Friday, May 20, 2011

Frugal Friday Part 3

Recently I found a blog post in my email from the Art of Manliness that listed 80 ways to be frugal.

I decided to break it up into 4 parts. See if you can find some ideas to apply to your life:

Win the War on Debt: 80 Ways to Be Frugal and Save Money

The manliness of frugality cannot be overstated. Frugality cultivates the manly qualities of independence, self-reliance, self-sufficiency, simplicity, and minimalism. It keeps a man free from the enslaving chains of debt and gives him an sense of manly pride and satisfaction. Frugality build a man’s immunity to the siren call of “stuff,” helps him learn to make do with less, and adds pleasure and happiness to his life by providing opportunities to practice delayed gratification. Frugality also fosters the DIY spirit and inspires a man to create, instead of consume.

We could wax long and poetic about the manliness of frugality but let’s get down to the brass tacks: how does a man become frugal? Some men, inspired to jump on the frugality wagon, set a drastic course for themselves and turn theirs live inside out. But inevitably, this man ends up chafing at the extreme constrictions he has set for himself, burns out on the program, and sets off on a shopping spree to compensate for the months of rigid restraint. No, the better course is simply to make little changes throughout the different areas of your life. You will be surprised to see how fast these small changes can add up and leave you with extra moola in your pockets and in the bank. And you also might be surprised to find out how fun being frugal is–really! It becomes like a game where you’re always trying to figure out ways to cut costs.

We’ve created this list of 80 practical–and often pretty painless–ways to save money. Whether you’re looking to trim your debt, live more simply, start an emergency fund, or just need to find ways to offset the hole in your budget created by rising gas prices, there are guaranteed to be a few things here you can start implementing in your life right away. I recommend giving these ideas a look-0ver, making a list of ten of more things you can give a go, and putting them into practice as a new month begins.

Victory over debt is at hand!


41. Cut the cable. Farewell Snooki.

42. Board games and like. Boggle. I love Boggle.

43. Matinee and Dollar movies. Movie theater experience without the movie theater prices. And in the case of matinees, without the interrupting teenagers.

44. Take advantage of your local college or university. Colleges often have free cultural events and lectures that are open to the public.

45. Trade and borrow with friends. If you need tools or other items to do a job around the house, instead of going out and buying them, check with your friends or neighbors to see if they have it and if you can borrow it. You can also do this with books, CDs, movies, and video games.

46. Use the library. Kate and I are total library hounds. We use it to score not only free books, but current CDs and DVDs as well. If you haven’t used the library in awhile, you really need to give it a try. With the Tulsa library system, you can look up a book online and no matter what library it is at in the city, you can request that it be delivered to the library closest to you. A few days letter, you saunter into the library down the road, and the books, CDs, and movies you wanted are waiting for you on the reserve shelf. It’s magical really.

47. Feed your mind online. The public library is not the only place you can get free mind-expanding materials. From university lectures from the country’s best professors to engrossing TED talks to classic books in the public domain, you can find enough free brain food on the internet to keep you occupied from here to eternity.

48. Keep an eye on subscription services. Netflix, magazine, and online subscriptions can add up fast if you’re not careful. Do a subscription audit to see if you’re using the service enough to warrant the cost and if you can find free alternatives to your current subscriptions. Did I mention the library?

49. Rethink your hobbies. Some hobbies cost a ton of money. Case in point: gun shooting. I’ve been getting into marksmanship and enjoy going to the range to pop off a few rounds with my Colt Python .357. But one of the things that surprised me about range shooting is how much ammo costs. Holy freaking cow! So I’m finding ways to make gun shooting cheaper, like practicing my dry firing at home. If you have a hobby that’s costing you a lot of money, find ways to make it cheaper. If you can’t do that, you might consider dropping it all together and finding a cheaper one, at least until your cash flow increases. Don’t know what to replace it with? Check out our list of manly hobbies.

Computer/Tech Stuff

50. Use free tools and software for all your computing needs. It’s amazing how many programs you can get these days that are completely free. Instead of forking over money for Microsoft Office, use OpenOffice or Google Docs. Wikipedia has a massive list of open source software that’s completely free. Check to see if there’s a free version of what you’re looking for before spending money.

51. Refill ink cartridges instead of buying new ones.

52. Print in draft mode. It uses less ink.

53. When you buy new computers or printers, keep the old cables. You never know when they’ll come in handy.

54. Buy refurbished. If you need a new computer, check the company’s website that you want to buy from to see if they have any deals on refurbished items. I know lots of Apple fanboys who can’t afford (or don’t want) to buy Apple products new, so they buy a gently used version of the product they’ve been lusting after.

We'll wrap this up next Friday!

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