So you are on a strict budget and looking for ways to save a couple of bucks? Well, it won't be easy – because saving money takes discipline and commitment.
But if you are serious about cutting corners and living within your means, there are a few ways to help you do that. Saving money doesn't have to be boring or tedious – in fact, you can be creative and even have a bit of fun with it.
In this article, we will be sharing 10 unusual and surprising ways to help you save money. So if you are tired of old and boring money-saving tips, read on and discover a few new and exciting ways to save cash.
1. Shop With a List
Let's be honest – we all tend to impulse shop! How many times have you gone to the mall without a list and ended up walking out with bags full of stuff you had no intention of buying? You are not alone – almost every one of us has done it.
But if you shop with a list in hand, you are less likely to buy something you don't need or to be enticed by a store's sales pitch. This is because when you have a list, you clearly know what you need to buy and can avoid wasting money on unnecessary items.
2. Pay More Than the Minimum Balance on Credit Cards
If you have credit card debt, one of the best ways to save money is by paying more than the minimum balance due each month. Doing this will help you pay off your debt sooner and reduce your interest payments significantly.
Pay off your credit card debt as soon as possible and avoid incurring high-interest payments. Paying more than the minimum balance due each month will also help you build a good credit score and save money in the long run.
3. Use the Envelope Method
The envelope method is one of the oldest yet most effective ways to save money. All you need to do is set aside cash for different spending categories and then put it in labeled envelopes. When the envelope is empty, that's your limit – no more spending!
This method of budgeting will help you control your impulse spending and keep track of where your money goes. Plus, it's a great way to teach your kids the importance of money management and living within their means.
4. No Spend Holidays
Holidays are often a time when we overspend on gifts and other items. But you don't have to go all out for every holiday – you can save money by having “no spend” holidays.
This means taking some time off from shopping and focusing more on spending quality time with family and friends instead.
Think of creative ways to celebrate the holidays without spending money. You can host a potluck dinner, watch movies at home, or have a simple game night with your loved ones. These activities will cost you nothing, and still hold to the spirit of the holiday season!
5. The 52 Weeks Challenge
If you are looking for something challenging to help you save money, try the 52-week saving challenge. All you have to do is start by putting away $1 in week one and increase your savings each week until the end of the year.
At the end of the year, you will have saved a total of $1378 – enough for some nice holiday gifts, saving for emergencies, or even a vacation. The goal is to keep up with the challenge and not give in to temptation.
6. Discontinue Your Subscriptions
You might not notice this, but your subscription services can add up quickly each month. Take a look at your bank statement and see if there are any subscriptions that you no longer use or need – then cancel them to save money.
For example, if you have an entertainment streaming service that you don't use as much anymore, you could cancel it and save $10 or more every month.
7. Spend Money on Expensive Products
You might be thinking – how can you save money by spending more on expensive items? Well, it's true – you can save money by investing in expensive products.
When you buy quality items that last longer, you don't have to keep buying new ones every few months. Consider spending more on higher-quality furniture or appliances, as they are likely to last longer than their cheaper counterparts.
Electronics products are an excellent example of this – splurging on a good laptop or phone can save you money in the long run, as it will last much longer than cheaper models.
8. DIY Whenever Possible
Rather than buying products or services you need, why not try to make them yourself? Doing things like making your cleaning supplies and home repairs can save you a lot of money in the long run.
DIY projects require an initial investment of time and materials, but they are much cheaper than buying an identical product from a store. Plus, you can customize them to your liking and get creative – something you can't do with pre-made items!
9. Cook More
It doesn't make sense to spend hundreds of dollars on takeout every month when you can cook your meals at home. Not only is cooking more economical, but it's also healthier and fresher than ordering from restaurants.
Put aside a few weekly hours to plan and prepare your meals for the week ahead. You'll save money by not eating out, plus you'll get to experiment with different flavors and ingredients.
Of course, you can enjoy a restaurant meal once in a while – don't make it a habit.
10. Look For Coupons and Discounts
When it comes to saving money, how can we not mention coupons and discounts? They are the best way to get the things you need at a lower price.
Look for coupons and discounts when shopping online or in-store. Many websites offer coupons and discounts – take the time to look them up before shopping. You can also sign up for loyalty programs or take advantage of special deals.
Also, if you buy from specific shops regularly, you can often get discounts and loyalty points. Make sure to sign up for their newsletters and follow their social media accounts for the latest updates.
So there you have it! Ten simple ways that you can save money each month. Some might require a bit of effort, but all are worth it when you start to see the results in your bank account. Start with one or two tips and then gradually implement others until you get into the habit of saving money. Before long, you'll be on your way to a healthier financial future. Good luck!
I’m Steve. I’m an English Teacher, traveler, and an avid outdoorsman. If you’d like to comment, ask a question, or simply say hi, leave me a message here, on Twitter (@thefrugalexpat1). Many of my posts have been written to help those in their journey to financial independence. I am on my journey, and as I learn more I hope to share more. And as always, thanks for reading The Frugal Expat.