A guide for modern women

Saving Time and Money at Work

by Rose Reifsnyder

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Did you ever consider that your day job might be costing you time and money? Here are five ways working women can improve their bottom line:

1. Go natural

Every year, American women spend billions of hard-earned dollars on beauty products. But we are all beautiful without make-up! Depend on your talent and training, not lash-extending mascara, to win that next promotion. Instead of applying blush and eye shadow in front of the mirror, use the time to skim the business section of the newspaper or check stock prices.

2. Be your own barista

Starbucks charges more than a buck for a straight cup of coffee, and two and three times as much for lattes and double nonfat decaf mochas. Making premium-blend coffee and espresso drinks at home keeps money in your wallet and avoids a long wait in the drive-through line. Carry the java in an insulated mug, or buy bulk coffee cups and lids at the local warehouse. A caffeine addict should keep a French press and ground beans in her desk drawer.

3. Eat half your lunch

Corporate ladder climbing often requires a power lunch. The next time you eat out, try this. Ask the server to bring out a to-go box with your meal. Immediately scoop half the food into the container and close the lid. Restaurant portions tend to be so large you won't walk away hungry. One lunch has become two, saving not only money and time (tomorrow's lunch is already in the bag), but calories, too. For additional cost savings, order free glasses of water instead of overpriced sodas.

4. Wear the same color pants and skirts everyday

Choose a rainbow of hues for your blouses and scarves, but keep the bottoms to a single color, or at least to one dominant color. Voila! Now just two or three quality pairs of shoes will match all your outfits and take you from a Monday morning meeting to a Friday presentation. If your footwear is all the same color, a single tin of shoe polish can be used to spruce them up when necessary. The especially savvy businesswoman will ensure that all her tops match all her bottoms, and waste no time on mix-and-match fashion decisions.

Related: Could your life be easier with a one-color wardrobe?

5. Car pool

With gas prices spiraling skyward, now is the time to join the office carpool. When you're in the passenger seat, catch up on your reading or the latest office gossip. Not only does sharing the ride cut down on your own vehicle's wear and tear, but it also helps save the environment. Don't overlook other forms of public transportation if they are available.

Take the Next Step:

  • Pick one or more of these five ways you'd like to implement and increase your bottom line. Love designer coffee? Make premium coffee or espresso at home and keep the money you save in your wallet. Have quite a commute to work? Look into joining a carpool. You'll save gas money and wear and tear on your car, and while you're in the passenger seat, you'll have time to skim the business section of the newspaper.
  • Join those who 'live better...for less' - Subscribe to The Dollar Stretcher newsletter, a weekly look at how to stretch both your day and your dollar! Subscribers get a copy of our ebook Little Luxuries: 130 Ways to Live Better...For Less for FREE!

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