3. Stop buying music, save $12 or more per month. |
No, we're not advocating illegal downloads, and you don’t have to stop buying music completely. Continue supporting your favorite artists, but set a limit on your spending. With the money you’ll save, you can learn to play an instrument yourself. Guitar and piano lessons will increase your appreciation of music, exercise your brain, and teach you a new skill that you can share with loved ones.
4. Reduce your cell-phone plan, save $10-$50 per month.
How many of the calls you made within the last week were absolutely essential? If you use your cell phone only in cases of true emergency, you could cut down on your cell phone minutes (and texting surcharges) and put that money to a new use: like learning a foreign language! Knowledge of Spanish is becoming increasingly necessary in many professions, and knowing a foreign language broadens your travel options, too. Get even more bang for your buck by tackling that new language with a good friend. You’ll save money (split the cost of the book or lessons), be more likely to stick with it, and have a built-in practice partner.
5. Skip the movie theater, save $8 and up.
Tickets to a new release at a movie theater cost around $8. But throw in popcorn and a drink and you’re looking at over $25 for a movie for two. Instead, hit your local video store and pick up a flick for $5, or even better, your local library, which "rents" movies for free! Besides saving money, you'll have more quality time with your friends or family members, access to healthier (and cheaper) movie treats, and all the leg room you want. You can socialize before and after, pause for bathroom breaks, and laugh as loud as you want. Plus you won’t feel so guilty about neglecting your cable-free television set.
6. Eat in, save hundreds of dollars per month.
At first, skipping the restaurant might sound like you’re missing out on fun, flavor and atmosphere. But restaurant food is notoriously high in calories, fat, and sodium, too. So if you replace those restaurant meals with healthy home-cooked ones, the only one thing you'll be missing are a few extra pounds from your frame! Use the money you save to pay for a series of cooking classes, or to take that vacation you never thought you could afford.