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You don’t need anyone to tell you that you should be saving money — I think we’re all aware of that by now.In an economy where most people don’t have piles of extra cash just sitting around, waiting to be funneled off into a savings account, what you could use are some real tips for actually finding the extra cash to put away.
I might just lose my mind if I hear one more person recommend making your own coffee or bundling services. No one buys a $5 Mocha Chip Frappuccino every single morning and my mum is the only person I know who still has a landline.
So here are 31 ways to save money on common expenses — and in some cases, actually earn a little extra cash — for real people who don’t want to live like penny-pinching hermits. And we’re not just talking $2 here and $7 dollars there — you can save one extra Benjamin this month. In fact, there are enough tips here to save $100 a day for the entire month if you’re really ambitious.
When most of my weeknight dinners consist of frozen pizzas or protein shakes, you can bet I don't want to sit in the break room with a depressing sandwich at lunchtime.
However, limiting lunches out to every other workday is a simple way to save $5 to $15 per meal -- easily $100 over the course of a month.
With friends' weddings, corporate conferences, maybe even girls' (or boys') nights out, it can be easy to find a new excuse to buy a dress or suit every month.
But unless you plan to wear that garment several more times in the future, it's not really worth the expense.
If you have an event coming up, just borrow a nice outfit from a close friend or rent one for the day -- yes, ladies, you can rent dresses.
You know you have clothes in the depths of your closet and dresser drawers that will never be worn again. Maybe they're not your style, or don't fit anymore.
If you have some fairly nice stuff, you can take it all to Buffalo Exchange or similar retailers for cash on the spot.
Tip: Washing and hanging everything nicely will increase your chances of making a sale.
Getting your hair professionally coloured is ridiculously expensive, especially if you're a brunette living as a platinum blond.
If you dare, perform your own at-home touch up, or simply wait eight weeks instead of four. The ombre hair trend is very in right now, anyway.
By the time you take a cab, grab a bite to eat, order a few rounds of drinks and cab back home, you're looking at a very expensive night out on the town.
Pick a Friday or Saturday night to stay in, order take out and have some friends over, each bringing along their favourite refreshment.
Some of us don't have the luxury of employing household help, but there are plenty of people who spend at least $100 on a house cleaner every month.
Try cleaning up after yourself just once -- you'll save a lot of cash and gain a greater appreciation for all your maid does for you.
A number of personal finance experts always point to the gym membership as the first expense that should be cut. Sorry, I love my gym, as expensive as it is.
If you're in need of extra savings this month, freeze your membership instead of cancelling it.
This will allow you to resume your fitness routine in the future without having to pay sign-up fees again.
Mortgage rates keep falling to new lows, and those who financed their homes even just a few years ago can stand to cut a couple of percentage points off their interest rate by refinancing.
That translates to big savings on the monthly mortgage payment.
I'll be the first one to admit that putting together a yard sale is a giant pain, but it's really worth the trouble once you clear your house of clutter and have extra cash in your pocket.
Expensive credit card interest will eat up the money that could be going toward savings.
Seek out a credit card company offering a promotional 0% balance transfer and move your existing balance to the new card.
The catch: You have to pay off your debt during the introductory period or you'll be back at square one.
Have you ever compared the price between a pound of ground beef and a can of beans? There's a huge difference.
You don't have to live off of tofu to save money, but swapping two meat-based meals a week to vegetarian options will save a ton on food costs.
I wholeheartedly admit that I'm a denim snob. You will not see me wearing anything other than Paige, Joe's or True Religion.
You will also not see me pay anything close to retail price for my designer denim. If you're just as picky about your jeans, buy them from stores like TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack and Loehmann's, where denim is usually discounted by at least $100.
Yes, bartering. People really do exchange goods and services instead of cash, and they are saving a ton of money on everything from haircuts to child care.
Real Simple states that the Craigslist bartering boards have experienced a 100 per cent increase in just the past year.
Whether you're an avid gamer or have kids with Xbox controllers surgically attached to their hands, we all know the $60 game that was the hottest thing you could own last month has all but been forgotten about in favour of the next.
Game Stop will buy used games in-store, or you can try listing them on Half.com.
Date night at the movies is easily $40 if you buy two tickets, popcorn and drinks.
Go out a couple of times and throw in one DVD purchase, and you've spent about $100 just to watch a few movies.
Redbox lets you rent movies for $1 per day -- enough said.
You know there's no real difference between Cheerios and Safeway Toasted Oats, so why pay an extra $4 per box?
Same goes for most drugstore makeup -- my favourite brand NYX is just as good as Mac and a fraction of the cost.
Sure, a few products are hit or miss, but overall, switching to generic brands when shopping can save 20 per cent or more.
How many hours a day do you waste sitting in front of the TV? Better yet, how much money are you wasting paying for premium cable?
Hulu Plus and Netflix are only about $8 a month, and you'll become much more productive once you no longer have 1,200 channels to flip through all day.
There's no law that says you have to buy your frames from your optometrist's office. After an eye exam, take your prescription and shop online for a deeply discounted pair of frames.
There won't be any friendly assistant to ensure they fit just right, but hey, you're saving serious dough!
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