August 5, 2008

7 Ways To Save Money

If you haven’t noticed from this blog, I travel as much as I possibly can. I enjoy seeing new things and learning more about the world.  However, a lot of coworkers and friends always ask me this question: How Do You Afford To Travel So Much?

So to answer that question, I bring you 7 Ways To Save Money:

1. Ditch The Cable

The first thing I did to save money is ditch the cable package. I would recommend it to everyone because who really needs it. Some packages cost upwards of 100 dollars a month, which is a pretty big chunk of money.

I have been living happily without cable television for almost 2 months now, and I do not even miss it. I have an antenna that allows me to get the free public channels like ABC and CBS. What I noticed is that a majority of the shows I used to watch, were on these channels anyway.

Monthly Savings: $80

2. Use Public Transportation

I used to drive to work everyday, using up a good portion of gas on my 30 mile round trip. Over a course of a month, I would sometimes go through three gas tanks, which easily added up to over $150 a month in gas.

The solution is to start utilizing the public transportation system. I found out that my company offered a bus pass for only 30 dollars a month. So don’t forget to ask your employer if they have any sort of discounts. Taking the bus also allowed me to return my parking permit, which was costing me over $950 a year. Talk about some big savings.

What is even better, is if you can get by without a car. I am currently in the process of selling my car, which can easily save me another $350 in car payments, along with $100 a month in car insurance.

Monthly Savings: $200+

3. Brown Bag It

Eating out everyday for lunch was a habit that was tough to beat. But after I started looking at my expenses, I realized that I sometimes spent more than $35 a week going to lunch. Not very cost efficient if you really think about it.

Instead, I came up with a few options for bringing my own lunch to work. After awhile, you really don’t miss going out to eat. Especially if you have leftovers from the night before.
Monthly Savings: $100

4. Set A Weekly Grocery Budget

Another mistake I made often, was going to the grocery store with no budget of any kind. I didn’t pay attention to what I bought, and sometimes spent $100 for a weeks supply of food.

I have since come up with a plan, giving myself $50 a week to buy groceries. I create a menu on Sunday for the following week, and then go and buy all the things I need to make the food all week. I sometimes find myself spending less than $50, which is a great thing.

Monthly Savings: $125

5. Avoid Going Out For Dinner

One of my bad habits used to be eating out 3, 4, even 5 times a week if I didn’t feel like cooking. It is really surprising to see how fast this can add up over the course of a month. I would go to places like Olive Garden, and spend over $25 to get some wine and spaghetti. I can easily make the same thing at home for less than 5 dollars.

It is hard to avoid going out to eat entirely, so I suggest setting some sort of limit as to how often you would like to go out. At first, I limited myself to going out once every other week. I have since set it to going out for diner once a week, and it works perfectly for me. It still allows me to save a lot more than I used to.

Monthly Savings: $150+

6. Find Inexpensive Things To Do

Entertainment can be a big expense, unless you do things that are very affordable. There are always options to do things for little to no money, yet still have a good time. Try things like going to the park, hiking, or riding your bike. You can even get yourself in better shape by incorporating exercise into it.

Monthly Savings: $70

7. Sell Unused Belongings

Feel like you need to go buy something? Instead of dipping into your savings, why not sell something you own that you never use. Everyone has things they don’t use, whether it is old cloths, computers, books, movies, pretty much anything.

I went through my belongings and realized I had a lot of stuff I never use, nor do I ever see myself using. Throw them up on Craigslist, and you’ll be surpised at the things people are looking for. Better yet, they may even more money than you would of ever expected.

Monthly Savings: $50?


These 7 things can really help save money, especially if your goal is to travel a lot. The total monthly savings are anywhere from $500 – $800+ a month. That is a big chunk of change!

I know this will not work for everyone, but it works for me. It allows me to use the money I make to do the things I enjoy rather than wasting it on small things I really don’t need to be happy. So if your up for it, give it a shot!

Have any other tips to save money? Feel free to share them.

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16 thoughts on “7 Ways To Save Money

  1. Jenn

    Not buying designer coffee (Starbucks) everyday before work also helps save a lot of money. So does quitting smoking (if you do).

  2. Doug

    These are great hints FOR A BACHELOR! Ha ha, just try this if you are married or living with a partner, who also has some say. And as for the DATING scene, man, you will be out on your arse!

    Dougs latest blog post..The Rush is OFF!

  3. Justin Post author

    @ Doug

    Haha, this is probably true. They might not work for people that are married/dating. However, I am actually dating someone and this is working out fine. But…It helps if the person you are dating is in to the same thing, such as traveling. That way you can save together, and not worry about killing each other because one of you doesn’t want to spend any money 🙂

  4. Tina

    I would agree, it would work fine if you are married/dating, as long as you both have similiar goals/interests and share common spending habits.

    My boyfriend and I both like to spend little on consumer goods, and more on adventures/activities like kayaking, camping, and other fun things. I would take doing those things over having cable anyday.

  5. Keropi Dark

    I agree with your suggestion to ditching the cable. Television is overated and life is full of sooooooooooooooo many other things. Like internet. I just go to or to watch shows. Good post.

    Keropi Darks latest blog post..Creepy

  6. lala

    I ditched my cable, baby! Who needs all that time in front of a screen and anymore it’s crap.

    Fortunately, I moved some place very bicycle friendly, so if I can, I walk or peddle.

    And a weekly grocery budget is crucial. Most married folks know about this, but not too many single folks do.

    Really good tips!

    lalas latest blog post..An Evening Stroll

  7. Nards

    Great suggestions Justin!…for Justin. Can’t add too many other people to your plan though. i.e. girlfriend, children. You would definitely have a revolt on your hands! Thought I’d pop in again. Glad to see you’re still around!

  8. Justin Post author

    @ Nards

    Haha, your the second person to say that! Believe it or not, my girlfriend shares the same savings habit as me. It really makes it easy when you both like to travel and save money.

  9. Jeremy Gehrs

    I am bored at work and came across this, and I like the idea a lot. Cut out the small things that don’t really make you happy to save up for the big trips or purchases. Makes a lot of sense, and although I already do some of the things on the list, this makes me want to cut back even more to save up for something big.

  10. funny song parodies

    OKay I withthe guys who said fo you are dating or married then you knwo about setting the budget for groceries.When I was dating and we lived together i made sure we stuck to budget. I t was like crucial. lol I made the dollar stretch in ways you wouldn’t imagine. lol

    But now that i am single again. it seems easier to spend money now becasue i do nothave that pressure anymore. Seems like money goes faster now then ever. lol

    I appreciate your tips on saving money they are very practical.


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