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Sunday, November 22

Misers Save Money Around the House (Easy Ways to be Frugal)

Moving in and out of stocks is one example of the damage transaction costs do to your future net worth. Likewise, replacing something prematurely comes with transaction costs. Consider these small examples, and how they add up over time:

Easy Ways to be Frugal at Home
  • Stretch your toothpaste. I find that by cutting open an "empty" tube of toothpaste I can get about 5 days' worth of toothpaste from inside the tube. If a tube of toothpaste usually lasts a month and costs $2.50, over twelve months I will stretch my toothpaste an extra 60 days, or 2 1/3 tubes. This saves me about $6.00 per year.
  • Let your pantry go empty twice a year. This is a fun game I play. At least twice a year I try to use up EVERYTHING in the pantry before making a trip to the store. This defers a trip to the grocery store, saving gas, time and money. It also means you are less likely to have to throw something out that has expired. Sure, you'll have some rather interesting meals for a few days, but it sure feels good to know there is nothing wasted. It also gives you a chance to clean your pantry shelves without having to move a bunch of stuff around. Saving two trips to the grocery store per year saves me about $100.
  • Cut down on laundry. Are your clothes really dirty? I find that I can wear pants two or three times before washing them. I never do this with socks and underwear, that's just icky. I also reuse bath towels until they start smelling. My partner and I average 3, maybe 4 average-size loads per week.
  • Take care of things. It's such an easy thing to do, but so many people neglect this and pay big in the long run. I know because I see the condition of my rental properties when tenants move out. If you have a leak, fix it. If the kids draw on the walls, beat the crap out of them. Caulk your windows once a year. Clean your gutters. If something breaks, fix it.

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