Being a part of the financially independent movement isn’t just about saving or frugality, it’s about extreme-ism. Taking it “to the max!” Everyone can save their money, but who can save the hardest? What would now be considered unconventional ways to save your money, would have been considered the norm in the past.
I’m not talking about eating in versus going out or watching Netflix instead of going to the movies. Those decisions are easy! We’re just taking things back a bit to a simpler time. For some, prehistoric, perhaps a bit caveman-like.
How bad do you want it?
How far are you willing to go to cut expenses, save, and hit that goal even before the traditional FI goal-seeker? Can you taste the freedom yet?
No? Then you’re doing something wrong!
Here are some exclusive, behind the scenes tips on how to beat out the competition:
1. Become a DIY’er
When it comes to repairs or general upkeep, do it yourself! YouTube is a fantastic medium these days to do thing on your own that you may have never thought possible.
Literally save hundreds on each repair you take into your own hands. Whether it’s painting, plumbing, your car, or something else, you’ll be sure to have thicker pockets.
Go buy the repair handbook for your vehicle. They give you a slew of information that you likely won’t find online when dealing with odd car repairs. You’d be surprised how different braking systems between cars can get. It’s saved me thousands. Not a bad investment if you ask me.
Of course, if you’re in over your head take it to the pros, but so much for saving!
2. Heating & Air
Who needs it? Am I right or am I right?
It wasn’t until the 1950’s when air conditioners started to become a common household item. If all humankind in the past could live without it, surely we can.
As for heat, snuggle up with a partner and put on a few blankets. If your environment allows for it, go chop up some wood and put it in the fireplace. This Winter is going to be a cozy one!
3. Go Pure, Wireless
Cut ALL of your cords. No one ever needed any of this junk 30 years ago, so no need for it today. Even your wireless isn’t really wireless.
Your router has a cord, right? Wi-fi, gone! Your local library and cafe’s all have it! Use it on their dime, not yours!
Oh, you cut your cable? Not enough! Say no to:
- Any other subscription services!
Do you need to REALLY watch a movie? Go get a free DVD rental at the local library. I’m sure they have plenty of selection as mine does. I practically live at that place these days.
While you’re there, grab a few books and bring back your long lost passion for reading.
4. Credit Cards? Shred ’em
Cash is king baby! Shred all of those plastic beasts in your purse or wallet.
Feels lighter, doesn’t it?
Well, the weight is lifted. You can now carry the almighty dollar back in your pocket. Maybe it’ll make you re-think your habits and spending. Don’t believe me? Take it from someone who tried the cash only diet and had great results!
I know what you’re thinking…. “What about online purchases?”
One, don’t make purchases online. Two, if you have to make online purchases, use a debit card. This card doesn’t exist in your purse or wallet though. Maintain the extreme-ism and keep it at home in a safe place!
5. Eat It Raw
Save on the gas, water, and electricity and eat those veggies raw. Cooking vegetables can actually deplete many of the vitamins and minerals in your food.
Why would you want to lose nutritional value?
Eat clean, eat healthy, eat raw!
Those bags of carrots and broccoli are going to be cheaper than your traditional carnivorous meal. Additionally, you save yourself the hassle of prepping the meal. Time-saver!
6. Free Is Best
Are those veggies tasting a little too veggie-ish? Next time you order off of the dollar menu, get plenty of additional free condiments.
Many chain restaurants have a condiments section where you can splurge without ever having to order anything. Stash up that ketchup, mustard, mayo, bbq, and ranch!
Don’t forget that salt n’ pepper!
7. Stop Bathing
Save your time on buying more shampoo and wasting additional water. Now you have extra time in each day.
This doesn’t really mean you have to be completely shower free. If you’re feeling a little itchy, next time your’e at a friends house, just ask him/her if you can take a quick shower as you “just got back from the gym.” I’m sure they won’t mind.
Or if you actually have a gym membership, although you should consider nixing that too, then just shower at those facilities. That’s more than you’ll ever need. Your home shower will maintain it’s ultra clean look with little effort.
If you’re still having trouble shaking the shower/bath habit, try filling the tub and utilize that water as long as you can. Just keep it sanitary!
8. Hold The Flushes
While on the topic of conserving water, try to start flushing every other time you have to use the facilities. Make it a game and see how long you can wait until the next flush.
10 flushes… You dare-devil!
Just don’t let your roommate or significant other in on the secret! Of course, unless they’re an ultra extreme saver on the race for financial freedom like yourself!
9. Borrow Money
Have a few friends you can afford to lose? Try to shake them down for some cold hard cash. Aim high, but not too high as to scare them away.
If you aren’t so keen on losing friends, just borrowing money interest free will do just fine. Why pay the ATM fee if you’re at a concert or show if you have a friend that can spot you the money? Just be sure to be prompt about paying them back.
10. Party!? No, Stay Home
No need to feel obligated in buying a gift for someone. Stay in and put your feet up next time you get invited out.
Go over to your friend or family members place when it’s not a housewarming or a birthday party. Who said it has to be a special occasion anyways?
Unless they have free food and drink and there is no expectation of a gift… then disregard everything I just said and have at it!
Stay in, kick your feet up, and relax! Life is good. You’re one step closer to financial freedom!
11. Cut-It-Out, I Mean Your Hair
Stop going to the hair salon and take some initiative! Cut your own hair!
No more paying to sit and wait before getting a haircut you’re not even sure about. For guys, with a mirror and some gumption you’ll be a pro before you know it. For the girls, see if you can get a friend to help you out.
Whether you’re a guy or a girl, if you get that hair long enough you can sell it. I believe anything over 10-12 inches is where they start paying for you to donate your hair.
A win, win situation!
12. Quit Grocery Shopping
Don’t quit forever, but just for now. I’m sure that you have plenty of food in those cabinets to last you a while!
Cook that pasta and eat those cans of ravioli until your cupboards are empty. All of that food that you’ve bought in the past intending to eat someday isn’t doing any good sitting in the back of those shelves or in the freezer.
Challenge yourself and aspire to finish every last can of green beans and frozen vegetable bag. Do it until you can’t find anything edible in your kitchen. Then and only then should you go grocery shopping once again.
Eat it all!
13. Start Fasting
Save money and lose weight? Seems like another win, win situation to me!
Cut the grocery bill by eating less. Skip a meal or even a full day! Try to make it a habit.
Intermittent fasting has a ton of health benefits that we continue to learn about even today. Between eating raw veggies, emptying those cabinets, and fasting – you’re going to be a lean, mean, fighting machine!
Ridiculous Ways To Save Today, But Not So Long Ago
Think primitive as if it was hundreds of years ago. What did those people do for fun because it sure as hell didn’t cost them nearly what our habits do today. Most of these suggestions were considered pretty normal not so long ago.
Obviously, there’s some sarcasm in these suggestions if you didn’t catch that.
As a fellow FI pursuer, I urge you to think outside of your box and get creative! Fix things yourself, build things with your bare hands, and most of all challenge yourself!
Be humbled, be blessed, be free!
Do you have any unconventional habits that help you to save?