Nickel & Dime Tips For Young People

Before I get into the topic let me just give you my simple viewpoint, you will not become a millionaire with nickel and dime tricks. Yes I know that most personal finance gurus are going to want to bite my head off for that statement, but let me explain myself. Saving a couple of bucks here and there will not help you accumulate a million dollars, but, if you are patient, disciplined, and willing to let the money you save accumulate then you will have a decent sized amount of extra money when you choose to spend it.

People will argue and say that if they save money on one thing they will spend it on another purchase, this is where discipline comes into play. If you are disciplined enough to take the money you save through my nickel and dime tricks and invest it, then over time you will slowly accumulate a nice sized bank account. The nickel & dime tips offered below will help you to not only save money, but to realize that you truly are richer than you think (just like the bank commercials).

1. Eat breakfast at home. First of all you should always breakfast in general because if you do not then you do not save the money, you actually end up spending more money throughout the day on lunch and dinner because your energy levels are so low and your body is starving for food. The reason you should eat breakfast at home is because it is usually over priced to the max. I did not realize how cheap breakfast could be until the day I purchased a carton of eggs, some toast, and some juice. Not only was this breakfast healthier, it was cheaper and it lasted a week.


2. Look into your cell phone plan. I know that most of us are content with our current cell phone plans but we should not be because cell phone companies are in constant competition for our business. Just simply call up your cell phone provider and ask them for the available monthly plans. Once you hear all of your options tell yourself that you will pick a new plan that is at least $10 cheaper. I will discuss this matter in a later post when I try out a few tips on obtaining lower monthly plans myself.


3. Stop using your debt card. There are two reasons I recommend everyone stop using their debt cards; 1. There a lot of hidden fees that most of us have are unaware of. 2. You spend money more carelessly when all you to do is swipe a card to purchasing something. The first thing you should do is check your monthly bank statement and check how much money you pay towards bank fees. Typically, these bank fees are attributed to all of the times you swiped your debt card. On top of these bank fees, some money machines and stores charge you anywhere from $1-2 to access money through your debt card.


4. Avoid the extra latte or extra coffee. Yes I do support having a cup of coffee in the morning, but there is no point to purchase a fancy latte or to buy another cup of coffee in the evening. The reason many of us make these useless purchases is because we say it’s only a couple of bucks. It is only a couple of bucks but if you manage to save $2-3 a day by not having more caffeine than you need, you can save anywhere from $60-90 a month. Obviously the $60-90 a month will not get you rich, but over time it will add up to a good chunk of change.


5. Avoid the vending machine. On top of all the calories you will avoid, you will also avoid spending all your pocket change. Most of us have a tendancy where we walk by a vending machine and notice that we have some change in our pockets to spend that change on a bag of chips or whatver we choose to buy. Next time you walk by a vending machine and decide not to purchase anything, hold on to that dollar you just saved because after 30 days you will have $30 dollars saved.


6. Cancel something. That’s right, go ahead, and cancel one of your many monthly subscriptions. If you go to a fancy gym that costs a lot of money then try going to a cheaper gym. If you order a lot of magazines then try reading the content online or sharing with a friend. If you have an iphone or blackberry then try cancelling the data plan, chances are you already have internet access, so do you really need to see those pictures of yourself drunk from the weekend on your phone?


7. Start a change jar. Everything ties into this final point, which may seem very childish. I started a change jar in my room a year or so ago and ever since then I will wait about 6 months and then wrap up the change and take it to the bank. The change usually adds up to at least $50-80 a month, coming from all the money saved by some of the tricks above. I use this jar to hold all of my change, absolutely no exceptions, every little bit of change that I have goes into this jar. Every time I save any bit of change I throw it into the jar, even if I find a quarter or dime around the house. Believe me it all adds up.

3 thoughts on “Nickel & Dime Tips For Young People”

  1. I think that people really underestimate the power of eating in. When you mentioned this first point I was compelled to work out the cost of my breakfast…then I got carried away and worked out my lunch too.

    Here’s an example of how cheaply you can make your own food:


    Cereal – £0.12
    Milk – £0.16
    Tea – £0.02
    Yoghurt – £0.26
    Toast – £0.18
    Raisins – £0.05
    Apple juice – £0.04

    Total = £0.83


    Bread – £0.18
    Margerine – £0.02
    Egg/Cheese/Ham filling – £0.16
    Mayonnaise – £0.03
    Crackers/snacks – £0.30
    Fruit – £0.10
    Sweet snacks – £0.15
    Bottle of water (tap) – £0.00
    Tea – £0.02

    Total = £0.94

    I am now more convinced than ever to not eat out for breakfast or lunch! Dinners are a different matter because for birthdays it’s the common expectation…even here I stay away from the steak and stay out of the alcohol bill!

    Great point! People really should get up 15 mins earlier to at least grab some toast. It’s surprising how much of a difference it makes to your mood and your wallet.

    Also with breakfast you should really try and have something that releases energy slowly like oatmeal. It keeps you warm during the winter and can be mixed with wonderful foods like raisins and honey. Yum! It’s the most filling thing I’ve ever eaten for breakfast.

  2. Great advice. Eating meals at home is one way that most people can save a bundle. As you stated, be sure to do something with the savings, not just spend on something else.

    For example, if you can save $4 a day (not difficult for anyone) and you invest in an account that averages 8% APY (the stock market consistently averages 12% over 20 years) for 20 years: you will have invested $28,800-your account will be worth $70682.45.

    With the compounding interest factor NOW is the time to get started. Trust me, I am in my thirties and I am having to play “catch up.” Tell everyone one you see to start in their teens!

  3. I like that you stated in the beginning that you won’t become a millionaire by nickle and diming yourself all through life. You bank account will not be dramatically impacted by getting gas for $2.05 instead of across the street for $2.07.

    It’s more of a mindset. Changing to the mindset of “do I really need this and if I do need this, what is the most cost-effective way to get it?”

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