Saving Money and Living Frugally
By Adam Knife
No one wants to be stuck in a situation without enough money, though, many end up in the exact situation. From single parents who have to raise and take care of a young child to the businessman who loses his job, there are hundreds of situations that could leave you strapped for cash. To chop down your expenses, there are some major tips you can take.
The first, and most important, as well as most obvious movement is to cut out non-necessities. Anything which there is a cheaper and equal alternative to, you can replace. You don’t need brand names anymore, you don’t have the money to spend on them right now. Stick to store brands where you can, and make sure you get good use out of your coupons.
The second most effective tip I experienced in my period of frugality, was to call your bill providers. Play the game of customer retention, go through their automated phone system to the point where you’re trying to cancel your subscription: you’ll be connected to a person who’s employed as a “customer retention officer,” their main job is to try to keep you as a client, explain that you “found a better deal elsewhere,” (of course, actually FIND the better deal, even if it doesn’t provide all the services as the one you’re at right now) and that you’re moving on. They won’t be quick to let you go, as soon as they start to open up possibilities, explain that you’re not really excited for the hastle of moving your current system over to a new company, and if they could make you a better offer you’d be glad to stay. All my friends and I have tried this, and usually saved up to FIFTY percent off our bills!
Coupons! The Internet is loaded with coupon code sites, and sites for “trading coupons” for brick-and-mortar stores. Make great use of your coupons and you will notice the savings, some combonations of coupons could get you certain things absolutely free: as you spend more time couponing you’ll be very good at the math and able to calculate your approximate price in your head to make sure you’re finding things that offer amazing deals. Sites like this software coupon library work with the developers of major software to deliver you great deals, better than you’ll find anywhere in the “open.”
Along with coupons is the act of stocking up. When you see a good deal, or have a good coupon for something you will use (if you won’t use it, you’re losing money by buying it, remember), buy lots! Remember that deal may never come around again, and capitalize on it: long term, this will save you huge money.
Being frugal becomes a hobby, a lifestyle even after a while, once you’re back on your feet, there’s still no reason to stop, and chances are you won’t want to. Being frugal usually means you’re more environmentally conscious, and likely doing the world a range of good simply by saving. Good luck with your frugality!
Adam X. Knife is a frugal liver, webmaster, developer, programmer, businessman, and a range of other things. He runs the software coupons library site referenced within the article, as well as a site which reviews cellphones.
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