As an aside, we have several credit cards ... which is probably not the best way to do it. But both of us agree, we'd rather pay one bill for $500, and then a second bill for $700, rather than have to swallow one bill for $1200 all at once. I realize this makes no financial difference ... but don't you agree, it makes it easier?
Here are a few other ways to save money. Some of them B and I practice (although, as you'll see, I don't necessarily hold us up as paragons of frugality). Others I've recently read about, or heard about. Feel free to add some others, since we could all benefit from saving a few dollars here and there.
Vacations. Travel is expensive, and so the best way to save money is to stay at home. But we want to visit the grandkids, or go to the mountains or the beach, or take a long-dreamed-of trip to Europe. One strategy we use is to go out of season -- the beach in November or February. We have also cultivated connections. We rent the same house on Cape Cod every year, from a woman who hasn't raised our rent in the past four years. We use a rental agency in South Carolina that periodically offers seasonal or longer-term specials ... and we jump on them. One thing we do not do is frequent miles. We've never been able to figure out how they pay off. (We get cash back instead).
Restaurants. One way to save is to go out for lunch instead of dinner, when the fare is less expensive. Unfortunately, we don't really eat much of a lunch. But when we go out to dinner we often share a plate, or skip the drink, or go for the chicken dish instead of the steak or lobster. Also, to be honest, we are not really gourmets ... we do pizza as much as anything else, and we avoid any restaurant that sports tablecloths. Also, on the rare occasion we go out for coffee, it's Dunkin' Donuts, not Starbucks.
Transportation. We recently got our Senior Fare cards for SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority), and so we can ride for free -- which we did just the other day. We still have two cars; but we're talking about downsizing to one, because we hardly ever use both of them at the same time. Has anyone done this?
Gambling. We don't gamble. That includes the state lottery.
Clothing. B spends a lot on clothing. I spend almost nothing. It averages out.
Entertainment. I play golf in a league, which always negotiates a better rate than the normal greens fees. I also play ping pong for $5 a night at the senior center. B does a lot of her entertainment at her church, which is largely free. We also get the senior rate at our local movie theater. However, I did just spend a fortune to buy two tickets to the quarterfinals at the U. S. Open in a couple of weeks. Don't do that if you want to save money. (I'm guessing it's a similar story for football tickets, but I don't know for sure, I've never been to a professional football game.)
Souvenirs. See above, the item for clothing.
Haircuts. According to Brandongaille Marketing the average man's haircut costs $28.30 -- plus tip, presumably. I go to an old-fashioned barber shop located in the parking lot of a mini-mall, and I pay $17 plus $3 tip for $20 total. I honestly don't know what B pays (what, you think I'm gonna ask her?!?) but she doesn't go to the fanciest place in town, and her hair looks great!
Storage units. In my opinion, keeping stuff in a storage unit only means that you haven't made the hard decisions. And not making decisions costs you money. We rented a storage unit for a year, when we were between moves, and that lightened our wallet by over $200 a month. Fortunately, we now have that monkey off our backs.
Gym membership. Well . . . it all depends on whether you use it or not.
Grandchildren. B sends her grandchildren a book every month. (Remember, she's a retired librarian.) That may sound like a lot, but really, it's only a few bucks. I don't have any grandchildren yet, so my cost so far is $0.00 per month. But my first grandchild is on the way, and B thinks I'm going to be a pushover. We'll see . . .