saving money

Use Netflix to Save Money on Movies

If you are a movie buff like I am, then you can probably save a ton of money by using Netflix instead of paying for a premium cable subscription. HBO, ShowTime, Cinemax and other channels, are great, but if you are willing to wait at least one season, then most of the good shows will be available with Netflix, either with their streaming video service, or as DVD or Blu-Rays. With all the great content out there, waiting a season is no big deal – just pass the time watching some of the movies you missed on the first go around, watch sporting events, or skip TV altogether and have a family night.

If you want to take the concept a step further, you can even drop cable. Most cities show several HD channels over the airwaves and if you have an HDTV you can get tons of free TV shows. When you combine free over the air HDTV and Netflix streaming and DVD by mail, you can get most of the shows and videos you need. The only downside is that sports are limited on most over the air channels. So if you are a big sports fan, then you may not wish to go that route. If you want to try it out, you can get a free Netflix trial with this Netflix free trial.

Here are some more great options for watching free or TV online: (free or prime),, and network and cable sites like: ABC, A&E, CBS, Discovery Channel, Fox, NBC, and PBS.

You can also watch some TV shows on YouTube, but the quality usually isn’t great and the shows are sometimes broken into several segments, which is annoying, especially because the big ads always pop up and you have to click the “x” each time to get rid of them.

The online websites are starting to show more ads on them, but they are still free for the most part. It won’t be long before cable TV as we know it is gone.

Oh, and if you need to supplement your TV watching experience, you can supplement your movie watching or TV shows, stream TV and movies from Amazon, or sign up for season passes to your favorite sporting leagues – most of the major sporting leagues offer HD quality content which you can stream to your TV for a flat rate for the entire season, or for special PPV events. Depending on your TV habits, you can save a ton of money by cutting the cord!

saving money

Festival of Frugality #280

Saving money is one of the most important parts of a financial plan. If you don’t save money, you can never get ahead in life. It’s as simple as that. I mean, think about it – no one ever got rich by borrowing money. That’s why I love the Festival of Frugality – it’s a gathering of articles devoted to helping people save money. This week we had over 40 entries. What you see here are the best of the best, the articles which will help you save money and improve your financial situation. Thanks for sharing, and thanks for reading!

Masters of Frugality (Tips to Save Money)

Festival of FrugalityKyle James presents Top 10 Recession Busters posted at Kyle, saying, “Here are my Top 10 ways to save money in a tough economy.”

Melissa Batai presents How to Save on Diapers or Get Them For Free posted at Mom’s Plans, saying, “While it is very difficult to get free diapers, there are many ways to lessen how much you pay for diapers.”

No Debt MBA presents CEOs as MBA students – They were on budgets too! posted at No Debt MBA.

Flexo presents Use Technology to Save Gas Money posted at Consumerism Commentary.

BIFS presents Restaurant Menu Tricks to Get More of Your Money posted at Budgeting In the Fun Stuff, saying, “Eating out is one of the first things to go when you try to go frugal, but it’s also something many enjoy and if that’s what makes you happy you should find a way to enjoy it without breaking the bank. Here are some tips.”

Dr. Dean presents Saving Money: While on Vacation! posted at Dr. Dean’s Blog, saying, “Keeping costs down while on vacation is a great way to make things more enjoyable and make the money you do spend last and last.”

FMF presents How to Decide Whether to Drive or Fly posted at Free Money Finance.

The DIY Troupe (The Self-Made Crew)

Control your Cash presents Why pay someone when I can do it myself? posted at Control Your Cash: Making Money Make Sense, saying, “Sometimes, the smartest way to be frugal is to start writing checks. Here’s why.”

MoneyThinking presents Summer Savings… Through Gardening? posted at Money Thinking.

Tarik presents Anything worthwhile needs 8 hours of continuous work posted at Success starts today, saying, “There are many types of work that may take from a few minutes to a few hours, but valuable work needs time. Time needs to be booked without interruption for long periods. To be able to make progress on all my activities including work, businesses, blog and family, I use several techniques to block and reserve my time and work on my most valuable goals. Here are three tips on how you can create blocks of time that will make every day of your life worthwhile.”

Coupon Magnates (Coupon Clippers)

Jacob A. Irwin presents Are Coupons Right For You? posted at My Money Blog – Personal Finance and Investing, saying, “Coupons are often touted as an effective way to be frugal and save money. However, there are several factors to consider in determining they’re worth your time. I’ve tried to outline several of these in this post.”

The Wise Squirrel presents ROI on Coupons posted at Squirrelers, saying, “Sometimes when using coupons to save money, it’s important to measure how valuable they are by considering the time and effort invested as well.”

Suba presents Reselling groupon or any daily deals vouchers posted at Wealth informatics.

Sustainable PF presents A Green Cycle: Alternative Feminine Hygiene Products posted at Sustainable Personal Finance, saying, “Green feminine hygiene products are not only earth friendly they are part of a frugal lifestyle as well. Read on to learn about this interesting way to save money.”

The Castle Guards (Insurance)

Jeff Rose, CFP presents Why Bundling Your Insurance Policies is a Good Idea posted at Consumer Boomer, saying, “Have you wondered whether bundling your insurance policies can benefit you? Here are a few good reasons to make the switch.”

Odysseas presents 15 Items that Impact the Cost of Homeowners Insurance posted at Wallet Blog, saying, “Hey, I hope you’re having a great weekend! I think you and your readers will really enjoy my submission this week because I explain a number of ways you can try to decrease your homeowners insurance. There are a variety of things you can change, alter or improve in order to reduce your annual premium and save money in the long run.”

Super-Size This! (Investing)

Ken presents 5 Ways to Reduce the Risk Involved with Retirement Savings posted at Spruce Up Your Finances.

My Journey presents How to Retire Wealthy posted at My Journey to Millions, saying, “Since our lives are ever-changing and dynamic, why do we invest as if they were static and unchanging? Rather than investing our money in one big pot, I say we should develop some constant cash flow from other sources (while contributing that 10% into our “just-in-case” fund)!”

The Gilded Couple (Banking)

Tim Chen presents When Should You Get a Prepaid Debit Card? posted at NerdWallet Blog – Credit Card Watch, saying, “In truth, there’s almost no reason to get a prepaid debit card. Even if you have a bad or limited credit history, you have much better options.”

Thanks for participating, everyone! You can enter next week’s Festival of Frugality using the carnival submission form or you can submit your entries here.

saving money

How to Establish a Savings Account for College

The cost of college is slowly creeping higher as the return in pay for a college graduate slowly declines. The average college student will make significantly less than the average college student made as little as ten years ago. This is mostly due to a struggling economy so beginning a college savings account for your child or children can be extremely helpful to their future.

There are different types of savings accounts

Saving for college is essential to avoid taking out large student loans. The type of savings account that will best fit your lifestyle and income varies so there are a few options out there to establish a savings account for college. The most commonly used option, and the only one available across the United States is the 529 Plan. Option number 2 is a savings account through a private bank or college fund company. One of the newest options are called Loyalty programs like Upromise and BabyMint. One other choice is a minors trust fund.

How to make the best choice for your family

Research states that the 529 Plan is the best option for almost any family situation. The money is saved through your state treasury, is tax free until the year funds are withdrawn, and also remains in complete control of the parent(s) who funds the account rather than going into the hands of a not as responsible college student. A private savings account can effect the expected family contribution when your child applies for financial aid.

Loyalty programs are typically created by business or credit card companies to help you build a savings account. Kroger works with Upromise, and every time you buy groceries and use your Kroger Plus card they contribute a small percentage of the cost of certain items to an account. This is basically a hassle free way to help you save up for your child’s future and can be used in tandem with any of the other accounts.

Making tough decisions

If you are having difficulty choosing the correct savings account for your needs, contact a financial planner who specializes in future and family planning accounts to discuss your options thoroughly. You may decide to take a completely different route than the ones discussed above but most generally they will suggest one of those options. After you have made a decision, take your time thoroughly setting up an account with a specialist. Contact your state for a 529 Plan, research banks and private companies for the best interest rates for a private account, or set up an account online to manage Upromise or BabyMint.


Save Money with Credit Cards

One of the best perks to having a credit card is the rewards program many of them offer. Credit card companies use this benefit to attract new customers and keep their current ones. That doesn’t mean credit card reward programs are a free gift to you from the credit card companies; certain restrictions do apply, and it might not be worth it to participate in a rewards program depending on the circumstances. However, rewards benefits from a credit card company can really add up to some substantial benefits, if you approach them the right way. Here are some suggestions on getting the most from the best rewards credit card.

Save Money with Credit Cards

  • Most rewards credit cards require you to pay off your balance every month. If you have a balance that carries over, the benefits may be reduced or you could be ineligible for rewards at all.
  • Typically, credit cards that offer rewards will have a higher APR than ones who don’t. Make sure you shop around to get the best APR you can while still receiving rewards.
  • You might have to do a little bit of math. If you have to spend an obscene amount of money for a $30 gift card, is it really worth it? Probably not.
  • If you travel often, a credit card offering free air miles might seem like a good idea. Keep in mind you’ll have to charge and pay off a lot of purchases before you are able to redeem those miles. There may be blackout dates and expiration dates that prevent you from using earned miles – it’s important to read the fine print of any offers.
  • Speaking of expiration dates, these may occur on travel miles, lodging discounts, points, even merchandise and cash back offers.
  • Fuel rewards are very popular, especially with the soaring fuel prices today. However, most credit cards require you purchase your fuel from specific places in order to earn rewards. Generally, places like supermarkets or smaller stations are not included in the cashback plan.
  • Know the limits placed on earned rewards on credit cards by the company. For instance, some credit cards only allow you to earn up to a certain percentage and then you won’t earn any more. If your credit card company has a rewards program that gives you points up to 1% and not a penny over, you have to decide if it’s worth it.

Credit card reward programs can definitely add a lot to the credit card experience, but you have to know the ins and outs to make the most from rewards credit cards. Do a little homework and compare credit cards and what they have to offer to choose the best one for your lifestyle. Don’t forget to read the fine print, and don’t be afraid to walk away and find a better credit card that better suits you. After all, this is your money you’re spending.


Top 5 Things to Consider When Shopping for a Home Safe

When a tragedy strikes, will your meaningful belongings and documents be protected? It is never too late (or early) to add a safe to your house. Burglary, fire and floods are all variables that cannot be controlled however; you can do something to ensure that at least irreplaceable items and important documents will not be lost forever. Any size family and home can find a safe to fulfill their needs by considering the following five things.

What you need to consider for your home safe

1. Content – What do you intend on keeping in your safe? You should know that not all safes are created equally and certain styles are designed to be more protective of certain items. For example, Gardall safes are available in models that are specifically designed for firearms which is crucial, especially if you have children in your home. Different models of safes are even made from different material so considering whether you will primarily be storing documents, money, valuables, media files, firearms or a little of everything will help you choose the right safe for you.

2. Locks – What type of lock will you be most comfortable with? Most safes and safety security boxes come with a standard lock but some allow you the option to either change it or add on another lock for more security. Key locks are popular and if you happen to lose your key, most companies can send you a new one. Combination locks are quite common as well are are a preferred choice, alongside a key lock when double protection is desired. Lastly, electronic locks empower you to program different combinations for multiple users and you can change these as needed.

3. Location – Where is the best place for a safe to be stored in your home? Some models are free-standing that can be hidden in a closet, pantry, etc., or there are those that are installed in a wall or the floor of your home. These provide an added security feature of being able to hide them.

4. Waterproof – Do you need your safe to be waterproof? For many people, this is a top concern if they live in an area prone to flooding and hurricanes. However, water damage can occur regardless of where you live from roof damage, frozen pipes that burst or just a freak of nature. More and more catastrophes are happening today that are blamed on the weather that no one is prepared for them.

5. Fireproof – Is your primary concern with fire protection? A fire can happen to any home at any time and there is never the chance to gather your important belongings and get your family and pets out of the house. There are some safes that are designed to keep the contents of your safe cool for as long as two hours so when the fire is put out, you will find everything inside unharmed.

Buying a home safe should be a priority on the list of everyone. There are many sizes to choose from with various features so use this guide to help determine the kind of safe that will best fulfill your needs.

saving money

Save Money on Traveling Expenses

With the cost of fuel around the world rising at an ever increasing rate, many people are looking at alternative travel arrangements in an attempt to reduce costs.  But why is the cost of fuel rising at such an alarming rate?

Let’s first take a look at how the price of gasoline is constituted in the US;

  • 13% Tax
  • 8% Marketing and Distribution
  • 14% Refining
  • 65% Crude Oil

As you can see the bulk of the costs emanate from the production of crude oil with just 13% taxation. This is in comparison to the UK for example;

  • 60% Taxation
  • 6% Marketing and Distribution
  • 11% Refining
  • 23% Crude Oil

Ever increasing tensions around a large proportion of the world’s oil providing countries (Saudi Arabia, Russia, Norway, Iran, Venezuela, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Nigeria, Mexico and Algeria) help to spur concerns over demand. This is a result of oil markets concern that production will suffer as a result of the ability of oil producing nations to fulfill demand – simple supply and demand in essence.

How can I save Money on Traveling Expenses?

There are a number of areas you can focus on to save fuel costs each with its own benefits and drawbacks;

1. Buy a motorcycle

Pro’s – Motorcycles are cheap to buy and have staggering fuel economy compared to standard SUV’s with a typical smaller motorbike being able to travel around 100-130mpg.

Con’s – You are limited in what (and who) you can transport. Bad weather can restrict your ability to use safely. Safety – many drivers aren’t used to looking out for motorcycle riders.

2. Make use of public transport

Pro’s – Public transport can be very economical if you make use of monthly/yearly bus subscriptions. They can also be a stress free method of transport given someone else is doing the driving!

Con’s – Can be limited in destinations, may not deliver you to the desired location and can also extend journey times considerably.

3. Buy a pushbike

Pro’s – There is a lot to be said for pedal power including the obvious health benefits and zero running costs.

Con’s – Takes some effort to get to your destination via your own steam. You are subjected to the elements and therefore can be tricky when there is bad weather. Unable to transport anything significant, other than yourself.

4. Hybrid/Electric Cars

Pro’s – Great fuel economy and good for the environment in terms of vehicle emissions.

Con’s – Expensive to buy and limited in range (full electric). Hybrid vehicles (combination of fuel and battery) are also very expensive to maintain and service.

We have all been subjected to increased fuel prices to such an extent that people are turning to alternative methods of getting around. Each person and family will need to address their particular needs and see what options could be used for them.

Have I taken action to reduce my fuel Gasoline dependence?

I personally have reduced our car consumption from 2 cars to 1, and have invested in a small motorcycle for the trip to work. This small investment will save our family considerable amounts over the next five years. We continue to retain one car to ensure we can transport the family around and also to accommodate moving bulky items should the need arise. It seems to be that fuel prices are only going to increase; therefore, the sooner you take action to reduce your reliance upon gasoline the sooner you can start making some significant savings.


Car Accidents – The Perfect Driving Storm?

Car accidents are the principle cause of unnecessary deaths across the majority of major countries of the world and is fast becoming the driving force behind the enormous increase in the number of personal injury compensation claims being filed.

The Perfect Storm for car accident injuries

Many of these car accidents typically involve drunk drivers and are as a result, often fast impact accidents which unfortunately involve a high level of serious injuries as well as fatalities. Most of us are aware that the consumption of excessive amounts of alcohol seriously degrades our reaction times and reasoning capacity all helping to contribute to a serious road traffic problem. The combination of these attributes makes for a “perfect driving storm.”

Typical Car Accident Injuries

Typical injuries caused specifically from car accident involving drunk drivers tend to range in severity according to the location of the incident. Built up areas tend to involve lower speeds due to the makeup of the roads whereas incidents upon highways and motorways often result in many more injuries and quite often multiple victims. If you have ever suffered a car accident then you will understand that injuries can vary in severity some of which may require medical attention (and resultant medical bills and possible lost wages/income) not to mention the physical and psychological trauma associated with any accident.

Car accident injury claims – get it right

It is crucial that any car accident claim is filed as soon as is practically possible following the accident. This will very much depend upon the severity of the incident. Should the incident be a small one the following the wreckage being cleared off the road, insurance documents and personal information will need to be exchanged. If you find you do not have (or recollect) your insurers details, do not worry, simply take as much identifying information from the other party (including contact telephone numbers) and after you have returned home locate the information and telephone it through remembering to inform your insurer of the problem as soon as possible.

Many insurers typically do not require initial claim forms to be competed; most of the details can be relayed over the telephone making the claims process much quicker and streamlined. This will of course not be the case should an accident compensation claim be affected, in these cases a detailed report will be required for the insurer to undertake investigations of your case.

Should you admit liability?

Regardless of who is responsible for the accident and assuming everyone involved escaped safely, admitting liability (even if you knew it was your fault) is not a great strategy. This is something which your insurers will battle out and is not something you need to concern yourself with. Simply avoid any admission at the scene; this will help the insurer later down the line of the claim.


Pad Your Wallet: Receipt Storage Can Help

Most of us have resorted to storing receipts in bulky filing cabinets, envelopes, and folders in futile attempt to stay organized and make filing taxes a little easier. However, updating to a paperless filing method will end up saving you time, money, space, and the environment. Receipt scanners are one of the most practical and economically sound purchases you can make. Whether you’re filing receipts for your personal tax records or for your business, receipt scanners will help you stay organized and efficient.

Scan Receipts to Make Tax Filing Easier

Scanning receipts right away prevents you from spending hours wading through lots of barely-distinguishable papers with ambiguous fine print. Scanning your receipts regularly means you can ditch your filing cabinet and shoe boxes full of paper and take back the functional space in your home or office. Receipt scanners are widely available in office supply stores and there are even several different apps for iPhones and other mobile phones that can read the data from receipts and keep records for you.

The software that comes with your receipt scanner can sort your receipts for you by category or venue. When it comes time to write off donations or groceries, this can save hours of work you would otherwise spend shuffling through piles of receipts.

After scanning your receipts, most receipt scanner software will let you upload the file to any storage unit, including USB drives, cell phones, and other nifty gadgets you can bring with you and access from anywhere. When sending in the receipts, being able to send the file to the IRS is much handier than sending bulky envelopes as proof for tax credit. Regularly scanning receipts means you run less of a risk of losing them between now and when you file for your tax refund – and it optimizes the amount of money you can get back.

With this convenient and efficient scanning system, Turbo Tax and other tax programs can help you qualify for tax credits payment discounts you may not even know you had. Staying organized can make sure your annual expenditures are well-documented and give you back everything they can.

saving money

Top 5 Ways to Save Money on Higher Education

As anyone who is currently a student or who is thinking of pursuing a degree in higher education knows, college costs have skyrocketed enormously over the past decade. There are many reasons for this, one being the increase of demand (students are applying to school in record numbers), state budget cuts, and the increased costs of running a university as a whole. Measuring data from 1986, the website cites that the cost of a college education over the past twenty five years has increased by over 400%, while the overall inflation rate has been around 100%. While there is no definite explanation for the astronomic increase in costs, as students or soon-to-be students who are concerned about your financial futures, getting a college or post-graduate degree must be approached with a specific mindset. Follow these five pointers to avoid student debt that can potentially crush your finances.

Save Money on Higher Education

1. Carefully consider whether or not you really need to go back to school.

While going back to school can have many advantages, both personal and professional, it’s best to think about a college or post-graduate degree as a serious investment. If, after doing plenty of research in the degree and school in which you are considering enrolling, you’re career prospects won’t substantively improve afterward, then don’t go. Especially concerning post-graduate degrees, for many, the cost will simply not pay off in the long-run.

2. Consider doing a part-time, online, or evening program that enables you to work while pursuing a degree.

Once you’ve determined that pursuing further education can help get you to where you want to be in the future, see what you can do to minimize your costs without resorting to loans (or at least resorting to as few loans as possible). One way to do this is to enroll in a degree program that enables you to continue working while you go to school. This way, you’ll be working on improving your career and following your passion through education, while still keeping costs down and getting as much necessary job experience as you can get.

3. Don’t just take whatever financial aid package you get offered. Educate yourself about loan repayment.

When you apply for financial aid by filling out the FAFSA form, your school will notify you what kind of financial aid you qualify for. While some schools will give out grants, scholarships, or tuition waivers, much of the traditional financial aid package is filled to the brim with loans, money that you will eventually have to pay back. If you can afford to turn down a student loan then do so. Don’t accept your financial aid package without reading the fine print and learning about each loan you take out.

4. Place greater emphasis on living frugally.

Of course, if you’ve ever attended college before, you know that “living like a student” means living within small means. If you are older now, this sort of lifestyle may seem alien and perhaps even beneath you, but you’d be surprised by how much you can soften the school costs blow by simply drastically cutting down your personal expenses. Put off large purchases. Don’t rack up any other forms of debt. Consider getting roommates who are students also to get a feel for what living on a budget really entails.

5. When you’re finished with school, work aggressively to pay down your student debt first. Pay more than the monthly minimum to avoid added debt from interest rates.

Many newly-minted graduates are rather nonchalant about loan repayment. But more than other forms of debt, student debt in particular can haunt you for the rest of your life. That’s why it’s absolutely critical to sit down with a student loan officer and/or an accountant upon graduating to work out a payment plan that gets you out of debt as soon as possible. After finishing school and getting on with your career, again put off big purchases like a new car or home until you’ve paid down a significant portion of your debt. Always pay more than the monthly minimum, and do plenty of research before consolidating if that’s something you are considering (although in most cases you shouldn’t).

These are just a few ways to help you save money on higher education, both in the short and long term. Above all, remember that, at least during these difficult times, a higher education is a privilege, not a right, and if you don’t stand to benefit from the system, it’s best to do something else until you can afford it.

saving money

How to Save Money On St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s day is a holiday that, in America, has come to mean drinking with friends, getting wasted with strangers or just passing out alone. And oh yeah – wearing green to show off some Irish pride. On the streets of New York City, St. Louis, Boston, Baltimore or Columbus, it is perhaps the best day of the year to watch drunken revelers walk the streets while the sun is still out. For those looking to stretch their entertainment budget, the free show known as people watching is at its best on St. Patty’s Day. But if you want to participate in the festivities, and keep contributing to your Online Savings Account, not spending much money on St. Patrick’s Day can be a challenge. Here are 5 tips that can help you save money on March 17th and may even teach you how to have a great time this St. Patrick’s day.

1) Become a walking monument to St. Patty’s Day in hopes of free drinks.

Everyone is Irish on St. Patty’s day and if you plan on spending the next few (or more) St. Patrick’s Days hitting up bars or attending parties and celebrations, purchasing some great St. Patrick’s day gear is a worthy investment that can pay off for years to come. Here are some ideas for how to look as “Irish” as possible on St. Patrick’s Day:

  • 1) A green hat (The bigger, the better)
  • 2) A green jacket
  • 3) A pair of green pants
  • 4) Notre Dame clothing
  • 5) A red beard (Fake is ok, real is better. Know any gingers?)
  • 6) An Ireland soccer shirt
  • 7) A green tie
  • 8) Shamrocks, lots of them. Get yourself some glasses, necklaces, or other headgear all with some shamrocks on them.

Any or all of those are great ways to look the part. But looking or being green is only half the battle. The more you do and the more enthusiasm you have for the day, the better your chances are for free drinks. Here are some famous Irish sayings to get you to talk the talk. With my favorite, “What butter or whiskey does not cure cannot be cured.” And even if you don’t get the free drinks you will certainly be asked to be in pictures, have an excuse to party extra hard and/or have a lot of fun. Plus, you can keep the costume for years to come!

2) Find areas with lots of bars

Saving on transportation costs while out drinking is always a smart idea. But if you plan to be drinking all day and night this St. Patrick’s day, you could run up a big taxi or gas bill (don’t drink and drive!), making saving money here of extra importance.

Research or pick an area you will enjoy for the longest amount of time and stay there as opposed to taking taxi’s or public transportation to many different areas. Further, if you stay at one bar, you may order fewer drinks. How often do you feel compelled to buy a drink at each bar you go to? Staying in one place reduces that need. If going to Google maps and typing in bar or pub doesn’t work well enough for you, try Bar Finder.

3) Don’t get drunk

Before you scream, “Heretic!” not getting drunk can save you quite a bit of money. By toning down the drinking to a minimum, you spend less on beer/alcohol and lower the chance you drunkenly make a huge mistake, spend money on bad tattoos or a brand new pair of beer goggles. Also, if you don’t plan on getting drunk, perhaps you can be the designated driver for the day. The average cost of a DUI is over $10,000 (that’s a lot of 6-packs!). In exchange you might be able to get your friends to pay for the couple of beers you do consume throughout the day.

4) Only drink at night

St. Patrick’s day usually involves drinking all day and into the night, and may begin as soon as you wake up (Note: this is only recommended for the truly hardcore only). But this is an expensive, exhausting and even dangerous proposition (except for expert drinkers). While you may love the excuse to drink during the day, we all know the party really starts at night. By saving your money for later you will probably end up drinking with more friends or already buzzed company and will end up having fun anyway, despite not drinking earlier in the day. Also, the intoxicated usually love company – there may be opportunities to take advantage of a generous revelers call for takers on a round of shots.

5) Invite people over or throw a party at someone else’s house

Bars are crowded on St. Patrick’s day and buying a few six packs at the local grocery store is always cheaper than having a bottle opened for you or beer pouring out of a tap at a bar or pub. By throwing a good house party with some cheap Irish decorations and instituting a BYOB policy (or have guests chip in to cover alcohol costs) you can drink on the cheap but still have lots of fun among friends. Plus, there is nothing like the ability to simply crash on a friend’s couch. Or the ability to retire to your own room for the night if you go too far, something that can end very poorly for you if you’re out and about.

No matter how you plan to spend St. Patrick’s day, or any holiday, there are always ways to do it cheap but still have fun. Here’s to enjoying St. Patrick’s day responsibly (in the fiscal sense, anyway).