Times are tough, and despite working extremely hard to cover your costs, you may have very little money left to save after all your dues are paid. And, as you may have a bucket list of items waiting to be completed or just want to give yourself a little more breathing room when it comes to your expenses, or you want to increase your emergency fund for a rainy day, you may wonder how you can save more money. So, here are 21 creative ways to save without living off instant noodles.
11 Ways To Save Money On Daily Expenses
The best way to start saving money is to reevaluate your daily expenses. Consider all the money that goes out of your account (savings account and checking account), no matter how small the amount, and see where you can make a savings plan cut back on any of those expenses.
I recommend setting up an Excel spreadsheet to see where all your money goes and taking things from there to see where you can save. Here are 11 creative ways you can save on your daily expenses.
1. Plan Your Shopping Trips
Shopping without a clear plan is detrimental to your monthly budget. Whether grocery shopping or shopping for clothes, consider how much money you can allocate to those expenses before making any purchases. A shopping list of what you need can also help you save, as you won’t be tempted to buy as many snacks or unnecessary items.
See this article for more information on saving money when grocery shopping. Making a list (and sticking to it) is crucial to ensure you stay within budget when shopping.
2. Cook More At Home
Takeout and dining out are certainly more convenient, but it costs a lot more money. Cooking for yourself at home is a therapeutic way to unwind after a stressful day…And cooking at home can also help you save. Furthermore, suppose you spend less money eating out. You can then allocate more money to your groceries, which means buying more luxury items when shopping.
If you aren’t a skilled cook, this is a sign to invest in yourself by subscribing to a self-study app, such as Skillshare or the like, where you can learn to cook the most delicious food at home.
3. Utilize Your Rewards Cards
I’m betting you have several rewards cards in your wallet, which you hardly use. Most people don’t bother utilizing their rewards cards, as they only save a few cents when they do. But, if you save a few cents or a dollar or two each time you go shopping, you’d be surprised to learn just how much you save annually.
Rewards cards are an excellent way to save directly by getting points or discounts. And several stores offer discounts and promotions exclusively to their rewards customers, which means you stand to save even more on your groceries and other purchases.
4. Watch Out For Discount Days
In addition to using your rewards cards, you should be on the lookout for discount days. Some stores have allocated certain days of the week when they will have products on sale. For example, some stores have discounts on their cheese or meat section once a week. Other stores have special discounts for students or seniors throughout the week.
Utilizing these discount days can help you save a lot of money and bring you closer to your savings goals. Discount days can also help you plan your shopping and budget much better, as you know which days you will go shopping for specific items.
5. Reduce Your Utility Fees
You may be astonished to see how big a difference simple lifestyle changes make to your utility bills. Switching off the lights when you aren’t in the room, putting a timer on your fishpond’s pump and water feature, and decreasing the central heating by just a degree or two can reduce your utility bill significantly.
These changes not only help you save, but they also help save the planet. Since your utility fees account for a large portion of your monthly expenses, reducing them by even a few dollars can save you hundreds in the long run.
6. Cancel Unused Subscriptions
While I mentioned subscribing to another platform for learning to cook, you should also reduce the number of subscription services you are signed up for, especially if you don’t use them. This includes subscriptions to online entertainment systems, training platforms, or gym membership.
While most of your subscriptions may only be a few dollars a month, they add up, and you will save hundreds of dollars every year by canceling those you no longer use.
7. “Use It Or Lose It”
This evolutionary theory is something you should take to heart when trying to save. It applies to all your expenses, including subscriptions. For example, if you don’t use your gym membership, cancel your subscription. If you don’t use the fancy treadmill you bought for walking on while you work, sell it.
Paying for things you don’t use is literally like throwing money down the drain. Adopting a minimalist lifestyle regarding your expenses will help you save while simplifying your life.
8. Pay Off More Than The Minimum On Loans And Debt
Most people must repay some debt, whether they want to be in debt or not. It can be student loans, credit card debt, car repayments, auto insurance, or something else that requires minimum monthly payments. But did you know you can decrease your interest rate and repayment time by paying back more than the minimum monthly repayments?
By paying back more than the minimum monthly installment (even if it is an extra 10 or 20 dollars), you can prevent your installments from going up. As a result, you can speed up the repayment process to be free of debt sooner, bringing you closer to your savings goals and helping you prepare an emergency fund. The more money you can access in your checking account or on a credit card, the bigger your emergency fund.
9. Compare Quotes…Always!
Like many, you likely have hospital coverage, insurance, or a credit card. But did you compare quotes from different companies before signing up for your current plan? If not, it might be time to do so. Another company may offer you better coverage at a more affordable price. Insurance companies and hospital plans often cover many unnecessary things, and you pay for them.
By comparing quotes and reviewing your policies once a year, you can ensure you get the best deal on your insurance, policies, and credit cards.
Watch this video by CNBC to learn how you can save on your health insurance: How To Save At Least $300 On Health Insurance.
10. Learn To DIY
Instead of buying something or paying a contractor to come to fix your bathroom tap that keeps dripping, why not learn to do it yourself? Most of us lack the proper skills to complete even the most basic housework, which is a huge worldwide problem.
So, instead of paying someone else to come to do it, you can invest a bit of time (see it as investing in your own well-being) and learn how to complete these tasks by yourself. Doing so will save you money, make you more independent, and help you score brownie points with future in-laws.
11. The Coffee At Home Tastes Just As Good
I know this is a sensitive topic… But if you truly want to cut down on your expenses, you must stop buying coffee. Paying $2 a coffee daily results in spending more than $700 per year on something you can make at home for next to nothing. If you really want café-quality coffee, save now and buy a coffee machine at some point (you can also thrift for one).
Buying a coffee machine is still cheaper than buying your coffee every day. You don’t need a Starbucks coffee daily. Instead, save daily by making coffee at home and treat yourself to an expensive coffee once in a while.
5 Ways To Save On Entertainment
After all your daily expenses, you also likely spend a lot on entertainment and social activities. And while you may have to cut down on some of those expenses, I understand that socializing is essential for your mental health. So, instead of becoming a hermit, here are 5 ways to save on entertainment without forgoing it completely.
12. Thrifting Is Your New Best Friend
If you enjoy reading, painting, or decorating, I want to introduce you to your newest best friend…the thrift store. Thrift stores have a bad reputation for being stuffy places where other people dump their unwanted items. But there are many fantastic thrift stores where you can buy nearly anything you want. Many of these items are still in pristine condition. So, you shop around while saving money and discovering hidden gems.
Books, music, art supplies, and clothes are merely some things you can find in a thrift store. There are also many kitchen tools and electronics (like bread makers, blenders, and sewing machines) to find in thrift stores.
This video by TheSorryGirls shares tips on how to thrift like a pro: 30 thrifting hacks that CHANGED THE GAME.
13. Be On The Lookout For Discount Days
Some entertainment services, like cinemas, skating rinks, and theme parks, have certain discount days, especially for students and seniors. Furthermore, some venues offer discounts on your birthday month or week. By keeping a lookout for these discount days or promotions, you can save a lot of money on entertainment and may get to enjoy something new.
14. Use Your Student Card
Another tip people often forget about is using their student cards for discounts. Many stores and entertainment venues offer student discounts, and you can save hundreds annually by claiming these discounts. I’ve also heard of people using their student cards for discounts even after completing their studies, but that is a moral decision I will leave up to you.
15. Invest In Yourself
Although you’re trying to save by cutting down on your expenses, it doesn’t mean you cannot spend any money on yourself. Investing in yourself by subscribing to a new course to learn a language or skills isn’t an unnecessary expense if you utilize your membership and do not waste money.
Investing in yourself can also help you save by occupying your free time. When you are busy with training or a course, you won’t have as much time to waste or spend money on unnecessary things.
16. Bring Back Stay-In Dates
Nowadays, everyone wants to go out to dinner or demands to be spoiled on a date. However, there is something wholesome about staying in and having a movie night with popcorn, snacks, and laughs. In addition, a stay-in date allows you to connect with your partner or friends on a deeper level, as you are in an uninterrupted space.
You can also save on food and drinks. And you can show off your cooking skills when cooking at home instead of dining out.
5 Unique Ways To Save In General
If these money-saving ideas aren’t satisfactory, you will be happy to know that I also thought the list was incomplete with these 16 money-saving tips alone. So, I added five more unique ways to save in general.
17. Bank Your Change
If you pay for some things with cash, you often have a few loose coins lying around in your car or purse. Instead of discarding those as useless, save them in a coin jar or piggy bank. Then, when your jar is full, you can take it to your bank and have the coins counted. You’ll get a pleasant surprise when you see how much money those coins amount to.
You can then direct deposit all the money into one of your savings accounts, use it to treat yourself or put it in an emergency fund. Having a separate bank account for an emergency fund Banking your change is an easy way to save money, as you likely wouldn’t have used the small change for anything useful in any case.
18. Use Money Saving Apps
When shopping in-store or online, you can use money-saving apps and coupons to help you save a few dollars on your cart. There are countless money-saving apps available. Try a few money-saving apps to see which one works best in your area and for your spending habits.
Then select the apps that suit you best and use them every time you shop to save money fast. Some of these apps may also show active promotions you can use to save even more.
19. Start A Side Hustle That Doesn’t Cost A Fortune
Whenever you research ways to save, people often talk about starting a side hustle. But side hustles take a lot of time, and many require a significant “start-up” fee. So, if you are interested in a side hustle to make more money, I recommend opting for something that doesn’t require a big initial investment.
It’s better to start small with your side hustle and pour more resources into it when you see that it can work than spending a lot of money initially and not getting a proper return. But, if it is successful, a side hustle can help you make and save more.
20. Pregame At Home
When going out with friends, I recommend having a few drinks at home first. Getting together at someone’s house for a few drinks and taking public transport to your destination can help you save money on drinks. Furthermore, if you eat at someone’s house before going out (even if it is just snacks), you will spend less money when going out.
Also, sticking to cheaper drinks at the bar can help you save money. For example, instead of buying several extravagant cocktails, opt for one cocktail and then have some promotional drinks to cut your expenses for the evening.
21. Quality Over Quantity
This tip you can combine with nearly all the tips discussed above. For example, investing in high-quality staple items for your wardrobe is better than buying cheaper items you need to replace every few months. Likewise, investing in a proper date every few months will save you more money than having a thoughtless weekly date.
Considering how you spend your money and what can help you save and live a blissful life.
Saving money doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, you can save money easily by following the 21 tips mentioned in this article. Consider how you spend your money and on what. Opt for quality over quantity and cancel any unnecessary subscriptions you don’t use.
I hope you enjoyed this article! If so, don’t forget to read our other articles to help you live a frugal and satisfying life while saving money.
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