So Ramit is having a Save $1000 in 30 days challenge. I started reading the tips he had and so far I really don’t see how I will be saving according to his rules. I think this is set up for people who have not already been frugal in their lives since if you were already doing the things he writes about then you would not be saving any addtional money.
I was already doing the things he talked about so far BEFORE reading his posts.
Here is a list of what he has so far.
Tip #1: Pack lunches for the rest of the week
I already do this so no savings here for me. This is a tip that everyone keeps repeating but so many people seem to not follow. What really amazes me is the number of people who have commented saying that they are saving hundreds already.
You guys have been spending over a hundred dollars a week on eating at restaurants? Wow that is really amazing.
Tip #2: Turn your thermostat down 3 degrees
Moot. I don’t run the air conditioning during summer since I prefer to open the windows and run the fans in the room that I am spending the most time.
I use a space heater during the winter and wear socks and long sleeves.
Tip #3: Sell something on eBay today
Been there done that. It is not as easy as some people think to sell things on eBay. Sometimes you can list items and have them sit without selling for a long time. Then you are out the listing fee and you still have the item.
In other cases you can sell something within a very short time of listing. I think it takes more luck to sell on eBay right now.
Tip #4: Involve your friends in your savings challenge
For the most part my real friends are not interested. Baz has picked up on couponing and the ING thing but the rest of my friends just don’t get it.
Tip #5: Optimize your cellphone bill
We have been optimized. Baz and I share a plan and we got unlimited text messaging for $5.
We were lucky to get that because text messaging has increased in price and we get text messages, video messages and picture messages all included.
We are NEVER changing that plan because we don’t know of ANY other plan that gives you unlimited (all kinds of) messaging for that price!!!!!!
Tip #6: Use gas prices to become your own hedge fund
With this tip Rammit is saying that you should budget a certain amount and even if the actual amount you spend is less then you still pretend to pay that amount and transfer the difference to a savings account.
This is not hedging in the true sense of the word because when prices go back up you are still going to pay the actual price.
If we were truly hedging, then we would have locked in a price and you would pay the lower price when gas prices did go up.
What you are actually doing is simply saving for gas…not hedging according to the definition of the word.
Tip #7: Create a “No Spending” day once a week
Here he is saying that you should pick a day where you do not spend any extra money. Well in between packing my lunch and not going shopping I am already having five no spend days a week.
I go to CVS and Walmart on Sunday and then go to Walmart again on Wednesday sometimes.
Tip #8: Implement the A La Carte Method
This tip states that you should pay for things as you use them instead of having a bulk subscription where you barely utilize the service. This works in general but in some cases it is better to have the subscription. I used to go to WalMart every Sunday and pay $2 for a newspaper…but decided it is better to pay $7.5 for the monthly subscription.
I know that I will make full use of the paper subscription because I faithfully cut my coupons every Sunday. Okay, I actually get my students to cut them for me now on Mondays for extra points (and then go to CVS on Monday after schoool but that is another story).
Tip #9: Only buy new things when replacing something old.
Sometimes this is not entirely possible. I put on a bit of weight so I had to get some new clothes for work. Now I know you can say I should exercise to lose the weight…but I didn’t. So there.
I also don’t wait to run out of toilet paper before I go buying a new pack. I prefer to have extra toilet paper on hand than to need and not have enough.
Oh and what about times you have a little bit of cereal left in the box…it is not quite enough to make a meal so you need to buy a new box to combine with that one. It is not enough to eat the small amount so you just have to bite the bullet and get some more.
Tip #10: Use the free rewards from your credit card, car insurance, and workplace
I use the rewards from my Chase card and Discover card. I love them because between the two cards I can pay for EVERYTHING that I need and get cash back for those purchases.
My workplace does not offer any rewards unless you count the Friday lunches where someone always brings hot dogs (which I do not eat).
Tip #11: Never pay full retail price for clothes or eyeglasses again
Been there, done that. I got my glasses (before I got LASIK ) from an online source which made them in Hong Kong. It took a couple of weeks to get the glasses but they were so much cheaper than getting them from an optical place in the US.
I wait for clothes to go on sale and look for coupons if available at a store.
Tip #12: How I’m saving $2,000+ on eating out in 2009
I have not seen anything spectacular thus far that will help me to save more than what I already save. I am sorry that he was spending over $2000 eating out instead of preparing meals at home.
This tip goes along with bringing lunch to work so it really should not even be a separate tip.
In general I have not seen anything awe inspiring about the tips to save money here as they are already being implemented in my life.
I am glad that some people have found them useful but for me there is nothing new here.