frugal changes en-US 25 Ways to Save $5 This Week <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-ways-to-save-5-this-week" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="piggy bank" title="piggy bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you've been sliding on your New Year&rsquo;s resolution to save more money, let this post help you get back on track.</p> <p>Don&rsquo;t beat yourself up about not sending X amount of dollars a month to your savings account because you overspent, didn&rsquo;t make enough, or just plain forgot. Instead, remember that by keeping the goal small and manageable, you&rsquo;re more likely to reach it. These tips on how to cut $5 out of your budget every week will allow you to send that extra cash to savings. It&rsquo;s not a lofty goal, and it&rsquo;s one spread out over the entire year, so you don&rsquo;t burden yourself with the pressure of coming up with the extra savings all at once.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re a real go-getter, double up on these ideas in one week and send $10. Either way, time to start saving today. Here&rsquo;s how. (See also: <a href="">37 Savings Changes You&nbsp;Can Make Today</a>)</p> <h2>1. Skip the Starbucks</h2> <p>Cut out at least one trip to the coffee shop this week and set aside however much your favorite drink normally costs.</p> <h2>2. Roll Loose Change</h2> <p>If you&rsquo;ve been <a href="">saving change in a jar</a>, roll at least $5 and stash it away.</p> <h2>3. Start Carpooling</h2> <p>If you have a coworker who lives nearby, suggest that you carpool to work. Given current gas prices, you&rsquo;ll probably save more than $5 in unused gas, so maybe you can put a little extra into your savings this week. Be sure to return the favor of chauffer service to your coworker next week.</p> <h2>4. Stay in This Weekend</h2> <p>I know it&rsquo;s tough, but one weekend a year in won&rsquo;t kill you. Think of the money (and morning headache) you&rsquo;ll save.</p> <h2>5. Sell Something Online</h2> <p>Find something of value that you no longer need, and list it on eBay, Amazon, or Craigslist for an influx of quick cash.</p> <h2>6. Take Your Lunch to Work</h2> <p>Many of us do this already, but even if you eat out for lunch just once a week you&rsquo;re spending money that you could be saving. <a href="">Bring your lunch</a> all five days and put that $5 savings away for a rainy day.</p> <h2>7. Just Say No to Takeout and Delivery</h2> <p>On a night that you normally order delivery, opt instead to make a frugal homemade meal to save at least $5.</p> <h2>8. Work an Extra Hour</h2> <p>If you get paid by the hour, stay one hour longer this week. You&rsquo;ll reach your savings goal for the week plus have a little extra money left over.</p> <h2>9. Quit Smoking for a Day or Two</h2> <p>If you&rsquo;re a smoker, try to cut out one pack of cigarettes by not smoking for a day or two. With cigarettes at least $5 a pack in most of the country, you&rsquo;ll meet your goal and be a little healthier for it.</p> <h2>10. Take a Trip to the Recycling Center</h2> <p>If you have bottles, cans, or scrap metal in abundance, take it to the local recycling center to cash it in.</p> <h2>11. Avoid &quot;On Demand&quot; Movies</h2> <p>Most of these movies are in the area of $5. Buying one less this week (or none at all) will keep your wallet full.</p> <h2>12. Stay Away From Office Snacks</h2> <p>Steer clear of the vending machines in your office this week to stay on the straight and narrow path to savings.</p> <h2>13. Clip Coupons</h2> <p>If you have to pick up groceries this week, scour the coupon circulars for discounts you can use to save money at the market.</p> <h2>14. Use Online Discounts</h2> <p>Before you make an online purchase, search for a discount code like free shipping or a percentage off before you click on the buy button.</p> <h2>15. Return a Christmas Gift</h2> <p>Did you receive something you don&rsquo;t really need or want this holiday season? If you have a receipt, return it for cold, hard cash.</p> <h2>16. Bike Around Town</h2> <p>Put your car in park and bike to nearby destinations instead of driving. Do this for a week and you&rsquo;ll definitely save at least $5 worth of gas.</p> <h2>17. Turn Down the Heat</h2> <p>If you&rsquo;ve got the heat on full blast, turn it off this week and bundle up in extra layers when you&rsquo;re hanging out at home.</p> <h2>18. Pick Up a One-Off Side Gig</h2> <p>Offer to walk a friend&rsquo;s dogs or clean someone&rsquo;s apartment for a little extra cash, a portion of which you send to savings.</p> <h2>19. Scratch an Item Off Your Grocery List</h2> <p>Milk, for instance, is getting expensive. To save $5 this week, look at your grocery list to see what you can live without for the next seven days.</p> <h2>20. Visit the Pawn Shop</h2> <p>Have something in which a pawnbroker may be interested? Stop by your local pawnshop and try to unload your goods for a satisfying fee.</p> <h2>21. Set Up Shop on the Street</h2> <p>Offering snacks and drinks to motorist in busy areas &mdash; think bottled water, chips, and candy &mdash; can make you a pocketful of cash in just a couple hours. You might make enough to meet your savings goals for the next few weeks.</p> <h2>22. Go Scavenging</h2> <p>Just walking around town can yield you extra cash. On your trek, you&rsquo;re likely to find loose change, discarded items that you can sell, and lots of recyclables that you can collect to exchange for cash.</p> <h2>23. Sell Unwanted Gift Cards</h2> <p>There are plenty of sites that will buy your old gift cards, like <a href=""></a> and <a href=""></a>, to name a couple. You won&rsquo;t get face value for them, but these sites pay up to 92% of the original value. Should be enough to meet your savings goal for at least a couple weeks.</p> <h2>24. Refrain From Drinking Alcohol</h2> <p>It costs $5 for a beer most places these days, so even one less drink this week will help you meet your goal. Go the entire week without imbibing and you&rsquo;ll save a lot more.</p> <h2>25. See a Matinee Movie</h2> <p>You don&rsquo;t have to eliminate fun entirely to save $5. But if you want to <a href="">see a movie</a>, try to see the matinee show (usually before noon) to save on your ticket.</p> <p><em>Have even more ways to save $5 this week? Let me know your suggestion in the comments below.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="25 Ways to Save $5 This Week" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Budgeting Extra Income frugal changes how to save more money saving strategies Wed, 23 Jan 2013 11:36:36 +0000 Mikey Rox 965681 at 21 Ways to Make a Big Financial Change <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/21-ways-to-make-a-big-financial-change" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="jumping man" title="jumping man" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Making a big financial change in your life is similar to making any big change &mdash; it can often be overwhelming to the point of derailing you entirely. Here are 21 ways to help you stay on course and make big financial changes in your life. (See also: <a href="">25 Frugal Changes You&nbsp;Can Make Today</a>)</p> <h2>1. Start Small</h2> <p>Going whole hog right from the start is a recipe for relapse. Instead, start small. As a parallel example, if you want to start exercising but can't fathom committing to a gym routine, then start with five minutes a day. (I started that way and progressed to an hour &mdash; which I now love).</p> <p>Even if you don't think it will make a big difference, the small and manageable start creates habits you can build on.</p> <h2>2. Change Jobs</h2> <p>It might be to <a target="_blank" href="">inject some passion</a> into your work, to earn more money, or for another soul-satisfying reason, but changing jobs might be the change of scenery you need<strong> </strong>to inspire other big financial changes.</p> <h2>3. Eliminate Negativity</h2> <p>Negative people and influences do you no good. In order to stay on track with big changes,&nbsp;surround yourself with positive, supportive people.</p> <h2>4. Understand Want vs Need</h2> <p>The things you &ldquo;want&rdquo; will probably detract you from your big financial changes, whereas the things you &ldquo;need&rdquo; must be incorporated into the plan.</p> <h2>5. Track Your Expenses</h2> <p>You can't make big financial changes unless you know your starting point and end goal. Your initial <a target="_blank" href="">expense tracking is your starting point</a>, and continuing the process will help you stay on track.</p> <h2>6. Share Your Plans</h2> <p>Telling your family and friends about your planned financial changes will create a support network and keep you accountable to your goals.</p> <h2>7. Track Your Progress</h2> <p>Big changes can be slow going, so you need to see that you're getting somewhere otherwise you'll give up. To track your progress, you can use a journal, a <a target="_blank" href="">vision board</a>, or a giant poster-board designed to track your progress.</p> <p>I have a friend who wanted to get in shape on their treadmill. So they decided to walk across Canada &mdash; on the treadmill. They recorded their distance walked each day, and watched their proverbial progress across the country as they logged it on a large map. This kept them motivated to walk every day; the treadmill experience alone was too boring.</p> <h2>8. Revise as Necessary</h2> <p>Be willing to revise the changes you're making. If it's a long-term goal, your life might change along the way such that your initial goal is no longer paramount or relevant. Part of the process of tracking your progress is being willing and able to adjust your goals with your life.</p> <h2>9. Replace Habits</h2> <p>Instead of trying to cut bad habits right out, find a positive or constructive (or at least less counter-productive) way to replace them. For example every time you want to <a target="_blank" href="">buy a latte</a>, do something else that helps you achieve a similar satisfaction &mdash; perhaps buying a pack of gum or eating a chocolate-covered coffee bean. Under the principles of behavior modification, you can change unwanted habits by replacing them.</p> <h2>10. Practice Projection: If This, Then...</h2> <p>Create a projection forward in time from where you are now given your current course. This is what your life will look like in &ldquo;x&rdquo; years if you don't make any changes.</p> <p>Then project what your situation will look like in the same time frame if you make your proposed changes. Compare the two outcomes. Are you inspired by the difference in projections?</p> <h2>11. Simplify</h2> <p>Simplify your life. The less &ldquo;little stuff&rdquo; you have to worry about, the more focused on your big changes you can be.</p> <h2>12. Visualize</h2> <p>You have to see it, smell it, and taste it in order to achieve it. Fear of the unknown will keep you firmly rooted without change. If you can see the end result, it will be easier to achieve.</p> <h2>13. Stop Criticizing</h2> <p>Stop unnecessarily criticizing yourself and indulging in negativity. If you don't feel you deserve what it is you're aiming for, you'll never get there.</p> <h2>14. Run Towards Change, Not Away From Something</h2> <p>If you focus on running away from something, that something will likely follow you around like a lost puppy dog. We respond better to positive goals, not negative ones. Don't allow yourself to be a victim; instead make sure you're focused on the positive outcome instead of the current problems.</p> <h2>15. Stop Thinking!</h2> <p>Analysis paralysis is very real.</p> <h2>16. Start Today</h2> <p>There will always be a reason to wait until tomorrow. <a href="">Don't do it</a>.</p> <h2>17. Break It Down</h2> <p>Big changes usually involve a series of small steps. Break down your overall goal into small achievable steps. This makes it infinitely more manageable (and satisfying).</p> <h2>18. Ask for Help</h2> <p>There's no shame in asking for help, and you can strengthen relationships while you're at it.</p> <h2>19. Change Your Identity</h2> <p>You want to take control of your finances, but if you continue to see yourself as somebody who knows nothing about money, then you'll forever remain so. Instead, do something to empower yourself to be somebody different (maybe take a class or start mingling with different people who don't know the &ldquo;old you&rdquo;), effectively changing your identity and self-image towards the person you want to be in the lifestyle you want to live.</p> <h2>20. Slow and Steady</h2> <p>Don't do everything overnight. If you try to make lots of changes too quickly, it all tends to fall apart at the seams, and you'll feel you've replaced one set of problems with a whole new set. Change one element, get used to it, then proceed to the next step. If you want to ingrain new habits and paradigms, it will take time. Give yourself permission.</p> <h2>21. Strategize</h2> <p>Incorporating the elements and suggestions above, create &mdash; <em>and write down</em>! &mdash; a specific (and revisable) strategy to get you from here to there. This also ties into the points above about tracking your progress, projecting, and visualizing.</p> <p><em>How do you make </em><em>&mdash; and stick to </em><em>&mdash; big financial changes in your life?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="21 Ways to Make a Big Financial Change" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Nora Dunn</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Personal Finance Frugal Living Personal Development acheiving goals frugal changes life changes Tue, 04 Dec 2012 11:24:33 +0000 Nora Dunn 959567 at