Good morning! Today I am guest posting at Work Save Live, check out my post about how to save money on your new house!
And remember you can still win $1,000 on the biggest giveaway ever hosted here. There is another $100 to win at the end of this post!
This post is part of a 13 money resolutions for 2013 series. You can check the first post for an updated list of the following ones.
I know, I know, easier said than done. During the first steps of the 13 money resolutions, we have trimmed the fat, reviewed expenses, and found plenty of ways to save money on those things that we absolutely need. But the first saving would be not to buy in the first place.
Stop buying things you don’t need
Buying because you are sad, bored, used to buying usually leads to waste and won’t make you feel better.
Go over what you have.
Certainly your pantry is stocked for weeks and you can limit your spending to fresh items.
Reuse your clothes, mend the ones that are missing a button or need a small fix, find new ways to wear and match your items.
Read the books you own before getting new ones.
Try to find fun free dates instead of expensive ones.
Fix your broken toaster, upgrade your computer and delay having to buy a new one.
Get the things you need for free.
If you really can’t afford food, there are programs for food stamps, charities that give away free food, soup kitchen and free meals programs at the school cafeteria.
If you can afford food, you can still get stuff for free. Start a garden. No space? Start an herb garden on your balcony or window. There is a sense of pride in growing your own food that I really enjoy, and it is a hobby that takes me away from the computer, plus I get to eat organic food. Win. Win. Win.
Check out what kind of food grows well where you live. What I like to do is a mix of foods I eat a lot, like tomatoes, garlic, potatoes … and foods that I do enjoy and find pretty expensive at the market, like bell peppers, melons, basil and coriander.
I also have cultures that will transform a glass of milk into yogurt in a day or two. I like to freeze the yogurt with fruits or honey.
Open your eyes for free food. It can be a friend that has a big harvest of this or that, like I recently got a huge harvest of citrus and grapefruits from the ranch, and gave it away to friends, or it can be that blackberries just started getting ripe on your morning jog track. I used to go pick up mushrooms, berries, nuts in the woods back in Europe.
You can stream movies and music for free.
Some community centers organize free classes.
Your town’s calendar is filled with free concerts, festivals and art shows.
You can learn just about anything online.
Learn how to diy around the house on Youtube
Go to online universities for free lectures and classes
Learn a language for free.
You can get almost anything for free on Freecycle. People with too much stuff connect there with people who need stuff. From furniture to clothes to kitchenware, just put a local add and get what you need for the price of pickup. I used Freecycle a lot in the UK when I furnished my 3 bed flat. At first I just checked what people were offering and it was often a race to pick things up first. And a lot of guys were picking up stuff they didn’t need to resell later. It worked best when I started asking for what I needed. A house phone? No problem. Kitchen mixer? A girl just happened to have one.
People often watch requests in order to really fill a need instead of putting up their own add. When my little chinese scooter wouldn’t start after using the crap out of it, I listed it and made a teenager very happy to work on a mechanical project with his dad.
There are also a few free listings on Craigslist, and if you see people moving, you can ask if they have stuff they don’t want in their next house.
Check out the day your town accepts big items on the trash and you can also find good stuff. When I was about to tile my Paris flat, I found lots of unused tiles an office had just disposed on the sidewalk.
Again, keep your eyes open and you may find treasures.
It works best for kids clothes because they grow out of it so quickly. Again on Freecycle people often give away full bags of clothes.
You can organize a clothing swap with your friends, it is a fun activity. Everyone brings 20 items, you sort them by size, and each guest can leave with 20 items. Then at the end any unwanted items can go to people who already picked 20 or to charity.
It is easy to swap services with friends. There has to be something you can do for them in exchange for them lending you a hand.
You can trade
- Baby sitting nights
- Picking up kids at school and driving them to activities
- Recipes, each cooks a batch at home and you swap one portion.
- Computer repairs
- Help on DIY and repairs
- Oil changes and maintenance on a car
- Painting jobs
- Help moving house
- Your language skills for another language
- Tutoring in maths for tutoring in history
- Web design
Free Money!Now on to the giveaway! This time again, you can win $100 cash through Paypal or Amazon gift card, your choice! All you have to do is follow @RFIndependence on Twitter for an easy entry. Check out the other participants to win more entries. Good luck!
Are there other things you can get for free?