Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the thriftiest of them all?

What is the most thriftiest thing you have ever done and/or what advice to you have for others on being thrifty?

Using cellnuvo point credits to pay for my dry cleaning.

J/k

Dang, thought this thread would be more enticing. I mean most of us are aware of tricks like using hangouts, truphone, freedompop (though they are more like feedompop lol). I mean at least there is a separate awareness thread for 4Gcommunity.

Like me for example, I safe a little extra by choosing banks such as simple and bluebird :slight_smile:

Working from home is a big money saver - no extra car, less gas, no eating out for lunch, coffee, snacks etc, no need for work clothes, expensive data plan. Saves time too not commuting and not having to live near work saves money on the house.

I like ooma - though not the cheapest out there it is easy and saves a lot on the landline.

Making sure you haggle with ATT every renewal for broadband.

Cellnuvo, freedompop, twigby with referrals etc. Cheap cell phone use.

Best value cellphone purchase - probably a tribute HD for $20. Though it isn't my favorite phone it is cheap for what you get.

Slickdeals

Doing things yourself - mow the lawn, make your dinner, fix your dripping tap yourself etc etc.

Going to disneyworld. Oh wait you said thrifty... :frowning:

Best advice is to mull over a big purchase for a couple of days. Chances are you will decide it wasn't worth buying after all.

We max out our credit card rewards whenever possible for cash back. For example, Chase Freedom is currently offering 5% cash back at grocery stores, so we are buying Shell gift cards at Ralphs (which earns us rewards points worth 20 cents per gallon), then redeeming them at the pump. And our regular "go to" credit card offers a straight 2% cash back on everything. None of our cards charge any annual fees, either, although the American Express card that offers 6% back on groceries looks like it might be worth the $90 annual fee.

The other thing we did a few years ago was cut back to the most basic cable package. That has saved us about $45 per month, and we haven't missed all the extra stations we used to get.

How does Simple and Bluebird save you compared to banks?

Sovashadow you might want to look at a local credit union (or online one like alliant credit union) as well or an online bank like ally. The big banks have terrible fees for checking accounts.

Simple.com is an online bank so I could have a .01 balance plus no incoming DD and still have no recurring fees. Bluebird just helps me turn cash into virtual currency to send to simple for free at walmart checkouts, the few times I need that.

mmfacemm, I should probably still get a credit union to get those legendary low mortgage rates or so I am told to prepare for future house...

If I didnt already have a quicksilver I would probably get that but cant get rid of it because its my first CC

Which amex is this? I might get it because my walmart transactions, regardless of what I purchase, always classify as groceries so might be useful. Assuming its a constant and not rolling 6% that is.

I understand what youre saying for the no annual fee cards. Currently my only annual fee card is my $79 Amtrak because it gave me more intro miles, and I get a companion pass every year plus other things.

The AMEX card that offers 6% back on groceries (category capped at $6000 per year) is the Blue Cash Preferred card. It also offers 3% back on gasoline purchases and 1% on everything else. I just checked their website and the annual fee is now $95, but they are offering a $150 statement credit if you charge at least $1000 in the first three months... which makes it better than free the first year.

BTW, if you decide to go for the 2% cash back card, it's from Fidelity. No revolving categories, just 2% back all year long. You have to direct the cash rewards to a Fidelity account (we just set up a Fidelity money market account online), but once the money's in there you can transfer it, use it to pay bills, or access it with their ATM debit card. We almost never use ATMs, but I think they reimburse some (maybe all?) ATM fees if you use an out-of-network ATM.

Please let me know if you have any other questions. Good luck and here's to frugality! :slight_smile:

My advice on being thrifty is to think about being thrifty as if you were an investor.

Firstly, focus on the big things. Many of these are spending that are repeat expenses not just the one time expenses.

Secondly, for the repeat expenses, look to make changes that keep on paying you back and which you can automate / systematize for the pay back.

So for example:

Credit Cards - choose a few and then use each one for the highest cashback. Over time, without thought, you'll make hundreds more. But if you go for the ones with the rotating categories, then you'll spend quite a bit of time and effort to make just a few dollars more.

Similarly, if you like airline miles and hotel points ie free travel especially luxury travel, then you can systematize the applying and cancelling and applying of credit cards to get yourself a handy payback. On the other hand, if you randomly acquire credit cards because of the marketing that catches your eye, you'll end up with a minor number of miles and points that you'll have to work harder to use.

Other examples:

  • Get your own modem and router. Do this once and you'll break even within a year. After that, you're saving hundreds a year. But you only put the effort in once.

  • Gas. Locate an area that is convenient that always has competitive gas prices. Then just go there whenever convenient and you'll be saving on an ongoing basis. If you try to save a few more cents a gallon by searching every time you need gas and then going out of your way for the absolute cheapest price, you're probably spending more time and money (gas) than is worth it.

Another route to being thrifty comes through vehicle ownership and maintenance.

New and newer vehicles cost a lot of money to own because of depreciation and insurance. Maintenance can cost a lot if you opt to get the "x month service" at the dealer or do not pay attention to how everybody is trying to upsell you. In addition, a lot of work is carried out poorly and probably contributes to problems down the line where people feel a car is getting "old" or having more and more repairs, and then persuade themselves to buy a new car.

But the fact is that cars are extremely reliable and simple maintenance can keep a car running very well for a long time and avoid costly repairs.

One of my vehicles is now 13 years old. It's an ex rental which I got when it was 1 year old for about half the new price when I needed to buy something in a hurry (I had just moved). I never intended to keep it for long, and at one point felt it was getting "old", but thanks to the continual incompetence of money grabbing dealers (not just one - I went to many different ones), I was motivated to learn about correct vehicle maintenance procedures.

Once I realized how it was possible to do most vehicle maintenance myself and to keep a car running very well, I decided this was going to be a good car to keep for the kids and also to use for airport parking, taxi service for the kids friends, running errands that includes busy and small car parks etc etc.

Over the last several years, excluding the cost of tires, I am probably averaging $60 a year on maintaining and repairing two vehicles. Of course, a major repair would change that, but one of the ways in which I avoid some major repairs is by performing maintenance correctly and more thoroughly. I am convinced that a good proportion of repairs that many people face is because of incorrect and substandard maintenance by repair shops that cause related issues later.