Sunday, November 21, 2010

CRAZY SAVING TIPS.

In a recent post Jim at bargaineering.com, talked about a crazy way to save money here is his post.

It’s no secret I’m a fan of Kim Palmer, my biased review of her book Generation Earn is probably proof enough (though Trent also praised her book in his review), but her latest list of money saving tips, culled from fellow bloggers, has some horrible and dangerous suggestions.
For example, turning off your car while it’s still moving is dangerous. The idea is that you can use your car’s momentum to slide into parking spots or when you’re going downhill, saving a few drops of gasoline in the process. The dangerous part, which Kim notes, is that you have no power brakes and no power steering. What she doesn’t mention is the fact that if you try this while going downhill, you’ll have to spend time and attention restarting your car. Is it really worth the risk? I say no.
There are so many things any one person can do to save money (just take a peek of my list of 100 Money Saving Tips if you need ideas) that you should do the ones that have the biggest impact. Reusing sandwich bags can save you $30 a year, cutting back on cable can save you $30 a month… and requires less work. Taking cold showers can save you a few dollars a month on energy bills, whereas brown bagging your lunch can save you a few dollars every single day.
I think it’s important to save money, in any form, but it’s even more important to maximize your savings by first tackling the ideas that have greatest impact.

Finding those easy quick ways to save is not only fun but essential to cutting back. A few not so crazy ways that we save.

1. Use space heaters: My wife and I only use a few rooms in our house on a daily basis. So heating those other rooms is just a waste of money. For around $20 we found some space heaters to heat the rooms we do use while we are home. The rest of the day we leave the central heat on a safe, but low temperature, and it has really cut down our winter utilities.

2. Building things. Rather than spending money all weekend on activities. Put on your creative cap and build something you have always wanted. There are a hundreds of blogs with plans on how to make a perfect seasonal door wreath. One of our favorite DIY magazines is Readymade they have hundreds of great little projects you can do at little to no cost. 

3. Slow down: Transportation eats up a large amount of our budgets. Cars reach their maximum miles per gallon between 55 and 60 miles an hour. Driving faster or slower than that, can cut your cars MPG in half. Especially if you are accelerating quickly after every stop. If the average work commute is 35 miles and average MPG is 24 with gas at $2.60 a gallon just commuting to work is costing around $20 a week. Which is a low number, cut that MPG in half and you are doubling that to $40 a week. Slowing down your speed and easing into accelerating is an easy way to save some cash. Below are numbers a driver did to determine the difference in driving 65 mph, or 55 mph in his commute.
- Following traffic, in the RX-8 (65 mph)
This car gets about 22 mpg if you drive it like grandma,
basically following flow of traffic and so on.
96 miles / 22mpg * $2.50 = $10.90 to drive to work.
100 minutes travel time.


- Driving 55 mph in the RX-8
Now the RX-8 will get 24 mpg.
96 miles / 24mpg * $2.50 = $10.00.
104 minutes travel time.

I will take the dollar a day in savings vs the 4 minutes less driving. 

4. Share: instead of spending a few hundred dollars on a tool that you will only use once or twice a year. Find a friend or family member who lives close by who may benefit from having it too. Split the cost and save a ton of money, plus you may have just found a friend to help on that next big project.

5. Eat less: not only will this help you shed a few pounds but it can help you save on your grocery bill. A large percentage of Americans are overweight so do yourself a favor and cut down your portions.

What is the craziest thing you have heard of someone doing to save some cash?

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