Topics: food, frugality, transportation
By Rhonda Jones
Do you know how many things in your life eat? Things that eat–and that includes carbon-based life-forms and metallic “life-forms” alike–are essentially black holes. Money pits. A very good rule of thumb when it comes to saving money is to avoid having things in your life that eat, to the extent that you can avoid them. For instance, if you already have children, you can’t exactly trade them in for house plants. (You really can’t. I’ve checked.)
You can put all the munchers in your life on diets though. And here’s how.
Tip No. 1: Don’t run out for a quick anything. These days, your car is eating up more of your cash than ever before. It has a very clever way of forcing you to feed it all it wants, too: by refusing to take you home until you do. It’s like mechanical kidnapping. However, you can tighten up its belt at least a little by driving less. Don’t run out to the store for one item. If you can’t make pancakes for dinner because you don’t have eggs, then cook something else. Every time you step out for a little ingredient, you are throwing money away. Keep a detailed grocery list, and shop once a week and only when you’re on your way home from work, if possible. If you need specialty items from specialty stores, limit that shopping to once a month, and visit all the stores you need to in a particular area at the same time. No zigzagging around town.
Tip No. 2: Beware of things that eat. Like kids and pets. If you don’t have them, don’t get them. If you simply must nurture something, get yourself a needy boyfriend or girlfriend, and then go on Dutch dates. If you already have kids, don’t get pets for them. It sounds mean, yes, but saving money is a dirty business. If they cry and insist, then make them share their food allotment with the pet. You can even put them both on a diet of Krunchy Kibbles. Or at least threaten to.
Tip No. 3: That means you, too. You are one of those things that eats that you should beware of. If you’re a big eater, then stop it. Too much food isn’t just bad for your waistline and your heart, it is also bad for your wallet. So if you don’t want a doctor to perform a walletectomy in your future, curb your lust for slabs of meat, desserts and snacks. Enjoying potato chips is fine. Eating an entire bag in one sitting is unnecessary. Remember, walletectomies are very, very painful procedures.
Tip No. 4: Do not, under any circumstance, supersize.
Tip No. 5: Stop speeding. Such a simple concept, yet so hard to do. Because not speeding makes you a wussy, doesn’t it? No, it makes you broke. It uses a lot more gas to go from Point A to Point B faster than it does to follow the speed limit. And you know what’s going to happen when that nice man in the blue uniform pulls you over? He’s going to hand you a big, fat bill. Some people spend enough money on speeding tickets every year to have a really nice weekend of fun. Pocket that ticket-money for five or 10 years and that’s a pretty nice vacation you can now afford. Not speeding is another great way to put that car on a diet.
What are you feeding wads of cash to on a weekly, or even daily, basis? If you put those things on diets, you may be very surprised at how much you can save. All it takes is just being conscious of where your money goes.
Eleven years’ alternative journalism. Freelancing in Europe. Vampires. Need I say more? Read Rhonda’s writing blog, One Writer’s Ridiculously Glamorous Life, at http://silkynightmares.blogspot.com.