1. Declutter and sell your spare stuff at a car boot sale
How much stuff do we accumulate and never use? Most of us are hoarders and most of us have a room or attic full of stuff that realistically we are never going to use again. So declutter: get it out, clean it off, and go to your next local car boot event. Even if it’s just a little extra income, it’s money towards the weekly shopping bill. De-cluttering is also very liberating!
2. Use a library
Why not supplement your purchase of books with a trip to your local library. Most libraries offer a free or very low-cost loan of books. As long as you return the books within the agreed time period, you will not be charged anything more. OK, this may be a dated concept but “libraries gave us power” and they should be seen as a very low cost service that should be used and supported. It will save you money.
3. Don't buy - freecycle or share
Every now and again we all have one of these thoughts: “if I only had one of those..[fill in the blank]…it would be so much quicker to.. mow the lawn / clean the patio / trim that 15 foot hedge / etc. ” What do you do? Go out and buy an expensive contraption that will be used once or twice a year? Best idea is to join your local freecycle group (Yahoo! Groups – freecycle) and see what’s going for free. It’s a real money saver. It might not be the latest model, but if it does the job who cares?!
4. Walk or cycle - free & healthy
Not much more to say here. If you are in the habit of driving everywhere, break it by forcing one day of the week to be a walk or cycle day. Build up from there.
5. Holiday in your own country
Must of us are “programmed” to go for a 1- or 2-week holiday somewhere abroad every year (or even twice a year). Why? If you ask the average person where they’ve visited in their own country, they’ll give you a handful of places. So, go on holiday locally or at least in your own country – there’s loads to discover (and it will cost you considerably less than flying / driving abroad).
6. Rent your house out (short-term)
If you live in a city or tourist town, there is likely to be a demand for your property. It might be seasonal or it might be year round. You can make extra money by renting (letting) your house out on a casual basis. It might not always be too practical but if you have friends or family or a local campsite that can accommodate you during that week, it’s a definite way to make extra income.
7. Mind shift - treats should be occasional rather than regular
I find that I am treating myself more and more these days. Is that a sign of my life or a sign of the times? Treats are wonderful – they should be. But the more treats you give yourself, the less you appreciate them. Plus they are normally a bit of a luxury and therefore cost money. My advice is to mind-shift. Or just plain change your behaviour. A treat should be occasional to really be appreciated. They should also be ad hoc (not every Friday night…) as they also loose their “treat feel”. So I’m not advocating being miserable, but cut down on treats to appreciate them more and you’ll save money.
8. Sell a skill you are not using
Everyone has a skill. You may not know it, but we tend not to think too much about our hidden talents in the hustle and bustle of life. So give yourself an hour or two to have a really good think about stuff you did as a child that you enjoyed and were good at. It might be playing a musical instrument; it could be doing something creative such as drawing or painting. Now develop it. Nurture it. And pretty soon your new found skill will be worth something – either by passing it on as a tutor or selling your creations. Try it! Extra money on its way.
9. Use your free time more productively
OK – so you’ve had a long day and you want to relax. So what do you do? Switch the TV on perhaps or read a book? If you want to save money or make money, you need to use your time more productively. It doesn’t need to be at the end of the day – it could be in your lunch hour. But whenever you choose, make sure you are either developing a skill; working towards making money; or doing something to save money. Again – it doesn’t need to be all your free time, just a fraction (an hour, say) to do something that is moving you in the money saving / money making direction.
10. Grow your own
Nothing tastes better than your own freshly harvested fruit and vegetables. Even if you don’t have enough space for a vegetable garden (kitchen garden), growing vegetables or herbs in containers and tubs is a great start to tasting your own super-fresh produce. You’ll be amazed how much money you can save.