Need Cash Quick? The new book: Help! I Can't Pay My Bills by Sally Herigstad, a contributing writer on MSN Money offers several quick fixes for cash leaks. I've outlined/paraphrased her suggestions and added a few comments based on my own experience.
1. Toss out catalogs and weekly sales flyers before reading them.
My comment: I've saved a lot by skipping past the weekly sales flyers from CVS and Walgreen's. I still stock up on sale items, but I limit my regular reading of sales bulletins. I have saved a bundle.
2. Avoid Malls and Movies.
Comment: Don't put someone with OCD into a messy room. Don't give an addict drugs. Don't take a compulsive shopper to the mall. I save a lot by avoiding most of my favorite stores until the once-a-year blow out sales in which merchandise sells at thrift store prices.
3. Skip restaurants and take-out food.
Comment: A $12 pasta dish costs the restaurant about 50 cents to make, including labor. Food industry insiders have shared this tip with me.
4. Carefully consider every purchase of the new gadgets. Ask: Do I really need this and how have I made it so far without this item?
Comment: I'm still feeling annoyed about our $300 camera that now costs $30 new. Or the hot game that drops to one-third or less of the price in just weeks or months.
5. Delete shopping channels from your bookmark list on the Internet. Avoid shopping channels on your cable TV control.
6. Cancel your cable service.
7. Consider DIY service
Comment: I braid my long nappy hair. Savings: about $200 to $300 per month. My husband cuts our boys' hair (saves about $40 a month). I've even learned to give myself a neat french manicure (saves $10 to $20 per week).
8. Up the deductible on your home and car insurance policies.
9. Walk or bike more for errands.
10. Consider ditching the second car: save lots on gas, insurance and maintenance
Comment: One of my best friends shared a car with her husband for years. They saved a fortune
11. Get a second job; sell your stuff; provide services
Comment: I know a woman --an excellent artist-- who offered art classes to young children. Parents were thrilled with this after-school activity and she was able to raise a lot of money.
The Frugal Duchess Boutique