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Showing posts with label 101 Tips eBook. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 101 Tips eBook. Show all posts

Friday, April 8, 2016

Audiobook Announcement: Pinch Like You Mean It

Pinch Like You Mean It- Audiobook Launch!

Pinch Like You Mean It:  The Audiobook is out!

I am excited to announce the release of my first audiobook!  It is the audio version of Pinch Like You Mean It! 101 Ways To Save Money Now.

This book works very well as an audio book thanks to outstanding narration from Peter L. Herrick.  This guy could read a list of names out of the phone book and it would be gripping and compelling...  just imagine how great my book sounds with Pete reading it!

It took about a month to produce the audiobook version, so I hope you will check it out.  I developed this under a cool program by ACX that matches book authors with audiobook producers.  I held some auditions to find the right narrator for this book.  I think you will enjoy the results from all of the hard work that went into this project!



When I got the draft version of the audiobook, I intended to take a few minutes and listen to a few tips, but ended up listening to the entire book non-stop!  I think listening to the book makes a bigger impression than reading it.

If you have an Audible.com account, you will be able to get this audiobook for free as part of your subscription.  Enjoy!

Copyright © 2016 by Dr. Penny Pincher.  All Rights Reserved.  Privacy Policy

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Pinch Like You Mean It! Free eBook

Pinch Like You Mean It!  101 Ways to Spend Less Money Now

by Dr. Penny Pincher




Read this eBook it in its entirety here on Penny Pincher Journal- just click on the table of contents below to navigate.

You can download this 135 page book, a $3.99 value, to read on your favorite eReader or as a PDF file by requesting your free book.  You will also get a bonus book: Uncommon Cents: Weird Ways yo Save A LOT of Money.

Pinch Like You Mean It! is all about ways to spend less money.  Why give so much of your hard-earned money away by spending it?  Get 101 tips on how to spend less right now.  Topics include duct tape and other cheap repairs, how to get furniture for almost free, what steps to take in a financial emergency, and many tips on practical ways to spend less money every day.  When can you save money by applying for a credit card?  Check out tip #82.  What frugal tip did Lizzy Borden's father teach Lizzy the night before the infamous ax incident?  Read tip #72 and find out...

Table of Contents

Dedication
Introduction
Disclaimer
Tip 1: Avoid sales tax on food
Tip 2: Save big at Kohl’s
Tip 3: Save 10% on milk
Tip 4: Make coffee at home, save over $500 per year
Tip 5: Pack lunch instead of eating out
Tip 6: Sharpen disposable razor blades
Tip 7: Cut cable TV or satellite TV
Tip 8: Buy less gas for your car
Tip 9: Enjoy cheap- or free- exercise
Tip 10: Save when eating out
Tip 11: Get pets at the animal shelter for almost free
Tip 12:  Have less stuff
Tip 13: Haircuts at home
Tip 14: Walk instead of drive
Tip 15: Credit card points
Tip 16: Avoid dry cleaning
Tip 17: A Subway $5 footlong is a good deal
Tip 18: Use energy efficient lighting
Tip 19: Improve home insulation
Tip 20: Reduce your house payments with a mortgage re-fi
Tip 21: Buy used items and save
Tip 22: Stop making car payments
Tip 23: Avoid recreational shopping
Tip 24: Cut small unnecessary purchases
Tip 25: Utilize free resources at your library
Tip 26: Free or cheap hobbies
Tip 27: Get an artificial Christmas tree
Tip 28: Plan meals, shop with coupons
Tip 29: Drop newspapers and magazines
Tip 30: Staycation instead of vacation
Tip 31: Stop buying lottery tickets
Tip 32: Stop smoking
Tip 33: Take shorter showers
Tip 34: Find out where your money is going
Tip 35: Avoid boarding your pets
Tip 36: Get multiple estimates for home improvement projects
Tip 37: Get enough sleep
Tip 38: Eat less
Tip 39: Cut down on travel
Tip 40: Install a programmable thermostat
Tip 41: Chew gum instead of eating a snack
Tip 42: Switch from soda to free water
Tip 43: Cut down on coffee
Tip 44: Pay off high interest credit cards first
Tip 45: Negotiate on hotel rates
Tip 46: Take advantage of kids eat free nights
Tip 47: Inexpensive foods that are healthy
Tip 48: Free stuff
Tip 49: Buy fewer things, but better quality
Tip 50: Avoid expensive clothing brands, especially jeans
Tip 51: When to buy food items at convenience stores
Tip 52: Sell unneeded appliances
Tip 53: Wait to buy materials for projects
Tip 54: Don't go for a test drive unless you want to buy a car
Tip 55: Watch out for high pressure sales pitches
Tip 56: Save on insurance with bundle discounts
Tip 57: Don't carry small bills
Tip 58: Wait 48 hours to buy
Tip 59: Use a black permanent marker to revive old clothes
Tip 60: Carry your best coupons in your wallet or purse
Tip 61: Spend more thought and less money on presents
Tip 62: Reduce/avoid knick knacks and collectables
Tip 63: Consider downsizing to reduce expenses
Tip 64: DIY projects to save money
Tip 65: Shop around for the best deal
Tip 66: Take good care of your teeth
Tip 67: Grow your own food in a vegetable garden
Tip 68: How to cut expenses quickly in a financial emergency
Tip 69: Carpool to save on vehicle expenses
Tip 70: Keep your car clean
Tip 71: Try not to move
Tip 72: Use old clothes for rags
Tip 73: Donate unneeded items and save money on taxes
Tip 74: Buy generic- why pay for advertising?
Tip 75: Don't go grocery shopping hungry
Tip 76: Get free checking, avoid bank fees
Tip 77: "Bank" at a credit union rather than a bank
Tip 78: Turn off unneeded lights and appliances
Tip 79: Can you eliminate an extra vehicle?
Tip 80: The art and science of the store return
Tip 81: Discount programs at grocery stores
Tip 82: When to apply for a credit card to save money
Tip 83: Fun night at home
Tip 84: Pizza can make you happy
Tip 85: Use coupons for oil changes
Tip 86: Get furniture for almost free
Tip 87: Shop on tax free day
Tip 88: No more late fees
Tip 89: No more postage
Tip 90: Duct tape and other cheap repairs
Tip 91: Repair shoes instead of throwing them away
Tip 92: Rent a truck instead of buying one
Tip 93: Get building materials for free
Tip 94: Save hardware odds and ends
Tip 95: Bake and decorate your own cakes
Tip 96: Stay off the hamster wheel
Tip 97: Avoid spending deathtraps
Tip 98: Don't throw away all the old batteries
Tip 99: Buy less stuff that is made to be thrown away
Tip 100: Use fans to lower your bills
Tip 101: Read Penny Pincher Journal
About the Author
Connect with Dr. Penny Pincher

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Dedication

Dedication


To my sons who impress me all the time with their smart decisions with money.  These guys really know how to save money and avoid wasteful spending.  I wonder where they learned to do that?


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Introduction

Introduction

Why would a guy who likes saving money write a free book?  I once read there are only two reasons to write:  to make money or to be read.  Giving this book away free sort of eliminates the first reason...  So I must be writing this book for the second reason- to be read.

I think the price of my first book published about 10 months ago at $3.99 has kept a lot of people from getting to read it.  People looking to spend less money are not eager to spend money buying a book, even one that is a great value at $3.99...  A free book about spending less money should be far more appealing to those trying to spend less money than a book that you have to pay to read.

I started writing this book on my cell phone on an airplane flight- with my phone in “airplane mode”, of course...  While trapped in my seat for a couple hours I started typing a list of ways to spend less money and ended up with 101 tips. After I landed, I added some description, stories, and details to each tip to create a resource to help people spend less money.

The tips on saving money in this book can be used to save money, of course, but they can also help you think about money and spending in a different way.  Things look different when you have your debt and spending under control.  New possibilities open up.  You have more freedom and less stress.

I currently use many of the tips provided in this book to save money.  A few of the tips are good ideas that I am working to accomplish as I improve my penny pinching abilities.  Sometimes life happens and I spend money that maybe I shouldn’t.  Just this week I spent quite a bit of time and money at the vet’s office helping my sick dog.  There is always a balance between trying to avoid spending money and doing what you really want to do.  Use these 101 tips to help find and eliminate wasteful spending, leaving you with more money to do the meaningful things you want to accomplish and save for a bright future.

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Disclaimer

Disclaimer

The information presented in the book is for informational and entertainment purposes only and does not constitute financial, accounting, medical or legal advice.

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Tip 1: Avoid sales tax on food

Tip 1: Avoid sales tax on food


Buying food at a convenience store is rarely a good idea, but if you do, here is a tip to avoid paying sales tax on food items.  Back in college, I would sometimes get a "grinder" burrito at a convenience store, not a bad lunch for about $1.00.  If you paid for the burrito before microwaving it, it was considered a grocery item and there was no sales tax.  If you microwaved it first and then paid for it, you were charged 6% sales tax since it was considered a prepared food item.

Of course, saving 6 cents on a burrito is not going to change your life, but if you can save 6 cents every time you get a burrito, savings can add up over time.  The point is not to pay more than you need to pay for anything and hold on to the savings, no matter how small.  Wasting money is a bad habit- I try to adopt a "zero-tolerance" policy for wasting money.  I suppose some would say I could save even more money by either not buying the burrito, or by buying the burrito somewhere else- you can get a burrito for 79 cents at Taco John's on "Taco Tuesday", or probably make one at home for about 35 cents.

It is always a fuzzy line between "needs" and "wants".  If you want to participate in the world, you need to spend some money.  You have to find the right balance for yourself.  On that particular day, buying the $1.00 burrito at a convenience store was just what I needed.  I could have spent less on lunch that day, but it would have taken more time and I wanted to use my time for studying and other things.  At least I spent the least I could on the burrito by avoiding paying sales tax.

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Tip 2: Save big at Kohl’s

Tip 2: Save big at Kohl’s

Kohl’s is a national chain store that sells clothes and small appliances.  They have lots of clearance sale items and also have great coupons.  Kohl’s has coupons for 15%, 20%, and 30% off that apply to all items in the store, including clearance items.  When I get a 30% coupon, I like to keep it in my wallet in case I need to buy something- 30% off is usually a pretty good deal.  I have picked up some really cheap clothes at Kohl’s from the clearance rack and then 30% more off of the clearance price.  Another benefit of shopping at Kohl’s is Kohl’s cash.  You get $10 Kohl’s Cash for every $50 that can be used during a certain time window.  I once got a nice polo shirt for free with Kohl’s cash I received from buying clearance items.

Believe it or not, I found the hat that I wear in all of my Dr. Penny Pincher photos in the clearance section at Kohl’s.  With all of my coupons, I ended by paying less than $3 for my favorite hat.  It seems really appropriate that Dr. Penny Pincher wears such a cheap hat!

One time, my brother was visiting from out of town and was interested in looking for a coat.  He is particular about the design of the clothes he buys and also insists on spending very little money.  We went to Kohl’s and went through their clearance racks of many, many coats.  We found one that was just right, and not very expensive.  Kohl’s was the right place to shop for clearance coats.

If you have Kohl’s in your area, check it out.  Explore the store and look for the clearance racks and bargain areas- you might be able to find some cheap clothes and good deals there.

Stores give out coupons to make money for the store- how does that work?  The coupons get shoppers into the store who otherwise would not be there.  The store may lose some money on people who buy only items with coupons, but many people will buy other items as well and result in a profit for the store.  The stores know what they are doing- be careful chasing bargains with coupons.  Once you are in the buying mode, you may end up buying extra items and spending more money than you planned as a result of coupons.

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Tip 3: Save 10% on milk

Tip 3: Save 10% on milk

My local independent grocery store has a punch card for milk.  You get a punch for each gallon you buy.  When you get 10 punches, you get a free gallon.  This is a savings of 10% or about 30 cents per gallon.  The savings on each gallon isn't much, but over time it adds up.  See if you can find a store that is handy and has milk punch cards or other discount programs that you can use to save money.

Some people are not willing to bother carrying coupons or punch cards- it is too much trouble.  I am not one of those people.  I carry a few coupons and punch cards in my wallet all the time, and have probably saved hundreds of dollars over the years doing this.  I have a small accordion file that I use to keep a larger collection of coupons.  Much to the embarrassment of my family, I sometimes carry the accordion file with me in stores when shopping.

A little inconvenience can go a long way.  Whenever I see a punch card or other discount program offered at a store, I check it out.  Often, programs do not help me with items I already purchase, so I don't sign up.  But sometimes I find one that works for me- like the milk punch card.  See if you can find extra discounts that work for you on items you already buy.  I would much rather keep that 30 cents per gallon of milk for myself instead of giving it to the store.

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Tip 4: Make coffee at home, save over $500 per year

Tip 4: Make coffee at home, save over $500 per year

This is one of my favorite ways to save money.  I grind my own beans and make coffee at home.  It costs about 60 cents to make a great 16 oz cup of coffee at home vs. about $2 at a coffee shop.  I still get coffee at a coffee shop on occasion, but making it at home most of the time results in savings of about $45 per month.  For me, this is worth doing.

In addition to saving money, I have learned to make better coffee at home than you can get at a coffee shop.  I use fresh beans and grind them myself just before brewing.  I use filtered water and brew the coffee using a cone filter in a coffee maker with a thermal carafe.  When ready, I place the coffee in one of the best thermal coffee mugs that you can buy.  All of the equipment I use may sound expensive, but costs very little compared to the cost of buying coffee at a coffee shop every day.  My very nice coffee maker cost only $45, and my grinder about $30, and my thermal travel mug about $15.

Making your own coffee at home not only saves money, but saves time as well.  It takes time to drive to the coffee shop, place your order, pay for your coffee, wait for your coffee, and drive to work.  It only takes a few seconds to grind my beans and start my coffee brewing while I do other things.  When I am ready to go, I just pour the hot, fresh, delicious coffee in my mug and go on my way.  I wish it were morning so I could make some coffee now.

Making your own coffee is one of those ways to save money that depends on forming a new habit.  If you are in the habit of walking to the coffee shop during a coffee break, or going through the drive-through window of a coffee shop on the way to work, it will take effort to break that habit and establish a new habit of making your own coffee at home.  This is worth the effort, because you can save a lot of money over time.

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Tip 5: Pack lunch instead of eating out

Tip 5: Pack lunch instead of eating out

Another big money saver is bringing lunch from rather than eating out.  It takes some effort and planning, but the savings are significant.  You can easily save $5 per day or more by bringing your own lunch and snacks.  Bringing lunch from home is also a lot healthier than eating out.  It is too easy to end up with burgers and fries when eating out.

I still go out for lunch a few times a year for special occasions.  Sometimes it is fun to do something with your friends from work, but I like to pack my lunch for everyday lunches.  Depending on where the gang is going, you might be able to take your lunch from home with you.  One time, I took my giant lunch box with some grilled pork chops from home to a fast food place to eat with others.  I had a healthy- and cheap- lunch from home and got to eat out with my friends too.

Compared with making your own coffee, making your lunch every day is a lot more work.  That’s OK, because you can save a lot of money.  At $5 per day for 20 week days per month, you can save around $100 per month which adds up to $1,200 per year.

Sometimes you can make lunch at home for free.  I’m talking about leftovers.  I am pretty good at packing up leftovers in tupperware containers after dinner each night- there is almost always something that I can take with me for lunch.  For days when leftovers do not work out, I like to have some sliced meat and cheese to make sandwiches and some fresh fruit such as apples and bananas.  Apples cost about 75 cents each and bananas cost about 25 cents each.  I also like peanut butter and honey sandwiches and soy-nut butter and cheese sandwiches on wheat.  Sometimes I don’t have much time to get creative, but want to take enough along so I won’t get hungry and want to buy food.

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Tip 6: Sharpen disposable razor blades

Tip 6: Sharpen disposable razor blades

Disposable razor blades are expensive and don't seem to last very long.  Did you know you can sharpen them up just by rubbing them backwards against your skin?  I run the razor 20 times along my forearm and then 20 times along a towel.  This process keeps the razor sharp.  I don't think this actually sharpens the blades, but does keep them straight, clean, and dry which makes them last for a long time.

My wife usually keeps me supplied with razor blades, but one time I had to buy them myself and realized how expensive they are.  I considered using cheaper disposable razors, but then came across the idea of stropping disposable cartridge blades to sharpen them.  The concept is similar to sharpening a straight razor on a leather strap.  Keeping your disposable razor blades sharp by taking care of them is an example of applying some free maintenance to an item to make it last much longer and save money.

Note: if you try sharpening disposable razor blades, be sure to run the blades backwards along your skin.

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Tip 7: Cut cable TV or satellite TV

Tip 7: Cut cable TV or satellite TV

A big expense for most households is cable TV or satellite TV.  I was paying over $100 per month for satellite TV before I came to my senses.  I turned off my service and got an indoor HD TV antenna instead.  I can get several network stations in HD plus a number of public television channels.  This provides live news and sports plus some TV programming.  I also get streaming video from Netflix, Hulu and Amazon for about $8 per month each.  Over time, cutting cable or satellite TV will save thousands of dollars.  I was nervous about cutting the cord, but it went fine.  We didn't even miss it very much.

Cutting satellite or cable TV is another example of breaking an expensive habit to save money.  I had been paying for satellite TV for years- it had become a habit.  I would turn the TV on in the background even if I wasn't watching it.  If I wanted to watch TV, I would spend a lot of time flipping through the many channels available looking for something interesting to watch.  This all sounds pretty stupid now that I have broken this habit.  If you can break the cable TV / satellite TV habit, you can save lots of money and have more free time to do something useful- like write a free book on saving money!

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Tip 8: Buy less gas for your car

Tip 8: Buy less gas for your car

Fuel is a big expense for most people.  You can get better gas mileage by changing your driving habits.  Avoiding short trips and keeping tires at recommended air pressure are the easiest ways to improve your gas mileage and spend less on fuel.  Avoiding short trips takes some planning- for example, if you bring your lunch with you, you don't need to drive to a fast food place to get lunch.

Keeping your tires properly inflated does take some work.  You can check your air pressure at each fill-up, or you can get small air pressure gauges that are built-in to valve stem caps.  I have these on my car and it makes it easy to tell at a glance if the air pressure in the tires is correct.  The indicator appears green if the tires have sufficient air pressure.

Choosing the smallest, most efficient car that works for you when you buy a car is the best place to start on getting better gas mileage.  Choosing the right car is a balance between how much cargo capacity and safety you want vs. how much fuel efficiency you want.  Hybrid vehicles are a good deal in some cases, especially if you do a lot of city driving.

If you want to improve you gas mileage, a good place to start is to check you gas mileage for your normal driving and then try to improve it from there.  Fill your tank and note your odometer reading or reset your trip counter.  On your next fill-up, take the number of miles you drove on that tank divided by the number of gallons of gas you used to calculate your miles per gallon.

Checking your miles per gallon every tank is a good motivator to keep trying to find ways to improve your fuel economy.  I am so familiar with my driving habits and gas mileage that I can tell the difference when I have extra passengers in my vehicle for even a short trip, or if I made an extra trip driving in traffic.

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Tip 9: Enjoy cheap- or free- exercise

Tip 9: Enjoy cheap- or free- exercise

Having a cheap form of exercise that you enjoy makes it easier to get exercise and stay in shape.  My favorites are walking and riding a cheap bicycle.  Walking requires no special equipment and can be done almost anywhere, anytime.  Having a bike handy allows you to cover more ground.  You can buy a good used bike for under $50 and it can provide years of exercise and transportation.

Exercise is one of those things that it is easy not to do if you have an excuse available.  If your favorite form of exercise is something like skiing or working out at an exercise club that costs money or requires going someplace special, it is that much easier to put off doing it.  If exercise is free and convenient, that removes potential barriers from exercising and staying in shape.

At times I have kept a bicycle at work so I can go for a ride whenever I have time.  I could go for quite a trek over an hour lunch break and would explore neighborhoods or ride around a lake a few miles from the office.  Walking is even easier.  You might want to have a comfortable pair of shoes to change into.  You can use a pedometer or GPS app on your cell phone to keep track of your walking distance and pace.

A cheap form of exercise is cheap entertainment and can keep you from spending money in other ways.  If you are in shape, you are less likely to over-eat.  You will also save money on medical expenses if you stay in good shape with regular activity.

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Tip 10: Save when eating out

Tip 10: Save when eating out

Of course eating out typically costs more than preparing food at home, but there are ways to save when eating out.  My favorite tips are to drink water, skip appetizers, order smaller amounts, and take home any left-over’s.  Ordering a pop typically costs $2 vs. drinking water which is free.  Water is also a healthy drink and does not contain calories or chemical sweeteners.  Appetizers are tasty and fun, but are typically expensive and have a lot of fat and calories.

Simply ordering less is an easy way to save when eating out- find a reasonable portion instead of ordering the jumbo meals.  Sometimes it bugs my wife, but I like to take home any leftovers from eating out- even if it is a few fries or a bun.  Leftovers make a great snack or meal later, and there is no sense wasting food.
A lunch buffet can be a way to get a lot of food for not a lot of money.  I think I get more than my money's worth at Chinese food buffets.  I try not to go too often, but sometimes I get REALLY hungry.  You can get vegetables and other healthy things at a Chinese buffet, and you can get as much as you want.  Sometimes it is nice to get everything you want.  If you want to save on groceries, go grocery shopping after you have a big meal.  You are less likely to buy extra food and impulse items if you are not hungry at all.

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Tip 11: Get pets at the animal shelter for almost free

Tip 11: Get pets at the animal shelter for almost free

I have gotten some great dogs and cats at animal shelters for almost free.  I also once got a great dog at a pet shop for a lot of money.  Unless you are set on a very specific breed, you can almost certainly find a great pet at the pound.  Save money and give an animal in need of a home a chance.

The initial purchase price of a pet is usually small compared with the overall cost of ownership of a pet.  You'll want to get your pet spayed or neutered to avoid an unwanted litter, which may cost hundreds of dollars.  Your pet will need vaccinations each year, also hundreds of dollars.  If your pet gets injured or hurt, this may also cost hundreds of dollars or more.  As you can see pets are expensive, but I don't remember how much I spent on my pets.

The great memories from a pet can be worth more than money.  But keep in mind that having a pet can be expensive and make sure you are willing to pay the costs before you bring home that kitten of puppy.  If you are planning to get a pet, check out the free and very inexpensive pets that need a home at your animal shelter or pound.

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Tip 12: Have less stuff

Tip 12:  Have less stuff

Having less stuff can actually help you spend less money.  With less stuff, there is less pressure for space which makes it easier to live in a smaller house and avoid paying for storage space to keep things that won't fit in your house.  With less clutter, you will be able to find and use the things you have easier- this can be more satisfying than having lots of stuff, but no room to use it.  Once you get used to having less stuff, you'll save money by not buying stuff.  Buying less stuff is also good for the environment since less resources are consumed to make and transport stuff.  How much stuff do you really need to be happy?

Even if you are not into buying stuff, you can still end up with a lot of stuff.  I try to save building material scraps, hardware items, and other things that are likely to be needed or at least that are small and easy to store.  If you find you have a lot of larger items around that makes it hard to do anything in your shop or garage, you might be better getting rid of some of the larger stuff that you don’t know if you’ll need or not.

So how do you get rid of stuff if you have accumulated too much?  I sell my extra things at consignment stores and auction houses.  This is a double win for me, since I get rid of unwanted items and also get some money.  Plus the stuff gets reused by someone who wants it.  Some things are not suitable for sale, so I donate to Goodwill or throw some things away.  I have also put items out on my sidewalk with a sign that says "FREE".  This is handy since I don't have to haul the items away, and also gives my neighbors a change to get free stuff.  I gave away my trailer that pulls behind my bicycle this way.  It was fun seeing the neighbor kids enjoying it since I didn't need it any more.

If your current amount of stuff is not making you happy, try having less stuff.  It is a lot less expensive than trying to get more stuff...

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Tip 13: Haircuts at home

Tip 13: Haircuts at home

One of the easiest ways to spend less money is to skip going to the barbershop and get haircuts at home with your own trimmers.  You can get a nice set of trimmers for around $25.  I haven't paid for a haircut in over 5 years.  At 5 haircuts per year at $10 each, I have saved around $250 with haircuts at home.  Not only do you save money on the cost of the haircut, but you save fuel by not driving to the barbershop and you save time as well.

I like cutting my own hair much better than going to the barbershop.  I cut it exactly how I like it.  At a barber shop, it seem like the haircut is a little different every time.  I also avoid the expense of the haircut and the tip.  I always found the tip part to be awkward.  Since the haircut was so expensive, I found it difficult to pay extra to leave a tip.  Since the person cutting the hair doesn't set the price, it is not really their fault a haircut is so expensive.  I would usually leave a 15% tip if I thought the person did a good job.

The only downside of cutting your hair at home is that the hair makes a bit of a mess.  I usually buzz my hair out in the garage and sweep up the hair.  When it is cold out in the garage, I use a bathroom with a linoleum floor that makes it easy to sweep up.

With practice, you can go beyond just a basic haircut with a single length.  For my latest haircut, I used 3 different lengths:  1 inch on top, 1/2 inch on the sides, and 1/4 inch above the ears and on the back.  Pretty sharp for a free haircut!

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Tip 14: Walk instead of drive

Tip 14: Walk instead of drive

I try to walk instead of drive to run errands or go to appointments when I can.  Typical walking speed is about 3 miles per hour, and you can go 4 miles per hour if you walk briskly.  It is sometimes surprising how many places you can walk rather than drive.  You save on fuel and on vehicle wear and tear by walking- plus it is great exercise.  Sometimes I walk about a mile to the grocery store from my office to pick up small items such as coffee beans, shaving cream, etc.  It is not really worth driving to pick up something that can be carried easily.  I have also walked from the auto shop to my office and back when my car is being serviced.  Many shops offer rides, but I like being able to come and go on my own schedule without waiting for someone to give me a ride.

Free transportation is hard to beat.  See if you can find opportunities to walk instead of driving to save money.

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Tip 15: Credit card points

Tip 15: Credit card points

Credit cards are expensive if you carry a balance and pay high interest rates.  But you can get some great points and rewards if you use a credit card and pay off the balance every month.

I have my credit card reward points linked to my Amazon account.  I can use my credit card points to buy anything on Amazon.  Since I have Amazon Prime, I also get free 2-day shipping.  The credit card points work to save money buying electronics and gift items.

Using a credit card is convenient compared with using cash or checks.  I like to use a credit card rather than my debit card that is linked to my checking account.  Credit card companies are better at refunding money if a card is stolen.  If I am using a credit card anyway, I might as well get points that I can use to save money.


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