Saturday, March 31, 2012

Top 5 Ways to Save Money Right Now

I've got a friend who runs a really good personal finance blog, and he's always writing about budgeting and saving money.  It got me thinking about things some of us could do to free-up some cash.  Here's what I came up with.

5: Pay for things in cash. Studies show you will pay less if you shell out cash.  In fact, once McDonald's started accepting credit cards, the average amount that people spent on a meal jumped from $4.50 to $7.00.   Imagine shelling out 8 twenties for those designer jeans.  You'd be wearing Old Navy in no time.

4: Quit smoking.  You started because it gave you a buzz.  You kept going because you got addicted.  But with a pack of smokes reaching $10 to $15 in Manhattan, you could be saving over $500 per year if you smoke a pack a week.  And let's face it, you smoke way more than a pack a week.

3: Cut out soda.  You don't need to drink soda.  I'm a hypocrite, because I love soda, even gross soda,  But soda is not good for you, and it's expensive--you aren't buying a 2 liter at the supermarket for $1, you're buying a 16 oz. bottle, maybe twice a day, for at least $1.25 a pop(no pun intended--really. Normal people call it soda. Take that, middle states!).  That's $12.50 if you only buy during the work week.  The savings is comparable to that from smoking (see above).

2: Stop paying for water.  If you live in a decent city, the city water is okay to drink; if you have well water, you probably treat it so its consumable.  Get a bottle and fill it up. This is the same savings as from soda...  Obviously, if you've been a soda drinker, don't start buying bottled water.  You'll be healthier, but still broke.

1: Stop playing the lottery.  I know my friends at work will jump all over me if they read this, but the lottery is a waste of money.  I made the following offer to one colleague: give me the money you spend on the lottery.  I'll hold it, and at the end of the year, I'll take 10% and give you the test.  Yes, that's a crappy deal for her, but she would have gotten a better payout from me on the $40+ she spent on this big $500 million jackpot.

Have more helpful money-saving tips?  Share them below.  And as always, of you've enjoyed this post, please consider liking us on Facebook and sharing us with your friends!


  1. Disagree on the lotto. I believe ur cousin won 5 times last year, for some decent coun. He has to be up!

  2. Descent coin. Typo

  3. Yeah, but that's like saying you should never fly because there have been planes that have crashed.  Except the odds of your plane crashing--as minuscule as they are--are soooo much better than the odds of your winning the lottery.

  4. Thanks for the shout out!  And I gave up the lotto a long, long time ago, with the exception of an occasional scratch ticket or Keno game during dinner with the parents... But I consider that "spending" and take it out of my waste money in the budget.  If I win something, great.  But put whatever a "typical" lotto player spends on tickets into a cookie jar and keep track of the money in and out for the lotto guy and (not even including the time value of that person's money or any other intangibles) the cookie jar will beat the lotto all day long!  (Of course, there are short-term (or long term if you are one of the 3 out of the hundreds of millions of people who played the Megamillions to win big), but I believe the "typical" return is something like -40%.