While scanning through my incoming links, I noticed a number of you are coming from USNews.com’s recent article “9 Extreme Ways to Save“. Feel free to stick around, browse through my articles and even consider subscribing to my RSS feed or email updates.
I did see that I’m stuck over on page 2. Couldn’t they have tacked on #8 (me) and #9 on the same page as the other seven? Anyway, here’s my thoughts on each of the 9 ways to save, including my own:
1. Bake cookies in your car: Mmm. Cookies. When I want cookies, I want them NOW, not after 2 hours of sitting in my car in the hot sun. If I’m going to wait that long, I’d rather just eat the cookie dough.
2. Reuse plastic sandwich bags: Yeah, I’d agree with that.
3. Turn your car off—while it’s still moving: Um, no. While I do advocate shutting off your engine at long stoplights (that you’re familiar with), I don’t recommend killing your engine while moving at any speed. Your wheel can easily lock if you forget to switch it back to ON position, and you no longer have power brakes, ABS, stability and some other safety systems.
4. Stop saving money: I see where the author is going with this, but unless you stick to a strict debt repayment schedule via auto-payments and a strict budget, most people tend to just spend that extra money that could have been saved. Or at least I did when I withheld 401k contributions for 2 years and still didn’t pay down debt.
5. Make your own cleaning supplies: As long as you know what you’re doing and not mixing hazardous chemicals improperly, I agree with saving money by making your own cleansers. Heck, we clean our new hardwood floors with vinegar and water now.
6. Stop drinking soda (or another beverage of choice): I agree wholeheartedly, and it will help reduce your waistline too. However, I’ve gotten into a Jolt habit. And not the little cans. I’m talking about the 24oz rocket cans. I really need to stop as I’ve packed on a few pounds and it’s going against my budget. Bah.
7. Move back home with your parents, at any age: This is pretty extreme, depending on your life situation. As a young, married professional in DC, people would think I’m crazy for moving back in with my family. But for my sister, who is a single mother of two, it doesn’t sound so odd.
8. Get rid of your carpet: While my original article wasn’t meant to be extreme, and the $200/year savings didn’t come from me (I don’t think), I guess if you rip out all your fresh carpet and replace it with laminate or hardwood flooring, that’s pretty extreme. In our case, we replaced our carpet because one was old and the other was ugly, and the kitchen vinyl between the two was peeling. Now we have a seamless floor from the front to back of our house.
9. Hold a No-Spend month: I like this idea, and for some people, including myself, it is extreme. If you’re single, it’s not as hard to control your own spending. But when you’re married, both parties (and kids if applicable) need to be on board with the plan. Man, marriage complicates everything, doesn’t it?
So thanks for stopping by, and thanks to Kimberly Palmer for including me in the article!
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