Miser for a Month – Week 3

by Scott Sery on October 26, 2012

How is your month going?  Are you making headway on saving more this month than ever before?  There are a few more tips and tricks that can help you reach your goals.  And you really do not need to sacrifice that much to see your savings account increase.

Put off Large Purchases

There are certain large purchases that are necessary.  If the furnace goes out, you really have no choice but to replace it immediately.  However, other items, like upgrading the television, getting a new computer, or buying new furniture, really do not need to be purchased right now.  Putting them off will do two things for you.  First, it will allow your money to continue to earn interest (in today’s low interest rate environment this is not a huge deal).  Second, it will give you more time to consider your purchase.  After your Miser Month is over, you may decide that you really do not need the item.  If you still decide you need it, you will have more time shop around and be sure you have the best deal.

Set up Automation

If you have not automated your accounts, you need to do so now.  You can link your savings account directly to your checking account.  Then, shortly after your paycheck is deposited, you will have it set up to automatically transfer a pre-determined amount to your savings.  You can do the same with your IRA, paying your mortgage, and most of the charitable organizations you give to.  You will find that it is much easier to save money when you do not need to make a conscious decision to do so.

Fire the Cleaning Lady

If you are frugal and wise with your money, you most likely do not have a cleaning lady.  Nor do you have a gardener.  But try to think of other areas where you are spending money unnecessarily.  Do you have a personal trainer or are you paying for entertainment (such as cable television)?  If you look through your expenses you will surely find some service that you can cut back on.

Negotiate your Cell Phone

When was the last time you took a look at how much you spend and how much you get out of your cell phone service?  With the ever changing market, you may be paying for far more minutes than you actually use.  Or perhaps it is time to look to a different company that can meet your needs just as well.  There is a good chance you will be able to save some money.  You can try to call and negotiate a lower rate for the same services, but cell phones are stubborn and very unwilling to budge on their set prices.

Figure Out How to Earn More

I have talked about earning more on the side before.  If you have yet to do so, think about your hobbies and skills right now.  Are you good with people?   You could try your hand at sales.  Are you artistic?  You could freelance as a graphic design artist or do window painting.  Good with the written word?  There are many places online and off that you can be paid for your writing.  The point is that you have talents, hobbies and skills.  Those who do not have those same skills will pay you to do the work for them.

By employing all the tactics during your Miser for a Month you should easily be able to save over $1,000 this month.  Depending on your current expenses, that could be more or less.  Regardless, you can make the decision to save money this month.  It will take discipline and hard work to keep up with some of your commitments, but saving money is possible.  Take some time to think about your expenses and choose to cutback.

Make sure also check out week 1 and week 2.

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Scott Sery

Scott Sery is a native to Billings, Montana. Within an hour in nearly any direction he can be found fishing, hunting, backpacking, caving, and rock or ice climbing. With an extensive knowledge of the finance and insurance world, Scott loves to write personal finance articles. When not talking money, he enjoys passing on his knowledge of the back country, or how to live sustainably. You can learn more about Scott on his website Sery Content Development
  • I love having all my accounts connected online. I can manage all my money from one account and can easily make payments to credit card, or transfer money into different savings accounts. For me it is now a must have.

  • Veronica @ Pelican on Money

    I love automated bill pay, however I tend to stash away significantly more than a dismal amount of cash into savings nowdays so its scary at times to automate that process.

  • Jason @ WorkSaveLive

    We’re doing our best to earn more. With the website and my wife’s 2nd job, I’m not sure how much more we can handle. 🙂 Have a great weekend!

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