Let’s review what a financial honey hole is before I start this article. A Honey Hole, as Wikipedia defines it is: “A honey hole is slang for a location that yields a valued commodity or resource.”
I think the term “Honey Hole” originally came from fishermen. Their secret spot on a lake where all the fish were biting was called their, “Honey Hole.” So a Financial Honey Hole is a place, event, or thing where money can be made.
In life, I believe there are two types of financial decisions each person has to make on a daily basis: 1) How you play defense with your money. (How you retain it.) And 2) How you play offense with your money. (How you grow it.)
Defensive financial decisions = Save your money.
Offensive financial decisions = Grow your money.
Here are my three favorite honey holes that help me save my money:
First impressions are a huge part of success. If you want to succeed, you don’t want to look like a bum while you’re networking, and climbing your own personal mountain of achievement. But nice clothes can be expensive and a total budget killer!!!! How do I keep myself looking presentable while maintaining a beautifully powerful budget? I go to my clothing honey hole:
Burlington Coat factory has been our secret honey hole to buy a wide variety of quality clothing for cheap the last few years. Sure, you may have to sort through a lot of junk there. But when I scan the racks closely, I often find gems with prices 70% below what I’d pay in a retail store.
My day-job is an outside sales rep, so during work hours I feel most comfortable in a relaxed business/athletic look. I have found all types of dress pants at Burlington, along with plenty of cool Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, etc, polos, quarter-zips, and fleeces for $20 or under. And sometimes when I’m lucky, I can find a pair of dress shoes like this recent pair of $125 shoes that go perfectly with a nice pair of jeans or dress pants that I bought for $34.99.
Runner up: We live in a modest home, in an above-average-income neighborhood. The Goodwill half a mile from our house is full of nearly brand new clothing rich people give away. It’s usually in our best financial interest to check our local Goodwill as we’ve regularly found name-brand diamonds in the rough there. Just remove the tags. Wash it once. And look sharp, while keeping your money funneling into your investment accounts to make you real-rich.
My wife and I find A LOT of our entertainment in the outdoors for free. For example, we spent tonight on some awesome mountain biking trials 20 minutes from our house and ripped the trails for 2 hours after work, for free. Since we paid cash for our bikes, and bought them used off of Craigslist, tonight’s entertainment only cost us a gallon of gas to drive us there and back. Gas is currently $2.58 in Minnesota. Dang! That was a lot of fun for $2.58$! No wonder we’ve been able to save thousands of dollars the last few years. Often times, our entertainment only costs us a gallon of gas.
But when we want to splurge, and pay for entertainment, Amanda and I both like to do 3 things: Sports tickets, concert tickets, and golf tee times. But these things can get expensive. So how do we afford them on a tight budget?
The trick to getting value out of these services is to be willing to miss the event if the ticket prices get to high.
If you’re not willing to miss it, then just buy the ticket at the box office and save yourself the heartache of missing a dream show, like Amanda did last week when she bought $180 Hamilton tickets. (I decided to sit this one out because I would WAY rather take the $180 I could save by not going, and afford to go to 3 Minnesota Viking games this year instead.)
Here’s the trick to buy tickets for cheap on re-sale websites like Stubhub: Understand that the prices for tickets on these websites are based on supply and demand.
If there’s a lot of supply (tickets), but not a lot of demand (people buying tickets), then you can get some screaming-awesome deals to see your favorite shows. However, if there’s a lot of demand (ticket buyers), but not a lot of supply (tickets), then you’ll find yourself at the mercy of sellers wanting more than face value for their tickets.
But if you’re willing to miss out on an event, and try to get in for cheap, here’s how to do it:
- Wait to buy tickets until a few hours before the show starts.
- Then obsessively start watching the ticket prices. Get dressed, be ready to go, and when the tickets fall into your budget, pull the trigger.
- But make sure you buy digital download tickets so you can immediately print them out, or download them onto your phone, and enjoy the spontaneous night out.
It’s pretty dang easy and you can have a lot of fun for not a lot of money buying tickets this way. I’ve been to Minnesota Viking games for $6. We saw Imagine Dragons for $14. Phish for $15. Roger Watters (Pink Floyd) for $30 (It was a $150 face value ticket.) Have fun playing the supply and demand game with these ticket re-sale sites, and enjoy the awesome deals when they work out for you.
Runner up: Golf Now App. I love to golf. I just love being on a beautiful course for a few hours, immersed in all the beautiful forests and lakes, and hearing the sound of a straight ball blasting off my club every once in awhile. Amanda has taken up golfing with me recently because she’s realized it’s not about golfing really. It’s one of the only places where we can disappear for a few hours together without phones, social media, and casually bond as we play a game. It’s a game we can play until we’re old, and that’s special too.
The app, Golf Now, is my favorite app that helps me get out on the course for cheap. One of the big downsides of golf is that it’s EXPENSIVE!!! Golf Now helps make it affordable by offering all the tee times the course can’t book on their own for sale at the last minute on their app. So whenever we want to play a round, we log into the app in the morning, find the best “Hot Deal” near me, and drive out to the course. I’ve booked a tee time on an 18-hole course with a cart for $12 before. HECK YEAH!!!!!
We’ve tried to eat at home as often as we could the last few years. Because when you can make a NICE meal for $3-$5 every night by shopping at Aldi’s and Costco, rather than spending $30 going out to a restaurant, you can SAVE A LOT OF MONEY.
But after years of making our meals ourselves, we’re starting to loosen our eating-out budget a little bit. We have a Chipolte, Noodles World Kitchen, Lean Chin’s, Five Guys, Potbelly’s, Jimmy Johns, Jersey Mike’s, (I’m a sucker for sub sandwiches), within a half mile walk of our home. One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to walk with my wife to a local fast-casual restaurant. We talk about life on the walk. Burn some calories exercising. Eat out, and then walk home. I love everything about the experience.
How does this save us money? Fast casual restaurants are usually half the price of a regular restaurant, and we still get the experience of going out together. That’s why fast-casual restaurants are my third financial honey hole when playing defense with my money.
Honorable Mention: Happy Hour specials. Since we almost NEVER pay for alcoholic beverages, there are SWEET happy-hour specials that you can find which are affordable and fun. Look for them. Do a google search. Ask around. You can build a lot of wealth when you avoid paying for $50 for a dinner out, and pay $15 instead.
So that’s it for me this week. I just wanted to share a few tricks we use to have fun on a budget, and our secret honey holes that help us play defense with our money. In the next few weeks, I’ll try to write a post on: “My 3 favorite Honey Holes to Play Offense with Money.”
What’s your favorite secret financial honey hole?
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