In a recent survey of young professionals who want to be financially independent and retire early, people with average incomes of over $225,000 shared some personal, if quirky, tips on how they cut expenses.
- Check Craigslist, Buy Nothing or Offer-Up First – Don’t pay full price for tools or other needed household goods. You can often find just what you need for free or nearly free at these regional or local websites.
- Go Big on Yard Sales and Thrifting – Hunt yard sales, department store sales and thrift store racks for high-quality, gently used brands you can buy for a steal, whether they suit you or not. When you’ve gathered a bundle, take those branded clothes, purses and shoes to a high-end thrift store for credit, and use that credit to ‘purchase’ whatever you like.
- Buy Lab-Grown Diamonds – Moissanite, a lab-grown diamond alternative, are said to look just as good and sometimes better than the real thing. A 1.5 carat stone costs around $550 instead of up to $25,000 for a good-quality diamond, and it looks just as good in a custom setting.
- Buy Produce Past its Prime – Fresh produce is expensive, but most markets sell big bags of well-ripened fruits and veggies at rock-bottom prices. Mash overripe bananas and berries for fruit bread and/or slice them up and freeze them for smoothies. Pull off the damaged outer leaves of lettuce and celery and use less than perfect veggies in soups and stews.
- Don’t Buy the Latest Model Phone – That $1,000 model will cost $300 in three years. It will still be an improvement over what you’re currently using, and staying three years behind is a clever way to save money.
- Share the Entrée – If you frequently dine with the same partner, share the meal and choose an appetizer. It’s a good way to save, especially if you tend not to finish your entrée anyway.
- Collect Rainwater – Get an extra trash can and use collected rainwater for garden use instead of turning on the tap and paying for water. This is a feel-good bonus for people who live in drought-plagued areas.
- Order Groceries for Pick-Up – You can save plenty by avoiding impulse purchases while you are cruising the grocery aisles, and if your partner has