The more I witness the spending habits of young people like us, the more I view our spending habits as radical. The ways in which we save money have always seemed natural to me. Being thrifty was a skill I was raised with. Let me share some of the “radical” things we do to save money and see what you think.
- We don’t have smartphones. Shocker, I know. And on top of that we don’t have unlimited talk or text either. We have the lowest texting plan and minutes that are possible with our provider. We debated over not even having a texting plan for a while, but I know from experience that people assume you have a texting plan and will inevitably text you. We have also had our phones for three years; we have avoided upgrading our phones to save us money in the likely occasion that we decide to switch carriers in the near future.
- We cut our hair at Great Clips, and we even wait for haircuts to go on sale at great clips and buy several at once to save even more money. I admit when I do something extreme to my hair I will usually go to a more expensive salon, but other than that—it’s Great Clips. I will also wait as long as possible between haircuts. This past year has been the most I have ever gotten my hair cut in my life. This was because I was growing out my pixie cut, and even at that I cut my hair every three months. Most years I cut my hair twice a year.
- We don’t have cable television. In fact we have a bulky old TV that my parents gave us when we got married, complete with antennae and digital converter box. We actually don’t use it that much because we live on a busy street and whenever a car drives by the picture goes out. Mostly when we watch TV shows we watch them on the Internet.
- We share Internet with our neighbors. We live in an apartment complex and didn’t see any reason why each apartment should have it’s own wireless. We pay a price for this one though, since our friends we share Internet with live a few stories up from us, and they have the modem. Weak signal strength aside, it is worth the savings.
- We drove an old but functioning car for years that Joe “bought” from a friend while we were dating. We drove that car well past 200,000 miles and didn’t buy a new one until we had saved enough money for a down payment for a new, safer car. If you had seen our car you would understand this one better. The car had so many things wrong with it we were surprised someone bought it from us after we got our new car (the dash lights did not work, the tail light went out a couple times a year, the headlights were held together with bungee cords, one of the doors did not open, the trunk did not open for a while, the car had some significant body damage from being in an accident, etc.). Also did I mention we only have one car. Yes, two people can share one car.
- We live in a small, one-bedroom apartment. We’ve stayed in our apartment for three years because the location is great for us, and it would have cost money to move. It’s been enough space for us and has taught us how to get rid of things that we don’t have space for, and don’t really need.
- We walk or ride the bus whenever possible. Lucky for us we get free bus passes from school and work. Because we live close to where we go to school and where we work it makes it easy for us to walk or take the bus. This also makes it easy to share our car between the two of us. And it saves us lots of money on parking.
- We limit eating out to once a month. Eating out adds up very quickly. We manage to limit our eating out most months to only once. Believe me, this saves a lot of money and is well worth it.
- We have a plot in a community garden. Our church owns some land that they have split up into plots for a garden that is open to the community. All we pay for is the water, which is very minimal. We’ve been able to save even more money on our garden by growing most of crops from seed. Not only do we get to grow our own vegetables, but we also get meet people from our neighborhood that we might not have met otherwise.
There you have it, some radical ways to save money. Do you do any “radical” things to save money?