Money changes everything. Some may inherit a ridiculous amount of wealth from their parents, while others may simply get lucky by gambling or by being named as a beneficiary from an unknown eccentric uncle. Most of us, however, have to slave for each and every penny. We toil, sweat and work every inch of our muscles and brains just to earn money that we can use at the end of the day.
It would help, therefore, if you knew how to stretch every cent you earn not only by maximizing your income but also by making sure that your expenses are kept at a minimum. It does not mean that you should lead a life of a miser. Instead, it is about recognizing that you can still everything that life has to offer but by using the least amount of money possible. Get things on the cheap and you will end up having more money that you can then spend for other items that are hopefully cheap as well.
The $115 Wedding Dress
Suzanne Daniel was one who followed this principle. Sure, her wedding was an event that would probably come only once in her lifetime. Still, she resisted what other brides would commonly do. Brides have a tendency of splurging for a wedding, as they want to be sure that they have the most beautiful dress on the big day. Spending thousands of dollars for a wedding dress is not unheard of.
Daniel, however, did the complete opposite and looked for the cheapest dress possible. Daniel is a PE teacher and probably knows that wearing the most expensive uniform does not equate to being the best athlete or team. The Hornets in the NBA have one of the best-looking uniform in the sport but it has not taken them anywhere. The important thing is to look good and comfortable and the less money that she spends, the more comfortable she would feel. So off she searched in eBay where she finally found her dream dress. Including insurance and postage, Daniel’s wedding dress cost a grand total of $115.
Cheapest Ways and Days to Fly
If we are to follow Daniel’s logic and line of thinking, she would probably opt for the cheapest honeymoon deals possible. Of course, the cheapest is to just stay with her husband in their new home, but then again, they still have a bit of romance in their hearts that is worth a few bucks.
The cheapest way to fly is through budget airlines that make use of no-frills budget terminals. Always fly out on Tuesdays and Wednesdays because they are generally the cheapest days for air travel. Ticket sales can happen anytime, however, so be sure to sign up for airfare alerts to take advantage of the best deals possible.
Airlines also have special sales specific to certain cities so it may be wise to create your own route using these discount airlines. It will entail plane transfers but pairing up a couple of discounted tickets may be cheaper than flying direct on just one ticket. For example, a direct flight from Texas to Germany may cost more than $1,300. If you go through Chicago, however, a flight from Texas to Illinois will cost $243. You can then connect to Germany for $677. You will be able to save around 30 percent of your money.
There are trade-offs, however. Luggages will have to be rechecked and there may be a need to stay overnight in the connecting city. Any delays in your first flight may also lead to a cancelled booking in the connecting flight.
Once there, you may want to consider backpacker’s inns instead of the usual hotels. Or you may even try couch surfing, in which you get to stay on the couch of a local for free by signing on to the couchsurfer’s website.
Being updated technologically does not have to cost an arm and a leg. Instead of buying a MacBook Air, you can consider buying the L70, a laptop made in China that is as thin as the MacBook Air but which only cost a fraction of the price. The L70 goes for only $100 and it boasts of an Intel Atom D2500 1.86ghz, dual-core CPU, 4gb of memory, 13.3-inch LCD monitor screen and 1.3-megapixel web camera.
Or if you want a tablet like the iPad, you may try the Aakash, a popular device in India made by the Canadian-based company Datawind Inc. It will only set you back $41 if you buy it in India because its government subsidizes the tablet. Indian students actually need to cough up only $35. Already on its second generation, the Aakash uses Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, 1ghz processor, 512mb memory, 4gb storage, 32gb microSD support, seven-inch screen, 0.3-megapixel front camera, Wi-Fi capability and three-hour battery.
For $23, you can also have a mobile phone called the Nokia 103. It has a simple 1.36-inch black-and-white display, flashlight and FM radio. Battery lasts for eight hours of talk time or 27 days of standby. It only weighs 77 grams.
You can also have a car for just above $3,000. The Tata Nano has a fuel-injected, two-cylinder petrol engine. It may not be the most impressive vehicle around, but it is reliable enough to get you from one point to the next.
Cheapest Places to Live
If you are not averse to living in an exotic location, you can move to Paraguay, which is probably the cheapest country to live in. An apartment in the middle of the city will set you back by only $200.
If you need to stay in the U.S., the southernmost town of Texas called Harlingen is the cheapest bet. A $2,400 square foot house with four bedrooms and two bathrooms cost less than $200,000 in this place. Rent is at $705 and utilities at $135. A juicy, T-bone steak meal is only $8.82.
So remember that cheap does not always associate to lack of quality. Even in the movie world, big names like Christopher Nolan, who megged “The Dark Knight” and “Inception” once had to contend with only $6,000 to create the 1998 movie “Following.” The 1999 “The Blair Witch Project” needed only $22,000 but ended up selling $250 million in tickets.