As the price of gas barely pauses at $4 on its way up to $10 a gallon and you find yourself spending $300 at the grocery store for little more than an organic grapefruit and a box of low sodium Wheat Thins, it is only by the grace of home equity withdrawals that so many of us have avoided bankruptcy this long.
It is getting harder and harder to make ends meet these days, let alone find the money to take advantage of all the latest great sales at our favorite stores. With the amazing deals of Independence Day sales and Christmas in July just around the corner, it’s time to start looking for ways to save some coin.
Thankfully, all you have to do is follow these practical money-saving steps based on the average Seattle-area budget, and you are guaranteed to save $7,777 in just four weeks.
1. Walk to work. You’re tired of traffic anyway, aren’t you? Your 30 minute commute will only take an extra three hours each way on foot, but you’ll save $163 on gas.
2. Rice, rice, baby. Cut frivolous extras like protein, fruits, and vegetables completely out of your diet. An all-rice diet will save you $373 a week, or $1,492 by mid-July.
3. Rent out every inch of extra space. How often do you actually use that third bedroom? Rent that sucker out to a college student. What about the crawl space? You’ve probably never even been down there. Half a dozen people could probably fit in that thing. Dining rooms are for hoidy toidy east coasters. Eat at the kitchen counter and rent the dining room. Taking on another 10 roommates under the table (both figuratively and literally) will net you another $2,037.
4. Kick the habit. Sure, you may be chemically addicted to caffeine, and withdrawal is certain to be a painful eight-week process that will make you wish you were dead. BUT, dropping the trips to Starbucks will save you $32 a day, for a total of $896. Totally worth it.
5. Clean your own house, you pervert. Having a tidy house is nice, but you could probably find better things to do with $177 a week than a nude housekeeping service. Clean the house yourself and save $708. Clothing optional, curtains mandatory.
6. Cut back the tech addiction. Do you really need to upgrade your digital camera for the fourth time since March? Probably not. Also, sticking it out with your 6-month-old PDA will only alienate about half of your friends, but holding off on the upgrades will save you another $2,245.
7. Speaking of alienating friends… The sad truth is that having friends costs money—a lot of it. Parties, rides to the airport, replacing the iguana that died under your watch while they were on that “business” trip to Miami… Drop all three of your friends like a bad habit and save $236.