With skyrocketing gas prices threatening the damage the fragile resurgence in the economy, saving money has not only become necessary, it has become chic as well. Websites like MSN or Yahoo often feature money saving tips on their front pages. They offer ideas that, at this point more than two years into a recession, have become tired and played out. That does not mean, however, there are no more ways to put a little extra coin in your pocket.
For those who are willing to brush aside their moral conflicts, there are several ways to save money. These ideas are not illegal, but be prepared to be embarrassed, and perhaps ostracized, if caught. If that does not matter, then feel free to put these into action today.
Buy the same items as your roommate, and use his/hers.
Quietly take note of what your roommate uses for as many different things as possible. Look in the shower to find out his brand of soap and shampoo, check the bathroom closet to scope his toothpaste and shaving cream preferences, and don’t forget to check the fridge as well. Once you’ve purchased the same brands, put them in the shower, closet, or fridge and commence using your roommates’ items. If becomes suspicious you may be using his things, simply laugh it off as a mistake because you had the same type of soap/shampoo/ketchup. These things are expensive, and if you can buy them once every two months instead of monthly, you can save a lot of dough.
Don’t pay for garbage service, use your neighbors.
Garbage service can be expensive in some towns, and it is only going to get more expensive as gas prices rise again. Instead, figure out when your neighbors garbage company picks up the trash. In the middle of the night, once they’ve put their cans at the curb, quietly add your bags to theirs. The key here is to do it quietly. Making any noise will get you busted and will force you to have an awkward conversation. If you do get caught, don’t do it again. Instead, try to bring a bag every third day to work and throw it in the dumpster outback.
Lie about your car not starting, and ask a friend for a ride to work.
This one can’t be repeated constantly, but it can work well for a week, two at most. Tell a friend from work your car won’t start and ask for a ride. It is imperative you ask a friend who is already driving near your home. Give them $10 for gas. If they balk at the sum, point out they were driving by your place already so it isn’t as if they had to go out of their way. If they still complain, offer to buy them lunch. Do the math. $10 for gas and $10 for lunch is only $20 a week. If you fill you car one time during the workweek, it will probably cost you at least $50, more if you drive a truck, SUV, or a car with terrible gas mileage. Sure, you’ll look like a jerk, but you’ll be a jerk saving money.
And, finally, if your morals are severely compromised…
Eat your co-workers lunch.
Think of the break room fridge as your own personal restaurant. There is a catch here though. You cannot, under ANY circumstances, eat in the break room. Bring a plastic bag from home, put their lunch in your bag, and walk out of the room with your head held high. Eat in your car so nobody can see you eating the lunch they lovingly packed from home. If anybody gets suspicious of you, immediately become self-righteous and act like your feelings are hurt. That should diffuse the situation at hand, but take it as a warning to not do it again. This is the type of thing that must be ceased as soon as you’re caught.
Once you become comfortable with your morals lacking substance, or let go of them all together, you can find innumerable ways to save money.