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Live Better While Spending Less.

March 24, 2011

I sometimes have these moments where I think, gee I should try to be a better person. Perhaps do things like eat better, workout and be more cultured, where I can go to events that actually require a fancy dress code. The problem is that all of those things cost money. I want to improve my life without ruining my finances. So how can it be done? Well according to an article I read on Bundle.com, there are ten ways to live better and spend less.

  1. Plant a garden– This is a double whammy. First, “the average American spends about $320 on groceries and $232 every month dining out.” With your own fresh garden you can cut down those costs tremendously. It will also inspire you to cook. Which is great because the only thing I get inspired to cook usually comes in a bright blue box. The second benefit is you are treating your body to healthier fresh foods. Look at that, already a win win.
  2. Purchase used– Compared to what you can buy new, purchasing used can save hundreds each month. Flea markets, thrift shops and yard sales are like little treasure hunts. I personally love thrift shops and get a real thrill out of not paying retail. What can I say, mama taught me well.
  3. You don’t have to keep up with electronics-Okay I’m not saying you should still be walking around with a cell phone that looks like a cordless handset, but do you really need to upgrade your iPhone every few months? Sometimes waiting and buying the older model will not only save you tons but let’s be honest, it pretty much works the same.
  4. Volunteer-Giving back is perfect way to do something fulfilling and its free. Consider it an entertainment expense that costs you zero. Depending on where you decide to volunteer you can even take advantage of the amenities that particular business offers.
  5. Join the YMCA– In many cases, joining the YMCA is cheaper than joining the über cool gym that just opened down the block. They even offer financial aid to those who qualify.
  6. Take advantage of public transportation-Leaving the car at home saves on gas, toll and well stress. No road rage. If you can walk, bus it or take a train, then do it. With average car expenses running about $500 a month, that’s a nice chunk to keep in your wallet.
  7. Eat your vegetables-Mom was right, eating vegetables not only makes us feel better its cheaper too. Especially if you grow them in your own garden!
  8. Try and become a one-income family-Score! I already am a one income family. For the two-income folks, Bundle.com suggests this could help save on child care costs, household upkeep and reduce driving costs. The jury is still out on this one, what do you think?
  9. Cancel the cable-Say what?? I hate to admit it, but there’s no way I can live without cable. Seriously, how else am I supposed to watch Matlock and The Golden Girls? Yeah that’s right, I said it. This is one point I just can’t rationalize. While I don’t watch much television, I like having the option to watch almost anything at the touch of a button.
  10. Stick to the budget-Set realistic goals and know what you can afford versus what you wish you could afford. Living within your means will keep you with a peace of mind and eliminate those how-am-I-going-to-pay-my-bills worries.

So while the cable tip is just not doable, I found at least 8 of these tips really helpful. Not only will I be improving myself as a person, I get to save money on top of it. Sounds like a sweet deal to me. If you have any other tips the staff at GAI (www.gunwel.com) would love to  hear them. Don’t forget some of these tips can save you even more money when we process your taxes. Give us a call at 212-979-6830 to find out how! We are open Monday-Friday 8am-8pm and Saturdays 8am-5pm, walk-ins always welcome so feel free to stop by!

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