Sunday, January 11, 2009

Being Thrifty

Thrifty –adjective, thrift⋅i⋅er, thrift⋅i⋅est.
1. practicing thrift or economical management; frugal: a thrifty shopper.

A recently read an article from Yahoo Finance outlining seven things that you can do to save money.

  • Buy a bread maker. You can buy one for $55. If it saves you just $4 a week on store-bought bread, that's $208 a year. A 280% return.
  • Get a credit card with a great sign-up bonus. Like the AirTran Visa card. Cost: The $40 annual fee. After your first purchase you get enough reward miles for a free flight, saving maybe $250. Then cancel the card. Return: 525%.
  • Take out a local library card. Cost: Nothing. If it saves you $10 a month on books, that's $120 a year. Return: Infinite. Note: Some libraries now let you borrow electronic books over the Internet as well.
  • Replace your premium cable package with a Netflix subscription and a $100 set-top box. You can download movies and TV programs as well getting DVDs through the mail. Cost: $100 for the cheapest set-top box, plus $17 a month for a three-movie subscription. If it replaces a $50-a-month cable package, that's a 98% return on investment.
  • Order a packet of seeds and plant them in a window box or garden. Growing your own herbs, spices, and even vegetables – depending on the amount of space you have – is a great investment. If you spent just $10 on seeds and saved a mere $50 in the year, that's a 400% ROI.
  • Switch to a prepaid cellphone. Cost: $20 for the phone, and maybe $100 a year for minutes. Move the rest of your talk-time to free Internet calls, and stop hemorrhaging $60 a month on a cellular plan. ROI: 500%
  • Start making your own coffee to take to work each morning. Cost: $20 for a Thermos, $10 for a filter and papers, and $60 a year for ground coffee. Then skip the $4 a day drive-thru. If that saves you $1,000 a year, the return is more than 1,000 %.
I started making my own bread on a regular basis a few years ago. I don't do credit cards, sorry. I have a library card and utilize a network of friends for book swapping. Haven't had cable for a year now, and am enjoying my Netflix account tremendously. The Music Man is already planning the garden for next year, increasing the size and variety of things grown. My Mother and I are on a family cell phone plan, she had problems with the pre-paid route. And sadly, I cut out my regular trips to the Corner Store (D.U.) every morning for a travel mug of homemade java.

So what is a trifty Mainer left to do? Anymore suggestions?

Enjoy ~SJ

No comments: