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Money saving tips/Lifehacks

Discussion in 'Skills, Business and Finance' started by Corvid, Mar 1, 2016.

  1. Corvid

    Corvid Active Member

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    Well, I know a few of us here live a moderate lifestyle, and some like to save on day to day costs so they can live big by traveling the world.. Others may like to save money for the future, or some may just say no to commercialism, unnecessary spending and the inevitable debt and income shortfalls that it creates.
    • So what are your tricks?
    • What do you do everyday, or, what do you not do everyday to save money?
    • What did you do when you were in college?
    • What did you do at times when you lost your job?
    • Do you take holidays on a budget? Stories?
    • Do you/Did you date on a budget? How?
    Hit this thread with practical advice, and maybe a story or two about times you saved a few quid, or a few bucks.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2016
  2. Corvid

    Corvid Active Member

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    I have a load of these, so I'll post a few at a time>

    Psychologically, I try to see the difference between wants and needs. People often think they need things that they only want.
    Need a new car? Is your current one ok? Does this newer vehicle fit a necessary purpose the old one can't? Is there a viable second hand alternative?
    Need the latest phone? Really? What can it do that the others can't? Is it more or less the same as everything else with better marketing and a sense of exclusivity?

    Self discipline is a factor. Are you going to take the time and cook a healthy meal, or order expensive junk? Are you going to pack a lunch the night before or spend €50 a week on deli counters and cafes?

    There's a lot of complex Freudian psychological theory at play in modern advertising. Eddie Bernays, Freuds' nephew, was a major source of psychological advertising targeting people's unconscious drives. Now, markets for new products are created using subversive advertising, rather than the older model of creating products to fill needs that naturally arise. People buy things to satisfy unconscious drives and desires that advertisers know how to target. Status is a big part of this, a big part of the reason why people want big, shiny new cars, and big, new houses, and outlandishly expensive clothes. What I'm saying is that if you decide to choose your own way and live moderately, with no debts, you have to realise the psychological component of consumerism; that advertisers are literally trying to hack your mind to get you to buy expensive things that you don't need. Like they say in Buddhism, see this, see the truth of it, and it loses much of it's power over you and your decision making processes. Because we all know people who scrimp and save, and agonise over the smallest expense, yet openly waste money on large purchases that are unnecessary. (Penny wise and Pound foolish) In those cases, their conscious minds have been over ridden by their artificially targeted unconscious desires.
     
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  3. BurtMeister3000

    BurtMeister3000 Staff Member

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    Another great thread topic! I was thinking we need one of these, glad you made one!!!

    So, for tips on saving. Well, in all honesty I'm not the best with saving money and this is definitely an area I would like to improve. The main thing I can think of that I have done lately is not to carry cash. I find I'm less likely to buy things if I don't have notes in my wallet.

    I saw a good video by one of the MGTOW guys on Youtube. I think he must be an advisor or an investor for a living. I tried to watch it in whilst doing a load of other things online, but I had trouble taking it in. It seemed a good vid with sound advice and its nice to see guys helping each other out.

    See what you think, he has done a whole series of these.

     
  4. Mebs

    Mebs Active Member

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    Awesome thread, we were supposed to create one of these ages ago but got sidetracked :)

    Same as Corvid, I have picked up many different tips and tricks over the years in relation to saving money so will post them up as I go along.

    Alcohol: Number one money-eater if you drink in any kind of overpriced country. Buying alcohol to consume in your house is not as expensive as drinking out in most countries. Alcohol in bars and clubs can be a massive hit on your finances so you have to balance up whether or not it is worth it or if there is some other kind of solution that you could have. The bigger drinker you are, the worse your finances will get hit. I live in a country where you could easily spend over €100 on a night out on alcohol and nobody would bat an eyelid. However, when you measure this up with what you could purchase with that same €100, as opposed to just having a sore head to show for it, it becomes a little worrying and confusing as to why you are wasting such money in the pub.

    We will do a little breakdown of individual prices, as estimates, to show you different possibilities for your money while drinking. It also depends on the person - i.e. if you only drink whisky, then there is no point in suggesting moving to beer. If you hate white wine, then maybe stick to your vodka. Although, it is also worth thinking about getting used to cheaper alcohols for your economic well-being. Okay, so each country and city are different, but pricing here is as follows (approx): Spirit and a bottle of mixer - €8, Wine - €6, craft/fancy beer - €6, regular beer - €5, cheap beer (only available in certain pubs) - €3.50. Shots - €5.

    Okay, we see the maths above. What stands out to you? Yup, that is right, it is damn expensive for spirits and a mixer! €8 every time you go to the bar, and you are definitely going to be drinking this quicker than if you ordered a pint of beer. It is a smaller measure, it doesn't give you the full bloated feeling of beer, and the sugary taste is easier on the palette. Also, spirits are a dangerous game because you drink them quicker and you are unaware of your level of drunkenness as the spirits take longer to hit you from when you consumed them. This spells disaster for your pocket - buying endless rounds of €8 drinks! Shots also fall under this bracket, high levels of intoxication but unaware until its too late. You lose your inhibitions under the influence and money seems like no object!

    So then you have a glass of wine or fancy beer. Wine is fine if you are just having a few, but if you are a guy and drinking wine in the pub you might get a few odd looks! Many people consume white wine a lot quicker than red wine, leading to similar problems outlined above. Red wine is more difficult to consume quickly because of the heaviness, also you can get a glass/pint of water to have with your wine with red wine, meaning that you are not running to the bar to buy more and more all of the time. This means you will still be able to enjoy your night, stay hydrated, minimise hangovers and not break the bank too.

    Beer: So you have expensive taste? Craft and fancy beer is nice at the start of the night, but can you really taste the difference after numerous pints? Nope, me neither. A good tip that I picked up a while back was to have your nice pints at the start of the night and when you start getting drunk, just move onto the cheap beer because you can't really taste a difference any more anyway! Saving your €2.50 on every beer is a good thing!

    Take-away: Everyone does it, dirty take-away after the pub and a heavy night of boozing. IF you can, and you have a semblance of control left, ditch the take-away for food at home instead. You will be saving yourself at least €10 because you know the way you get after a feed of drink - "I'll have that, that, that, that, oh and that too". Make sure you buy something cheap, easy to make, and tasty before going out to the pub. Something like a pizza would do fine.

    Taxi: Another big money hitter after the pub. If you can, and are within walking distance, walk back home instead of the taxi. The air and exercise will actually help clear your head a bit, give you a sounder sleep when you get home, and sober you up a bit before bed too. All good things for your sleep and well-being, as well as saving you another €10!
     
  5. Corvid

    Corvid Active Member

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    That's a good booze breakdown Mebs. I'd like to add a few of my own alcohol related tips.

    WARNING: Some of these are pretty cheeky and require a neck of the brass variety.

    Make your own booze.

    I used to make beer and wine. Didn't make poitín/moonshine, it seemed more dangerous and I preferred to avoid spirits mostly.

    Beer: Initially, the gear to make beer cost me around €40 with a return of 40 pints. I bought pre-mixed beer kits with yeast included, a 23 litre tub, some dextrose sugar, a capper and caps, some tubing and a thermometer. I asked a local barman for some glass pint bottles and got 36 there. I collected other bottles from friends who bought micro brew beers and pint bottles. After the first brew, the cost fell to about €20 per batch. I bought a slightly more expensive brew kit, there were cheaper ones. So, I was getting a pint of beer for 50 cents. It only takes around 2 weeks for the beer to be ready, sometimes less. You can get advanced here, or keep it simple. Always found these kits to be great quality:http://www.muntonshomebrew.com/home-beer-kits/muntons-beer-kits/

    Wine: Wine is next level stuff, because you can get it practically for free. Let me define wine here, you can make it from anything. I never made grape wine, there were kits for it, but they didn't look very good. First, have a quick search online for homebrew sites. Find out what berries and other plants grow in your area that you can make wine from. I went out the country with friends and collected berries and flowers of various kinds for free. There's one tree, the elder tree, and early in the year it produces a blossom that white wine can be made from. Later in the year, the same tree produces a berry that red wine can be made from. Both are excellent. You'll need sugar and yeast for this, but neither are very expensive. Wine bottles are easy to get, I collected them from people who were going to throw them away. With a spend of maybe €3, you get a return of 28 bottles of wine.

    While I was making homebrew, I had groups of friends that were doing the same thing. After a while, we had a bit of a club. We'd share beer with each other, make it together sometimes, or go out hunting ingredients together. I know one person who sells it cheap at these underground gigs we do sometimes.

    Sing for your booze.
    Can you play an instrument? Carry a tune? In some towns, they have open mics, or singers circles hosted in bars. I used to go to 2-3 of these per week. It was a house rule that a person who performed, no matter how good or bad they were, got a free drink or 2. I still do this, except these days I ask for bottles of still water instead.

    Be sneaky with your booze
    Ok. Here's the dirt. Here's the stuff you don't admit to other people. Mebs is right, drinking out is expensive. If you've got the neck for it, stick a flask in your pocket. You can order glasses of your favourite mixer, €2.50 or so, and top up with liquor on the sly. Your drinks for the night will cost far, far less. A naggin in the girlfriends' handbag isn't unheard of either. Be discreet!

    The next one is greasy. Real greasy. I noticed this years ago when I used to go to clubs often. For some reason, at the end of the night, when the lights come on and everyone starts to leave - there are always lots of bottles of beer and pints left on the counters around the dance floor. I don't mean a half pint, or someone elses' leavings per se, these are full drinks untouched. People buy them, forget about them, leave to catch up with friends whatever. Fancy a beer on the way home? I used to stick a bottle of beer in each inside jacket pocket. Now you have a beer for the walk home, or maybe a beer at a party after.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2016
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  6. FossilHead

    FossilHead Staff Member

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    Outstanding topic!
    I can preach on this, lol.

    No, seriously, I believe that one’s “frugality” generally has a lot to do with two things:

    1) The way they were raised; and,

    2) Their ‘natural’ ability to save.


    I was raised by parents who suffered through the Great Depression, and who were poor people to begin with! (One the child of sharecropper, one the child of a coal miner…..if you haven’t heard stories from/about either, you don’t know poor.)
    These folks knew the value of a dime, and what it was like not to have two coppers to rub together.

    My significant other’s parents grew up a full generation after my own, and although they were certainly not “rich,” there was just no comparison to the experiences they had in life.
    They did not have to skimp and strive in the same manner my parents did, and our childhoods were quite different!

    So, anyhoo, I grew up on the lower end of “lower middle-class” with parent’s who never got over the impression that they were “poor” and so I was taught to be thrifty.


    (I asked for a bike at around 8 years of age, and several weeks later got a 15-year old used bike from a cousin; I did not wear “name brand” shoes or jeans until I was in high-school; my Dad bought me my first car for $1100, and I worked all summer in order to get its main issues fixed, get some mag wheels and decent tires, and put me in a decent sound system.)


    Now, when I was in my young-and-rowdy years, I didn’t save a penny….put it all to drinking, carousing, and having a good time. And did!
    But I was still always that guy who shopped-around to get things at the best possible deal, AND who did not make large buying decisions or purchase “on the spur of the moment.”

    I also went through my 20’s and 30’s watching all my friends and coworkers spend vast amounts of money on grown-up “toys.” Guys drove huge pickup trucks (diesels, crew cabs, dual-wheeled, etc.), and many had multiple recreational vehicles, to boot. Harley-Davidson motorcycles, bass boats or ski boats, jetskis, four-wheelers, and on, and on.
    I had a mid-sized 4WD pickup that I had purchased used, and didn’t own my first motorcycle (yep, you guessed it: not a HD and was over 20 years old when I bought it off the guy for less than $1000) until I was nearly 40 years old.
    (BTW, I drove that used pickup truck for 14 years, and I still have only that bike!)


    Recognizing wants vs/ needs, as Corvid said.


    My significant other and I started out with very little. She was someone who had no clue how to save money, and I had always been a “natural” at doing so.

    So we sat-up and used an official “Budget” for several years.
    AND we kept separate checking and savings accounts!

    After about 5 years, we were notably better off, financially, and since I had grown up having so little, I was determined to ensure that my kids enjoyed all the good things that I did as a child, which cost nothing, but were also able to “have” more.

    We accomplished this. Numerous little getaways to theme parks, with overnight stays in decent motels; an annual trip to the beach from the time my rugrats were quite small; being able to provide them with nice, name-brand clothes and shoes; and do a great deal to fill their “wants” which I did not have as a child.

    Now, for the last several years, I have concentrated on saving/investing with a plan to be able to retire at least 10 years early. We still live a reasonably frugal lifestyle, a quarter of a century on! My significant other is far less able to save money than I, and she does have a tendency to spend too much…..so I just save that much harder!


    So, some hints/tips/suggestions:

    I have already mentioned having a monthly budget. Use this to be able to pay your bills, AND pay yourself!


    Separate savings/checking accounts: it worked for us.


    I allow the government to deduct well-over the amount that I could have taken out of my wages, and have always done this. If I can’t touch it, I can’t spend it!
    Plus when I get it back after that tax-year, there’s our annual vacation/trip money!


    I do the same thing with my paycheck: I know the amount that I need to pay my bills, and I know my average annual expenses. I always add-in a bit of a “cushion” on both monthly- and annual-budgeting, and the rest of my earnings are automatically deducted and placed into my chosen savings/investment accounts.

    (Again, I don’t ever see or touch this money, so I can’t spend it!)


    I don’t keep up with my investments as I should, and I definitely don’t rebalance my portfolios and shift percentages to better-performing investments like I should. I knew guys who checked/changed theirs on a daily basis, but I believe that probably once/month to once/quarter would be advisable.


    Finally, I waited too long to really start saving for retirement. If I had begun at around 25 years of age, as I should, I would have been able to retire quite easily by age 50.

    Start IMMEDIATELY, and always PAY YOURSELF FIRST.

    What does that mean? It means that you should know your monthly expenses, should have money greater than that available each month, and have it deducted and placed into some form of savings/investment, just like a “bill.”
    If you have any doubt about the power of compound interest, find an online calculator (I like all the ones available at Bankrate.com) and just take a look at what contributing only $50 per week will do for you!

    One quick example: $1000 initial deposit at 4% interest, compounded only annually, with an additional $50 per week added, over a 25-year period nets you nearly $115,000.

    If you invest into a vehicle that returns 7% APR, and is compounded quarterly instead of annually, it bumps up to $180,000.
    This is just with $1000 as an initial deposit, and just adding $50 per week.

    Change that initial deposit to $10,000 and the end result bumps to more than $230,000.

    Keep it at an initial investment of $1000 and increase contributions to $500 added monthly at 7%, compounded quarterly, and the end result bumps to well over $400,000.
     
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  7. BurtMeister3000

    BurtMeister3000 Staff Member

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    Personally I would stay away from investing money in cars, as a general rule they depreciate in value. Maybe if they are classic cars or something?

    Interested in the investing thing though and yep, now is a good time to start saving.
     
  8. FossilHead

    FossilHead Staff Member

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    I have been lucky the cars I have sold.......granted, I buy them at a low cost and with some sort of issue(s) that I can fix without too much trouble.
     
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  9. BurtMeister3000

    BurtMeister3000 Staff Member

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    I know a certain fox who's pretty handy with cars, I bet he'd be able to advise on this than me. With that said though, my old man bought and sold cars for a while. One he bought was a fiat cinquecento that was smashed up in an accident (twisted chassis and crumpled front end) and fixed it up and sold it on for a tidy sum.
     
  10. Mebs

    Mebs Active Member

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    Wow, some serious posts in here already!

    Corvid: Oh dear, I have some greasy memories of that from nightclubs. Once or twice you are not sure whether they were actual pints or not by the end of the night haha.
     
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