Saturday, September 30, 2006

25 Ways I Save Money

Dawn over at Frugal for Life started a great discussion on 25 Ways I Save Money. Here's my list (including a few that I could do a better job at):

  1. Pay myself first (have my savings direct deposited from my paycheck into a bank other where my checking account is located).

  2. Invest through low-cost index funds.

  3. Live close to work to reduce my commute.

  4. Use a Health Savings Account combined with a high deductible health insurance policy.

  5. Use Peerflix for DVD's instead of Netflix or going out to the movies. (I just posted about Peerflix the other day). Edit: Lately, I've been finding that Peerflix hasn't been that useful.

  6. Eat a homemade lunch instead of eating out during the work week.

  7. Drink the free office coffee instead of Starbucks. Check here for a post on how much this could save you over 10 years.

  8. Buy in bulk at Costco. Retraction: read this post for why I don't really save by shopping at Costco.

  9. Use the dishwasher instead of washing dishes under running water.

  10. Review my insurance policies periodically.

  11. Buy sodas from the supermarket when they're on sale instead of from the office vending machine (I need to do better on this one).

  12. Check for good CD rates (although I don't like to open up accounts all over the place, so won't automatically open a new account for a slightly better rate).

  13. Get rid of extra features (like Caller ID and Call Waiting) from phone service.

  14. Ask for a better rate (I recently wrote about my experience with this when I contacted my cable company about my broadband service earlier this week).

  15. Read books and magazines from the library rather than buy them.

  16. Shop very carefully when getting a mortgage and refinancing. I plan on writing more about this soon since I think it's very common to pay a lot more than is necessary. Check out for some great precautions.

  17. Keep cars for a long time (we usually keep them 8-9 years, I know I could do better on this one).

  18. Buy used toys and books from consignment sales (like ones run by MOPS or sponsored by local churches).

  19. Contribute to IRA's.

  20. Use 529 Savings Accounts for my children's college savings.

  21. Carefully review medical bills and compare to my medical insurance's statements of benefits. I've found that errors are quite common.

  22. Pay bills online.

  23. Avoid carrying a balance on credit cards.

  24. Buy generic or store brand products instead of brand name.

  25. Establish long-term savings goals, but break it down into goals that be achieved more often/readily in order to stay motivated. In terms of long-term savings goals, take a look at my post on Googling Your Retirement Number for a quick start at establishing a long-term goal.


~Dawn said...

Drink the free office coffee instead of Starbucks.

That can be a hard one when people don't always make it the same. I've started bringing in my own in a thermos, along with my lunch. Now I KNOW what it will taste like.

Retraction: Costco Doesn’t Save Me Money » Getting To Enough said...

[...] I’ve only been blogging for about a month, but it looks like I’ll have to retract something I posted recently.  In my post on 25 Ways I Save Money, one of the ways I mentioned was using Costco.  It looks like I’ll have to retract, or at least amend, that statement.  The problem is that when shopping for stuff like eggs and milk (which are usually a great deal cheaper at Costco than our regular grocery store), I end up being tempted by the big screen flat panel TVs, the books, the tools, and all the other stuff that I didn’t go there intending to buy. Now the problem isn’t that these things aren’t a good deal at Costco.   They usually are.  I think Costco almost always offers a great value and I love their selection.  The problem is that I didn’t really need these things to begin with.  I’m not saying that I’ve bought a flat screen TV from there on impulse, just that everytime I go in there, I think, “Hmm, that’s a great deal on that TV, maybe we should get a new one since the price is so good.”  Or, I end up picking up a cool flashlight or a book or a software package, just because it’s a good deal. [...]

FIRE Finance said...

Great post. I tried to trackback but could not find any track back url. You are listed as one of our favorites in our RoundUp of FOF#43.
FIRE Finance

Stacey said...

Don't agree with 24... often times Generic and Store brand there is a big difference. Rather than these cheaper alternatives, why not just use coupons and buy what you like when they come up. Grocery Game is great for people who are new at using coupons. Teaches you to just save the inserts and clip only when you need something. Time saving for sure.

I do agree about Costco being cheap for some staples... but a trap with all the other goodies.

And about the phone, I'd just get rid of the landline and use wireless... or if no service in your place... VOIP.

Simple Living - Linking to 25 ways to save money » InvestmentsLoans said...

[...] This week I have found a great list of 25 ways to save money.. well it is actually a host of lists.. Mighty Bargain Hunter’s list here Creating Stillness has their list here Maggie’s madcap Life list The finance journey list here Kelly’s list Deb’s list TrueLuxury’s list is here Hammy has his list here Getting to enough lists found here The good human has a list Neat Living list here Tired But Happy has a list here Like Merchant Ships list here Thrifty Mommy list here Getting Ahead has a list Frugal upstate has a list here Moon Fever0 list is here Big Queue list is here Carrot Duchy has a list here Fruitful Words has a list Beloved Children has a list here [...]

zen habits » Blog Archive » How I save money said...

[...] Getting to Enough: 25 Ways I Save Money [...]

How I save money | zen habits said...

[...] Getting to Enough: 25 Ways I Save Money [...]

Sriseshan said...

Great list and will be much useful in day todays life. Following the tips will help lot in saving money.

Jens Dalsgaard said...

I have stopped commuting and have no car. Those are som of the biggest efforts I have made.

Peerflix No Longer » Getting To Enough said...

[...] I realize that I’ve now had to change two of the 25 Ways I Save Money (the other one was realizing that I don’t really save money by shopping at Costco) from a year ago.  Looks like I’ll have to update the list soon.   « Best Posts from the 111th Carnival of Personal Finance |   [...]

~Dawn said...

I was wondering if you could correct the link back to as that would be very helpful. Thanks!

» Defining priorities — what can you live without? Acceptable Hypocrisy said...

[...] out the daily cup of Starbucks, others have DIY manicures, still others mention ideas such as packing your own lunch and using the library for entertainment purposes. Then there’s the intense frugal methods of [...]

Updated: 25 Ways I save Money | Updated: 25 Ways I save Money life| Updated: 25 Ways I save Money > | About Life, Free Life Articles, Moments of Life said...

[...] under’, lets loose his warrior spirit and finds 25 ways to save 7. Getting to Enough recently updated their ways of saving and ways to improve 8. David tightens his belt and runs down the 25 ways he saves, until he finds a [...]