Saving money is always a good thing, and the new group coupon sites are all the rage right now. The one I’m using is Tippr. It won’t cost you anything to sign up, and you’ll get five dollars’ credit when you join. Using this site will help you save one hell of a lot of money.
I just paid $20.00 for four movie tickets which saved me about 64% off of the normal ticket cost. That’s just insane! Yes, I will get referral credit if you sign up (in the interest of full disclosure), but YOU do, as well. That’s the beauty of it.
If we have enough people interested, I may be able to create a group coupon site for savings on software and hardware. Shoot me an email and let me know your thoughts, and we’ll see what we can do!
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Recently, I did a video with tips on saving money for gadgets… especially when you’re a teenager who can’t get a ‘regular’ job. This time, I’m going to give you some tips sent in by a community member for saving money in general.
First, and most important, put your money in that bank. Lets say its Christmas, and you receive $400.00 from your family. The next day, you have all that money in your wallet and go to Wal-Mart… only to see a really nice Xbox 360 on sale for $450.00. You buy it, and hardly play it. You’re out the Christmas money, and you are also negative another $50.00. Putting your money in the bank is one of the most important things to do when it comes to trying to save. Making an account where you are only allowed to take out $25.00 at a time will sound like a bad idea, but really be positive one in the long run. This is also a good idea because not a lot of stores will take Debit cards or will have a Debit machine.
Buying clothes is something that everyone has to do at some point in the year. But do you really need that $70.00 American Eagle shirt and those $100.00 pants? The answer is no. When buying clothes, especially when you are growing, it is best to go to a say, Wal-Mart. The American Eagle logo is on the belt area of their pants where no one can even see it. I have seen pants at Wal-Mart that look very similar and feel the same for $19.00.
Do you need whatever it is you’re buying? Sometimes you may be at an electronics store, and might have just received some money from work in cash. You see something that you “think” you want. When you buy it, you love it for the first month or two… but what happens to it after that? It’s going to be sitting on the shelf or in a drawer collecting dust, and if it’s anything but a Mac it’s not going to have a high resale value on eBay. Ways to prevent yourself from the temptation of buying it is to leave the money in the car or at home. Bring only as much as you would like to spend. If you know that you are going to be tempted to buy an electronic device then stay out of that store or aisle.
Buying food is another necessity of life. If you are like me, then you love food. Food can be costly when you have to buy everything once or twice a week. Ways to save money when you are buying food are easy. Look for coupons for like .50$ off of an item, or buy one get one free. Another thing that is really good to do is to buy in bulk. This is something that I will do often when I got to Costco. Buy your food from no-frills or other non-profit food-markets. You will still get your FrootLoops, but for almost 2$ cheaper.
Wait until Boxing Day. Waiting until after Christmas is one of the best things you can do. Boxing day is a really busy day, but you will save lots of Green. When I was looking for a Computer to buy, I noticed this HP computer for about 900$. I looked at the boxing day sale from BestBuy, and noticed that the price on the computer lowered by around $200, and came with a free printer. Waiting is the key to getting what you want. Also, wait for new things to come out like Chris did with his Mac Pro (Big Mac). Chris did the smart thing an waited. He could of gotten the older model for around the same price, but instead got a better one for the same amount.
A community member writes: “Being 14, I find that 99.99% of the time, no one will help me buy my geeky gadgets.I have created a list from my experiences on how to save money for your tech-related stuff.”
If you are short on cash, start a small business. Since I am only 14 and cannot get a ‘normal’ job yet, I sell computer parts on eBay. I have my own eBay store where I make a little over $100 a week, just from selling RAM and Hard Drives. The point is that on some websites, you can make money on the side with little effort. All you need to do is post a blog with AdSense or try to put up an EBay listing. These are very efficient ways to make money without much time or effort.
Don’t spend your money on stuff you don’t need. You don’t need to go to the movies 3 times a week. You can spend a little money once in a while, but put it towards the things you really want. Also, don’t buy a new notebook instead of paying your rent. Priorities come over tech items. How are you going to play XBox Live if you forgot to pay the electric bill? If you casually watch your money, you will notice quickly that buying your gadgets is not such a difficult task. Buying the store-brand items is not that much of a difference, other than the brand name items. Speaking of this, software is very similar. There is almost always a Freeware or Open-Source alternative. A very good example is GIMP or Seashore compared to a very expensive Photoshop.
Put a little money away. Instead of buying a fancy $60 meal, put $5-20 away a week. This adds up quickly. You won’t believe how quickly you will have money to buy the latest video game or something similar. Putting the money in the bank is also a good idea as you cannot touch it as easily as it would be if you had it in your wallet.
Look for good retailers, and discounts. As I know Chris has some really amazing coupons for software and things like that. Newegg is an amazing electronics retailer. I buy almost all of my electronics from them. It is like the Costco for Geeks. I have bought my Hard Drive, RAM, external Hard Drive and more from them. I highly recommend buying from retailers that sell the same product, but at a more affordable price. Just look around, before you pay an extra $100 for an item.
Most geeks have a bunch of Tech items that we don’t need, but others want. I bought an iPhone a few months ago, so why would I need a 5th gen iPod Classic? Sell the unneeded items on eBay or Craigslist to “save” money on another gadget. This works very well with video games, as EB games. They buy your old games for cheap prices, and you can use that money to buy a new game. Sell your old Hard Drive… get rid of the RAM you just upgraded from… you get the idea. If you don’t need something don’t throw it away… sell it.
POST UPDATE Tom wrote in after this was posted, to offer his method of saving for gadgets to us all!
I wanted to follow up that post by sharing one of my own little methods of saving money for gadgets. I use a simple spreadsheet to track what I have saved, and what I would like to buy. It tracks all the contributions I’ve made to my gadget fund, and tells me how much more I would need to save in order to buy each desired gadget. I primarily use this to save up for photographic equipment, which can be quite expensive. It’s not a very advanced spreadsheet, but it’s not supposed to be… it’s meant to be more of a psychological tool to encourage responsible spending. Sure, I could just grab the money from my short-term savings and pay it back later, but impulse spending is entirely too destructive in the long term. Instead, I prefer to put away small amounts of money over a reasonable amount of time. In the end, it’s much more fulfilling, not to mention responsible.
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