Getting organized improves your ability to achieve most goals by helping you to be more strategic and resourceful. And that’s certainly the case when it comes to saving money.
Here are 7 ways you can save money by being a little more organized.
7 Smart Strategies For Saving Money During The GFC
1. Work your closet
Ideas to try:
- Look for fresh ways to combine items already in your closet.
- Instead of buying new clothes, look for a belt, bag, jacket or shoes to bring a new-season look to your existing ensembles.
- Check for forgotten items you can bring back into your outfit rotation.
- Share clothes with friends.
2. Abandon shopping as a pastime
Ideas to try:
- For solo activities consider reading, walking with your iPod, watching a DVD.
- If shopping was a hobby, try a new one – like aircraft modeling, knitting, bonsai or puzzles.
- If shopping was a form of self-expression, consider journaling, music, calligraphy, water-colors, or novel-writing.
- With friends, meet at someone’s house for coffee, go for a walk, play games, head to the beach, a museum or a gallery.
3. Take your social life down a notch
Ideas to try:
- Steer clear of expensive nightclubs and restaurants.
- Be creative and have fun nights in with friends.
- Opt for BBQs, games nights, DVD nights, simple dinner parties.
- Choose cafes for dates.
4. Cancel subscriptions to magazines and newspapers
Ideas to try:
- Keep only the subscriptions you really enjoy and value.
- Read papers online, in the lunchroom or at the gym.
- Catch up on magazines at the hairdressers.
- Share and circulate magazines with friends.
5. Shop to a list
Ideas to try:
- Have a list on the fridge or somewhere handy, and update it as you notice things you need to buy.
- When you go shopping, buy only what’s on the list. 😉
- Do be open to good discounts on items you use regularly and can stock up on.
- Stick to the stores you need to visit for the stuff on your list (See 4: Abandon shopping as a pastime).
6. Join your local library
Ideas to try:
- Check out the non-fiction section and learn something new, or teach yourself a skill.
- Peruse fiction titles for very cost-effective entertainment.
- Look for DVDs to borrow – saves you having to buy or hire them.
- Don’t cancel out your savings by returning items late and accumulating overdue fees.
7. Look for better deals
Ideas to try:
- This could be a great time to downgrade your cell phone plan and use your cell more carefully.
- Look for cost-effective internet, cable and data deals.
- Keep an eye out for refinancing options on your mortgage or personal loans.
- Consider switching to cheaper brands on some household items – like pantry basics.
More Money-Saving Resources
There are some great sites around that cover money and saving. Here are recent picks from a few of my faves:
- The Simple Dollar covers 10 helpful tactics in The First Steps Away from Paycheck-to-Paycheck Living. Trent Hamm makes an excellent point about shopping as a pastime – even if you don’t buy anything:
Shopping for fun in a social environment is costly even if you don’t buy anything, because you’re surrounded by temptation and the mental imprintings of stuff that you want but don’t really need. It’s an excuse to talk to your friends about stuff you want and potentially talk yourself into purchases, either now or later. Just stay away.
- Dumb Little Man shares 10 Great Ways to Save Money At Work. Can I draw your attention to #7: Claim Valid Expenses. How many of us never get around to doing that?
- Get Rich Slowly offers statistics – and even a colorful pie chart – if you’re interested in comparing yourself with The Spending Habits of the Average American.
- The always-succinct-and-useful LifeHacker has a bunch of posts on saving money covering everything from Using Target Savings to Beat Back Lifestyle Inflation to Squeezing Every Ounce of Power from Your Disposable Batteries.
Got some tips of your own? Please share them in the comments.
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Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rosscrawford1/ / CC BY 2.0
8 thoughts on “7 Smart Strategies For Saving Money During The GFC”
My groups saving money strategies:
Mix and match your current clothing. Add jewelry & hat to change the look of your outfit.
Instead of being a shopaholic try the following:
Listen to an MP3 or CD Player. Find a hobby such as: bonsai plants, crafts, crosswords, word search, jigsaw puzzles; painting, photography, writing, taking a walk or people watching; going to yard sales or flea markets for junk art.
With friends, have a cup of coffee at a local coffee shop, at night walk with your walking buddy, take a country drive or volunteer at a local shelter.
Steer clear of expensive & fast food restaurants or go with a friend order one meal & split the meal & the bill.
Be creative and have fun nights in with friends: games; brown bag it; potluck; karaoke; book club; jigsaw puzzles. Choose healthy cafes for dates: the art of dating is long gone.
Read papers online, in the lunchroom, at the gym or your local library.
Terry Tip: Remember magazines and newspapers are flammable. Store in metal filing drawers/cabinet!
Terry Tip: After you finish reading your magazine and/or newspaper – choose 1 of 3: 1. Toss it 2. Tear out 3 articles & file in metal filing cabinet 3. Donate to an art class or shelters or recycle
Have a list on the fridge or keep a list in your cell phone and update it as you notice things you need to buy. Only purchase what’s on your shopping list. Go shopping on a full stomach so when you get hungry you won’t eat or buy junk food. Stick to the stores you need to visit for the stuff on your list. Eliminate being a shopaholic. Walk in a mall before shops open.
Learn a new skill: language; knitting; arts & crafts; history; computers & genealogy. Look for DVDs to borrow, buy or hire/rent [can gum up your players; if this happens you have to pay a professional to clean] them. Return books by due date = saving money.
If you qualify for Lifeline Free Camera Phones; receive 250 minutes per month; left over minutes carry over to next month http://www.reachoutwireless.com. Keep an eye out for refinancing options on your mortgage, car or personal loans.
Terry Tip: Be careful when going to sales! Ask yourself the following questions:
1. Do I need this item [fur coat]? No. Your money can be better spent.
2. Sales can have a good bargain, however, read the fine print. I.e. computer doesn’t come with everything? No. There is no monitor – bad deal.
3. Garage Sales “One man’s junk is another’s treasure.” Did you find a good bargain? Yes. The floor lamp works & is brand new – good deal for $5.00.
4. Rummage Sales “Usually used items. Do you really want used pots & pans? No. I wouldn’t cook with used cooking ware – bad deal.
5. Bake Sales. Donate $1.00 & leave the goods – good deal.
6. Yard Sales. Can be bad/junk deals! Go to yard sales in upscale areas for better/good items & antiques
7. Auctions. Expensive & Wealthy people only. Save your money!
Pingback: The Big Money Saving Article | Parenting blog, Caring for Kids | Keith Wilcox
According to me saving money is very important factor, so we have to see all small things from which we can save single penny. This recession applies to household expenses. Check out some ways for saving like always look for sale, don’t use bottled water, always buy from same shop. Evey person should inculcate the habit of savings for brighter and secured future. For more details on saving money refer http://www.prime-targeting.com/tips-on-saving-money-on-household-expenses/
It’s a fine line between smart saving and overstocking, isn’t it?
Just remember that the extra stuff costs you, too – in space, time (looking for things) and peace of mind.
And eventually that can cost you in dollars as well – in buying more of what you can’t find, alcohol and therapy!
Thanks heaps for sharing. 🙂
Hey, don’t forget about me! BargainBabe.com is a great source of everyday finance advice that seems to appeal especially to women. We save a small percentage of our income and spend the rest on everyday expenses like groceries, gasoline, clothes, etc. Read BargainBabe.com to make sure you are making savvy decisions when it comes to most of your money!
Your “cancel subscriptions” was a breakthrough one for me. I subscribe to many magazines (write columns for a few), and keep hard copies of the magazines with my articles. What a dusty mess was sitting in the corner of my office. Why was I keeping them? They even smelled old and moldy…so I heaved them away…making room for all my new articles coming up. Stopped my complimentary subscriptions too, as they were giving me guilt that I hadn’t read all of them.
Shop to a list is a hard one for me. And the worst place for me to do that is Costco. I have giant size vitamins (that will expire before I can take them), enough contact lens fluid for my entire buiding, and a humongous box of greeting cards filled with cards I won’t ever use (like about 20 for children).
I’ve decided not go to Costco, and buy smaller at other stores.
Thank you so much for all your help Michelle!
7 Smart Strategies For Saving Money During The GFC | Get Organized … http://bit.ly/ZxSof
When we looked over our budget, we found the quickest ways to save some money were:
1. (You’ll hate this one, Michele!) Cut out tea/coffee/snacks from the cafe.
2. Shop ONLY once a week, plan meals ahead. If you run out of something, you have to wait until shopping day to replenish it. Makes everyone (especially kids) a bit more frugal in their eating habits.
3. Don’t throw away leftovers. Freeze them, make them into something else or have a “bit of everything” meal. And use the stuff at the back of the cupboards and the freezer!
4. Make double what you need and freeze the rest, cut into portions, for an easy meal later. Works especially well with things like quiche, lasagne, meatloaf, etc.