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.