Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Things I could be doing to save money

I'm a fairly frugal person in many ways, but there are a lot of things I could be doing to save money that I am not. Here are a few:

  • Email more instead of phone calls-- this is reasonable, I should do it, though sometimes you do need to just talk to people.
  • Read newspaper online instead of suscribing-- impossible to do on the subway, so no dice.
  • Never eat out, buy cheaper groceries-- I'm working on making improvements in this area, it's definitely where I have the most to gain! I've spent almost $400 on food already this month and it's only the 10th!!
  • Never buy even used books, go to library more often-- this wouldn't actually save me that much money, I spend less than $100 a year on books because I can get a lot for free anyway.
  • Make gifts instead of buying them-- hmm, hope everyone liked the beaded necklaces and painted picture frames they got last year... and the year before...
  • Take bus instead of train or flying for family visits-- ugh, the bus is something I'd like to think of as a distant memory from my younger days.
  • Never travel-- no way
  • Never take classes-- no fun
  • Never take taxis-- I only spent about $250 on personal taxi use last year, most of which were trips from the airport. If I am coming home late at night, with luggage, I think it's worth it. I almost never take shorter trips within the city. And I take the Airtrain and subway whenever I can.
  • Clothes: always on sale or thrift shops or not at all-- I spend about $2-3000 a year on clothes because I have to (and want to) look relatively professional-- I've always tried to follow the rule of dressing for your next step up the career ladder. I try to buy good things that will last, not a lot of trendy crap. I'd rather have one good pair of shoes that cost $300 than 15 pairs of flip-flops that would make me look like a beach-comber at the office. I think this is probably a good investment. I'm sure I could be a little more bargain conscious, but I do try to find things on sale. I don't find thrift shops to be worth the time it takes to pick through the junk.
  • CDs: borrow from library and burn into itunes-- I haven't been spending too much on music lately, but I haven't checked out what the library has... could be worthwhile.
  • No new housewares-- I'm mostly sticking to this one, at least until I buy an apartment.
  • Live with a roommate-- I'm not sure this would actually be much cheaper than my current rent, at least in my same neighborhood. And when you hear people's horror stories about roommates running up bills and trashing places, I think I'm better off knowing that the only person responsible for the bills is me.


Anonymous said...

Enjoy yourself. I realize that your free time is more important than anything else, so spend your money really making the best out of those moments.

mmb said...

Can you believe our biggest expense is food? I still can't get over it!

Anonymous said...

Spending 'too much' on food reminds me of a Starbucks moment that me and the wife had. We stopped by at a Starbucks on a road trip a couple of years ago. The wife wanted Hot Apple Cider. I thought this was going to be interesting, since it sounded great. Do you know how they make it? They took Motts Apple Juice from the bottle, poured it in a StarBucks cup, warmed it up with steam and charged me $2.50!

Anonymous said...

I laugh at the frequent write ups in financial magazines about saving the money one spends on lottery tickets and investing it instead. Right? Right. I admit I buy lottery tickets, $2 worth a week. But then I have friends who eat out, buy Starbucks' latte at least once a day. No one dares to write anything about that. We can all guess why.
I hardly ever eat out, and when I do it is a treat. I buy groceries, and I eat really well. And I mean well. I can assure you that even with my monthly lottery tickets bill ($8 worth) and food bill, I am way ahead of you on savings. Just some thoughts for fun....

Anonymous said...

Why do people leave anonymous comments?