Try A “Live Cheap For A Year” Challenge

With the economy as it is, we’re all probably thinking “I’m living as cheap as I can”, however here are a few things to consider that could add up to big bucks by the end of the year! Before I begin, let me suggest this —- find a LARGE container (bank, coffee can with a lid, etc) to put your savings into!

1. Save all your pocket (purse) change.

At the end of each day empty your pockets or purse of all your change and put it into your “savings” container. How often do you pull out quarters, dimes and other change to pay for things that you might not have bought if you’d had to “break a $20” or dig into your dollar bills.

2. Cut your own hair.

While you may or may not be able to do this for yourself, depending on your hair style, how about cutting your kids hair? A friend of mine purchased an inexpensive hair cutting set and routinely cuts her husband and 3 son’s hair. At $10 – $12 (or more) for each hair cut, she’s saving close to $50 a month on hair cuts. Put THAT into your “savings” container and see the dollars add up.

3. One weekend a month stay home and buy NOTHING.

This means no “order in” pizza and no purchased movies on TV. Make it a weekend with the kids – playing their favorite games or if you don’t have kids, you can invite some friends over for a card game. If “fun” isn’t your main goal, try using the weekend to clean up the yard, clean out a closet or two or shampoo the carpets.

4. Don’t throw anything away.

Remember the old saying – “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure”? Find an area in the garage or a spare room to accumulate things you won’t be using anymore then every few weeks or every couple of months, either hold a yard sale, put your items on CraigsList or on Ebay or find a community yard sale activity that you can participate in.

5. Buy cheap.

Whether you’re looking for car parts, home decor items, childrens toys, books or whatever it is — before heading out to the super centers to buy retail, check CraigsList, Ebay or even some of the Goodwill stores near you to see if you can stretch the dollars that you have to spend.

6. Decide What You Want

Last but not least — at the beginning of the year decide what you want to use those savings for — perhaps you can save up enough to cover the cost of all your Christmas gifts at the end of the year without going into debt, or perhaps you can save up for a family vacation, or at least determine to save enough to make an extra house payment or two or put some extra chunks of money on a current credit card. If you don’t have something in mind to use the money for, you’ll find yourself dipping into that “savings” container throughout the year for stuff you really didn’t have to have anyway.

Let us know if you think of other areas that can be added or what you might want to do with your “savings” when December comes around.


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  1. My purse gets so heavy with change it feels like i’m carrying around a brick! I’ll definitely be dumping my change each night. Bet I can come up with a pretty good stash with the pocket/purse change!

  2. I might just do #3 and probably extend it to a month! That’s a lot of savings I could make!

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