Saving money is the key to surviving this tired economy. If there is a way you can make budgeting and saving money priorities, it will really begin to add up. Even if you are just making it by, imagine the possibilities for using that extra money—going on vacation, paying off a bill, or making renovations to your house. There are some pretty extreme and creative ways that people are saving money and living with less. Here are five extreme budgeting tips that just may send you on your next luxury cruise, or help you pay off that credit card bill from Christmas.
1. Eat before you go to a restaurant with friends: Instead of waiting to dine on an expensive entrée at a quaint dining place, conserve money by snacking before you go. Throwing together a sandwich or a salad will help your budgeting by skipping the entrée and choosing an inexpensive appetizer or dessert. You save about $100 per month depending on how often you go out.
2. Love coupons instead of gifts: It seems like there is never a month without a birthday, anniversary, engagement party or other celebration. This time, try saving money by giving the gift of time. Take your mom to a museum, give your partner a coupon for a back rub, or give the kids a coupon to cook their favorite meal. This money measure could save up to $25 a month.
3. Skip the expensive dates and go on cheap dates: Saving money can be romantic. Instead of a candlelit dinner that you will spend the rest of the month paying off, keep your money and browse a book store, have a picnic, or go to a lecture together. Budgeting well does not have to impede on your time spent together, and it will save your waistline (and your wallet) from some rich food. Average savings- $200 per month.
4. Party at home: Have a game night instead a night of bar hopping. Everyone can save money by bringing a dish or drink and you provide the space and the games. Get together to watch a big sporting match, the finale of your favorite show, or stay in and cook on busy nights like New Years. You will find you are saving money—about $100 per month—even more if it’s the holiday season.
5. Spend less on clothes: Don’t spend more than $20 of your hard earned money on one item of clothing. Before you go shopping take a look at what you have, what you don’t wear, what doesn’t fit, and what needs mending. Can you turn something old into something new? If not, hit the clearance racks before you go full price. Budgeting what you spend on clothes could save thousands over the course of one year.