Born in Minot, ND on 3.21
Moved to Alaska on 4.28.90
Married Beth in 1999 and we have two awesome kids,
Greta 7 and Henry 10
My Two little monkeys at the San Diego Zoo
Greta and her best friend Princess Jasmine at Disneyland
Henry getting picked to be the "one" volunteer at the Shamu show at Seaworld
Greta after hearing that Henry was the "ONLY" volunteer
Henry doing a little dental work on the world famous Shamu at Seaworld
Beth and I at Olympic Stadium in Sydney, Australia to see the Aussies play France
In front of the famous Sydney Opera house and bridge
photo credit: flickr
1. Cut your cell phone plan
Have you looked at your cell phone history lately? If you’re using less than your allotted minutes, text, or data, switch to a lower plan. Comb through your history and bills, then ditch anything you’re not using.
2. Ditch the landline
Speaking of ditching things, it may be time to cut the landline. If you primarily use your cell phone, why keep two services that do the same thing? Cutting your landline service can save $25 to $30 a month – around $300 a year.
3. Take a staycation
Staycations are all the rage lately for one reason: They’re a lot cheaper than regular vacations. If you’re trying to stash away an extra grand this year, consider staying home and living like a tourist in your own city for a few days.
4. Raise your deductibles
Raising your insurance deductibles will lower your monthly payment. For example, raise your car and homeowners insurance deductibles from $200 to $1,000 and you could save hundreds in premiums. Just make sure you don’t raise the deductible higher than you can afford if you need to file a claim.
5. Drop the gym membership
You really don’t need the fancy equipment, just a good pair of running shoes.
6. Turn off the premium channels
In the article You Don’t Have to Pay For Cable TV, we lay out exactly how you can ditch the cable altogether and still watch your favorite shows. But if you want to keep your cable, at least ditch the premium channels. HBO, Cinemax, and Showtime each cost about $13 a month or $39 for all three. If you cut them off today, in just six months you’ll be $234 richer.
7. Brown-bag it
A survey by staffing firm Accounting Principals found that more than 66 percent of workers spend around $2,000 a year on lunch. If you start brown-bagging it every day, you could easily cut that by 50 percent – and save $1,000 a year.
8. Cut out ATM fees
Switch to a bank with more free ATMs. If you’re paying for access to your own money, you should do the same.
9. Buy out of season
Buying out of season (swimsuits in January or Halloween decorations in November) can save you a ton of money.
10. Sell what you’re not using
Want a painless way to beef up your savings? Go through your house and toss everything into a box that you haven’t used or worn this year. Then sell that stuff and put the money you make into savings. Check out our article 5 Best Websites for Turning Junk Into Cash, or go the old-fashioned route with a yard sale or a visit to a consignment shop.
11. Buy generic
Many products are the same, no matter the brand name. For example, in 7 Things You Should Always Buy Generic, we suggest skipping the name brands on pain relievers, water, milk, margarine, bleach, cleaning products, and spices. They all worked as well as their name brand counterparts, and we found savings up to 60 percent.
12. Use coupons
Vow to always use coupons, and not just on your groceries. With sites like Groupon and LivingSocial, you can snag deep discounts at local retailers. And if you’re shopping online, always do a quick search for a coupon code before you check out. Sites like RetailMeNot and SlickDeals post coupon codes and special offers daily. You can also check out our deals page.
13. Quit smoking
Quitting isn’t just good for your health, it’s good for your wallet. But if you’re not going to quit, at least save some money on the smokes you buy. Check out 6 Ways to Save on Cigarettes for ideas – like buying in cartons and shopping for your smokes on an Indian reservation.
14. Reduce your energy use
According to The White Fence Index, U.S. consumers spend an average of $96.55 a month and $1,158.60 a year on electricity. If you reduced your bill by 30 percent, you’d save $28.96 in a month and $347.58 a year.
That isn’t hard to do – just install a few CFL light bulbs, turn up (or, when it’s cold, down) your thermostat, and flip the switch when you leave the room.
15. Stop paying for pricey shipping
Look for sites with free or discounted shipping and just wait the few extra days. If you ordered $19.99 overnight shipping once a month, you’d spend $239.88 a year on delivery fees.
16. Do it yourself
Hiring a pro is expensive, especially when you have the Internet to teach you how to do it yourself. Check out:
17. Comparison shop for beer
Between happy hour, game-day specials, and weekly ads, there are plenty of deals to keep you from paying full price for alcohol. For example, in 5 Tips to Save on Beer, Money Talks News found a website called SaveonBrew.com that posts discount deals on beer in your area.
18. Find free fun
No matter what you like to do, there’s probably a free or cheaper version.
19. Buy last-generation electronics
Buying the latest and greatest electronics isn’t always worth it. Electronics like smartphones are updated and released so frequently that the changes made from one year to the next can be barely noticeable to the average user. And soon as the new device comes out, the old device gets cheaper. So wait and buy year-old devices to save.
Ask for a discount before you buy anything, even at a major retailer. You could get a reduction in price just by asking.
21. Stop buying new books
Buying new books is costly, especially when you can get them for free at the public library or by using a book swapping service. Check out the 4 Best Sites for Trading in Old Books.
22. Buy used
You can save 50 percent or more by combing Craigslist, garage sales, and resale shops. Want some ideas on what you should buy used? Check out 14 Things You Should Always Buy Used.
23. Turn off the advertising
Start avoiding commercials and ads, and you’ll save a ton of money.
24. Use household products instead of commercial ones
The number of commercial products on the market is seemingly endless – especially cleaning and beauty products. You can spend a good chunk of your income buying special products designed to only do one job – or you can save that money and use something you already have around the house. Check out 19 Uses for Baking Soda, Dryer Sheets, and Beer for ideas – like using baking soda as a facial scrub, or cleaning your windows with vinegar.
25. Go meatless
To save money and health, stop eating so much meat – especially red meat.