“Don’t save what is left after spending; spend what is left after saving.” Warren Buffet
We left off last week talking about the biggest money saver of all–your health. There are many indirect ways of improving your health while also saving money elsewhere.
1. Cable TV–One is to cut out the premium channels on your cable TV or cut out cable altogether.
You’ll not only be saving on cable, but watching less may lead to big improvements in your health. If you are not watching TV, you are doing something else. Maybe an activity, visiting with friends, volunteering: whatever you do, it is more stimulating and will help you enjoy life more.
Another advantage to getting rid of your cable is you don’t have to watch commercials. This can be one of the biggest hidden money savers of them all.
If you are not watching commercials, you don’t know what products you are missing. You don’t “want” for things you don’t need, and that makes you happier. Also, you are not tempted by delicious-looking food, and you eat less. Almost always a good thing.
2. Clothes—Clean out your closet. We all wear the same items over and over even though we have many more things. Bring out the stuff hidden in the back. Just a few items will perk up a wardrobe.
A model friend taught me this. Always buy things in the same color scheme, so you can mix and match. It makes your wardrobe look much bigger with fewer items. This also saves on shoes and purses because one set will match all of your outfits. This also makes traveling easier. We all know packing shoes is a royal pain.
Swap clothes with friends. What doesn’t look good on you, may be very flattering to someone else. Plus it is fun. It’s always exciting to get stuff for free.
Buy clothes that do not need to be dry cleaned. With what you save on dry cleaning, you can buy new things, which is much more fun.
3. Car—First consider if you really need a car. If yes then, don’t speed, keep it well-maintained, and check the air pressure in your tires. All of these will increase your gas mileage and decrease repairs.
Walk or bike. You save gas and improve your fitness. There’s that health thing again.
Compare insurance rates before you renew. My insurance company seems to raise prices just a little every renewal period, so it doesn’t set off alarm bells. And though they might have been the best choice several years ago, they certainly aren’t now. Take the time to check it out. Prices vary considerably and please avoid paying the installment rate if at all possible.
4. More Health—Wash your hands with soap throughout the day. This helps avoid colds and the flu. This cuts down on doctor visits and medication. You’ll feel better too.
Eat healthy foods in healthy amounts. Eating less means spending less. Eating well and exercising cuts down on medicals bills and prescription drug costs.
Take care of your teeth. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental cleanings save money in the long run. Also, gum disease has a correlation to heart disease. A nice byproduct of healthy gums is improvement in your heart health.
Socialize with family and friends. Talk can dial down your worries and lift your spirits. You will feel better and perhaps decrease the need for therapy or antidepressants.
Look at your everyday expenses and see where you might save. Share your ideas with the rest of us. We can all use new suggestions.
Contains excerpts from Retirement Basics: Help for Broke Baby Boomers.