Raises are hard to come by
at many jobs, so don't wait for the boss to be
struck by the sudden realization that you're valuable.
Give yourself a raise by spending less of your
Following any one of these tips can save you as much
as $500 per year. Some of them can save you more. If you do all
10, you'll save at least $5,000 a year. That's a heck of a lot more
than the measly 3 percent increase that your employer is likely
to hand out. And the best part about it is that you don't have to
smile and say "thank you."
||10 suggestions for painless frugality
1. Drive less.
With gas hovering around $4 per gallon, you don't
have to cut back on much mileage to save $500
in a year. You'll save that much in gas alone
if you drive a car that gets 15 miles per gallon
just 36 fewer miles per week. When you divide
it by 50 weeks, 1,872 miles in a year isn't much.
If you have a 40-mile round-trip commute, persuading the
boss to allow telecommuting one day a week, or
squeezing 40 hours of work into four days, will
definitely put you ahead about $500 per year.
If that doesn't work for you, there are other options.
The cutback doesn't have to be extreme. Trimming a couple of unnecessary
short hops out of your routine is enough to hit the target. Encouraging
the kids to take the school bus instead of schlepping them in the
car, or consolidating three trips to the grocery store into one
weekly excursion may do the trick. Vacationing at the lake instead
of driving the family to Florida will certainly hit the goal.
2. Bring your
Stop buying coffee at the chichi coffee joint down the street from
work. Either bringing coffee from home in a thermos or brewing it
in the break room will actually improve the quality of your morning
shot of energy, as well as cut its cost dramatically. You can get
40 cups of coffee from a pound of beans. Even the gourmet ones can
be purchased for $4 per pound. If you're spending $2 per day on
coffee -- easy to do in most workplaces -- you'll go from spending
$500 a year to about $25 by making your own.
Save even more by taking cans of soda or bottled
water to work instead of buying them out of the
vending machine. Bottled water sells for around 30 cents
a bottle at a big-box grocery stores. Compare
that to the 75 cents or more that you'll spend
at the machine, and it's a no-brainer. You can
go even further by cleaning your small plastic
water bottles and replenishing them with drinking
water from a gallon jug. (It's an environmentally
friendly move, too.)