This morning, I posted an article in which I described nine frugality tips I shared with my friends over the last several months. They were mostly pulled from Facebook threads and emails, and they were mostly all in response to things said by my friends.
Fairly regularly, though, I’ll just offer up an interesting, general purpose frugality tactic to my friends. A great example of this came up recently when I saw that a local hardware store was selling LED bulbs at a really low rate, so I picked up several for usage in closets and in hard-to-reach sockets in our home. LED bulbs cost a bit more, but they use a pittance of electricity and you almost never have to replace them, so they save a lot of money for some home uses, especially if you can get the bulbs on sale.
I shared this tip with my local friends, a few of which actually bought the bulbs and used them in their own closets and hard-to-reach places.
It wasn’t a big deal. It was just a little thing that I shared with a few friends, and they saved some money. At some point in the future, they’re likely to share something back at me, and it will probably save me money.
Why is this so useful? The tactic comes from a friend that knows you, and thus it’s likely to match your life very well. When you share a tip with a friend, you can actually think about that friend a bit and not waste the time if the person won’t find it useful. It’s frugal ideas, targeted right to the person.
Not only that, it’s offered in a friendly way. It’s usually delivered with a smile and with a bit of insight into the friendship that exists between you. It takes something that might have been dull and forgettable and makes it a bit more interesting and memorable.
When you give tips, they’re often shared with you in much the same way. By sharing tips that match your friends, you suddenly have a lot of people out there looking for tips that will perfectly match you.
A little bit of keeping your eyes open goes a long way.
There’s a fine line here, though. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of spamming, so be selective in what you share. Don’t share every tip; instead, hold out for the ones that are really useful for everyone or extremely useful for a specific person.
Do that, and you’ll find that not only do your friends save money because of your useful ideas, but your friends often end up sharing great ideas with you – ones that really match where you are in life and what you’re doing.
This post is part of a yearlong series called “365 Ways to Live Cheap (Revisited),” in which I’m revisiting the entries from my book “365 Ways to Live Cheap,” which is available at Amazon and at bookstores everywhere. Images courtesy of Brittany Lynne Photography, the proprietor of which is my “photography intern” for this project.