The other day I was reading an article on my blogging pal, DivHut's site about money and savings hacks and it got me to thinking about how I haven't talked a lot about saving in the last few months. I used to be so efficient about posting in a good cyclical manner about saving, investing, and life but I've strayed a little further away from that trend lately. Lucky for you, I'm not too far away from it where I can't go right back to the trend! Today I want to talk about some tips on saving that I myself try to use in my everyday life that weren't mentioned in DivHut's article.
The number one way that Mrs. Dividend Reaper and I save money is by watching for deals on eating out at various restaurants. I know that many frugal investors say that you should avoid eating out as it can very easily destroy a budget but I would argue that the long term effects have not eating out a fair amount can sometimes be a bigger detriment on the budget than finding smarter ways to eat out. As it is an important part of the wife and I's social life, we make it a point to simply eat out but do it through deals that are found.
This means aiming for places that are consistent deal makers. Our favorite is a place called Old Chicago. If you have one near you, the deals are nearly endless. From late night $2 food specials to $3 tap specials, even between the two of us, we hardly spend over $20 each time we go (which is usually once a week at the very end of the week to relax after a long week of work). In this way we can go out and enjoy time with friends meeting up there but also do so on a budget without really trying very hard. I would urge every one of you to try to find a place in your neighborhood that has specials that are in the same ball park.
The second way that you can save a bit of money is to find free (or mostly free) hobbies. One of the worst enemies of a good budget is being bored. If you're bored, you are more apt to go seeking things to do and most things to do involve spending some sort of money. By finding a mostly free hobby, you can bolster your wallet against the free radicals of society that force you to spend money when you are most bored and craving things to do.
One of our favorite new hobbies is to play Pokemon Go - a free application for your smart phone that is basically a giant adult scavenger hunt/king of the hill game. Other than using a lot of your phone's battery life and a little bit of data off the data plan, this hobby is free and you'd be amazed how fast your afternoon flies while you're off in the sun getting your fitness up trying to find points to capture or Pokemon to catch. Yesterday alone I think I got over a 10k in distance just wandering around one of the neighborhood parks playing the game. Other ideas can be things like picking up a musical instrument, crocheting, or starting a blog.
These are just two ways that can further help you with personal finances in your home. If you have time, please leave a comment below about other ways that you save money.