5 Money-Saving Trends We Love

good money trendsYou know that old newspaper adage: "If it bleeds, it leads?"

The same is true of personal finance news: The headlines love to bleat about all of our (collective) bad money habits: "Workers Saving Too Little to Retire!" "Mortgages Underwater!" "Student Debt Crisis Looming!"

It's enough to make you want to crawl in your piggy bank and hide.

But, luckily, in addition to people cutting their expenses by $1,000 a month or paying off $15,000 of debt, there are a lot of good money trends going down. In fact, we've identified five new ways people all around us are saving: On their cell phones, their grocery bills, even their 700 (and counting!) cable channels.

Have you adopted these habits yet? We guarantee you'll be happier if you do.

To see the slides in one long list, click into the slide show and select "list view."

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  • sallybrown12

    I’ve actually done everything on that list in the past 2 years or so. Just switched to a family plan on my cell phone, saving $23 a month. Go me!

  • Michelle

    On the cellphone front, if you live in a relatively well populated area you need to look into a prepaid phone. I pay $35/month for unlimited talk and text with Boost Mobile. When I upgrade to a smartphone it will go up to $40/month for unlimited talk, text and data. An excellent deal. The drawback is that you can’t use towers not owned by the company that runs the phone (in my case Sprint), but if you live where there is good cell coverage this won’t be a problem and will save lots of money.

    • sam_the_cat

      I second this suggestion. When Verizon wanted to increase the monthly rate for my smartphone to over $100/month, I switched to PagePlus and now pay $30 for the same service on the same network! The customer service is more bare bones than Verizon’s, and their selection of phones is, well, disappointing. But with all the money you’ll save, you can afford to pay full price for an unlocked phone and still have plenty of savings left over.

    • Mesa Verde

      But the data is NOT unlimited. It’s 2.5 GB on the $50, $55 and $65 plans, which appear to offer the same features and the same $15 off for on-time payment over a period of time.

  • JenInBoston

    “The average restaurant meal costs about $12.28″?? Ha! I guess if you consider McDonald’s a “restaurant meal.” Here in Boston, a proper restaurant meal (i.e., one with a place setting, a server and busser, and actually good food) will run you $35 if you got to a VERY cheap place, skip drinks, skip dessert or appetizer, and don’t leave a generous tip. If you eat at an average-priced place, have a glass of wine, and leave a decent tip, you’ll be closer to 50 bucks, and obviously you could go a lot higher without being excessive. All the more reason to stay in and cook, I suppose! =)

    • cheryl

      I would never pay that much for a cheap meal. That’s crazy. Here in Michigan a good meal is from 10.00-15.00.

      • JenInBoston

        Well, it’s only *kind of* crazy since there aren’t other options! =) You’re lucky; Michigan is just more affordable. I live in a working/middle class neighborhood several miles from the city and my 2bd/2ba apartment is $1650 p/mo, which is quite cheap for here. I bet it would be way less in MI, right? On the other hand, it would probably be $1000 more in a NYC suburb! Just depends which metro you’re in, I guess. (BTW, the State of Michigan runs ads on TV here in Boston all the time; they are aimed at getting individuals and businesses to relocate to MI. Maybe not a bad idea since we’re already used to the weather).

        • liz

          That’s just not true. I live in Boston, and we go out to nice places quite frequently. An entree runs about 15-20 bucks, less at nice ethnic places and without drinks, apps, and dessert, but including tax and and GENEROUS tip of more than 20% (which is what I always leave), you’re talking max $25. Yes, their estimate must include places like McDonald’s or Chipotle, but don’t make stuff up.

  • EtsyMamma

    Thank you, LearnVest for your ever so informative articles. I’ve just used SaveLoveGive.com and although I cannot save more at the moment, it was comforting to know that I have a decent plan. And by reading the comments of your faithful and knowledgeable readers, i know that I have options, including a prepaid plan for the near future when our son will switch to a data-using phone.

  • liz

    I cut cable (and TV) about six months ago. At the same time, I cut my home phone, since it was bundled with my cable. I only kept the internet. My parents gave me a subscription to Netflix (streaming only) for my birthday and there’s plenty to watch. Sure, you can’t talk about the latest episode of American Idle around the water cooler, but shouldn’t you be working anyway?
    Also, I just cut down my cell phone minutes because I noticed since my phone no longer works at my office, I was now paying for 900 minutes and only using 150/month.
    Total, I’ve saved about $100/month with these changes, and it hasn’t really affected my life much. Except that I watch less TV. And is that really a bad thing?

  • bisque

    Savelovegive doesn’t work anymore.

  • George

    For free TV you must try an over the air HD antenna. I kissed my cable company goodbye a few months ago after getting over the air HD antennas. They work great, super clear HD picture, I get all my local channels plus a few more never knew existed. got the ones from Cleartv.com but you can get them at Fry’s or Best buy.
    I do have netflix and use the free hulu area.