinking like an investor. The rest will have to be frugality combined with repeated successes.