Cut Your Spending | Part I

Start saving your cash today

Money is tight, but there are lots of simple things you can do to free up some extra cash. In fact, making just a few minor changes to your spending routines could mean you’ll never have to get a payday cash advance again.

Make off-season purchases

You can save lots of money if you plan ahead for seasonal purchases. Buy air conditioners in January, winter coats in May, and swimsuits in July and August.

Eat what’s in season

Produce costs more when it’s out of season in your locale and shipped a long distance. For a list of what’s in season, go to fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org and click on the Planning and Shopping tab. Organic produce costs more than the conventional kind. Cut your toxin intake by choosing organic on the most chemically-laden produce (apples, lettuce) and conventional on the cleanest (kiwi, tomatoes). To figure out which produce to buy organic, and which conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables are okay if organic isn’t available, go to foodnews.org.

Shop once a week

When you stop by the store to pick up just one or two items, you usually end up making a few unplanned purchases as well. The more trips you make to the store, the more frequently you will make impulse purchases. Try making a shopping list and making just one planned trip to the store each week.

Stretch time between hair appointments

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Add a couple weeks to the time between hair-coloring appointments by using over-the-counter products from the drugstore to touch up the roots.

Cut down on dry cleaning

Many clothes with labels that recommend dry cleaning can be washed by hand in cold water or on a gentle machine cycle with cold water. For example, linens can be washed in the machine and most sweaters can be washed by hand (including cashmere and camel hair). Most silks are hand washable too.  Even so, some deeply saturated and bold colors should be dry-cleaned.

Stop the water-bottle madness

Stop drinking bottled water and instead buy a filter for your kitchen faucet. For the most part, the water you’re paying for in those little bottles is nothing but filtered tap water.

Support your local shoe repair shop

Shoe repair shops are recession-proof

Rather than spend your extra cash to buy a new pair of good shoes each season, repair the shoes your already own. Your local shoe-repair shop will charge just a few dollars to fix worn-out heels on women’s shoes, and men can extend the life of dress shoes by replacing the heels and soles.

Spend less money commuting

If your employer has a transportation reimbursement account, you may be able to get a tax break by paying your monthly parking fees or public transit with pretax dollars, so sign up. Or cut your commute costs in half by carpooling to work with a colleague. If you don’t know anyone to carpool with, check out some carpool-matching sites like carpoolworld.com or erideshare.com.

Get fit on your way to work

Get fit on your way to work

You might be pleasantly surprised at how convenient it can be to take a public bus to work. And why not cycle to work when the weather permits, instead of spending time and money at the health club?

More money-saving ideas

Find more ways to save cash until payday by reading Cut Your Spending | Part II and Cut Your Spending | Part III

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