Five Ways to Become a Thousand-aire

September 14, 2010 - Brandon
I had dreams of becoming a millionaire when I was a kid. Now that I’m starting my career, I would be happy just to retire by age 70. I thought my parents were obsessive and delusional when they would tell me to put a sweater on instead of turning up the heat or to turn the lights off when I wasn’t in the room. After seeing my first electricity bill a few months ago, I knew that I had some habits I needed to change. So I started looking for ways to cut down my overhead and keep the money saved in my pocket. Here’s what I decided to do:
  1. One less night out – I like to go out and try new restaurants. During happy hour, drinks and food can add up quickly, sometimes $40 or more for just one person, depending on the restaurant; and if you take someone with you it can easily double. The idea of never going out to eat is unrealistic for me. It’s something that makes me happy. But I can say ‘no’ once a month, and use the money saved to go grocery shopping. I found this great site called No Takeout, designed specifically for planning quick meals on a budget.  
  1. Buy in bulk – Most of us are familiar with bulk item stores like, Costco, Sam’s Club or Price Club. The membership can be expensive, but if you have friends or family with one, ask if you can tag along when they go shopping. Although you may not have an immediate use for a half pallet of industrial strength paper towels, trust me, shopping at a bulk-purchase store will save you some money in the long run. I bought a double pack of fabric softener when I first moved into my place over a year ago, and I’m only on the second box. 
  1. Automatic bill-pay – This might seem like a small thing, but it is one of the greatest by-products of the Internet. I can’t tell you how many times I would have incurred late fees on my bills and, at worst, risked having my Internet access cut off, if not for automatic bill-pay. Having the money come directly from my checking account, really helps me manage my account, my time and my funds.
  1. Leave home without it! – I’m sure I’m not the only who remembers the American Express tagline with clarity, “Never leave home without it.” But sometimes we really need to do just that. Although credit cards are great for emergencies, using them frequently can lead to bad spending habits and ultimately a lot of debt. With a credit card in hand, my willpower is weakened and I find myself fighting not to buy that new CD, iPod, or pair of jeans, even when I know I don’t need them. It is so much easier to resist the impulse without the card.
  1. Go green & go healthy – To stay healthy, save the environment, and save money, I’ll buy a bottle of Coke® every couple of weeks, and simply reuse the bottle whenever I get thirsty — refilling it with water until the next Coke® craving appears.

1 Comment:

  1. September 17, 2010 - Jake

    Cool ideas and environmental. I can't give up my eating out though.

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