Seven Ways to Save Money
I am sure many of you have real jobs and are not as broke as me, but whether you are doing well, great, or poorly, all of us can use a few extra bucks. This short article focuses more on how to get things free so we are not required to use our money. Every buck you do not waste on supplies and items is a buck you can spend on, ah… different supplies and items.
I have another article on this blog about saving money, but that one focuses on longer term projects. This is an ‘active’ article that revolves more around ways we can save money on a daily basis.
- Finding Things
This is different from scrounging, which we will discuss shortly. This means just finding items at random on the streets or even walking through nature. It may be an obvious suggestion, but also keep in mind, if all you do is drive around, you might not be aware how much lingers on the ground. Biking is second best, while walking remains the best way to score things.
About half my non-electronic tools have been found this way. I find money, lighters, clothes, gloves, toys, food, weapons, and even stranger things like cases of beer and booze. The simple rule is the more you are out and about and the more places you go, the more you will find. So always keep your eyes open while you are doing the other activities reviewed below.
- Almost Everything Can Burn
I know not everyone has a wood stove and in some settings backyard bonfires are discouraged, but if you do have a wood stove you are looking at saving hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Keep in mind that if I am buying my wood than I have torpedoed potential savings. Yet trips to the forest to collect wood hit our pocket too. Another idea is urban collections. Pallet wood burns just fine. A few pizza boxes here and there do not hurt either; just put something to catch sparks over your chimney.
Also remember that charcoal is unneeded and the chemicals taste nasty compared to just making a normal wood fire. It is good enough when we are camping, so why spend ten dollars on charcoal and lighting fluid when you are in town? For those without a wood stove, this is second best. Grab up any wood you see and keep a little pile and have your buddies over for an economic BBQ. Hey, you are saving money by using something other than your stove.
This is when you are actively looking for items you can recycle for your use. Bike riding is a good way to cover ground with this one, although for many things having a vehicle for back up is helpful. As mentioned above, wood is an obvious score here. Over the years I have collected cord after cord of fire wood in this manner. Construction supplies is another big one. I have a half dozen book cases I have either found or made from things I scrounged.
Other things I have gathered include: big screen televisions, radios, lamps, furniture, camping gear, bigger toys, desks, and books.
- Aggressively Recycling
We all want to place our things on the curb like good environmentalists, but this is taking it up a notch. We know that aluminum can get you a few bucks a month, but in most places you can recycle plastic and metal for money too. With plastic you do not get too much, but if you are driving in with your cans anyway… why not get a few extra bucks. 200$ a ton for metal might not sound like much, but that is still 10$ for a hundred pounds. You might not collect that too fast, but one trip a year you might walk away from the recyclers with a twenty spot. Also, in a small way you are saving resources and being a better recycler this way too, because you are organizing things and letting there be less waste.
- Place Your Things against the Outer Walls of Your House
This may seem a bit strange, but objects like bookcases could be better insolation than your home’s walls. Whether it is winter or summer it can help keep your home at the temperature you want it and save you some cash. In the winter shut the drapes unless sunlight is coming through. Also water retains it heat better than almost anything else. If you leave the morning’s shower water in your tub, it can help keep your bathroom toasty for a few hours. Hey, you paid for that heat, why let it go down the drain.
- Go Camping as Much as Possible
This might sound like another strange one, but every day you are camping is a day almost no utilities are being used at your house. Using wood to stay warm and cook is saving you a bit. Cooking your own food saves a little more. No televisions or computers are sucking up power. It might not pay for the gas to drive out there, but it helps.
- Try to Go Whole Days without Driving
Just need a few things at the store? Then ride your bike there. When you walk to get those beers you have less chance of getting the beer belly from them later. And you are saving money the whole time. Every one is different, but many of us spend about 25$ a week if not more on gas. Even cutting back a fifth of this gives you an extra twenty spot a month. Hey, that is a sandwich for you and a friend. Saving money being healthy, we usually consider that a good combination.
Of course there are dozens of other ways to save money around your home, but most of these things you could work on perfecting every day. Add them all up and after a month or two enjoy a free vacation on me.