If you’re an investment junkie you probably cringe when you are hit with a rough money month. Unfortunately, these rocky months happen to even the most frugal young investors.
If you’re looking to cut some costs so that you have more money to throw at your investments, here are three easy ways you can do just that.
1. Find a New Cell Phone Carrier
Your cell phone is your biggest budget buster, but it doesn’t have to be this way. If you’re still paying top dollar for your cell phone service it is definitely time to make the switch to one of today’s more affordable plans. Here are a couple options.
Republic Wireless Unlimited Plan — $19/month
Republic Wireless is still a fairly new service. This carrier runs off a mixture of the Sprint network and Wi-Fi. The phone that Republic Wireless offers is practical but far from fancy.
Living in rural Ohio I was particularly skeptical of this service but for the unbelievable price of $19/month for an unlimited plan I had to give it a try. I’m so glad that I did because it works great! My Republic Wireless phone picks up service in spots where AT&T doesn’t quite make the cut.
Net10 Wireless Unlimited Plan — $50/month
Net10 Wireless has been around for quite a while. In fact you may recognize this company for their 10 cents/minute plans. They now offer unlimited text, talk, and data service on a few of their phones. If you auto-enroll in bill payment you’ll snag a price of just $45/month!
If you’re paying more than fifty dollars per month for unlimited cell phone usage you may want to consider opting for one of these much cheaper plans. Their phone selection may not be as nice as iPhones but for the price you can’t complain. But, if you want an iPhone, make sure you find the cheapest iPhone plan.
2. Buy Used Text Books and Then Resell Them
Textbooks are one of those college expenses that make you cringe — up to $300 for a book that you’ll use for a few months, really?
If you’re currently buying your books brand-spanking-new it’s time to make the switch. You should always look to buy gently used books and then sell them after you’re finished. Here are a few companies that can help you out.
If you opt to buy your books through Amazon you can save up to 90 percent on used books and up to 40 percent on new books. When you’re finished with your books you can then sell them back to Amazon for up to 70 percent of what you paid!
Half.com (eBay’s site) is another great place to find and sell textbooks. In fact, with Half.com you can even rent textbooks. They have an easy-to-use interface which allows you to search for books by ISBN number or title.
College Book Store
The college in my town sells gently used textbooks from students and also buys them back. You can find some pretty great deals on used textbooks at the college but from my experience the buy-back price is just too low.
3. Don’t Be a Foodie
Food is a big category in just about everyone’s budget. Luckily, there are a plethora of ways to keep food costs in line. Here are a few to consider.
Eat at Home
By far the number one way to save money on your food budget is to eat at home. You can shop places such as Aldi, Costco, or The Dollar Store to score rock bottom prices and then whip up your own meals.
Shop the Dollar Menu
You can’t be an eat-at-home saint all the time. In cases like these you need to hit up the dollar menu. Choose your favorite fast food restaurant and scour the dollar menu for an appetizing treat. Rather have pizza? Use a coupon and split the bill with a few of your friends.
There will always be at least a couple of rough money months in the year. Computers crash, cars break down, bills need to be paid, and money is tight. Don’t feel bad if you come across a month where there just isn’t any leftover cash in the bank.
What you can do, however, is be proactive with your cost-cutting techniques all the time. By focusing on a few key budget areas you’ll be able to save hundreds of dollars that can be invested rather than wasted.
What other big budget categories do you have and how do you save money on them? Have any valuable resources anyone?