Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Every Little Bit Helps

Last year I read a book titled, “Nudge.” It basically talked about the power making small incremental changes has over a greater issue. For example taking the stairs up five flights twice daily could lead to stronger legs in as little as two weeks (my own example). So in an effort to actually accomplish a few of my news resolutions I’m going to make the following nudges in hopes of making a great impact of my savings account.

1. Join the club. For every store I patronize on the regular I’m signing up for the “bonus card” and/or email list. You get free coupons and hella savings. At the grocery store the often advertise the bonus card price as the sale price. FYI I haven’t had any issues with spam only coupons.

2. Complete the surveys. Sometimes at the bottom of the receipt there is a link or number to complete a survey. Often there is a dollar off or percentage off reward for you next purchase.

3. Cook at home and more often. Make a big pot of something and have it for lunch one day, dinner the next until it gone. Pasta is always cheap and keeps you full. This can save more money that being a ‘dollar menu - aire “a couple times a week. Plus, it’s better on your stomach.

4. When I make a one dish meal, say chili, I add an extra can of beans to stretch the dish for a couple more servings.

5. It also helps to plan your meals, and then make a grocery list that way you know what you need and can stick to it.

6. If you want to try a swank new restaurant, go for lunch on Tuesday instead of a Friday night dinner. The lunch menu is much cheaper.

7. I know I’m gonna get flack for this one, but if you wanna go out, but you’re a little low on funds, say yes to dude who’s been checking for you.

8. Carry cash in larger denominations like 50’s rather than 20’s and 10’s. The affect is two-fold. Actually seeing the cash rather than using plastic will make you more aware of how much you’re spending and breaking a 50 dollar bill to buy a $6 sandwich is mentally harder to do.

9. I recently I gave myself and allowance for ‘fun’ money in cash and when it was gone. I was back at the bookstore reading magazines cause I knew I didn’t have the funds to go out.

10. Leave your debit/credit card at home.

11. Comparison shop for everything. Try for clothes and accessories.

12. Be mature enough to say “I ain’t got it.”