You could save more money if you…

I could save more money if I:

– Mowed my own lawn. Every two weeks, I pay someone to cut what is a fairly small yard. I’ll admit I’m a bit stubborn in this area. Growing up, I earned extra money by cutting grass during the summer. At home, my brother and I shard the yard duties, which were fairly significant since we had a huge yard. I vowed I wouldn’t do it once I became an adult, and I haven’t. But now, I’m rethinking that. I know it’s a big waste of money to shell that out on a regular basis.

Photo credit: Jeffry Scott, AJC

Photo credit: Jeffry Scott, AJC

– Washed my own car. Sure, I’d use more water washing my car at home, but I wouldn’t have to pay a car wash to clean and detail the car if I took a Saturday afternoon to do it myself.

– Did my own hair. Maintaining regular hair appointments is one of my most substantial monthly expenses. Eliminating just one appointment a month would reap a handsome savings.

– Used public transportation daily. I am a fan of the convenience of MARTA. I use it at least once a week, but would save more on gas and wear on my vehicle if I used public transportation a few more days a week. That would take some juggling since I often have obligations that take me out of the office during the day and after hours.

– Stuck to my list. I always write a grocery list before going shopping. While I come back with everything I need, I too often stray off course and spend an additional $20 or so on extras — trying a new product, remembering some meal I’ve been dying to cook or remembering an old favorite and picking it up.

Question: How could you find extra money in your budget? What could you do yourself that you spend money on?

7 comments Add your comment

Bayou Chick

May 24th, 2010
5:30 pm

Prepared more meals at home. I cook for a while, but then I get tired of my own cooking and end up eating out.

Just saying no is another way to save. I used to feel pressured to join friends at pricey clubs and restaurants to celebrate every birthday, anniversary, or girls night out. Now I’ve learned to decline politely as needed instead of overspending to avoid being seen as antisocial. I’ve learned to say, “Sorry, I can’t make it this time.” Plus, I encourage my friends to consider budget-friendly options such as girls night in potlucks with good music, girl talk, and homemade margaritas.

#justsaying

May 25th, 2010
12:04 am

I have saved money by cutting my own grass, gas money plus wear & tear on my car by taking marta with my job’s discount…and finally….downloading movies. Thats right, I download movies…yes, even the news one. I also drink tap water, grow a veggie garden and paint my own nails. I no longer pay for things I can easily get/do for free.

Judge me if you must, but I can’t hear you anyway….. Iron Man 2 is up too loud.

Family of 6

May 25th, 2010
6:08 am

A car wash at home costs me water, 1 hour to clean and referee (MOM-it’s-my-turn-for-the-hose-HEY-he-stole-the-sponge), and 1 hour to bathe all 4 kids and do an extra load of laundry.

The car wash costs $4 and 5 minutes. Plus, the kids love riding through the machine.

The vacuum is free either way, but I work faster at the car wash because there are fewer distractions and I just want to get out of there!

Family of 6

May 25th, 2010
6:36 am

As for MARTA … the kids would love the experience, but it would cost me $2 x 3 people (2 kids are free) x 2 trips (there and back) = $12. Not to mention that the Marta station is 7 miles away by car and the CCT bus stop is 1 mile walking with no sidewalks. (I only live one exit outside the perimeter!)

When I go downtown, I pay $5 (or less) and usually park within two blocks of whatever we’re seeing that day.

If we took MARTA, they we couldn’t bring a full day’s worth of lunch, snacks, and drinks (too heavy) and we couldn’t buy anything that we couldn’t carry. I can’t imagine having to herd everybody home after a long day downtown and the little ones refuse to walk because they’re too tired. It’s a lose-lose situation any way I look at it.

Sarah

May 25th, 2010
6:41 am

We saved money by getting rid of Direct TV and joining Netflix. We can watch tons of movies and even TV series on demand. More convenient, and we don’t get sucked into mindless tv anymore.

Jane

May 25th, 2010
8:53 am

Family of 6 loves to complain about everything.

The car wash is $4 and 5 minutes.

Doing it at home (even with the car wash and bathe) costs about $2 AND you get alot of fun with your kids. Spraying each other with the hose, running around throwing sponges –> you look at that as a pain, I look at that as wonderful family bonding time for free. Take a chill pill and actually enjoy being with your kids!

Family of 6

May 25th, 2010
10:37 am

I am already with my kids 24/7/365. Not every task needs to be “family bonding” and “a learning experience.” Sometimes I just need to get the job done. I think that extra 2 hours is worth at least $2.