Save $1,000 In 30 Days?

Ramit over at I Will Teach You To Be Rich has thrown down a challenge. Can you save $1,000 in 30 days? He, like us, is annoyed with crappy frugality tips that will save you $1 a week, and promises to post decent money saving tips every day in November. If you follow them, he thinks you’ll be able to save $1,000 in 30 days.

This, of course, assumes that you’re not already using these tips, some of which Ramit admits will come from Consumerist. (Aw, shucks, he likes us.)

Anyway, if you’ve got an hour a day and want to save some money, why not join Ramit’s challenge? What’s the worst that could happen? You save money?

Announcing the Save $1,000 in 30 Days Challenge [I Will Teach You To Be Rich]
(Photo: donbuciak )

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  1. jchabotte says:

    well, not with the fact that my hot water boiler went out on me this past weekend…

    I could save the $1000.. but i’m more apt to putting it down to pay my debts that i already have… I’ll be at least lowering my debt by $1000 over the next month.

  2. concordia says:

    Secretly he won’t actually have to raise $1,000 for himself, since the repeated ad impressions will take care of that for him.

    That’s actually a pretty good plan.

  3. bsalamon says:

    its very simple. you put aside $1000 a month, and put it into savings…seems simple enough

    • uncle moe says:

      @bsalamon: hey, why not just put away a hundred thousand each month for a year and retire?

      but why stop there? and who says it needs to be monthly? let’s put away a billion every day. we could pay off the national debt on a donation after a few months and still have enough left over to buy the Cincinnati Bengals.

      • sarahandthecity says:

        @kid_moe: exactly what i was thinking, but funnier.

        • seandavid010 says:

          @sarahandthecity: It’s not so crazy. My wife and I save $1,000 a month, and we don’t have to go without any of the necessities.

          • LoveNoelG says:

            @seandavid010: Do you really think that is feasible and realistic advice to give someone? Well, I can. So should you.

            There are so many people with no concept of how much others struggle, it’s embarassing. Compassion, please get some.

            • Anonymous says:

              I think seandavid010′s point is that everyone with a somewhat steady/regular job makes about “x” dollars a month. Some of that money goes towards rent, bills groceries, etc. The rest is yours for spending/saving. Say that amount left over is $1500. Put $1000 in your savings account and leave the rest in your checking account as spending/going-out money. If you have only $300 after all bills, etc. are paid then put $150-200 away into the savings account and keep the rest as your spending money. Think about the ratio and focus less on seandavid010′s personal savings amount because his is all relative to his wife’s and his jobs/salaries. It’s not that hard and CAN work for everyone if you have even an ounce of self-control.

            • seandavid010 says:

              @LoveNoelG: No compassion? No concept? My wife and I are both young schoolteachers. I know what the struggle is for most people, and I know what it feels like to work hard for not much money. I also know how to budget my money and plan for the future. I’m sorry that you embarrass so easily, but I don’t think my apparent lack of compassion is the problem here.

      • TecmoTech says:

        @kid_moe:

        Mike Brown is not selling that cash cow.

    • Saboth says:

      @bsalamon:

      Kidmoe hit it on the head!

      Well ladidaaaa… “I live in NY and make 150k a year…I simply do not understand what the bruhaha is over saving a measly 1,000 per month!”

  4. Ajh says:

    What if you don’t MAKE $1000 in 30 days?

    • Canadian Impostor says:

      @Ajh: Then you should use all of the information available at your fingertips on the internet to get a better job, probably.

      • Canadian Impostor says:

        @Canadian Impostor: Or more maybe you work part time to earn some spending money, and saving up a ton of money just isn’t in the cards for you yet.

        • Ajh says:

          @Canadian Impostor: I’m paying down the debt I have very slowly. It’ll take about 5 or 6 years at this rate..but i’m still young, and I like the job I have. I’m also low maintenance. The librarians know my name. Did you know that in some places you can rent all the latest dvds for free at the library?

    • MoreFunThanToast says:

      @Ajh: minus my monthly rent, i only got $1000 left
      lol

      • GothamGal says:

        @MoreFunThanToast:

        May I suggest delicious ramen noodles for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Get rid of cable. Move to a cheaper place. Walk everywhere. Read by candlelight and find new employment.

        • CupcakeKarate says:

          @GothamGal: Screw candles- go to bed at dusk! Think of the money you’ll save!

        • Necoras says:

          @GothamGal: candles are probably more expensive than lightbulbs….

        • MoreFunThanToast says:

          @GothamGal: Even better, skip breakfast and dinner, one meal a day is the way to go.

          I have no cable to get rid of and someone pointed out already that candles probably cost more.

          New employment is something worth working on, but only on the basis that it would pay more than my current job. rent is inevitably high where I live, I pay $650 with utilities for a living room.

          • Anonymous says:

            @MoreFunThanToast: If you live in a city with a reseach hospital, I make 50$ or so a week by taking computer tests, etc. for behavioral and psychological studies, sometimes have my blood drawn… none of this “take this here mystery pill” even. Also, sell your plasma.

            • MoreFunThanToast says:

              @ThadineBloobla: do you go to the hospital and ask them? I live 5 min away from Kaiser. Sounds like a good way of getting extra income as long as they dont stick a needle in me.

              If by plasma you mean TV, I have a 10 yr old tube tv at home thats dying on me. So…

      • Ajh says:

        @MoreFunThanToast: Same. After rent (I don’t pay utilities) I have about $800 to spend on credit card bills groceries and the like. I just find these things funny because none of it ever seems to apply to me.

    • INTPLibrarian says:

      @Ajh: I’m glad someone else pointed this out.

      I suppose I could just not pay my bills for the month, and then POOF, magic, I’d have saved a $1000.

    • Anonymous says:

      My last (weekly) paycheck was $125 and it took me almost a month to find a job that would pay me anything at all. I feel your pain. At least I haven’t moved out of my parent’s house yet, although my tuition is probably what I’d be paying in rent anyways.

  5. JanetCarol says:

    this is somewhat impossible if you don’t have $1000 after your bills every month right?
    I mean unless there is a money tree, how am I going to save $1000 in one month?

  6. MercuryPDX says:

    The tips so far:
    Tip #1: Pack lunches for the rest of the week
    (Been doing this and eating most other meals at home so I won’t be saving much)

    Tip #2: Turn your thermostat down 3 degrees
    (Already do this with a programmable thermostat, so I won’t be saving much)

    Tip #3: Sell something on eBay today
    (Won’t do this for the obvious reasons.)

    Tip #4: Involve your friends in your savings challenge
    (Sure, they love to follow every little thing someone picks up off the internet).

    Kudos to the author though for:
    …this series will not include retarded suggestions like “Start a garden” or “Buy day-old food from bakeries.” I certainly won’t tell you to cut your rent or move to a cheaper place, because NOBODY WILL DO IT!

    • MoreFunThanToast says:

      @MercuryPDX: I don’t use heat and turns on the AC about 1 week out of the entire year.

      Selling things on ebay will only cause you to lose money, for as you’ve stated, obvious reasons.

    • bon says:

      @MercuryPDX: I actually DID move to a cheaper place. Cheaper by about $600 a month which goes directly into savings now. Sure the place isn’t as nice as my previous gated community, but after realizing I can save at least $7k a year(actually more with the modified utility bills) I was willing to make that sacrifice for a couple years.

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      @MercuryPDX: “this series will not include retarded suggestions like “Start a garden””

      This makes me want to be like, “well, screw you!” My garden not only saves me a bunch of cash, but makes me eat healthier (I feel obligated not to waste it) and gives me some free exercise, as well as a lot of psychic satisfaction from being outdoors and playing with dirt.

      Not a PRACTICAL solution for people who don’t have a yard? Sure. Not a POPULAR solution for some people? Fine, but none of the suggests will be popular with everyone. But a RETARDED solution? You, sir, may bite me.

    • Ajh says:

      @MercuryPDX:
      #1: pointless. I’m home during lunch.

      #2: No. I can’t function with it lower than it is. 66 is low enough.

      #3: I haven’t much to sell…

      #4: My friends all live too far away.

    • CFinWV says:

      @MercuryPDX: I don’t know how I managed to get an electric bill this low, but two months ago my monthly bill was $7.77. The next month it was around $34. That’s about average for me even in winter. I keep my house on the cool side (I like it that way, not just for money) and I don’t light up my house like a christmas tree at night. Usually one table lamp going in whatever room I’m in. I even use the old fashioned bad-for-the-environment lightbulbs because the energy efficient ones give me migraines something FIERCE.

      The month I had the ridiculously low bill I didn’t turn on my AC or ceiling fans at all so I’m sure that had a lot to do with it.

  7. bdsakx says:

    Impossible for me to do in one month, but three months, maaayyybe….. I’d have to cancel everything, my cell phone, my satellite, Netflix, drop my internet to the lowest DSL tier, make minimum payments on my bills, and maybe eat 1 meal a day. After the termination fees, I could theoretically save up 1,000 on the third month, and break even on the fourth, but definitely not in the next month or two.

    • MercuryPDX says:

      @bdsakx: Live like a caveman and SAVE! :)

    • Martin65 says:

      @bdsakx:

      OK, Cell phone, that can be hard, I admit. But if you can’t save any money and you still have a pay television subscription & netflix, you’re not trying at all.

      Yeah, low-tier DSL sucks. Yet you have debt, apparently. Unless your job requires a very high speed connection (mine does), what, exactly do you need the fastest net connection for?

      If you spend a DIME on food out of your home, you’re not trying to save. If you’re throwing out food because it sat in the fridge and rotted, you’re not trying to save.

      If you’re spending money on booze, butts or porn, you’re not trying to save.

      And no, it’s not “living like a caveman” its called “Responsibility” and it’s not a bad way to save.

      Don’t even get me started on the fact that spending on entertainment while you have any debt is just plain dumb.

  8. katylostherart says:

    “This, of course, assumes that you’re not already using these tips, some of which Ramit admits will come from Consumerist. (Aw, shucks, he likes us.)”

    this is also assuming you take home at least $1000 after basic bills like rent/utilities.

    • edosan says:

      @katylostherart: So his blog should really be called “I will teach you to read Consumerist”?

    • ramit says:

      @katylostherart: Or, if you read the actual post, you would see that the challenge is about Cutting costs, Earning more, and Optimizing your spending — not just cutting costs off a gigantic income.

      Wouldn’t it be worth it to save $100? How about $200?

      Or would it be easier to just complain?

      • katylostherart says:

        @ramit: then why mention a specific dollar amount anyway except at a gimmick to get attention? i called it as i saw it. it was a tagline to get hits like most things which means it was inherently bullshit for some people. if it was meant to just be about saving lines like “crappy frugality tips that will save you $1 a week” wouldn’t have been part of the information because ANY saving wouldn’t be crappy. hitwhoring is fine, it’s a blog, but don’t expect no one to call it out.

  9. miramesa says:

    Wait a minute. Isn’t the IWillTeachYouToBeRich guy ironically not rich? I thought I heard that somewhere.

    • edosan says:

      @miramesa: It seems to be a truism that anyone that will “teach you how to be rich” gets rich by teaching you how to be rich.

    • mtaylor924 says:

      @miramesa: Read his blog. It’s about personal finance mixed with entrepreneurship, and the title is a bit tongue-in-cheek. Also, he’s probably not rich, but is also not not-rich, if that makes sense. I’m sure he does pretty well for himself considering all the things he dabbles in, plus his full time job.

  10. zigziggityzoo says:

    lol. The Economy sucks! How do we make it suck more? By not spending $$. It all trickles upwards until you lose your job.

  11. vastrightwing says:

    Here is a very quick list:
    1) Put less/no money into your 401K and pay off your collateralized assets first!
    2) Pay off high interest debt as fast as you can
    3) If you can, re-finance as much high interest debt as you can to a lower interest rate. Don’t consolidate loans unless the interest rate is less.
    4) Make lunch for work each day >$100/mo.
    5) Stop eating out. No fast food.
    6) Stop buying processed foods.
    7) Bottle your own water
    8) Drop cable >$40 mo.
    9) Drop home phone, use voip or cell phone if possible.
    10) Drop data plan on cell phone >$30/mo
    11) Sell everything you don’t NEED on Craigslist.
    12) Sell any cars you can get by without. Save the insurance, repairs and payments. Rent a car for the few times you may need it.
    13) Check your bills each month. I find errors often.
    14) Re-negotiate any month to month services for a lower rate.
    15) Call credit card company and ask for a lower interest rate. If not, change cards.
    16) Manage your money at the bank every day. Make sure you don’t bounce checks.
    17) If you have a large freezer, empty it, unplug it and sell it.
    18) Change any light bulbs that stay on for long periods of time to CFLs.
    19) Check for water leaks in toilets especially.
    20) Shop around for a lower insurance plan if possible.

    • MercuryPDX says:

      @vastrightwing:
      17) If you have a large freezer, empty it, unplug it and sell it.

      Or, stock it to the hilt using your local warehouse club.

      • dewsipper says:

        @MercuryPDX: Isn’t deer season coming up?

        • aftercancer says:

          @dewsipper: I’m with the others, don’t get rid of your freezer. Stock it up when things are on sale. Here’s a big one – use you leftovers! With a family of 4 I am always trying to reduce how much food we stick in the fridge and then never eat.

        • MercuryPDX says:

          @dewsipper: Every Day is also potentially “half a slaughtered cow” season.

      • SgtBeavis says:

        @MercuryPDX:

        I’m with ya on that one. Keep the Freezer.

        During the Summer, move it out of your uninsulated garage where most of them are kept. During the winter, put it back.

        We do a lot of our grocery shopping at Costco. I eat healthy and we save…

        • MercuryPDX says:

          @SgtBeavis: During the Summer, move it out of your uninsulated garage where most of them are kept. During the winter, put it back.

          There’s a good tip. :)

  12. ckaught78 says:

    I just transferred $1000 from my checking acct into my savings acct, I guess I am donw.

  13. tape says:

    they seem to have forgotten what should have really been Tip #1: make at least $60,000 a year.

    • Clare116 says:

      @tape: Agreed. I used to subscribe to the IWTYTBR newsletter, but when I got the $1K thing I unsubscribed. If you make a modest salary, a lot of finanican advice is irrelevant. Like, “Well first of all, max out your 401(k). Then with what’s left over…”

      I could definitely stand to be smarter about my money, but this seems like the financial equivalent of a crash diet. Maybe it would be good as a “reach for the moon, land in the stars” sort of thing.

      I did do one of those financial fasts (ie, no retail spending) for a week and it was worthwhile. It wasn’t so much that I saved a ton of money, but I recognized some bad spending habits. I spend money when I’m bored or looking to avoid doing something. Plus it make me more conscious of running errands efficiently, and thinking carefully about my social obligations.

      • Martin65 says:

        @Clare116:
        We’ve been on a “financial fast” all year, and the shopping habits are overwhelmingly hard to break – and I still feel very much addicted to spending. But what we’re all calling a “financial fast” is bogus, it’s simply “living within your means” – and that means without revolving debt. We’ve been 100% free of revolving debt since 1998 – 10 years – and it’s HARD even all these years later. But I think that once you start spending only money you actually HAVE you start to see all kinds of things about salaries and jobs (for example, $60K a year is actually a “moderate to low” income) if you look at the cash-buying power that a 60K salary brings compared to the real costs of housing, healthcare and transportation.
        It is interesting to note how many people first say that they “can’t possibly save $1,000 and pay their bills” and then go on to allude to the kinds of bills they have. Sure, not having cable TV is a drag for some people. But if you have to use debt to buy stuff, you can’t actually afford it, so if you can’t make the bills and you’ve got a pile of bills for “discretionary” spending, you’re not showing “discretion”.

        So, like you the financial fast we’ve been on was (and is still) a hard lesson. Spending when “bored” pushed me to volunteer as a firefighter. That’s not boring at all, I assure you.

        And to the points about killing the economy with thrift – yes, that’s exactly what’s happening. If we’re going to survive as a species, sooner or later the transition to the steady-state economy, not the growth at all costs model, has to start. We’re at that starting point, here and now. The guided age of consumerism is ramping down.

      • JanetCarol says:

        @Clare116: Move to northern Virginia where the population is . . . . well. . . intense. Shopping is no longer fun or makes you feel better. Most people are rude in the over crowded stores.
        Only place I still enjoy going is Wegmans.

  14. mtaylor924 says:

    I’ll be interested to see the Consumerist’s take (and that of its readers) after the full month of tips has been published. I tend be skeptical of things like this, but I do enjoy Ramit’s site, so I’ll stay tuned in to see what happens.

  15. Ilovemygeek says:

    We just skim 250 per paycheck off every time we’re paid and put it directly into savings. Since my husband and I are on different pay schedules we never even miss it and we’ve been able to save without even feeling it.

    • ramit says:

      @Ilovemygeek: That is awesome. Making saving automatic is the easiest way to save tons of money. (See the research on automatic 401(k)s for more on how effective this is with retirement accounts.)

  16. Anonymous says:

    A simple call to various insurance companies saved me a $1000 a year. Insurance companies bank on you just staying with them year after year. I also moved from Comcast to DirecTV and got more channels and HD for less money than Comcast. Just call their customer service and tell them you’re considering switching. I got a free DVR and free professional installation.

  17. ExecutorElassus says:

    This is totally awesome. I make about $1500 a month; if I can save another $1k, just with simple tips like this guy has, that’s totally sweet!

    • Anonymous says:

      @ExecutorElassus: Your not going to “save another” $1k. If you only make $1500 a month, its just that. You would need to only spend $500 a month and save the rest in order to reach this goal. Unless your debt free and live at your parents, this is not going to happen.

  18. EBounding says:

    Saving $1000 in a month is not an impossible task. I was able to save over $1000 in September, although I was only able to save about $400 in October. My wife and I net about $2,700 a month (plus health benefits). I don’t think it’s a terrible amount of money. Here’s some of the biggest reasons why I think we’re able to save:

    * Rent – We don’t have a house payment. We rent an apartment that pays for heat and water. Rent is $680.
    * Limit groceries to once a month – We’re forced to eat stuff we wouldn’t normally eat right off the top.
    * Lousy furniture – We have pretty lousy furniture and not much of it. But we deal with it because we want to save (particularly for a house).
    * Canceled digital cable – The broadcast digital stations come in pretty well. This saved $40.
    * Canceled land line – We use the internet/phone bundle. Yeah Comcast is lousy, but AT&T is much much worse.
    * Pack Lunch – This is obvious.
    * Have no debt – This of course makes it a lot easier to save.

    Despite these “sacrifices” we still subscribe to Netflix, have plenty of clothes and go out to eat once a week (~$40 a week. This really needs to come down). We also have a dog. Of course, not everyone can do this but it’s not like you’re a bad person. The point is that it IS possible and it doesn’t hurt to try.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @EBounding: Kudos to you! I really want to cut the amount we’re spending, but I’m finding it really hard to cut the fat because the “luxuries” are our necessities. We would actually go insane without television. We’re one of the rare people who actually have television shows we like, and not all of them are online. Plus, we’re under a contract and got a good rate.

      In response, we cut out netflix, don’t eat out much at all (or eat less…our favorite restaurant costs us about $30 each time), and our biggest expense outside of bills right now is Christmas. I’m trying to keep decorating under $100 and keep the budget for presents under $100.

      Our furniture was pretty much free from family members. It’s all really great quality furniture, but Craig’s List helped me save a ton of money. I got an amazing coffee table for $80 and a set of Pottery Barn end tables for $100. We got the quality without spending the full retail price.

  19. Craig says:

    All you have to do is be a single, recent Harvard graduate with no wife or kids earning a high five-figure income from an internet startup. Now stop spending money on all the daily luxuries none of the rest of us can afford and you’re all set…an extra $1,000 a month.

    • ramit says:

      @Craig: (I’m the author of the challenge.) That’s not really true. Maybe to cut your costs $1,000, you might have to be spending a lot — but the challenge includes earning more and optimizing your existing spending.

      Besides, could you save $50? $100? Seems like that would be better than doing nothing.

    • EBounding says:

      @Craig: This is BS (see my post above). Can anyone do it? No. But if you’re making near the median household income ($48K) it’s certainly possible. A month really isn’t that long of a time.

  20. cbosdell says:

    I would love to do this but after expenses but before food and gas I “only” have an extra $800 or so left over to divide between food, gas, clothing, househood supplies, etc. I am lucky to actually have $300-$400 to save in a given month.

  21. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    I’m working on doing this, but it’ll only be about $300 a month…

    I’m putting huge amounts of money toward my car payment for the next 4 months so that I can pay that off and finally start saving money.

    Currently its my only debt so once its gone I’ll be completely debt free!

    • Clare116 says:

      @Oranges w/ Cheese: Cool! Good for you! I’m not that close to being debt free, but I recently rejiggered my finances to throw more cash at my students loans so I can get there sooner. Maybe that’s why the $1K challenge seems particularly frustrating/unappealing.

  22. Anonymous says:

    So this assumes you are already rich? After I pay my bills I’m lucky if I can save $300.00 a month. And I’m frugal as it is. I never go to a spa, I cut/color my own hair, I have the cheapest internet/cell phone service, I don’t even have cable.

  23. Trencher93 says:

    Tips seem lame so far. If you already eat your own lunch, rather than dine out, not much chance of completing this. Sell on eBay? Is he serious? This would be great if it was more realistic.

    • ramit says:

      @Trencher93: (I’m the creator of the challenge.) What kind of tips would you suggest? I’m open to hearing your suggestions and including them in the challenge.

      • wallspray says:

        @ramit: I really hope you already have decided upon which tips you are going to be giving out, otherwise it would be unrealistic for you to suggest someone could save $1000 without knowing which tips you will be giving.

      • ShariC says:

        @ramit: It occurs to me that you’re the one offering the challenge so you shouldn’t be asking for tips from others.

        Mainly, I believe pooh-poohing the tips that save a little here and there (the ones saving you a dollar by shopping for food in bulk or whatnot) in favor of your tips invites criticism. If you’re going to dismiss the tips of others, then you’ve got to put something pretty impressive out there.

  24. MosesKabob says:

    I’m going to save $1,000 a month by no longer sending my child support payments. I expect opportunity to come knocking at my front door any day now!

    (/gallows humor)

  25. bohemian says:

    Saving $1000 by the “haves” in society = drink less Starbucks, fewer pedicures.
    Saving $1000 by the “have nots” in society = live on the street and beg for food.
    Clearly saving $1000 a month is more tied to your total income. A percentage might be a better indicator but that still is an issue for the people on the lower income brackets since most of their income goes to basics like housing that really can’t be cut back on.

  26. Ratty says:

    My take-home pay is roughly $1300-1400 a month. My rent alone is $900. Ain’t happenin’.

    • sawzy says:

      @Ratty: sorry, but you are an fool if 70% of your income goes to rent. It should be around 33%. Here’s an easy tip to save money, move out!

      • Ratty says:

        @sawzy: It used to be 30% of the household income, but my husband lost his job in the economic downturn. We’re locked into a lease and we can’t move elsewhere because they require you pull in 3X the rent in gross income and I don’t meet that on my own for even any 1 bedroom places in town within a mile of a bus route.

        I’m not a fool–I’m screwed over by this city’s startlingly bad economy, stagnant wages, and no means to get out.

      • JanetCarol says:

        @sawzy: Some people only make that much a month. I’m not sure where you are from, but here you cannot even get a studio apartment or rent a room for under $900. And if you move farther out, then you are paying more in gas for your commute.

  27. econobiker says:

    Item number 35: Do not have money forgeting former spouse who requires keeping a lawyer around to defend against silly proceedings.

    My attorney had to show my ex-wife copies of canceled checks, endorsed and deposited by her, in court, with her on the stand, to get her to agree that she had, in fact, been paid for a debt. “Oh I forgot. Sorry, I shouldn’t have filed that as a contempt charge.”

    My attorney to me “Pay up, sucka.” @ $200/hr billing rate…

  28. RandomHookup says:

    I find cutting back on hookers and blow makes a substantial dent in the $1k.

  29. frodo_35 says:

    Heres a biggie. My wife and I quit smoking we smoked generics and are saving 300+ a month. Next april NO MORE CHILD SUPPORT YAH!!!!!! I will be saving 600 a month and plan to have my house payed back off in 4 years.

  30. ShariC says:

    The amount of money in these challenges is so arbitrary. I save a thousand a month, but my (lack of) expenses and (reasonable but not lavish) income support that. It’s easy when you have no kids, no car, and no debt, but saving that amount isn’t very meaningful to me. To people with a smaller income and more responsibilities, it’s an achievement to save $100 a month.

  31. ckaught78 says:

    Another tip:

    Take $33.33 every day for 30 days and put it under your pillow.

  32. JanetCarol says:

    I think this also has a lot to do with the area you live in. If we were able to live further out, many costs go down. Unfortunately living in Northern VA is very pricey.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @janetcarol: I was going to say this earlier, you beat me to it. Northern Virginia is extremely pricey, and the biggest problem is that there’s such a disparity when it comes to getting the best for your money. You can pay a lot and end up in a great neighborhood too, with proximity to shopping and bus routes and metro, or you can live farther out and have to commute longer, or you end up being in a bad neighborhood. I’ve seen rent for as low as $900 or $1100, but I wouldn’t feel safe going to my mailbox at night.

  33. Yogambo says:

    I tend to enjoy Ramit as well, even if has his moments of intense arrogance. But this series is a bit of a crock. He tends to teach you ways to make more money. But he says, since things are tough, he’s going to teach you how to save – and not with those lame suggestions on the ‘savers’ blogs. But he’s offered nothing of note at all and don’t expect to see it. I mean ‘sell things on eBay’ is right up near the top of crap. He says don’t worry about making money, it’s the mental triumph that counts. Well, try selling on Craigslist instead and skip the payments to eBay for listing and selling your $10 item. Or better, give it away via FreeCycle or to a local charity (claim a deduction). What I see this as – and I believe a number of people are seeing this – is a cheap ploy to make him money via ad impressions. Most recently, he notified us that his little ploy was mentioned on the Wall Street Journal blog. I’m sure that came via an anonymous tip. And now he’s getting play on Consumerist. He’s mastered getting page views on that site of his. He information is often interesting and the arrogant delivery can be entertaining, but here, he’s just recycling things from, yes, Consumer, or WiseBread or My Money Blog, etc. The list goes on and on.

    Sure, he’s got a window to introduce something new and of note, but lowering the thermostat and packing your lunch, really, those should have been things done long ago. Selling on eBay – please, crap tip. I’m waiting for ‘change your light bulbs to CFLs and save!’ That’s the latter part of this crapitude. He takes this small efforts, compounds them and announces them as great savings, so as not to fall in his own trap of only saving you a $1 or so a day. I’d bet that the thermostat tip saves, for some, only a few dollars a day. It’s the compounding that counts, so like a street magician, he concentrates on hyping that and then profits by page counts and ad sales. It’s a move that feels horribly slimy to me, maybe becauswe I always fear such hidden agendas with these sites from the get go. Now it feels a bit realized.

    • ramit says:

      @Yogambo: If you think I did this for ad impressions (and am answering comments on a bunch of blogs), I’m sorry to burst your bubble but you’re wrong. There are easier ways to make money than waking up at 6am every morning to write another tip, regularly emailing people, and coordinating user-contributed posts.

      Yes, a lot of the tips “should have been done a long time ago,” just like people should have been spending less than they made — but they didn’t. Sometimes it takes a new way of looking at something to actually do it. Especially for my readers, who aren’t used to reading about frugality.

      If you “always fear…hidden agendas on these sites,” then I’m sorry and I invite you not to read my site any more. But there’s not a conspiracy lurking in every corner. If even one of the tips was worth it, maybe it could save you some money.

  34. parkall says:

    Don’t forget about us poor saps who are on fixed incomes, and make under 10.00 / hour. Just to get by we end up going from paycheck to paycheck….

    Would be a great Idea if only had better income and a better economy to boot.

    Just my 2 cents worth…

  35. goldenmonkey says:

    I only make $12/hr and have rent, utilities, a car payment, car insurance, and student loans to pay every month. This isn’t happening for me. I’ll take it into consideration though in case I ever manage to have something better than a low-paying dead-end job.

  36. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    You know, as much as I am a champion for public transportation…I could never take the bus by myself, or the Metro to work by myself. Where I work, you don’t want to walk alone at night, especially if you’re a female. I’ll keep filling up my gas tank, thanks.

  37. RosePapagano says:

    Yeah too bad I don’t even make $1000 a month.