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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Seriously saving those pennies


This is a repost but gotta say it's worth taking another look at.

I don't think this topic can be discussed too often or limited to just certain areas in your life.  There's room for saving money in just about every facet in our lives.

Now, if I would have been smart I would have listened to my WONDERFUL economics teacher at Xavier University and started saving and investing when I was 21 years old.  Yea, I would have had a million dollars or close to it when I was 65, but who the hell is that disciplined?  I sure wasn't and here I a few months past 40 with a daughter going off to college in a couple of years and a son in elementary school.  My economics teacher's words of wisdom are echoing in the back of my mind as I realize my husband and I are not on the fast track to a million dollars and at THIS rate we will be working until we keel over and die.

OK, I'm exaggerating but you get the point.  I dabbled in Financial Consulting a few lifetimes ago but sometimes we slip and fall into old bad habits and find ourselves diving into our psyche figuring out why we're broke.  Come on, I know I'm not the only one who juggles bills to keep the lights on, the car filled with gas or making partial payments.  I know others are living in this hell with me.

With all that being said, I've come up with some tips over the years and while I was working as a Financial consultant that I'd like to share with you from time to time.  Indulge me...you may just agree with  a few of them.  Today I'll discuss saving a few bucks on entertainment.

Start using Redbox or get Netflix.  
What a way to save money!  The movies are so expensive now that going regularly (once a week or twice a month) can set you back heavily especially if you've got kids!  I know, I know they wanna see every kid movie that's out but you've got to put your foot down sometimes.  Going broke to appease the kids is not an option so maybe skip a kid movie or two and wait for it to come out on DVD.   They are coming out sooner than in previous years and well, um, some people can get them sooner.

If you MUST go to the movies and it's not a date then eat before you go.  Even if you have the kids you can go cheaper by eating at home or buying fast food.  The fast food will be cheaper then the movies.  You can even tell the kids they can have one thing if they really want something during the viewing.  Popcorn, a drink... whatever is not as bad as everyone getting something.  You can even sneak in some treats with a big bag or purse.  Yea, it's that serious sometimes.

Free Days!  
Here in Denver the Zoo, Museums, and other expensive attractions have free days throughout the year and sometimes monthly.  Again, you can bring your own lunches or just snacks if you plan on eating there.  Water bottles are important too especially during the hotter months.  The price of admission along with snacks or lunch can be outrageous so being smart and planning ahead can be beneficial.

Coupons!  
You would be surprised at how many establishments have coupons or run specials.  They may be in the paper or you may have to call and see if they are running any specials.  My motto is:  They can only say 'no', so friggin ask!  You'll never know what you can get if you keep your mouth closed. 
That goes for services too.  We have DirecTV and we love it but the best specials are for the customers they don't have yet.  I periodically call up and ask what they can do for me.  I get a few free months of premium channels or a few dollars off a few months for just ASKING!  I do that with my Sprint service too.  Try with cable, Internet, etc.  All they can say is no, but you may just hear yea, we have something for you.

Go to birthday parties.  
When asked of course.  Don't get all annoyed with buying a gift and spending the afternoon in a screaming kid friendly nightmare.  Look at it this way.  The kids are being entertained on someone else's dime.  Feel me?  You are out MAYBE ten dollars for the gift but the birthday party kid's mom is shelling out for your kids food, drink, entertainment and goody bag.  You may get to eat and drink for free too!  You just entertained and fed your kid at a place they probably beg to go to regularly for about 10 or 15 dollars.  Yea, you got over like a fat cat.

Happy Hour!  
Happy hour isn't just for the clubbers.  Me and my co-workers hit quite a few restaurants after work for the happy hour drinks and food specials.  We end up drinking a lot and eating great apps and no one spends more than 15 or 20 dollars.  A lot cheaper than just going out to dinner.

Going out to lunch instead of dinner.  
Me and hubby do this a lot when we can.  Lunches are always cheaper at most restaurants.  We've done that when we wanted to celebrate something and we just didn't have the funds for an expensive dinner out.  A great lunch at a lovely restaurant is just as meaningful when you're with the one you love.  Corny, I know.

Some may be for you and some may not but there's a little something for everyone in a realistic sort of way.  If you know of some additional tips leave a comment or shoot me an email and I'll let you speak your mind in a post.  We're all trying to achieve the same goal....saving money!

Holding onto those pennies Naturals,
Sabrina
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