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How to Save Money for Gadgets by Cutting Daily Expenses

Published
Have a weak spot for gadgets? So do we. But with today's high prices, you can't always afford the gear you want.

Or can you? We created a list of 5 daily expenses you can eliminate to help you save up for the kit you want. Whether you stick with it for one week or one month, you're guaranteed to wind up with extra cash in your pocket.

Savings Plan

Daily Expenses
Amount saved after
1 Week*
Amount saved after
2 Weeks
Amount saved after
3 Weeks
Amount saved after
4 Weeks
Amount saved after
2 Months
Amount saved after
3 Months
Starbucks
($4/day)
$20
$40
$60
$80
$160
$240
Lunch out
($6/day)**
$30
$60
$90
$120
$240
$360
Newspaper
($1/day)
$5
$10
$15
$20
$40
$60
Transportation
(at $3.78 / gallon)
$45
$90
$135
$180
$360
$540
One Pack of Cigarettes/Day***
$29.40
$58.80
$88.20
$117.60
$235.20
$352.80
Total Saved
$129.40
$258.80
$388.20
$517.60
$1,035.20
$1,552.80
*Week does not include weekends except for cigarettes.
**Assuming a $10 lunch (incl. tax & tip) versus $4 if you bring your own
***Based on $4.20 national average. (PDF).

First off, your alternatives
We agree. Slimming your daily budget is no easy task. Fortunately, downsizing doesn't always mean cutting and many of the items we removed from our budget can be replaced. For instance, instead of eating lunch out everyday, try brown-bagging it. Rather than spend $1 on the newspaper, read it online. Other "fixes," such as Starbucks and smokes, should be treated as splurges, or better yet given up altogether. And while not everyone can carpool to work, you might be able to save a few bucks by taking public transportation, or better yet, telecommuting. So, just what can you buy with your newfound savings....

After one week
Even if you're not ready to take the full plunge, after just one week of squirreling away money you'll have enough funds to buy a decent amount of gear. For instance, you can get an entry-level GPS system like this Nextar S3 3.5" GPS Navigation System ($79.99, Buy.com). Or, if you're an iPod owner, you can put the money toward the purchase of some speakers, like this Logitech AudioStation iPod Speaker System ($29.99 after rebate, CompUSA) or the Klipsch iGroove HG iPod Speaker Dock ($79.77, Vanns.com, pictured). Need a new keyboard and mouse combo? The palm-sized Logitech diNovo Mini Keyboard ($112.49, Dell Home) will give your HTPC a new look and still fit your budget.

Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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