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Hey kids! Uncle Greg here again to fulfill all your tightwad needs. Today, I want to talk to you about how to live cheap. You may think living the tightwad lifestyle is really restrictive. Not so! Actually, it has has allowed me to do things I thought I’d only dream about. I’ve been able to travel the world. My wife and I both quit our jobs and started our own business. We have the ability to retire by 50 if we choose. All good things, amiright?
Many of you wonder how we did it. You want the details. So, I’ve decided to give ya’ll a few pointers. Now, these tips aren’t for the faint of heart. Before we begin, you gotta ask yourself this: do you really want to know how to live cheap? Can you commit to living off of 50% of your income? If so, stick with me kiddo because I’m about to show you how it’s done.
Look for Bargains Where You Can
Every good tightwad who’s learned how to live cheap can find a bargain. Buy tickets to your favorite events or concerts on Craigslist. Look for used clothes at garage sales. The list of ways to save is endless.
But, bargain hunting doesn’t just come from sale items. Tightwads need to learn to be resourceful. By using the right credit cards, you can earn rewards or cash back to save even more!
Some of the best cash back cards earn up to 5% cash back (or more) in certain categories. So, you basically just got an extra 5% off kiddo! Save even more when you stack it with an item that’s already on sale, and you’ll really be thinking like a tightwad.
That’s not even the best part! Just for signing up, you can often earn a welcome bonus when you reach a minimum spending bonus. That’s cold, hard cash my friend – which is the way straight to my heart.
Earning Extra Income
First off, save me the “earning more money isn’t living on less” song and dance. Cry me a river. That is whiner talk and Uncle Greg doesn’t put up well with whiners, you copy?
Seriously kids, we all know it is much easier to live off of 50% of your income when you make $100K than it is when you make $30K. It’s not impossible to do at any income level, but the more money you make the easier it becomes. So, if you really want to look for ways to live on less, start by figuring out ways to make more. Then, you’ve gotta save the difference! Sell Legos on eBay. Become a tutor. Start a blog. Everybody has time to start a side hustle. Find one and get to it…TODAY, PRIVATE PYLE!
Track Your Expenses
You can’t live on half your income if you don’t decrease your expenses. The first step is to know what those expenses are. Start tracking them right away! A simple pen and paper will do the trick. If you are better with the technology, there are online tools – like Personal Capital – that can automate your tracking. Get to tracking, STAT! Just click on the link above to get started or read more about those free money tools here!
You’ve tracked your expenses, now you gotta cut’em. Uncle Greg wants to help, so here’s a list of pesky expenses you should consider exterminating:
- Cable/Satellite Television – I don’t care if you “save” $50/month by bundling your television, phone, and internet. You’re still spending $200/month on crap you don’t need! Trust me, you can live without new episodes of the Kardashians. Cut the cord to cable, save $100’s a month, and use that free time to start your new side hustle.
- Cell Phone – Speaking of phones, what kinda crazy cellular phone plan are you carrying? There’s gotta be a cheaper option for you. It’s time to try a discount carrier! My smartphone and data plan costs about $28/month with Ting. What’s yours cost? Click here to learn how you can save 40 – 60% on your mobile phone bill just by switching to Ting and mobile that makes sense.
- Food – Hey Junior, try eating out once a month instead of twice a week. Look for ways to reduce your grocery bill by using coupons and buying generic. Buy stuff that is on-sale. Go meatless a few days a week. It adds up in a hurry.
- Cars – Kids, I’m gonna say this one time and one time only: PAY CASH FOR CARS! If you have to borrow money for a car, you can’t afford it. If you have a car payment, pay it off…yesterday already! If you can’t pay it off, sell it and buy something you can afford. Who cares if it has a cracked bumper? Tape it up and drive it like a boss…as long as it is street legal.
Create a Budget
You’re doing well kiddo. Now you need to make your money mind its manners. Make it behave. I swear to God, if you learn nothin’ else from me learn this: you need to use a written budget.
Let me say it one more time, just to be clear: Use. A. Written. Budget. (Period.)
Don’t Lose to the Joneses
One of the most important things I learned in my 30’s is this: nobody cares. If you knew how little people actually thought about you and your image, you’d be sorely disappointed. Stop trying to outdo the Joneses. You can never, ever keep up with them. Somebody will always have more. You only win the rat race by not running.
Go Get’em Tiger
Awww….look at my little tightwads! You’ve made your Uncle Greg proud. Congratulations on sticking with it. Now get out there and start living like a tightwad. Uncle Greg knows you can do it!
Resources for You: