Clark Howard. Chances are, you wouldn’t notice him walking down the street. But he’s one of the most famous practical money gurus out there. One of the things that makes Clark such a valuable resource is that he thinks differently. He’s great at taking your expectation and turning it upside down when it comes to being frugal.
Clark Tip #1. Always Eat at Home.
If you don’t take anything else away from this article, take this one to heart.
Eating at restaurants is one of the biggest offenders when it comes to eating away at your budget.
Eating at home can save you 75% or more on food costs. Every time you take the “easy way out” by picking up to-go food, driving through a fast-food window or sitting down for a meal at a restaurant, you’re committing to spending money. When your goal is saving money and getting out of debt, it doesn’t make sense to eat anywhere but from your own pantry.
Clark Tip #2. It’s Not Really Empty.
The tube of toothpaste, the liquid laundry detergent.
You think they’re empty, but hand it off to Clark and he’ll cut open that tube of toothpaste, set up that laundry detergent overnight to drain out into a different container. By just changing your thinking a bit and getting creative, you can get so much more mileage out of every household items — condiments, personal care products, cleaning products and more.
Clark Tip #3. Get a Budget. Seriously!
This one is a no-brainer, but we had to include it because it’s the most important thing you can do for yourself today and for your future. Regardless of the format: spreadsheet, app or good old pen and paper, you need to create a budget and you need to track your spending. No exceptions.
Clark Tip #4. Cut the cable.
Watching cable TV is like watching money leak out of your wallet one rerun at a time.
Whether you switch to free streaming channels, visit your library and rent DVDs for free or just decide it’s time to read a book, the cable TV costs are too much to bear. Find the courage and the justification you need to cut the cable! Clark will be proud of you (and so will your bank account)!
Clark Tip #5. Spring Clean Your Inbox.
Today, a lot of impulse buys happen because of sales ads — in your email inbox.
It’s time to unsubscribe to about 300 different retailers and unclutter that inbox and your mind. When you’re not constantly being pinged with “urgent” emails about sales, you won’t feel as much pressure to buy.
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