Hello everybody. It has been a while since I have posted on GRS but I have been lurking. I love to save money and from reading many articles related to the subject I thought it would be a good idea to have a look at what GRS readers do to save money.
I do lots of things to save money but I don't consider myself stingy but I do think I have some frugalness (if that's even a word) in me. Things I do to save money are;
1. Borrowing - not in the sense of borrowing money but borrowing stuff, for example a few years back my old PC monitor broke, now I could have bought a new one but I knew that a family member had recently upgraded her PC so I asked if I could borrow her old PC monitor and she obliged. I took good care of the monitor and used it for 2 years before I decided to purchase a new computer. I have since returned the monitor and thanked her for the use of it.
2. Take good care of things - I have seen many people who have bought top of the range new products only for them to break within a year, it is usually not down to poor manufacturing but due to the owner not taking care of the product. I routinely clean my products and generally take good care of them. For some products you can buy protective outer cases for although I have never had to use one it is something I always consider if I am buying something that could easily be scratched e.g. Apple i-Pod, Nintendo DS, Mobile Telephone. Case in point, my mobile phone is manufactured with a shiny, black casing which can easily be scratched, I know not to put the phone into a pocket where I may be carrying loose change of keys, I usually dedicate a pocket to my phone because of this.
3. 30 day rule - I had never heard of this until I visited GRS but I live by this rule whenever it comes to products I may be interested in. I have a word document where I type down anything which has caught my attention then after 30 days I review the list, if I am still interested in the product I do a little bit of research to find the cheapest price then if the item is cheap enough I will buy it then and there, if it is an expensive item I add it to my financial goals list and start a monthly savings plan to accumulate the money needed to purchase the item.
4. Track my spending - I save receipts and monitor my spending, although I am still young and have no financial commitments except for boarding and travel expenses I still like to keep an eye on my spending.
5. Invest in my future - I actually spend money to save money, I do this buy booking myself on educational courses to boost my earning potential. I have been saving now for a few years and I am looking into going back to college to study something else. This means that hopefully after a few years of studying I may be in line for significant promotion and probably quadruple my current wage.
6. Make use of what you have - I have known people buy a new product to replace their older one even though there is nothing wrong with the older one. Now I am not stupid and do know that with technological advancements sometimes the purchase of a new product in justifiable in your budget but when all you buy the new product for is because "my friend has one and I wanted one too" or "well it has a brighter screen" or some other useless excuse then it is just wasting money. I have an MP3 player that is about 5 years old, there are newer ones but I couldn't care less because my MP3 player plays music and it does this function perfectly fine. I have a TV that has been in my household for about 10 years, I was given it by my brother about 4-5 years ago, sure it isn't HD ready or have built in Freeview but it serves its purpose well, it has a clear picture and I have had no problems with it at all.
7. Only purchase the one that suits your needs - what I mean by this is that usually clever marketing hooks people in to buying the best version (in their eyes) of a product which may cost more money than the basic model but comes with a few extra features. If you look at car manufacturers websites you'll see what I mean, you can buy a basic model car from a certain range which comes with standard features but it doesn't sound exciting to a prospective buyer, then when you look at the other models within the same product range which have exciting names like "Sport", "Ultimate", "Rally Special" or other words along those lines, they usually come with some features which are welcome like air conditioning and a sunroof but other features like sports alloy wheels or racing seats which aren't really essential for someone myself. I have seen people buy the more alluring sportier versions of a car based solely on the name or even under the false assumption that "Well it is more expensive, this must mean it is better." Only buy something with the features that suit your needs, not the one that suits that manufacturers need (the need to line their pockets with money).
8. Reuse - I must admit I am a little bit of a hoarder (although the stuff I hoard I do actually use). I save carrier bags from supermarkets because not only is it environmentally friendly but they always come in handy if you ever need something to put stuff in. I have used a carrier bag for a temporary replacement for my work bag and they also come in handy for lining your little waste bins that you may have around the house. I also save scrap bits of paper so I can always have note paper handy, I usually carry them around in my diary so I can always have access to the bits of paper. I also reuse soda pop bottles for making diluted pop to take to work they even come in handy as sports water bottles, I have also used them to store car liquid products like oil and washer fluid in (I must advise if you do store potentially hazardous chemicals in these bottles that you take off any labelling the manufacturer put on the bottle and even put a small sticky label on stating what is actually inside the bottle so it can never be confused by anyone as a bottle of soda).
9. And finally my mother always tells me never live above your means.
What are your money saving tips?