How to Live Cheap and Save Money When You Don’t Have Much, Part 3

by Lisa on October 19, 2009

  • Know how to tip. If you are going to go out and treat yourself to a manicure or a night out, it’s important you know proper tipping etiquette.  When you are on a budget, over-tipping can be the bane of your existence. OK, a bit of an exaggeration, but don’t pay more than you have to.

Here’s a quick list of tipping recommendations:

Haircut – 15-20% for the hair cutter

Shampooers, blow dryers, etc.. – $3

Restaurant – 15-20%, Buffet – 10%

Taxi – 15%

Manicurist/Pedicurist – 15-20%

Pizza Delivery – $2 a pizza (but do give more if it is a longer distance or bad weather)

Valet – $1-3 when you pick up the car

If you want more tipping info, go to www.tipguide.org for a pretty all-inclusive list.

  • Grow your hair out. It may seem drastic to change your hairstyle to save money, but longer hair is easier to manage. It’s less trips to the hair salon.  Try getting a cut that won’t look odd if it’s grown out for a couple of months.
  • Don’t’ use you credit card. Actually, you can use your credit card as much as you like in order to  help your credit score. This is if you are responsible enough to pay the balance in full every month — not just the minimum. Otherwise, as a rule, don’t spend money you don’t have.
  • Shop for clothes cheaply. Try going to thrift stores. The real kind, not the cute downtown vintage shops, and you can find a few cute and interesting pieces. There’s also second hand clothing exchange places like Buffalo Exchange and Plato’s Closet. You can turn in your old clothes and trade it in for someone else’s threads. If used isn’t your thing, stick to places like Forever 21 and H&M. Just don’t expect the clothes to last forever. I do suggest, however, shelling out bucks for items that will last many seasons. For example, a nice pair of boots, a pea coat, or a bag that will match many outfits. When you shop, it really helps to think of your wardrobe as a whole.

Kick Some Bad Habits

These are pretty self-explanatory in how they will save you money.

  • Stop drinking soda.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Stop your addiction to Starbuck’s. Invest in a coffee machine. It is NOT normal to pay $5 for a coffee. Do that even just 3 times a week, and that’s $60 a month!
  • Driving everywhere. You don’t have to drive every time you leave the house. You can walk, and you can even get a bicycle. If you live in a city that is bicycle friendly, I recommend riding your bike around. It’s enjoyable, counts as exercise, and free.

Save, Save, and Save.

  • Join a credit union. Credit unions have higher interest rates on savings, more free services, lower interest rates on loans, and are not for profit. They are better than banks when it comes to saving.

Click Here for How to Live Cheap and Save Money Part 4

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve Chambers October 22, 2009 at 9:36 pm

Except for the growing hair out part this is good advice. You should add, “Cut your hair and get a job.”

Steve Chambers, Body Language Speaker

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Jose Escalante October 25, 2009 at 1:15 am

I could save a ton of money if I stopped buying RockStars.

Jose Escalante
http://www.joseescalante.com

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Darryl Pace October 27, 2009 at 2:36 pm

Shorter hair is more manageable for me (a man).
Regarding credit unions, I think they are a hekuva lot better to deal with than banks; especially the big banks.

Health, Fitness for Working People — Darryl Pace

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Lisa McLellan February 20, 2010 at 7:00 am

I do a lot of these things already (because I’ve never had much to spend) but I haven’t tried shopping at thrift shops. I’ll have to take a peek in a few of these.

I do make the mistake of driving everywhere. I actually drive my kids to the end of the street everyday so they don’t have to wait for the schoolbus in the rain or cold. But then even in the spring I still drive them and I pick them up and drive them down the street home. It’s only 3 houses away (but we have big yards! LOL)
These are great tips. Thanks.

Lisa McLellan, Child Care Expert
Babysitting Services – Babysitter in your area

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