25 Tips For Saving Money

Guest Contributor: Heather Solos is the founder of Home-Ec101.com where she tries to make life skills accessible and entertaining. She’s eagerly anticipating the launch of her book Home Ec 101 in the spring.

We’ve all heard about the lady that knits her own lingerie from her pet’s hair. Sure it’s cheap, but who really wants to go there? Here are 25 manageable ways to begin reining in your spending (without terrorizing your cat)

Entertainment Money Saving Tips:

1. Cut the cable.
With Hulu, Netflix, ESPN Streaming there is no need to pay for hundreds of channels you don’t watch. Some will say sports are still lacking, but in the next two years that will be changing. Cut the cord now, you’ll miss it less than you think.

2. Use the library.
Libraries have more than just books, most also loan CDs and DVDs, too. During hot or cold weather, take advantage of the free heat or AC, unlike the mall there’s no temptation to spend. Additionally many branches now let you download audio books to your computer or mobile phone. Just don’t rack up fines, that totally negates the effect.

3. Pool a sitter
This works better when the kids are bit older. You don’t want a young teen trying to care for 3 toddlers and an infant. However once children are semi-self-sufficient three or four couples can use one or two sitters. Just rotate who has to play host, the sitters and kids might hit the snack stash a little hard.

4. Rediscover sharing a night in.
Take a note from the hipster crowd and embrace the vintage and campy; it’s more fun that you may think. Invite friends over for a movie, poker, or game night. If they ask if they can bring anything, say yes.

5. Check out your community calendar.
Community theater, high school sports, concerts in the park. . . don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

Bonus Points: Learn your spending habits, if you can’t be trusted with cash, don’t carry it. Skip the morning $5 coffee -brew your own for pennies on the dollar- and stay out of convenience stores as much as possible. It goes without saying, but a soda here and a coffee there adds up, bring a water bottle, for your health and your budget.