7 Unique Ways to Save Money (Rewarding Yourself with a Brew)
- Written by Joel Larsgaard
The following post was written by our buddy, Joel of SaveOutsideTheBox.com. He’s a very talented writer and a fellow fan of craft beer. He’s given us 7 ways you can save money, and as a reward, the perfect craft beer pairing.
Most of us view saving money as drudgery. You just gotta do it, right? I mean, if we make some smart hard decisions and end up with more money in our bank account then we’ve done “the right thing”. And the right thing is good. But sometimes you need a little bit more. A kick in the pants maybe. Or something to get you motivated – like your own personal Richard Simmons cheering you on. Alright, maybe that’s a bit creepy.
I don’t know about you, but the best motivation for me is a soul inspiring beautifully crafted brew. I’m not talking about that cheap stuff that you gotta drink uber cold so you can’t actually taste much (yeah, I’m talking about you Coors Light). I prefer my bottles without silly blue mountains and gimmicky vortex longnecks to funnel the beer out faster. In order to inspire you to save some money I’ve come up with a list of money saving ideas – complete with their perfect beer pairing.
You know how a glass of good red wine pairs perfectly with steak? Yeah, this is just like that.
1. Pay your credit card bill in full every month
This is certainly one of the cardinal rules of personal finance. But you might be tempted on occasion to forsake it. And the interest you accumulate by only paying the minimum can skyrocket out of control. Your credit card debt is most likely your most costly debt – unless you have a payday loan. Once you smartly take that credit card bill down in full enjoy the fruit of your labors with a beautiful scotch ale. I’m thinking a Founder Dirty Bastard is the perfect pairing (if it was an especially large credit card bill splurge on their Backwoods Bastard – aged in bourbon barrels, mmmm).
It’ll save $300 a year – and it really isn’t that hard. I’ve been doing my own pest control for over a year now at my house and at my rental property – saving me around $600 annually. The trick is finding the stuff that actually works. And you can’t pick that up at your local home improvement store. Fortunately, there are a couple of great online stores that sell the stuff that the pros use. And it really does work. That immense savings pairs perfectly with an unfiltered brown ale. I’m thinking Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron. By the way, this might be my favorite beer of all time.
3. Check for Discounts Before Buying
Before you make a big purchase, check and see if you can get a discount gift card to that store at a website like Cardpool.com. This method can save you anywhere from 3% at really popular stores to 35% at others. I save 25% every time at my favorite clothing retailer by using Cardpool. If you combine that with only shopping in the sale section your savings could be pretty substantial. That sort of outside of the box money mastery should pair perfectly with a double IPA – how about a Victory DirtWolf? You won’t be disappointed in the savings – or the floral and citrussy hops of this beatiful brew.
4. Instead of taking your car on your next road trip why not take the bus! Megabus and Bolt Bus are quickly spreading around the country and could save you hundreds on the cost of your next trip. I’ve taken the Megabus many times myself and have always been really happy with the experience. By the way, tickets start at $1. Seriously. That sort of savings should go really nicely with the incredibly solid taste of Bell’s Two Hearted Ale.
5. Know when to shop used
This certainly doesn’t apply to your beer purchases, but there are many other times in life where a used product is just as good (and sometimes preferable) to its brand new counterpart. A couple areas that you can save big by buying used are cars and furniture. They both depreciate almost instantly after your purchase. So instead of taking that big monetary hit check out Craigslist (one of my favorite all time websites)! It is a great place to turn when shopping for a used ride or a broken in couch. Just remember to get that car checked out by an independent mechanic before you close the deal. Since buying used can save you on the initial price, the insurance, and your annual tax bill, I’m thinking we splurge on this one. Enjoy a Chimay Grand Reserve (Blue) with this one.
6. Get rid of cable.
If you haven’t yet you really should. It is a drain on your wallet every. Single. Month. And you know what? A lot of the best programming is online now. Netflix is killing it with their original programming (House of Cards anyone?) and you can watch a lot of network TV shows for free via Hulu. Add an HD antenna to score you the local channels for live sporting events in HD and you’ve got yourself a winner. Plus, maybe cutting the cord will actually give you some more time for the stuff that really matters – like drinking awesome beer with your friends! Grab a sixer of Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar to split once you axe that nasty monthly bill.
[Matt: I’ve written a post called the 30 Day Challenge: Get Rid of Cable TV. I got rid of cable for a full year and didn’t miss it a bit. Best of all, I saved over $100 a month which I stashed into my emergency fund.]
7. Check for discounts before eating out
I’m not in favor of never eating out again. A lot of personal finance folks would say it’s a “waste of money.” Nah. That’s where you’ll find some of the freshest draft beer! So instead of banning it from your budget altogether, consider looking for discounts to your local eateries. My favorite places to look are Scoutmob and Savored. Now you’ll have a few extra bucks to spend on the lovely Great Divide Rumble.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my list of lovely beers paired with ways to save money. Maybe if we start thinking about craft beer (or whatever you love) as a way to fuel our money-saving efforts we’ll be more successful than we’ve been in the past. Good luck and cheers!
Joel Larsgaard is the creator of Save Outside the Box, a website dedicated to helping you live life to the fullest on a tiny budget. He also works for consumer expert Clark Howard. You can follow him on twitter for more money musings.
Featured Image Photo Credit: “Hand Putting Deposit into Piggy Bank” by Ken Teegardin on Flickr