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What I Learned About Saving From Extreme Cheapskates

Today’s post is from Adam, one of the members of the web team. He recently got sucked into the hit “reality series” called Extreme Cheapskates on TLC, here are some of the things he’s learned from the show.

The reality TV show on TLC, “Extreme Cheapskates,” is meant to be entertainment. Most of the antics of the people portrayed on the show inspire revulsion rather than a desire to become more frugal.

For example, one woman picks a cake out of the trash and serves it to her guests. Another woman cooks up road kill for dinner.

These examples are why this show is first and foremost entertainment. Basically like all of reality TV. However, once I got past the icky stuff, I was able to pick out a few valuable lessons on saving money.

Save Through Adventurous Eating

Jeff Yeager is a self-proclaimed extreme cheapskate who appears regularly on the show, and he provides much of the most helpful advice. In one episode he serves up boiled fish heads to his guests—it’s pretty funny to see the looks of disgust on a teenager’s face at Jeff eats the fish’s eyeballs.

So this is an “extreme” example of adventurous eating. However, considering all the bizarre things people eat all over the world, opening your mind to new flavors and textures could be a fun way to save money.

If you’re constantly on the lookout for deals at the grocery store, it’s a good idea to broaden your horizons to food you might not have tried before. It doesn’t have to be fish heads, but it might be chopped liver, or an item from the international isle.

Save by Conserving Water

California is currently going through an extreme drought, and so for residents of that state water conservation may soon become a necessity. When it comes down to it, it’s possible to drastically reduce your household’s water use, and the people on “Extreme Cheapskates” prove it.

One simple way of saving water, as portrayed in the show, is to take a “navy shower.” This is when you only leave the water on to rinse yourself. While you lather your hair with shampoo and clean yourself with soap, the water stays off until it’s time to wash yourself down.

In “Extreme Cheapskates,” a woman forces her boyfriend to take these “navy showers” in a pretty demeaning way—she puts a baby monitor in the bathroom so she can bark at him if she thinks he’s using too much water. It’s hard to imagine a grown man putting up with that, but it appears he does.

Despite the brash personalities of the characters in the show, taking a “navy shower” is a pretty reasonable and effective way to conserve water. It might take some getting used to, but if it’s good enough for the navy, then it’s probably good enough for the rest of us.

My conclusion after watching a few episodes was that while I probably don’t fit the description of an “Extreme Cheapskate,” there are a few good ideas for saving money. These people have obviously taken it to the next level, sometimes to the point of lunacy. But if I really wanted to, I could follow their lead and find some great ways to cut my own spending.

The Smart Way to Spend Your Tax Refund

Every year when you file your taxes away, you look forward to the big chunk of money you’ll be getting back afterwards. You could do anything with that much money! But you’ll probably end up just spending it on food and movies and clothes. This is why many of us come to abhor the tax refund, and would much rather get that money over a long period of time than all at once. Here’s how to take care of your tax refund when it comes.

By the Numbers

In 2011 the average tax refund was close to $3,000. If that money had been divided up over the year, Americans could have been taking home, on average, about $250 more a month. The only way to keep this money safe in your wallet is to start your taxes early, and work with a professional to fill out new W-4 forms and have the proper amount of tax money pulled out of your paycheck.

Keep Count

Before you accidentally spend your entire refund this year on just eating out, keep track of the money that you get back. Put it in a separate savings account while you create specific goals for it. Plan to spend it to help you get out of debt, or to pay for your schooling. Plan to use it for study abroad or buy the car you’ve been eyeing.

Keep Your Eye on the Ball

Once you have made a goal for yourself, stick to it. Do not be tempted to spend a dime elsewhere. As long as your goal is responsible, let yourself achieve it by saving money and spending it at the right time. During that time of year there are many deals available as businesses are aware that people are starting to get their refund money back and have more money to spend. However, do no settle for a deal that may take away a substantial amount of your money.

Emergency Fund

Do not underestimate the power of an emergency fund. Even if you have insurance, it is important to always have back-up money for any reason. You never know what could happen and you would hate to be caught in a tight spot with limited options. Give yourself a fall back plan that you can contribute to and rely on every year.

Contact the Professionals

If you have trouble saving large amounts of money, it would be in your best interest to contact a tax professional in order to get started on avoiding tax refunds in the future. You will instead be able to save this money over time, giving yourself more options all year round, not just in April. One of the services offered at Check City is access to these professionals that can change the way you budget entirely. Contact us today to find out how you can be saving money all year long, or how to prepare yourself for a large tax refund this year.

Teaching Your Kids to Save Money in 2014

In several posts so far this year we’ve covered several ways that you can improve your financial situation this New Year. In today’s post we’ll cover several ways that you can “pay it forward” to the next generation by teaching your kids how to be financially responsible. Parents are responsible for teaching their children countless things about life and how they should be living it. While certain lessons, like being nice to others and treating people with respect, might be more intuitive, the concept of teaching children how to have the right attitude about money can often be a bit intimidating. Below we cover several simple ways that you can start teaching your kids to save more money.

Good Example

Although this should be common sense, it bears mentioning that the best thing you can do to teach your children the right way to deal with money is to be a good example. While exactly what this example should be depends on your financial situation along with a number of other circumstances, it is extremely important that you display the right attitude regarding money in front of your children.

Too many parents assume that their children simply don’t understand enough about money for their behavior to be affected, but children are often more intuitive than we give them credit for. So make sure that you follow good money principles as a first step to instructing your children. Most children will see their parents swipe their credit cards at the store or take out loans but they won’t understand the consequences of those things unless you teach them. Be a good example by keeping your credit cards paid off and paying off your long term and short term loans as quickly as possible.

Piggy Banks

Feel free to use one of the most timeless ways of instructing young children about money: the piggy bank. In addition to providing your child with a piggy bank, make sure you take the time to explain the concept behind it; that sometimes they will have to save for things that they want. Often it is a good idea to introduce a piggy bank into your child’s life when he or she wants an expensive toy or item. That way, you can teach your child how saving money can help them buy what they want. Additionally, your child will begin learning self-discipline as he or she learns to save money they receive instead of spending it immediately.

Encourage Responsibility

As your child gets older, it is generally a good idea to begin to allow them to make their own money decisions. While parents will generally choose to prevent their kids from spending money on something they will probably regret, this is actually one of the better opportunities for teaching the value of good money management. So within reason, allow your child to make a mistake with their money. As much as they value your advice, a child will remember the consequences of their personal decisions much more vividly.

There is no perfect way to teach your kids how to properly deal with their money. Chances are that at some point you will probably witness your child displaying an attitude towards money that you do not necessarily approve of. Above all, just remember to be patient and understand that good money management skills come with time. As long as you remain willing and able to set a good example and advise your child appropriately, they will learn how to be smarter with the money they receive.

Saving by Purchasing Generic Brands

Each time you go to the supermarket you’re faced with a choice, should you buy the product with the bright, colorful packaging, or the boring generic packaging. We obviously know that buying generic brands can save money but there is always the unknown factor of quality. Can we trust these spin-off brands or are they creating products that just don’t fit the mold? These are questions that every consumer has but here are some must-knows about generic brands.

In this post we’ll cover some of the top reasons you should start buying generic whenever you have the choice. As you read through these points it’s important to remember that for many people simply switching to generic brands whenever possible can mean the difference between staying within your budget for the month and needing to dip into emergency cash.

Sometimes Expensive Means Lower Quality

Whether you’re shopping for sugar cereal or even beauty products and sunscreens sometimes going with the big brand isn’t the best option. Why is that? Well sometimes companies spend so much money on brand management, marketing, and flashy bottles, and put less emphasis on the actual ingredients. This can lead to you paying more for a lower quality product.

Doctors Don’t Care

Doctors are doing it so why shouldn’t you? The interesting thing is that most consumers think that the brand name means something special with certain medication. Doctors and Pharmacists will buy the generic brands because they know that they have the same ingredients. Sometimes they just aren’t as flashy though so we have to wonder if it is alright to use them. It is important to think about what you are buying. We are talking about over-the-counter drugs here, so you can be assured that they have passed all of the requirements of the Food and Drug Administration. This is the same when it comes to buying baby formula or other nutrition based supplements.

Generics Typically Perform the Same

This is true with many things. Batteries for instance, have the same chemical make-up and will last about the same amount of time. Forget the commercials, sometimes you just have to realize that they are just the same thing, just with a fancy brand label slapped on top of them.

Does that Name Brand Water Really Taste Better?

When you are getting bottled water, you can expect that your bottled water tastes like water. That is, that it is tasteless and really the same as other bottled water. Some people get lost in the brand names though and start thinking because it comes from a famous mountain peak or lost river in the middle of who-knows-where, that it deserves more attention. The honest truth is that there are industry standards that have to be met and everyone is reaching that same standard or they aren’t hitting the market. So if you need bottled water go cheap and easy. Your wallet will thank you in the end.

What About the Chefs?

Sometimes we get this ill-conceived notion, that chefs and great cooks only buy the most expensive brand name items. This is far from true though. When it comes to getting most of the kitchen staples like flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda, chefs go generic just like your local market.

So the next time you go out to get your ketchup, mustard, or even your cereal. Remember that you are paying a lot for the label and not getting much added value in return. Don’t feel guilty for buying generic brands. All this says is that you are thrifty and have done enough homework to know that generic doesn’t necessarily mean that it is junk.

How to Cut Back On Impulsive Spending

Many Americans today are struggling to make ends meet. While it may seem like everyone around you has money, the contrary is actually probably true. Lots of people in our country today do not make as much money as they wish they did. Sometimes this can be changed, and sometimes it cannot.

Sometimes people have the opportunity to go back to school and further their education, but sometimes they do not. Many times people’s lives don’t turn out the way they want them to, but they just have to keep trucking along in the best way that they know how.

This principle applies to money as well. People don’t necessarily have as much money as they would like to have, but they just have to deal with it in the best way that they can.

Although a lot of people don’t have as much money as they wish they did, they still manage to find happiness in this life. These are the people who quickly realize that money cannot bring them happiness.
However, money is necessary for life. Houses and cars must be bought, bills must be paid, and clothes must be worn. If money is tight, then how are you supposed to pay for everything you need to pay for?
The answer is simple: learn budgeting tips. There are thousands of different ways that you can save money today so you can have more money to pay for other things.

Fight The Impulse.

One great way to save money is to not buy items impulsively. Although this may seem like a ludicrous idea, it is a real problem for some people.

Some people, when they walk into a store, feel that they must buy something. Whether or not it’s something they need or want makes no difference.

These types of people often become impulsive buyers, and sometimes even hoarders. The negative consequences of such behavior are evident.

Impulsive buying usually leads to excessive spending and credit card debt. People cannot stop buying things, so even when they run out of actual money, they begin buying things on credit.

Having credit card debt that is out of control is not going to lead to good things. It is better to get impulsive buying under control when it is first manifesting itself in a person’s behavior. If you find yourself relying too much on your credit cards and racking up crazy amounts of debt, cut them up! For purchases where a credit card is essential you can always use a prepaid visa card.

How to Fight Impulsive Shopping

There are several techniques that people can employ if they wish to stop impulsively spending money. One of the most effective ways to curb excessive spending is to have a 24 hour ponder time before you buy anything.

Is This Item a Want or a Need

This may not need to apply to all things you buy, but if the spending gets that out of control, it may need to. Keep this in mind when you are about to buy something, think about if you really want or need it.

If you come to the conclusion that you do, in fact, need this item, set it down and walk out of the store. Wait at least 24 hours and then think about if you actually need that item.

If you find that you haven’t been thinking about it very much and you don’t really care if you go back and buy it or not, don’t go back and buy it. If you find that you are still thinking about the item and you definitely still need to go back and get it, then you should go back and get it.

While this can be a useful rule of thumb for some people, other people can use it as a crutch to pretend that they’re doing better with their impulsive buying. People will simply wait 24 hours and then go back and buy every item that they wanted.

The 24 hour waiting period only works if you actually show self-discipline and choose not to buy certain items. If you buy every item, then it’s like you were never trying to help yourself stop impulsively spending in the first place.

If you find that by employing this technique you have decreased your amount of impulsive spending, congratulations! You now have more money to save or spend on things you actually want and need.

As you go through this process multiple times, you will start to realize what things are necessary to buy and what things are impulsive and unnecessary. It will take time for you to go through this process, but you will get it eventually.

Making sure you do go through this process is essential. It is essential because it will help you decide what you actually want to be spending your money on.

Above all, it is important to remember that money is necessary in our world, but it is not everything. Money cannot buy happiness.

How a Sports Fan Can Purchase Season Tickets on a Budget

There are few feelings as intensely energizing than cheering on your favorite sports team in person. The buzz in the air, sights, sounds, crowd atmosphere, and sense of team cannot be matched by simply watching on TV.

If you are a diehard fan of a team, going to your team’s games can be one of the biggest highlights of the year. However, seasons tickets can be quite expensive.

But with the right amount of planning, and by using some helpful tips, the difficult task of purchasing season tickets can be made a lot more manageable.

Pool Your Money Together

One of the simplest tactics you can use to help control the costs of season tickets is to pool your money with friends or family.

If you pool with 4 other people, then the price of the tickets is cut down to only 20 percent of the cost per person. The downside of this is that you will only be able to go to 20 percent of the games.

By doing a “ticket draft” you can ensure that you draft the games that are the most important to you. Another idea that has been used with some success is to sell back some of the tickets to help recoup costs.

Resell Some of Your Tickets

Season tickets usually come at a deep discount off of the face value. For example, the face value of a ticket may be $40.25 per game, but if you buy a whole season’s worth of games you are only paying $22.75 per game.

The difference of $17.50 is a 43 percent savings. By selling some of the tickets, especially tickets that are more in demand, you can pay for a large part of the cost of season tickets.

If all tickets could be sold at face value, then you could go to over 40% of the games, and would end up having recouped the entire cost of the season tickets. The downside to using this idea is that you may have to sell some of the more in-demand tickets because you can make the largest profit margin off of those.

Plan Ahead and Budget

If going to all of your team’s games is really important to you, you can manage that by budgeting your money well. If you save up for a period of time, you can break the cost into monthly payments.

If season tickets cost $1200 total, by setting aside $100 per month you can afford to purchase them. If a large down payment is due up front, you may consider getting a cash advance.

This way the down payment can be broken up into manageable parts that are easier to fit into your budget. An important aspect of purchasing season tickets that you should keep in mind is that by getting seats that are a little bit further from the action, the cost goes down by a large amount.

Settle For the Upper Bowl or End Zone

If sitting upper bowl is just fine with you, consider getting tickets in the upper bowl. This can reduce the price by more than half.

Likewise, by being flexible in your demands of sitting as far as left-to-right, you can save a bundle. Tickets that are not looking straight on to the action, but are angled to either side, are a lot less expensive.

If you are willing to sit down by the end zone instead of on the 50 yard line, you can save yourself a significant amount of money. Lastly, another technique you can use when trying to control the costs of season tickets is to look for deals/promotions.

If your favorite team is a college football team, try and find a friend who attends the school. By being a student, they can receive a large discount. If you ask nicely, and offer to provide them with some college essentials (treat them to fast food), they may be willing to purchase the tickets for you.

This can save you a great deal and it would put you in the heart of the student section, where the fans are the most energetic. Another deal you can try to find is to purchase early.

Save By Buying Early

Many teams will give discounts to their fans who buy their season tickets early. By using these techniques, the most passionate fan can make sure that they are able to attend their team’s stadium on game day.

With careful budgeting, keeping out a watchful eye for deals and promotions, and looking to share the costs either with friends and family or by selling some tickets to other fans, you can make it possible to cheer on your team until your voice goes hoarse, all year long.

5 Things You Can Stop Paying For to Save Money

When it comes to saving money there are literally hundreds of ways to do it. In this post we’ll cover some ways that you can save money on fairly common items that can sometimes cost several hundred dollars such as software, hotel stays, and even ongoing bills that you have to pay like cable television. In a lot of cases people usually think that there is no way around some of these expenses, but what you’ll find is that there are several options that can save you literally hundreds of dollars.

Save Money on Software

First, stop spending money on expensive name brand software by getting the freeware versions of popular software. When you shop to save money on food, you tend to buy the generic brands, as these are always cheaper, the same goes for software.
There are a lot of “generic” brands of the popular software options out there. For example, why purchase the newest Microsoft Office Suite for $140 when you can get Open Office’s for absolutely no cost to you?

Open Office offers you much of the same basic functionality that Microsoft’s products do. When all you need is a basic word processor, presentation platform, or spreadsheet program, you don’t need the expensive platforms to get the work done.
The same holds true for Adobe Photoshop. There is a popular, alternative freeware version called Gimp.

Photoshop costs about $600. It can do a lot of the same things that Photoshop can and is free to download.

Can you really beat the freeware version if it can do many of the same things your purchased edition can? Find reliable alternatives for purchased software.

Save Money On Travel

Second, find free lodging when you travel. A popular movement hit the streets a few years back called couch surfing.

Someone had the genius idea to set up a database to find people willing to allow travelers to bunk on their couch for an evening. Sponsoring families list their homes on the website to give travelers a place to stay for the night.

These homes are located throughout the world, so its usefulness isn’t limited to the United States. Hosts tend to be travelers themselves that use the system to find places to stay.

All you have to do is go to Couchsurfing.org to find a home in the city you’ll be travelling to and sign up. The service is free and the savings you make while travelling are worth it.

Don’t Pay For The Kids to Eat

Third, don’t pay for your kids meals when you decide to eat out. MyKidsEatFree.com has a list of over 5,000 restaurants around the country that allow kids to eat for free.

Obviously you’ll have to pay for your own meal, but the savings from multiple kids eating free can save you quite a bit of money every time you go out to eat. There’s no need to feel guilty about using the system either as these companies proudly advertise their deal for kids to eat free.

It’s a part of their marketing plan, so take advantage of it while your kids are still young. For many families, this is the time that they want to save money anyways.

Cut The Cord

Fourth, stop paying for your TV subscription. The world is in love with more channels.

Satellite and dish providers boast the number of channels they have, swearing that more channels is directly related to better quality TV. If you can’t find something to watch on your favorite channels, you have 900 others to choose from that are sure to have something interesting.

The only problem is that the increase in channels did nothing to increase the quality of TV shows. Even though you have a million channels, you’ll still spend evenings flipping through the channels, looking for something entertaining.

So instead of paying for monthly satellite or cable subscriptions, consider using normal TV instead. Normal TV is still free and it offers better reception than ever before.

If there’s a show you fall in love with, you can often watch the episode mere minutes after it airs on the internet. Many of these popular shows try to cater to everyone.

They upload episodes to the internet so you can watch it if you missed the air time. The best thing is that watching these recaps are usually free.

Not only do you pay nothing more than your electric bill for your television, but you also pay nothing to watch the most popular shows on television (the ones you are looking for when channel surfing late at night). At the other end, it could help you tear yourself from the TV to spend more time with those you love.

Protect Your Computer For Free

Fifth and finally, save money on your anti-virus software by looking for its freeware versions as well. Just like for the other big name software producers, someone made a free-ware version that works just as well.

Find a trustworthy free-ware version of anti-virus protection to download and cover your computer for you. They can help you remove malware just as easily as the paid programs.

There are a number of opportunities to stop paying for things you thought you had to pay for before. All you have to do is know where to look.

Simple Ways to Save Money

Americans today are constantly looking for ways they can save money. Although most of us do not like to admit it, many of us are operating on tight budgets, with not much extra money to go around. For many Americans, living paycheck to paycheck has become the norm and any extra expense can send their personal finances into the red. At Check City we understand that things come up and sometimes there just isn’t enough money to go around. In those cases a short term loan or cash advance is a great solution to be able to get your bills paid and take care of your financial emergencies quickly.

Living paycheck to paycheck can be a frustrating and sometimes difficult way to live, but if you hunker down and focus on sticking to a budget it can oftentimes be very rewarding. If we all just had oodles and oodles of money lying around, we wouldn’t appreciate it.

On the contrary, if we have to budget and save in order to live, then we appreciate and are grateful for the money that we do have. We also will appreciate more the possessions and items we buy with our carefully budgeted money.

Although some may say statements like these are simply ploys to help us become more comfortable with the idea of not having very much money, they can be very helpful to people who are living on a budget. Becoming more satisfied with the way you must live is a surefire way to becoming happier and more positive about life in general.

If you have come to terms with the amount of money you make and the amount of money you must spend, you are probably still looking for ways to save a little money here and there. Here are a few tips on how to save money the easy way.

Find a Penny Pick It Up

In general, you can save money by collecting your loose change. Instead of getting rid of it or giving it to your kids, try keeping it and putting it into some kind of container or jar.

If you are diligent in doing this, you will be surprised at how much money you can accumulate just from your loose change. Studies have shown that if you put aside 50 cents per day for a year, you can earn a good 40% of an emergency fund.

Track Your Spending

Another great way to save money is to keep track of your spending. Most people don’t know how much money they’re spending and what they’re spending their money on.

This can be a problem for obvious reasons. For one, it is easy to spend money when it is just a little bit here and there on various things.
But what people don’t think about is that spending a little bit of money here and there will add up eventually, and you won’t have very much money left. Many people think keeping track of their spending is annoying, tedious, and unnecessary, but many money-savvy people will tell you that it is quite the contrary.

Although keeping track of spending may seem binding, it is actually quite freeing. If you take the time to sit down and make a decent budget, you will realize that the budget then frees you to spend your money on what is appropriate to spend it on.
People are often afraid that if they make a budget, they will not have any money left over for “fun things.” There is no way to say that this absolutely won’t happen.

However, most people are afraid of the unknown. They haven’t ever made a budget, so they are afraid of what the budget will do to their spending habits.

Starting a Budget Can Be Hard, But it’s Worth It

People like this could definitely benefit from getting some help on starting a budget. It can be difficult to get a budget started, but once you know how to set it up and enter the amounts in, budgets are a piece of cake.

Many people just need that extra help at the beginning with setting up their budget so that they can learn how to effectively use their budget. Millions of Americans can attest to the benefits of making and using a budget tailored to their specific financial needs.

Another important thing to realize is that an emergency fund isn’t optional. Many people think that emergency funds are something they read about in books or online, but it is not something they actually need to have.

People do not think that they will have an emergency; emergencies are things that happen to other people. But the people who have the emergencies happen in their lives may have thought that silly phrase as well.

This should be a testament to people everywhere that emergencies can happen to anyone. This is why it is crucial to have an emergency fund in case you or someone in your family has an emergency.

The emergency fund may not be enough, but at least it will be something. The worst thing that can happen is an emergency occurs and you have no emergency fund. Financial emergencies always seem to happen at the worse times, whether your in-between paydays or have just had some bad luck recently a short term loan, cash advance or payday loan can be a great way to cover your current expenses for a short amount of time until you can pay them off with your next payday.

Living a Greener Lifestyle While Staying Within Your Budget

It seems that in today’s economy people are constantly looking for ways that they can save money in even the smallest and seemingly inconsequential areas of their lives. In addition to sticking to a tight budget more and more Americans feel the need to do their part to make the world a better place by living a greener lifestyle.
The first step people usually take towards living a greener lifestyle is recycle the products they use and give back to the environment. If you are looking for small things you can do to save money while saving the environment, then this article is for you.

Save at The Office

Let’s start with your office job. You may feel its wrong to continually be buying packs of disposable pens that will just end up in a landfill when you throw them away.

A simple solution to this problem is purchasing one, nice pen that you can use throughout your time at work. You will have to buy refills for this pen, which could be more difficult to find, but you will be doing your part to help save the environment.

Sometimes these types of pens can be more expensive as well, but you are essentially saving time and money by buying a more sustainable product. Another thing you can do in your everyday life is to buy one reusable water bottle.

Ditch The Bottle

Many people choose to purchase a pack of water bottles at the grocery store so they can just grab one when they leave their home in the morning. This is indeed convenient; however, buying one reusable water bottle and filling it up every morning is certainly better for the environment.

There are also several things you can do in your home to save money and to be better to the environment. One of the main things you can do open your windows and let a little fresh air in.

Not only is vitamin D and fresh air good for your skin and mental health, it will also help you to save money on your air conditioning bill. The air outside may not be the exact temperature that you want, but you will feel fresher and happier if you leave your windows open.

Get Rid of The Dust

Something else you can do in your home to save money and the environment is to dust often. The dust that collects around your home is slowly degrading into tiny particles.

These particles can often be mingled with heavy metals, pesticides, and other harmful things that you do not want your family inhaling. Keeping a clean house will keep your family healthier and will help you to save money.
Something else you can do in your home to help the environment is to use non-toxic cleaning chemicals to clean your home. Using toxic chemicals can easily infect your air.

Use Safer Cleaners

It is also unsafe for children to inhale the remnants of toxic chemicals and cleaners. As a general rule of thumb, try to avoid products that
include chemicals and substances like ammonia, phosphates, chlorine, SLS, BPA, petrochemicals, and synthetic fragrances.

Another thing you can do to save money while being environmental conscious is to buy your products in bulk. In general, you get more product when you buy in bulk, and you will save time and money.

Brew Your Own Cup o Joe

Another way to save money while being environmentally friendly is to brew your own coffee at home. If you go out and buy a cup of coffee once a day, the money can really add up.

Plus, all of those cups you are using will most likely end up in a landfill somewhere. Recent studies have shown that buying one latte per day in a year will add up to $1,200.

No one realizes that they could spend so much on coffee, but these numbers are real. Brew your own coffee at home to save money and to do your part to help the environment.

Another way to go green is buy locally grown foods. There is most likely a farmer’s market in your city and town.
Purchasing your fruits and vegetables from farmer’s markets gives you the opportunity to help support local farmers who grow their own produce. Buying locally helps cut down on the money spent on transporting various fruits and vegetables around the world.

All in all, going green and staying environmentally conscious with benefit you, your family, and the earth. Remembering to try to give back to the earth is one of the best skills you can learn as you grow older.
Follow these budget-friendly tips that will help you save the environment.

5 Great Ways to Save Discretionary Money

The money you set aside for discretionary purposes is a truly wonderful part of your budget. It’s that little section of money that you feel is truly yours. All other amounts are the sole property of your debtors. A few thousand go straight to living expenses that can’t be avoided, ex. mortgages, car payments, utilities, and food.

While some financial experts will say that as long as you have debt you should never be setting aside any discretionary money, it’s important to not let your budget feel as though it’s strangling you. If you feel that your budget is too strict it will usually lead to just losing your budget altogether.

As long as you are working towards paying down your debts and your immediate financial responsibilities have been paid such as short term or payday loans that are due, the discretionary money is yours that you can use for anything, and that comes with a truly freeing feeling. Wouldn’t it be nice therefore if you could stretch that discretionary money to encompass more things?

Luckily you can. There are a lot of ways you can save money on things you would already be using your discretionary money for. Here are 8 of the best ways to do it.

Save Money on Entertainment

Begin by getting a library card. For those readers and movie watchers, a library card allows you access to nearly unlimited literature and cinema for free. With the recent advance to e-book checkouts, you can check a book out without ever leaving the comfort of your own home and read it on your e-reader. After a normal checkout period, your book will automatically delete itself from your system.

You already pay for the library system with your taxes; why not take advantage of the resources that are rightfully yours? Get a library card and check out a book or movie before you buy it.

Most of the time, you won’t read or watch these stories again. Why buy them if you’re never going to pick them up again? Library cards will help you filter out the books and movies you would like to own.

Once you find the media you can’t live without, you can use your discretionary money on them. Until then, don’t waste your money on them yet.

Ask a Friend

Second, share entertainment amongst your friends. If you don’t own a particular movie, someone you know likely does. Ask to borrow the movie for a weekend and return it promptly afterwards. With an extended network of friends, you can get your movie fix without having to purchase it.

Timing is Everything

Third, stop paying for the more expensive entertainment when there are cheaper options. A Friday night movie is nice, but a Saturday afternoon matinee is cheaper.

When the difference in price comes down to the time of day instead of quality of product, the choice can be a no brainer. Go see that movie you’ve been dying to see, but see it at a cheaper price.

Make Your Hobbies Pay

Fourth, invest in something that will turn a profit when it’s time to sell again. Turn a hobby into an income. If you’re interested in guns, make that into a money maker. Buy a gun, modify it, use it to your heart’s content and then turn around and sell it for more than you spent on it.

Just as long as you’re using the gun for your own use before selling it, you won’t have to create a business out of it. It’s just a way to make money off the investments you put your discretionary money into.

Turn whatever you are purchasing with your discretionary money into something you can sell again later. Some ideas will be more obvious than others, but with enough of a creative idea, you can learn to make money instead of just spend it. An additional source of income is never a bad thing either.

Look For Free Entertainment

Fifth, find as many free things to attend as possible. You can find outdoor movies, meetings, plays, and celebrations going on all the time, especially during the summer. Don’t be afraid to try something you wouldn’t normally do either.

Go to see things simply because they’re there to see. You will enjoy a more rich and diversified life if you get out there. You will learn more about the world, even if all you learn is that you don’t want to be a part of that experience again.

Wherever you live, free events are going on all the time. Get involved with the community and you’ll know where they are.

Just because your money has been marked for free use, doesn’t mean that you have to use it without thought. The occasional night on the town is a great activity to use it on. Most of the time though, why not stretch it a bit to get maximum enjoyment?

You might find better uses for that money if you don’t use it on the first big idea that pops into your head. Other times you’ll make something more with it than you ever thought possible before.

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