The Tipping List
Roots of the Recession
8 easy ways to save that really add up
-Laura Weber Rossman
Have you noticed there are signs of the recession all around us? You can see the roots. Literally. Yes, more of us are pushing our hair appointments back a few more weeks. Tolerating those emerging roots – light or dark – with a different part or an extra touch of mousse to get some pouf. Push an appointment two weeks and over a year you can save real money. My friend says “recession head” is the latest sign of the times.
It’s just one way we’re each finding ways to save a bit here or there. By cutting back a little bit maybe we can forego the bigger, more painful cuts. What other ways can you cut back a little? Try some of these ideas:
1. Cut back on the coffee drinks. You don’t need to give it up – just cut back the frequency. At almost $5 a cup, moving from a daily cup to twice a week keeps money in the bank.
2. Take public transportation or share a ride twice a week. Reducing your commuting costs saves you money up front and reduces costly wear and tear on your car.
3. Reduce trips to the grocery store. And shop with a list. We all know that the more times you stop in the store, the more likely you are to pick up a few extra things. That adds up. And take a list with you. You’ll be less likely to be lured in by “specials” for things you don’t need.
4. Shop in your closet. Admit it. You have things in your closet with the price tag still on. So, rather than head out to buy something new, head to your closet and try out something you haven’t worn in a while or never worn. The same works for your children – whether it’s toys or clothes. And if you aren’t using what you have, donate it so that someone else can enjoy it! Plus, you get the tax deduction.
5. Accessorize rather than buy a new outfit. If you really need the “rush” that comes with buying something new, head to the accessory department. Buy a scarf to brighten up your favorite outfit; a new pin to put some sparkle on your jacket; or costume jewelry to liven up an old staple.
6. Potluck rather than eat out. Gathering with friends over food is an important way to socialize and relax. But it doesn’t mean you have to head to an expensive restaurant. Gather friends together for an old-fashioned potluck party. Enjoy lots of variety, share the costs and take pleasure in the comfort of home rather than trying to hear over the noisy din of restaurant chatter.
7. Buy generic and store brands. Take a look at the label and see whether there really is a difference between the name brand and the store brand. Quite often you are paying a lot more for a brand name and fancy packaging.
8. Simplify celebrations. One of the signs of high times past was the extravagance of events – from children’s birthday parties to weddings to elaborate vacations. Look at ways to simplify. Remember what’s important. Celebrating doesn’t have to break your budget.
There are thousands of ways to save a bit here and there. It all really adds up in the end!
What are some of YOUR little money saving tips?