Tuesday, 26 February 2013

less money, mo' problems

I've decided I’m going to try to educate you donkeys on saving money, because I've lost a lot of time listening to people complain about how little money they have.  

Here we go:

1. Stop eating out every night – this is a no-brainer, but it’s ridiculous how many people disobey this rule.  What’s hilarious is people who spend $300 on a grocery bill and then grab McDonald’s for supper on the way home. COME ON.  A night at Boston Pizza is $30 even without the fancy drinks.  Doing that even once a week is really going to hurt your piggy bank.

2. Say no to online shopping – I am a huge disobeyer of this rule (is that even a word?).  Online shopping is a money racket.  You can’t try anything on, so the chances of getting something that doesn’t fit are very high; you don’t really notice how much you’re adding to your cart until your total is in the triple digits, but then you convince yourself that there’s nothing you can get rid of; shipping costs alone are enough to rob you blind.

3. Cut out your frivolous daily spending – I know most people claim they are “addicted” to their coffee and they “need” their daily Tim’s fix or else they won’t get through the day, but the $2 you’re spending every day on your morning coffee is really adding up.  If you stopped buying a coffee everyday and you started putting that $2 away, in a year and a half you’d have over $1000.  If you can’t live without your morning coffee, buy a coffee maker.  And stop being so stupid.

4.  Stop accumulating interest – Most people have a savings account, which is super, but if you have a savings account and you have credit card debt, you’re throwing your friggin’ money away.  Do yourself a favor and use your savings to pay off your credit card.  Don’t pay the credit card companies any more than you have to.  They’re assholes.

5.  Don’t buy things you can’t afford – DUH.  Seems painfully obvious, but people end up doing this because they think of their credit card as free money.  If you want to buy something but you’re lacking funds, yeah, you can put it on your credit card… but if you can’t pay off the full balance with your next paycheck, you probably shouldn’t be buying it.

6.  Save money on banking fees – Man, to withdraw money from an ATM of a different bank you need to pay a $3 transaction fee.  THAT’S LUDICROUS.  That costs more than your morning coffee.  Do yourself another favor and only withdraw money from your own bank.

7.  Don’t buy stuff you don’t need – another no-brainer.  But, I guess most people have no brains, because I see this happening a lot.  If you’re not going to want it in a few days, or you already have a hundred of them (girls, I’m talking to you.  Stop buying lip gloss), then don’t waste your money.

8. Don’t grocery shop when you’re hungry – this one is on every money-saving list, I know, but that’s because it’s important.  If you’re starving when you go grocery shopping, you’re going to be so amped up when you see pizza pockets on sale that you’re going to buy ten boxes of them, and then you’re going to convince yourself that you’re going to eat them all when you go home.  And then a week later you’ll open your freezer and remember that you hate pizza pockets.  But now you have ten boxes.

9.  Stop paying for cell phone/internet overages – If you’re like me, your electronic devices consume a lot of data, and that’s fine.  Just make sure you have a data plan that allows you to consume a lot of data, otherwise you’ll be paying out of your ass for it.  For example, if you use about 100 gigabytes of data a month (through Netflix, downloading movies, whatever), but your plan only allots for 60 gigabytes, and the next plan up is 120 gigabytes but you figure, you don’t want to pay for the extra 20 gigs you won’t use, then you’re stupid.  For argument’s sake, let’s say a 60 gig plan costs $50 a month and an 120 gig plan costs $100, and your Internet company charges you $2 for every gig you go over (which is standard), for the 100 gigs you’re using, you’re paying $130.  For $100, you could have a data plan with 20 extra gigs.  You could be a total badass and download movies you don’t even want to watch.

10. Stop paying for memberships/subscriptions you don’t use – obviously, gym membership is the big one.  But there are others – magazine subscriptions, sample subscriptions, etc.  Companies know exactly what they’re doing by offering memberships. I spent months trying to get myself taken off a VIP list of a lingerie site that I didn’t even sign up for – the way the membership worked was that they had my credit card on file and every month they’d charge me $39.95 that they called a “credit” and I could use this “credit” toward a bra set of my choosing.  As I understand it, if I’m paying for it myself, it’s not a credit.  But in any case, you need to unsubscribe from or cancel any memberships that you don’t use.  The only thing that gets a workout from paying for a gym membership that you don’t use is your wallet.

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