Being older, you’ve likely been saving for retirement for many years through the usual channels – payroll deductions, annuities, IRAs, etc. But have you put aside any Fun Money on your own? You know, money that’s just earmarked to do something fun with – like a 2 night, weekend vacation, or buying some fun piece of sports or entertainment equipment you’ve wanted, a special concert you’d like to attend, etc. Whatever it is, the following 5 things are some good ways you can save money every day that in 6 months to 1 year can add up to a significant amount.
1. Save $1 a day. Most people have about at least a dollar in change in the bottom of their purse or their pockets or in their car dashboard trays. If you simply collected this amount of money every day and put it in away in a coin jar, at the end of a year, you’d have $350 dollars. Not bad for spare change.
2. Go on a metal hunt. Check your garage for old, rusted tools that you don’t use any more, or worn out metal lawn furniture, small motors/transformers that have been sitting out there, or in your attic, forever, collecting dust. Collect them all in a box and take them to your nearest metal salvage yard where they’ll weigh your metal objects and give you a new addition to your fun funds. Small motors/transformers yield higher $$ payouts. You’ll see why those guys come around the night before garbage day and gather your metal objects. You can easily make $20-50 quickly and can boost your fun fund efforts.
3. Eat out less. You might think that eating out is not costing that much, especially if you’re not also buying groceries to eat at home with. Even if you eat at a cheaper, fast food place, average cost of about $7 dollars per person, the same meal made at home would likely only cost half, or less. Put the saved amount in your fun fund however many times a week you eat out. At the end of a year, you could have another several hundred dollars to play with.
4. Generics vs. Brand Names. Did you know that generic, or store brands, are just as good as their more expensive brand name counterpart? An often-unknown truth of advertising is that you’re paying extra for the “name” on your prescriptions, your food, your cosmetics, toiletries, household goods, etc. Buying the store brand and getting your doctor to switch your prescriptions to much cheaper generics can save you a load of money. You could save several hundred fun $$$ a year.
5. Lower Credit Card Debt by $1,000. Lowering your total credit card debt by even $1,000 can save you about $150-200 a year. And if you make the payment on time every month, you’ll avoid high late fees and/or having your APR bounced up which ups your payments and hurts your credit.