The frustrating thing about saving money is that most of the things that you could do won’t save much money instantly. For example, one good way to save money is to cut your heating bill. You can do this by installing a programmable thermostat. Yes, that will save you several hundred dollars but only over the course of an entire winter. The same is true of almost all the tips there are for saving money on groceries. Again, they will save you money but it might be three to four months before you see a real difference in your finances.
Are there ways to save money almost instantly?
The fastest way to save money is to declare a spending moratorium. In other words you just stop spending money for several days. Of course, this is much easier said than done.
You could cancel your cable or Internet service. If you’re typical, you’re probably spending anywhere from $50-$100 a month on your cable TV and at least $25 for Internet access. If you cancel one or both of these services you should instantly have almost $100 in savings.
Third, give up smoking or drinking. I used to be a smoker and every time I see what a pack of cigarettes costs these days I am doubly or triply grateful that I was able to give up the habit. Stopping smoking could easily save you $75-$100 a month. Ditto if you gave up drinking.
Give up those dinner and a movie nights
Stop eating out. If you really want to save money, you need to be willing to give up those dinner and a movie nights. A dinner for two with a drink at a decent restaurant can easily cost $50 or more. And the movie will probably cost you at least $20. This means that if you’ve been having a dinner and a movie night once a week, you’re spending something in the neighborhood of $280 a month, which you can immediately save by just staying home.
The 80/20 rule
Have you ever heard of the Pareto Principle? It says that we typically use 20% of our stuff 80% of the time. For example you probably wear 20% of your clothes 80% of the time. And this may be true for much of your other possessions. Just go through your stuff and separated into two piles–the 80% and the 20%. You can then take that 80% to a consignment store and turn it into maybe $100.
Turn your old stuff into money
Finally, you can probably raise $100 in just a few days by selling stuff on eBay. We all have things sitting around the house that we either don’t use or don’t need any more. Instead of throwing it away, why not put it up for sale on eBay? You might be surprised at what it sells for.
More resources to help you save money: