We're creatures of habit, but these habits can cost a lot of money in the long run. Instead of the usual dinner and a movie, try a variety of free activities and pocket the savings. You could start by hosting a potluck and then screening a movie that you borrowed for free from your local library. And rather than paying $80 or more for a concert packed with screaming fans, seek out free music performances in your community. Art museums and local venues, as well as upscale shopping centers, often host free concerts on weekends [source: Derrick].
You also could save big by becoming a tourist in your own town. Most local art museums, historical sites and homes offer admission for a nominal donation or, in some cases, for free. And if your city offers walking tours, take advantage of them. You can discover more free or low-cost attractions by visiting the Web site of your local chamber of commerce or convention and visitor bureau.
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- Moreno, Robyn. "How to Save Money on Dry Cleaning." The Frisky. Jan. 23, 2009. (Oct. 24, 2011) http://www.thefrisky.com/2009-01-23/how-to-save-money-on-dry-cleaning/
- Mueller, Karin Price. "Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck." Better Homes and Gardens. (Oct. 24, 2011) http://www.bhg.com/health-family/finances/tips/stop-living-paycheck-to-paycheck/
- Ogg, Erica. "Study: DVR, Set-Top Boxes Use Most Energy at Home." CNet. June 14, 2011. (Oct. 24, 2011) http://news.cnet.com/8301-31021_3-20071139-260/study-dvr-set-top-box-use-most-energy-at-home/
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- Reynolds, Gretchen. "Can Exercise Keep You Young?" New York Times. March 2, 2011. (Oct. 24, 2011) http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/02/can-exercise-keep-you-young/
HowStuffWorks talks to financial experts to find out the best ways to save money every day. And none of their advice includes giving up Starbucks.