05 May 2008
With every writer and pundit in the country determined to predict our way into a recession, I thought I'd contribute some comments on how to really save money in these trying times. Try these 5 extreme tips to skimp your way to financial security.
1. Use the Restrooms at Work
Every sort of utility is going up in price, including costs for water. If you own a home or are in any way responsible for paying for your own water, wait to use the restroom in the morning until you get to work. That'll save you at least 1.5 gallons of water, plus the extra water to wash your hands. Remember to use the restrooms at work before you leave, too. As an added bonus, you won't have to buy as much toilet paper.
2. Don't Pack a Lunch
You are probably already saving a bundle by limiting yourself to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every day at work, but you could save more. Forego bringing a lunch at all. Many workplaces provide food such as popcorn or cup-of-soup snacks. Use those as meal replacements. No popcorn around to tide you over? You'll have to subsist on hot chocolate and hope the accounting team brings back leftover pizza from their lunch out on the town.
3. Heat is for Sissies
As I write this it's nearing the summer. But in the winter months with the cost of heating a home soaring, it's time to seriously consider your threshold for cold. Complaining about the cost of heat and keeping the thermostat set at 72? Shame on you. 68 should be splurging and 64 or lower the norm. Or you could just stay at work until late every night and head straight to bed when you get home. Then you won't have to turn the heat up at all!
4. Leave Early for Work
If you're like many people, you're wasting a lot of time in traffic on your way to work. Personally, if I left during rush hour my commute would double to an hour each way. That's a lot of wasted gas. So instead I get up at the crack of dawn and get to work by 6:15 am, almost 3 hours before everyone else. I save money on gas by avoiding traffic and I get kudos from my boss for being there so early.
5. Use Night Vision Goggles
Electricity is pretty expensive these days, too. Keep the electronics powered down in your home and turn off those costly lights! Save even more by not using the night vision goggles. You could make a game out of finding your way around in the dark. First one to find the bathroom and brush their teeth wins a hot cocoa packet to bring to school or work the next day!