Miser for a Month – Week Four

by Scott Sery on November 2, 2012

October is a time when the weather is getting cooler and your Miser for a Month commitment can include things like turning down the heat to save some money.  There are a few more ways that you can save even further.  As your month of saving draws to a close, leave a comment on how much you have been able to save.  The big wins will be the easiest to quantify, but the little ones can add up.

Consolidate Debt

If you have many different lines of credit, all with different interest rates, you may want to look at getting a personal loan and consolidating them.  While it is often not a great idea, since personal loans can carry a fairly high interest rate (usually around 6% to 9%), it is reasonable if the majority of your debts carry a higher interest rate.  Just like when you are trying to wipe out your credit card debt, try to get everything consolidated down to an extremely low interest rate, then get it knocked out as soon as possible.

Rent a Movie

When searching out some entertainment for a Friday or Saturday evening you have a lot of choices.  The most economical, and the one you should enjoy during your Miser for a Month, is to simply swing by the Redbox and pick up a movie.  Grab a bag of microwave popcorn, and for just a couple dollars you will be set.  Stay in with your significant other, or invite over a few friends (have them bring the beer), and you have received just as much entertainment on two dollars (plus negligible electricity costs) as you would have with $9 or more at the movie theater.

Use Coupons

Finding coupons, then clipping them out and utilizing them, is normally more trouble than it is worth.  You don’t need to become an expert at extreme couponing however, there are times when it can help you save significantly, especially on food items that you are purchasing every week anyways.  Coupons and ads normally come in the Sunday and Wednesday newspapers.  If you get up 5 minutes early on these days, or read the paper during your commute to work, you can usually locate a few ads for items you regularly buy.  Take some time to see if there is anything worthwhile in your paper.

Sell Something

Americans (and many other western cultures) love to accumulate stuff.  We feel as though we need more and more toys.  Usually we will use them for a short while, and then they will sit in the closet taking up space.  Everything from clothes, to electronics, to household goods, most of us have way more than we need.  Take a look around your house, if you have something that has been sitting for over a year and has not been used, take a few pictures, write a quick description, and put it on Ebay.  You might be surprised how much you can make off selling things you no longer need.  Try selling $50 worth of goods this month.

Negotiate Car Insurance

This is one of those big wins.  If you have not looked at what your coverage is in the past two years take a few minutes to see if it is still meeting your needs.  You may find you can save quite a bit if you raise your deductibles, lower your limits of liability, or switch to a different company.  Bundling your policies can get you 10% to 20% savings as well.  If you have an insurance agent, sit down with him or her and see if there is a way to save on your policies.

Being a miser is not necessarily a bad thing.  In fact, most of the time people will not even notice that you are diligently saving, and they may even appreciate the more intimate setting of having company over for a movie and drinks rather than going out to the theater and then the bar.  You now have 20 tips of how to save more money in a month than ever before.  Did you make the commitment?  How much did you save this month?  Do you think you can do the same next month?  And the next?

Miser for a Month- Week One

Miser for a Month- Week Two

Miser for a Month- Week Three

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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
  • Kim

    Just read through the whole series. We do lots of those, so I guess we are already misers! We hopefully will also start earning some money with our rental. Cross your fingers.

    • Scott Sery

      Keep up the good work! I would encourage you to try to be even more of a miser for a month.

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  • Glen @ Monster Piggy Bank

    I’m loving your rent a movie idea. I haven’t rented a movie in ages, I guess I know what I am doing next weekend 🙂

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