6 Little Ways to Save Big Money in Your Daily Life : Under30CEO 6 Little Ways to Save Big Money in Your Daily Life : Under30CEO
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6 Little Ways to Save Big Money in Your Daily Life

| August 18, 2011 | 9 Comments

Save MoneyMy name is Danny Kofke and I am currently a special education teacher in Georgia. I am also the author of the book “How To Survive (and perhaps thrive) On A Teacher’s Salary.” In addition, I have another personal finance book – “A Simple Book of Financial Wisdom: Teach Yourself (and your kids) How To Live Wealthy with Little Money” – scheduled for release this fall.

My wife, Tracy, is a former teacher and now stay-at-home mom to our two young daughters. In order to live on my teaching salary alone we have to be extremely frugal with our money. Here are some ways in which we save money:

Make a List Before Going Shopping

It’s called impulse buying for a reason. Most of us have a tough time resisting the temptation to purchase extras while shopping. Without a list you will buy items that you simply do not need. Grocery stores are masterful at placing tempting items at the end of aisles to get your attention. Even worse is when you forget to purchase the actual item you went to the store for in the first place. If you’re cooking at home, pre-plan a rough menu and make a list before going grocery shopping. Getting all the food you need in one trip can help you avoid another unnecessary trip and the temptations that go along with that.

Make Your Own Halloween Costumes

Tracy has made our daughter’s costumes the past few years. One year, she made a skeleton costume that looked identical to one that was for sale in a Pottery Barn catalog for $60. This homemade costume saved us $50! Tracy has also made a butterfly and salt-and-pepper costumes.

Get a New Cell Phone Plan

This might not apply to everyone, but we use our cell phones very little. My school is three miles away from home so I don’t have a long commute and don’t need to use a cell phone that much. A few years ago, we had a plan in which we were paying $50 per month for a cell phone that we barely used. We now have prepaid cells and average about $20 per month on both of these combined. I’ve talked to people who tell me they have no money but tote around the newest iPhone. These people do have money but are choosing to spend it on items they may not really need.

Use Your Local Library

We all know the library is a great place to get books for free, but a lot of people don’t realize that many libraries also have CDs and DVDs available for checkout. Most libraries offer great free programs for all ages. At our local library, my family has watched movies and seen a juggler, a magician and tap dancers. These were fun family events that only cost us the gas to get there.

Save a Little Every Day

Some people buy their coffee on the way to work. This practice can add up easily to over $100 per month. If you made your own coffee at home, you can save up to $25 a week, which adds up to $1,300 a year! Another way to save is to bring your lunch to work. On average, you’ll spend at least $5 eating a fast-food lunch and even more for a sit-down restaurant meal. This adds up quickly. You can also save money by purchasing sodas at the store rather than from a vending machine. Some machines charge $1.00 per soda, and I’ve even seen some priced as high as $1.75. I wait until there’s a sale at the grocery store and buy four 12-packs for $12. If you had one soda a day while at work, this would save you almost $200 a year!

Use Coupons at the Grocery Store

Tracy really got serious about using coupons in 2010 and the results were great—we saved over $1,600 that year by using coupons and shopping for deals.

You can find all sorts of coupons online. You can even find deals with big stores such as Lowes Home Improvement coupons and Target shopping coupons.

For many, it’s not how much you make, but how well you plan your spending. These tips can help you cut back on your spending which puts more money back into your bank account.

By Danny Kofke. Learn more about him and his work on his blog.

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  • http://twitter.com/jpJeremy Jeremy Powers

    You got several of the big ones. Regarding the cell phones, I recommend people review all of their recurring monthly expenses. 

    Cable TV – Do you need it? Do you need high-def?
    Netflix – Same question
    Mortgage – Refinancing can save most folks hundreds each month
    Phones – Do you need 2 cell phones and a land line? (I switched carriers and saved $80 a month for the same service.)
    Garbage/lawncare/utilities – review the bills and search for alternative providers

  • http://comclone-com.blogspot.com/ comclone

    I like you’re good feed back. Thanks share this good post.

  • http://www.online-business-virtual-assistant.com/ Virtual Business Assistant

    Great post. Have to try the local library one. I did not know that CDs and DVDs available for checkout there Thanks for the share….
    Online Business
    Virtual Assistant

  • Pingback: Simple ways to brew coffee at home and why you should « FleetingFridays

  • http://www.jandutech.com/WebDevelopment_Redesigning.aspx Web design Manchester

    Great tips dear. I follow almost every tip given here except the first one. Hope will going to overcome it as well very soon.

  • http://www.whatwherenhow.com/in-home–how-to-prevent-fire-accidents/ How to prevent fire

    I agree  with all of them but the most effective is that save everyday. Yes exactly one must learn to save something at least for everyday and that’s will turn to the biggest boon. HelpFixAnyPC Laptop Repair Leicester Submit Link | Free Directory Submission

  • http://www.couponsforindia.com/ Coupons India

    Really informative and useful tips
    Thanks for sharing and saving people money
    Best point is save a little everyday and use coupons
    Great ;-)

  • http://www.couponsforindia.com/ Coupons India

    Really informative and useful tips
    Thanks for sharing and saving people money
    Best point is save a little everyday and use coupons
    Great ;-)

  • http://www.wise-money-matters.com/ Isobel O’Connor

    These are great tips for saving money.  One more suggestion might be to set a personal/family budget based on household income and stick to it as closely as possible.