for almost half the price (some libraries even offer free rentals). Married couples with children can save on entertainment by planning only one night out a month, rather than two or three. “When you add up the cost of a babysitter, dinner, and a movie, you’re looking at almost $100,” says Glink. She suggests couples take advantage of free entertainment, such as concerts and art shows (which often serve free hors d’oeuvres). Bennett and his wife enjoy taking in music festivals in the Tampa area. “I get to enjoy a day full of music for $10,” he says. “I have a better time at a festival than in an auditorium where I might end up spending $85 to see one artist.”
STRATEGY# 6: Hair and nails can put a hardy dent in a girl’s budget. When Britton-Parris began saving money toward her business, she also scaled back on visits to her favorite salon. “I stopped having my nails done, and I began going to a cheaper hair salon,” she says. By scrimping and saving, she was able to save $10 a week on manicures and more than $10 to $15 on her hair. That’s another painless $1,200 toward Britton-Parris’ latest goal, establishing an advertising budget for her Website. When Bennett was saving $1,000 to buy computer equipment for his online radio station, he stopped taking his shirts to the dry cleaners and began doing his own laundry. “I knocked $100 off my cleaning bills each month,” he estimates. And at the end of the year he was able to buy his equipment.
Suze Orman, author of The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke (Riverhead; $24.95), says “it’s all about weighing what you are willing to do now so you will have more later.”
STRATEGY# 7: Saving money can be as easy as picking up the phone or logging on to your computer, says Ellie Kay, author of The Debt Diet: An Easy-to-Follow
Plan to Shed Debt and Trim Spending (BethanyHouse Publishers; $12.99). “Call your credit card company and ask if you can have your interest rate lowered,” she suggests. “And ask if they will waive their annual fee. Tell them you’re being wooed by another credit card company.” Britton-Parris has had her credit card rates reduced several times. “I’m very comfortable with calling credit card companies and asking for a reduced rate,” she says. “I’ve lowered my credit card interest rates quite a bit.”
Now it’s time to log on to savings. “Before you buy something, log on to sites like www.froogle.com, which can help you find the best price,” she says. Some online retailers offer discounts for Web-only purchases. Promotion code sites such as www.dealhunting.com and www.shoppersource.com will help you find hot deals on your favorite merchandise. Looking for ways to save on refueling your car? Log on to www.gasprice watch.com. “By picking up the phone or logging on to your computer, you can save a few hundred dollars a year,” says Kay. For more online savings tips, go to www.elliekay.com.