Four Painful Ways to Save Money

You work hard to earn your money. That’s why I’m here to tell you how to hang onto more of it, no matter the cost!

  • Stop paying taxes!

Without fail, millions of Americans begin a feverish scramble sometime around the middle of April in order to pay their taxes. I propose that one can potentially save hundreds/thousands of dollars by making one ever-so-slight adjustment: stop paying. That’s right. Perhaps it’s time to stop giving Uncle Sam his yearly allowance. What has he done lately to deserve it?

Not paying taxes also has a nice, ancillary benefit. Just think of all the time saved and stress relieved by not whipping oneself into a frenzy around tax time. Let all the other suckers worry giving the Man his due – our time is valuable and better spent on other tasks, such as fishing.

Naturally, if you can actually swindle Uncle Sam into giving YOU money, then by all means, go for it. Otherwise, forget about it! Now that I think about it, you can save even more by abandoning your monthly bills. With luck, the companies won’t even notice that you stopped generously opening up your wallet to them each month.

  • Sell your house, buy a tent!

If you’re a homeowner, you know all too well about mortgage payments, property tax, escrow, and other factors that greedily consume your monthly earnings. To add insult to injury, homes also require maintenance. Appliances can break, paint can peel, and the grass is always growing. Even if you rent, you’re still throwing money away each month. I personally spend about $1,000 a month on my home.

Here’s an idea: sell your house! With the money that you gain, you can easily buy a nice 3-season tent. Set up camp in the woods somewhere (or at least in your neighbor’s lawn), and start living the good life. Tents don’t require much maintenance and are highly portable to boot! Want a change of scenery? Roll up your new home, toss it in a bag, and survey your surroundings for a new potential residence. If the weather takes a turn for the worse, you can always move your home to a covered area, such as the Wal-Mart sporting goods section.

If you insist on paying your bills and keeping your house, then here is a new idea:

  • Minimalize Personal Hygiene!

From about the start of middle school through the start of retirement, people are obsessed with image. One’s hygiene can be an influential factor in one’s societal acceptance. However, a spiffy image comes at a cost – the latest cosmetic products and services cost more than they’re worth, but it’s all in the name of improving one’s image, right?

Wrong. I propose a new trend: minimal hygiene! For starters, let’s cut showers down to once a week. Immediately you will slash your overall water bill by roughly two-thirds every month! If in the middle of the week your body odor becomes too intense, resist opting for a second shower. Instead, try standing outside during a rainstorm or taking a midnight dip in a neighbor’s swimming pool. For added olfactory alleviation, visit your nearby shopping malls and browse the perfume/cologne sections of stores. Apply liberally from the sample bottles. That should quell your growing stench for a few more days.

Secondly, eliminate any and all extraneous products, such as hairspray (or gel), makeup, and deodorant. Knock on your neighbor’s door twice a day when you need toothpaste. I’m sure they won’t mind. When you have to use the bathroom, make a beeline for the nearest gas station or grocery store, or simply grab a large leaf from a nearby tree. You can save dozens of dollars on toilet paper that way! While you’re at it, go ahead and stop shaving. Razor blades are expensive, and they don’t grow on trees (unlike toilet paper).

Sure, your life will be a little more… smelly, but the money you will save with your new”minimal hygiene” image will be well worth it. If your friends inquire as to your new malodorous offensiveness, just add up the numbers for them and enlighten them as to how much smarter you are for saving money. Consider it your new fashion trend. You can even use it as a “conversation starter” when looking for that special someone in your life.

  • You are what you don’t eat!

Let’s face it: America is a growing country, especially in girth. Most people consume far more calories per day than they need, which translates into hefty grocery bills and money spent dining out each month.

While many people advise clipping coupons and dining out only once a week, I propose a more drastic measure: stop eating! Naturally, one cannot stop eating permanently (though the savings would be significant – while you last!), one can easily reduce the amount of money spent on food by about 90%.

Try these simple methods. Limit your food budget to a maximum of $10 per week. If you buy only Ramen noodles and eat them once or twice a day, you can have enough money left over at the end of the week for some day-old doughnuts. What a nice reward!

If you must dine out, ask a friend to join you. When the bill arrives, push it toward him/her and thank them graciously for inviting you to dinner. Smile a lot.

Here are some other money-saving ideas: pop into hotels each morning to take advantage of their complimentary breakfasts. If you hear of any presentations or receptions, stick your head in the door to see if they have free Oreos and coffee. Many banks offer a complimentary tray of cookies for their customers. Since banks rip people off anyway, feel a smug sense of vindication as you sweep their entire tray of goodies into a grocery bag. Complain to their customer service representatives if the cookies are raisin instead of chocolate chip.

Take the hundreds of dollars you save each month and invest it in mutual funds. With any luck, perhaps you can eat when you retire.

Yes, if you can’t tell, the above post is written “tongue-in-cheek.”

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