Being smarter with money
Here's a couple of examples I've discovered recently.
About once a week I have a meeting in the city with a guy I am designing a website for. I take the train as I don't have a car. There is a choice of train tickets; I can either get a two hour ticket for $3.10, or a full day ticket for $5.90. Since travel time and the meeting take more than two hours in total, I can not do it with a single two hour ticket.
However, twice out of about eight meetings my boss has given me a lift home. So one in four times I really only needed a two hour ticket. Since I didn't know in advance that I would be getting a lift home, and since I only occasionally get such a lift, it may seem that I may as well just get the full day ticket for $5.90.
In fact I can do better. If I just buy a two hour ticket to get to the meeting then three times out of four I will need to buy another, so I'll spend $6.20 in total. But one time out of four I won't need to and will only spend $3.10. So on average it will cost me (3*$6.20 + $3.10)/4 = $5.43. Hence I would expect to save almost 50 cents per trip.
Sure 50 cents is not much. But it is about 8% cheaper than buying full day tickets. If I can save 8% on everything I spend, that is soon going to add up to a significant saving.
Here's another easy way to save money. If you use razor blades you'll know that after a while they go blunt and have to be replaced. I found out that the reason they go blunt is because they rust. Apparently if you leave your razor in a dish of olive oil when you're not using it, the rusting will occur a lot more slowly. I haven't been doing this for long enough to know exactly how much longer you get, but the place where I found this tip suggested that they can last about six times longer.
So how much do you save? Certain blades cost about $2 per blade. Without using oil, by the time you had used six blades you would have spent $12. With oil, you'd have only used one blade in that time, spending only $2. Hence you'd save $10. In fact it's about an 83% saving.
As I say, these are just two examples. I'm looking to seek out more, so please leave me a comment describing your favourite money saving techniques.
I'm actually quite impressed (with the content, not the presentation of your blog. shame on u dan, even mine and rust's blog is prettier - and we're like computer illiterate. i'm sure you'll benefit from a splash of pink and some charming photos of us - if they do indeed exist!) with your blog.
At first I just thought you were blabbering about being a cheap scotsman (oh dear i'll be beaten up next time i visit penny) but really, you've got some good sound advice here!
When the Richo moustache-off is over and i need to shave my massive beard, i'll keep your razor blade tip in mind!
Erm... thanks, I think :)
I'm working on a new look for the blog at the moment. Pretty sure it's not going to involve any pink though! Maybe I'll hunt down the one charming photo of you guys which must exist somewhere and stick right in the middle of the page!
Now I'm off to your site to sign up to your mailing list :)
2. Grow out your facial hair, eliminating your need for razors.
3. Flush your toilet only once a day.
4. Take a bath once a week. Save on water AND soap.
5. Steal food.
Just wanted to let you know about a book called "The Complete Tightwad Gazette". It gives lots of tips on how to save money: for example if you pay for water (or electricity for the water pump to pump the water) you can conserve the amount of water or electricity used by filling up a jar with stones and placing it in your tank or a brick in a ziploc bag. That way it takes less water to fill up the tank when you flush. There are also alot of alternatives to household cleansers as well as ways to shrink the grocery bill.
You might want to check it out of your local library.