10 Ways to Cut Costs & 10 Ways to Make Extra Money

For the past year and a half I have been preparing for grad school by cutting costs in any way possible. I learned along the way what were the best options for me. I tried to be a crazy coupon lady, but realized that I just don’t care enough and I don’t spend that much on groceries anyway. So here are the ways that I cut costs and made a little extra to help with impending school costs.

10 Ways I Cut Costs

1. Canceled my gym/pool membership without paying a fee (8/2011) – $469 
I was in contract until 3/2012, but got out of it by “moving” more than 50 miles away, thus avoiding the fee. I spent the majority of my fitness money on races so this was a really smart decision.

2. Canceled magazine subscription – $25 
Not significant, but still something.

3. Downgraded from cable and internet to just cable (9/2011) – $387.63
I got a roku box instead and got us internet TV. I’ll be getting another $35 back since I canceled cable for good and had paid the deposit upfront when we started the account.

4. Canceled Netflix – $132.62

5. Continued to bring lunch to work – ~$1,120 (at ~$40 a week) 
This is huge! Lunch in New York can be anywhere from $5 to $15. I did a average best on my previous spending.

6. Went out to eat less. I’m not going to quantify this, but the effect is noticeable.  
Especially when I didn’t eat out for 40 days for Lent.

7. Signed-up to be a ambassador and saved on my entry fee for Ragnar Relay – $100

8. Transfered credit card balance to a lower interest rate card – ~$300
Now I just have to pay it off by Nov 2012 to ensure I don’t get a higher interest rate.

9. Signed up for the library to cut back on spending money on books.
The NYPL has a fabulous app, too!

10. Moved home for the months of July and August – ~ $3,550 
And my commute though about the same amount of time is easier. Lots of great family time before Barna.

If you’re keeping count that’s $6,084.25 in cost cutting since August 2012. And so important since I had tuition payments to make.

10 Ways I Made Extra Money

1. Brought coins to the TD Bank Penny Arcade – $49.63

2. Sold electronics and furniture on Craigslist – $535

3. Make Upromise money for surveys and on christmas spending – $104
Upromise gives you a percentage back on spending and has a partnership with eRewards where you can make Upromise money by taking surveys.

4. Sold unused items on eBay (mostly handbags and running gear) – ~$600
These days on eBay you don’t have to pay fees until you sell something. This was also good for spring cleaning.

5. Sold books on half.com – ~$300

6. Completed online focus group for iPhone cover – $100 amazon.com gift card

7. Completed in-person focus group for Wheat Thins – $100 Visa gift card

8. Got rewards for using my debit card – $127.45

9. Filed taxes and got money back from years of donating to charity – $1,667 (minus $42.65 to file) 
Plus $5 went to my Upromise from this (accounted for above)

10. Sold old CDs to Secondspin.com – $150 

And with this money makers I was able to bring in approximately $3,733.08 in additional income.

I hope you have as much success as I did with cutting costs and making a little extra money with things you already have.

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