Days are getting longer and I don’t know about you, but my ‘to do’ list is getting longer too. I’ve been spending most of my spare time in the yard, cleaning flower beds and getting rid of last year’s leaves. For me, anytime I can save a few minutes here and there means I can spend more time doing what I love most…and yes, saving money too. Here are some things that work for me.
Make A List
Making a ‘must do’, and ‘try to do’ list, really helps keep track of valuable time. Here’s a Web site dedicated just to lists www.tadalist.com. And if you have trouble remembering certain dates try www.memotome.com. You can sign up for an account at both sites, and best of all, they’re entirely free.
Experts tell us we shouldn’t be overly obsessed with the odd dust bunny or cobweb, but it really pays to clean as you go. Keeping up with the chores each day ensures things don’t get out of control. I used to devote my Saturday mornings to cleaning the house, but then opted to spread various chores over the whole week. Thursday I set aside for vacuuming, and Friday is laundry day, etc. For some speed cleaning tips check out www.dallasmaids.com/tips.htm
Here’s one of my biggest time wasters, running errands. One day it’s getting the printer cartridge refilled, one day it’s a trip to the pet store, the next it’s a stop at the post office. I finally decided the best thing to do was to sit down and make a list of everything I had to do that week and check if any could errands could be grouped together.
Oh, Those Lines
One thing that gets me really frustrated is the time I waste in line at my local post office. It seems no matter what time I go there the line is out the door because only one service window is open. Here are some strategies you can use. When I do finally muster up enough courage to get in line, I buy stamps in rolls of 100, and make sure I have enough stamps of other denominations to keep me going for at least another month or six weeks. You can also purchase stamps online at http://www.usps.com/. And lots of post offices now have self-service machines which really speeds things up.
A Little Help From My Friends
Sometimes we Budget Smart Girls need a little help getting through the day. Hiring outside help to do certain chores can make sense, even for the budget minded. If you’re taking time off work, and hence losing money, to get something done, think about how much it’s going to cost to get someone else to do it for you. What’s cheaper, giving the work to someone else, or taking a day off work to get it done?
Use the Internet
If I’m looking to buy something, instead of visiting stores to compare prices, I do a search online before I head out the door. It not only speeds things up by narrowing down what I want to buy, but also gives me an idea of what the average price is, and who’s got the best deal.
I’ve made a note of when all the major stores in my area open for business. The supermarket opens at 6 a.m. the drive up window at the bank. 7 a.m. and both the library and warehouse store, 10 a.m. That way I know where I’m heading first and won’t waste time backtracking and waiting for the doors to open.
Be an Early Bird
Have you noticed dentist and doctor’s offices always seem to be running late when you arrive? It pays to be the first patient of the day. In some cases that might mean a 7.30 a.m. appointment, but there’s less chance that the doctor is running late because another patient didn’t show up on time.