If you’re like me, you are always looking for a way to save a dollar rather than spend it. Some people immediately assumes that this is being cheap, but it actually allows me to splurge on the things I really care about, like food. My real problem is saving. Rent is incredibly high these days, leaving little to no money to put aside for a rainy day. This is why I recommend adapting to your situation. This is a process, meaning it will take time to adjust. Check out these techniques I use to maintain a budget and save money.
Shop Locally for Food
You ever shop at one of those little, small produce stores you can usually find in a local shopping plaza? Notice how much cheaper the prices are on produce versus your major grocery chains like Publix or even Walmart. Sure, the prices of packaged, and canned items are expensive. These items are high in price typically because they are imported or bought domestically at near retail prices. However, most of that stuff is the processed crap you should be avoiding anyway. Fresh food is real food. Check out my receipt. I only spent $4.88 on produce that could last me at least 3 decent meals.
I ended up cooking this with some spaghetti I had and this is how it all came out.
The key takeaway here is that if you want to save money and eat like a king, then shop at your local grocery stores for produce instead of the major chains. The meat and vegetables you get there are often from small local farmers, so you are also supporting your local farmers by shopping locally.
Workout at Home
The worst part about getting a gym membership that most people find out eventually, is that you almost never use it. I don’t care if your gym has a swimming pool, sauna, beautiful half-naked women sweating, free pizza(I remember Planet Fitness was doing this a while back), you name it. I don’t if they have the best equipment and facilities. It all doesn’t matter if you don’t get your fat ass up to go and actually use these amenities. Hell, most of us millennials have access to such amenities in our own living communities, and we still don’t use them. Those of you who can identify with that statement, the first step is admitting to the problem. For the rest of you, keep sulking in your denial and overpaying for gym memberships to feel better about yourself.
Now, for all my 30 plus guys and gals trying to get back in shape, I have a challenge for you. It’s called the 100 push-up challenge. All you have to do is 100 push-ups a day. That’s all. You would be amazed at the results after 30 days, and even more impressed after 90 days. The reason is that your posture will naturally improve and so will the appearance off your upper body. You don’t have to do it all in one sitting. When I tried this, I was doing 20 push-ups at a time in between TV commercials. You will also notice the difference in how you feel over time doing this. The best part about this exercise is that you can do it anywhere. Sure, you might look a little crazy doing push-ups in your office, but who cares, it’s not an HR violation. Once you have a solid grasp on push-ups you can begin implementing other basic workouts into your daily regimen. I recommend the following:
- Shoulder Shrugs
- Sit Ups
- Weightless Squats
All of those workouts can be done at home with very little space required. I like tricking myself into working out so I typically do something while I am working out like watch YouTube. You can always break your reps down into every commercial or every other commercial. Do what works for you. Working out is not about looking sexy while you do it and being around sexy people. It’s about looking and feeling sexy after you do it. We all want the results and the long-term health benefits that come with working out.
Buy Used Parts and Tires
We all know that car maintenance can get expensive, especially if you put maintenance for a while. The good news is that your car doesn’t care what you spend on parts any more than your body would if it needed a kidney. The only thing that actually matters is compatibility. Is this the correct part for my car? If the answer is yes, then you should have no guilt over using used or refurbished parts. Coming from a computer background, I know that some consumers run away from the “R” word, refurbished. Some have valid concerns based on a previous bad experience, however, the rest appear to a lifestyle issue with buying anything that might have been used prior to them owning it. Most of the time you get a sweet discount because of those very factors, so the price makes it a no-brainer. I remember having a crack in my Pontiac radiator and not having $300 to get it repaired. I ended up going to my local Pull-A-Part place and found a radiator that I paid $35 for and then paid my friend $75 to install it. I split my cost in half by purchasing a used part as opposed to getting a brand new one. This is always a great way to save money on car repairs.
Don’t Buy New Furniture
Get it free instead. Maybe on a Sunday morning or afternoon while driving, you noticed a bunch of stuff on people lawns. In fact, most of the stuff is pretty much junk. However, if you take a closer look, there are a few gems hidden in the pile. I recently moved from a place where I was pretty much packing light, so when I moved into a bigger space I had nothing. I had no furniture, no appliances, just a queen-sized bed. Ever since I read The Alchemist, I always believed that the universe will conspire to help anyone who is determined in pursuing their dream. If the universe sees a void, it will find a way or ways to fill it. Well, I’ll tell exactly how it happened for me. I received this beautiful orange ottoman and a pair of cream-colored rugs for free from a colleague who wanted to get rid of them. I also got his small coffee table and a pair of vintage looking lamps. Another of mine found these cool looking retro blue stools that went perfect with this cocktail table that retracted up and down. That set worked perfectly for my patio. A buddy of mine had some wall art he didn’t want and a nice antique wall clock. He also just got a new set of sofas he inherited from his daughter who just bought a new set, so he had his set to now give away to me. The biggest point I want to make is that this was all free. How much would all of these items have cost me had I bought them brand new? In addition, I have to mention that everything I got was in great condition.
Don’t Pay for Cable or Internet
This tip sounds ridiculous at first mention, but hear me out. The average cost of internet and cable service in the state of Florida falls roughly in the ballpark of $40 per month. That’s about $480 per year, which really doesn’t seem like much. However, think of that as an additional amount you can add toward retirement savings, vacation, or an event you would like to throw.
We all can agree that life is almost impossible to live without the internet, so how would you go about eliminating your internet and cable bill. Well, if you have phone service, you are already paying for internet and television. Nowadays, as long as you have a modern 5G phone, you can provide enough internet to support your devices from your home hotspot. I’ve been doing this completely by accident for the last 3 months and don’t foresee a change anytime soon. I like my money in my pocket, where it belongs.