I recently mentioned how I split the cost of a museum membership with a friend. We’re both saving money and reaping the full benefits.
There’s plenty more expenses you can share with a trusted friend or family member. The key word here is trusted. You wouldn’t want one party to carry most of the financial burden, be liable for extra expenses — or worse — you don’t want to damage your relationship if a deal doesn’t go well.
That said, here are a few things you can split costs or otherwise help a friend save a buck:
- Rug Doctors. Cleaning your carpets? They’re usually rentable for a 24-hour period. But who needs a full 24 hours to do the job?
- Magazines. When I’m done with my magazines, I give them to my neighbor so she can flip through them. She’ll recycle them or keep passing them along.
- Coupons. We all have coupons that we’ll never use! Swap ’em, mail ’em, and help your friend save a buck.
- Accommodations. When we went to Florida last year, our family rented a house and shared the cost, rather than everyone getting a bunch of hotel rooms. It was much cheaper this way and certainly more fun.
- Entertainment Book. Along the lines of sharing coupons, there’s plenty of coupons in Entertainment Books that you’ll probably never use. Maybe you know someone who might!
- Shipping costs. If you and your bff have some online shopping to do, maybe you could combine your order and split the shipping. Sometimes, great coupon codes only apply to higher amounts. For example, you might get 30% off your order and free shipping, but only if you spend $50. It’s easier to hit that $50 mark if you and your friend are planning on buying something from that store anyway. Be careful–it’s only a deal if both parties were actually planning on making purchases anyway!
- CSA shares. Maybe you can’t eat all the veggies the farmers send your way each week. Some CSAs offer half shares, but if not, surely you know someone who could take all that extra produce off your hands.
- Warehouse club memberships. I’m a member of Sam’s Club, if any of you guys need giant jars of mayo.
- Bulk food in general. Can’t use a huge container of ________ ? Share the cost, split the item and reap the benefits of buying in bulk without having to store all that bulk yourself.
- Parking/tolls/gas. Carpool! Way more fun.
- Garage sale ads. Coordinate with your neighbor and host yard sales at the same time to generate more traffic. If you take out an ad in the paper, share the expense.
- Cell phone plans. This one has potential to be a real headache for all parties. If you do a family plan with someone else, be sure each member fully understands their financial obligations.
What can you add to the list?