Posts Tagged 'saving money'

How Much Does Your Morning Routine Cost You?

I wanted to point out an interesting post at The Simple Dollar. Entitled When a Treat Stops Being a Treat – and How to Get It Back, the author goes much beyond the “stop spending $3 on your morning latte to save $50 a month” mantra.  He points out that for many office workers, it begins with the morning coffee and progresses to an afternoon “pick me up” and then perhaps a coffee or chai tea at night.  Pretty soon you realize that $150 a month is going into the coffers of your local Peets or Starbucks or here in Chicago it would be Caribou Coffee.

What many don’t realize is this:  it isn’t a matter or “giving up a treat” but adjusting a routine.  More than that triple shot non-fat latte (what can I say, it takes big coffee to move big machinery), as humans we love the familiarity of a routine.  Ever get irked when they don’t have the onion bagel at Einstein’s that you usually order each morning?  Well perhaps if you were to change your “routines” you would see that you can save money by substituting a cheaper alternative.

For me, having worked from home for the past four years, I’ve been lucky.  I usually make my own coffee in the morning.  But I was getting hooked on Starbucks’ iced coffee in the afternoons until I came up with this idea: I just make twice the amount of morning coffee, and place the second cup in the refrigerator.  Then in the afternoon I make a tall iced coffee.  Plus I can always slip in some amaretto or Bailey’s!  See, I’d have to bring my flask to Starbucks for that.

Check out the post and also the rest of The Simple Dollar blog – there is some great advice for those of us watching every penny during these hard times.

Tools for Surviving the Current Times

While your cruise director was in the unemployment line this week, he thought about some changes to be made in the upcoming months and weeks, especially since he, and the rest of those thrown off the S.S. Heller Ehrman, are not expecting any payment of accrued vacation or WARN monies anytime soon.

Heller Drone was raised in a simple home with simple tastes.  And there are some of those frugal ways that he has never forgotten.  Some he loves to always forget.  And he’s always looking for new ways to save money.

So while pondering over what he’ll have to do without this year (live holiday tree – no, tacky aluminum tree from basement – big yes!), he found that Mashable has a great list called 200+ Tools for Surviving the Economic Crisis.

This weekend take a minute and check them out.  Lots of stuff I already use but some great new stuff like:

Mint.com - A completely free financial management tool that offers nice perks like integration with numerous banks, retrieves new transactions daily and even puts them into categories for you automatically, sets budgets that will warn you when you’re close to going over and much more.

InterviewUp - Is a mixture of a job board along with a community of people who share their interview experiences from different fields so that you can get a feel for what types of questions you may get when you go in, and what sort of answers work best.

Avego.com - Avego is a service accessible via the iPhone or an average cell phone that allows you to get rides at a moment’s notice. The service uses GPS to allow drivers and riders to find each other. Via the GPS function you get exact directions indicating where to pick up and drop people off, and also get a running tally of how much the ride costs. After the ride is over, both the driver and passenger can rate one another.

511.org - The San Francisco based 511.org site provides a ride share area where you can find other commuters to pool with in the Bay area. Carpoolers get free bridge tolls during peak hours, and if you start a Vanpool, you can receive up to $900 in gas cards.

CoolSavings.com - Tons of printable coupons divided up by style of shopping with listings of free samples you can get.

RetailMeNot.com - One of the more clearly labeled coupon sites with clear labeling of what the coupon does, what the code is and when it expires. THIS IS YOUR CRUISE DIRECTOR’S FAVORITE!

 

Save Some Money

Heller Drone still has the first nickel he every earned – and no, it was not back before the flood!  Last weekend I posted a link to a list of money saving tips.  For some of us, saving money has never gone out of style.

I do want to post one great website that I can personally vouch for: RetailMeNot.com.  If you are an online shopper like moi, even to the point of ordering new clothes for interviews, check out the site.

They cover all the major vendors and different codes which are usually entered in the Promotion Code section before checking out.  Take it from me personally: some of the deals are not advertized like a Hertz car rental employee discount that reduced a recent weekend rental from $212 to under $100!!!

And while shopping, why not check out a what was then (1979) a new twist on an old classic: Money by The Flying Lizards:


Life preserver.jpg
Remember the words of Rev. Frank Scott (Gene Hackman in The Poseidon Adventure):

". . . sitting on our butts is not going to help us either. Maybe by climbing out of here, we can save ourselves. If you've got any sense, you'll come along with us."

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