37 Ways You Can Save Money Every Day
How do I save money, if I already lead a frugal life and have no debt; surely I am doing enough?
Well, find out below if you're doing all that you can!
Whether you are saving for travelling like we did, or trying to reach another life goal, or simply wish to make your pennies go further, this advice will hopefully help you.
GENERAL MONEY MANAGEMENT
1. BUDGET, and do it wisely:. Look at a months expenses, fixed and changeable. Split your budget into a week-by-week basis. You might get paid once a month or paid every week (this is less common in the UK where I am from) but if you live week by week, its sometimes easier to break down where you will need to allocate funds on things such as food shopping. It could mean that by the time you reach your next payday you aren't dipping into savings to make the short-fall.
2. BUDGET FOR REAL LIFE: Creating a budget doesn't have to mean you designate every penny of your earnings to particular things with zero room for movement. If you are trying to clear debt or make savings then cutting back or limiting yourself is a good idea, and yet giving yourself no budget breathing space might make you more likely to impulse spend as a rebellious act. Try to budget for your reality, one where you will still want occasional treats, and so including this in your budget will make you more mindful of where you could make savings elsewhere, if you desire a balance of controlled spending, enjoyment, and saving.
3. USE MULTIPLE SEPARATE BANK ACCOUNTS: I name different accounts after the bills which go into them. It means I can easily put aside my expenses and know exactly what my situation is for the next week or month. I currently have two savings accounts, one for rent and one for actual long-term savings. I tend to withdraw the rest of my money for food and transport, as cash, on payday. If I use my bank accounts as piggy-banks, instead of using my debit card for impulse and convenience spending, I feel much more mindful in my consumer choices.
4. KEEP RECEIPTS: I judge how good I am being with budgeting by keeping all my receipts, all the time. It holds me accountable and means I can't ignore what I am spending. I am acutely aware of every dollar that I give away and it has helped me achieve no-spend days, or weeks, because I like to have as few receipts as possible:
PRO-TIP: Instead of thinking 'I won't spend money this week', think, 'I don't want a wallet full of receipts to read through each week'. Obviously, the two go hand-in-hand.
5. USE A DAY-PLANNER: I love my day-planner for many reasons, but one of the main ones is how it helps me track spending beyond just having a pile of folded up receipts. I write every single thing I spend each day or week, and I also plan ahead for up-coming bills. This helps me spot the times where I spend more, and I can link it to how I am feeling that day, or what else I was doing. If I know why I spend more, I can better give attention to those areas of my life that clearly need some re-thinking.
6. BUY CHEAPER VERSIONS: I think sometimes this is a challenge when you are trying to buy organic or healthier food products. But even when you are buying healthy food, you can still get cheaper versions of your favourites. I buy lots of fruit each week, which can be expensive, but to save some pennies, I will buy which ever apple type is the cheapest per kg that given day. It doesn't save as much as if I forewent the fresh fruit altogether, and bought a pack of 6 fruit-filled and sugar-laden breakfast bars, but the cost to my health isn't worth it in my opinion.
7. SWITCH SUPERMARKETS: We often shop at the stores that are the most local or convenient to us. We know the lay of the land, which aisle has what, and we develop a real sense of familiarity with a shop. Sometimes this blinds us to whether that is the cheapest or best value place to buy our weekly food shop. I like Aldi and Lidl (in the UK) with Aldi growing its reach in Australia right now.
8. GO IN KNOWING EXACTLY WHAT YOU NEED: Make a shopping list, based on a meal plan, and buy only ingredients for this. I buy foods to feed me for a week of breakfast, lunch and dinner with a few snacks. I don't get into buying stuff to fill up the freezer or the store cupboard, as I believe this just leads to waste.
PRO-TIP: Write on your shopping list a brief run-down of what's in your fridge or pantry, so that you aren't forced to make random extra spending decisions because you can't remember what you have at home.
9. DON'T BUY ONLY FRESH: Dairy and bread are often an unavoidable exception, but just be wary of filling up the refrigerator with foods that go out of date within a week; these foods are often the most wasted. When you create a meal plan you can make sure to designate your fresh foods to particular meals to prevent this waste. I buy frozen fruit and vegetables (berries for smoothies and veg for curry's) as it can be cheaper as well as waste-reducing. I just make sure the fruit says 'No added sugar' on the pack.
10. RESIST TEMPTATION TO BUY EXTRA FOOD: You might live near a little corner shop and get tempted of an evening to go looking for yummy snacks. Try to anticipate this by including some nice food in your weekly shop so that you don't end up spending over-budget on food.
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FUN AND SOCIAL LIFE
11. HAVE AMAZING NIGHTS IN: A social life is the foundation of a fulfilling life based more on experiences and relationships, not material spending. But do consider cutting back on eating-out, cinema visits and day-trips. These experiences can actually become habitual, meaning you continue to regularly spend on these activities without much consideration for doing something else new. Suggest cheaper alternatives to friends or family, like a dinner party where everyone has to bring their own home-made speciality dish. Or introduce a weekly movie night where you each bring a movie from your own collection, or go in together on renting something.
12. GO OUT ONCE A FORTNIGHT: Resolve to have one evening/day out every 2 weeks. This might sound hard but you can actually get quite used to a routine of not going out. If you reduce your expensive outings you will save more money but you will also come to view them as more rewarding and enjoyable if you don't do them so often.
13. GET CREATIVE: I nurtured my creative side by beginning this blog, a place to come and guide others as I too cleared debt and refined my spending habits. It helped me stay on my path to a debt-free future as a nomad, and it opened me up to a world of writing I had been too afraid to pursue before, too consumed by my consumption and other distractions. I'm not saying blogging is for everyone, but you may have other inner creative abilities that might come out in other forms and interests which you might have previously ignored in favour of your habitual entertainment escapes.
14. EMBRACE WHAT YOU LOVE EVERY DAY: What do you do most when you go on holidays or when you have a relaxing Sunday? Do you read a book, take a walk or try a new recipe? Our hobbies do not have to be confined to just one part of our week. We can try to build on our true loves and engage in them more often, or see what other hobbies we might like that derive from them.
PRO-TIP: Get ideas from Pinterest or YouTube, awesome online spaces where you can find like-minded thrifty people ready to introduce you everything you can imagine.
15. GET RID OF STUFF: If you are craving the buzz of buying a treat for yourself, sell something on Ebay, or donate a few items. Whatever you make you can spend on something new. But be careful, try to only acquire quality things out of need. The process of saving is also one of de-cluttering and simplifying, you don't want to get excited and accumulate too much.
16. BE CERTAIN BEFORE YOU BUY: When shopping online, add the item you have your eye on to the basket, and then leave it. Go back the next day and if you still want the item, question if you need it and what value it will bring. The more you think about it, the more likely it is you will talk yourself out of it and not give into that impulse-buy feeling.
PRO-TIP: Calculate the cost of the item versus what that amount of money could otherwise get you. Could it go to your debt repayments, your saving goals or your holiday plans?
17. HIT THE CHARITY SHOPS: I honestly love the challenge of finding a new outfit in a charity shop. Not only does this encourage recycling and lengthening the life of trendy items, but it is going to be a fun money-saving challenge. Consider that not all the stuff in these shops is junk, think of all the unworn clothing sitting in your wardrobe and how nice that is, you are bound to find something which meets your tastes.
18. RE-STYLE YOUR EXISTING CLOTHING: When I go through all my clothing to donate some to charity and make space, I always find things I had forgotten about. I then try to come up with new outfit combinations and it's a fun little task to re-imagine and re-appreciate the things I already have.
19. CONSIDER FINDING A CHEAPER HOME: Are you paying exorbitant rental fees? If you aren't bound by a contract, look around for cheaper rental rates, either by focusing on a cheaper area, or just a smaller property. If you are trying to save for a forever home consider that a small and unsightly home that costs less will get you to your goal sooner.
20. MONITOR WATER AND ELECTRIC USAGE: Don't just pay your bills, study and compare them. Be aware of what you are using and try where possible to lower consumption in the home to lower your bills. Set a timer on your showers and flush the toilet less (ew but true). Never leave appliances or computers plugged in and turned on when you aren't using them.
21. RENT OUT A ROOM: My brother and his partner rent out a small room in their home to a lodger who essentially pays their mortgage (or some of it). If you don't like the idea of sharing your home, look at temporary lodgers, people who only need a room during certain periods of the month or year. This is quite a common thing; I know of a family who have a lodger who pays a fixed monthly rate but is only there 2 or 3 day's a week.
22. CANCEL ANY T.V. SUBSCRIPTIONS: Sky TV in England is incredibly popular for its numerous channels, so lots of choice for programmes, but in reality you can only watch one thing a time, so why pay a premium for reams of channels you will never use. So much TV and entertainment is available online these days too, and for much cheaper.
23. LOOK FOR WHERE YOU CAN SAVE MONEY: Is your home insurance set to automatic renewal? If so, could you get a better deal? How about your energy supplier, are they giving you the best prices? Don't just accept your current outgoings as fixed, savings can always be made if you try.
24. BIRTHDAYS: Dread when it comes to spending on presents when it feels like you only just went bankrupt from Christmas? Consider second-hand gifts. Yet again charity shops are great for finding unopened items perfect for giving. Or alternatively make your own gift considering how special it is to receive something that has taken time and effort.
25. CHRISTMAS: When I was living in England with family, I would make a list of all the things that reminded me of each family member or person I intended to buy a present for. This brainstorming helped me decide on the perfect gift instead of leaving it to last-minute overspending.
26. ANNIVERSARIES: Luckily Taran and I more or less forget important dates/valentines day and they go by without us noticing, ha! But if you are more into celebrating them, try to go for home-made gifts. Pinterest is perfect for ideas which cost between 5 and 10 £\$. Or make vouchers with promises of things, little gestures and treats you will give to your significant other, like a coupon for a 30 minute massage.
27. DON'T WORRY ABOUT APPEARING TIGHT: If your family and friends know you well, they will most likely know about your saving plans and thus won't expect you to spend a lot of money on them on special occasions. Be clear with them why you are choosing to do so, so as not to build confusion or resentment. In return be clear to people you also do not expect much either and that you would rather they saved their own money!
28. DRINK WATER: Its free, really good for you, and as I said, it's free!!
29. DON'T BUY NEW BOOKS: A shelf full of unread books which drew you in with their synopsis and pretty cover? Well, it's time to actually read them! Try to trade in old books if you are seeking new ones to read!
30. WATCH YOUR CAR MILEAGE: Do you get a lot of miles for your fuel money? I noticed my fuel economy decreased and so I did simple things, like checked tyre pressures and paid for an interim service to check her out. If you drive more than you need to, swap the car for some walking shoes, and get out there!
31. MAKE YOUR OWN TAKEAWAY FOOD: Do you crave a curry or a pizza but bulk at the bill? Well experiment each week with making a dish which closely resembles your favourites, and save lots of money. Taran makes a delicious feta and mozzarella pizza with cheap ingredients, meaning he not only knows exactly what's in his food but it saves money each week for the rest of the food budget.
32. CANCEL SUBSCRIPTIONS: Do you use your Spotify, Netflix etc? I mean, are these key things in your life? Do you use them every day or week? If not, cancel, and save the money. If you don't use them much now, you won't miss them.
33. ALWAYS MAKE A PACKED LUNCH: The days on which I neglect to pack food and drink, I inevitably spend money because a girl's gotta eat!
34. USE UP ALL YOUR COSMETIC PRODUCTS: Resist the temptation for a whole new beauty regime before you have finished your current one. Use up all that shampoo, lipstick and face cream. Save waste and money.
35. AVOID THE SHOPS: Plenty of people while away the weekend meandering around the local high street or shopping centre. And when they might intend to only window shop/people watch, they are bound to be tempted to spend which over a month can add up to a lot of mindless spending.
36. QUESTION EACH AND EVERY PURCHASE YOU MAKE: I will compare prices endlessly when buying something, if it is something I need. But if I get distracted and look at other things, whether it be on e-bay or in the supermarket, I pick it up, and think, why am I wanting this? Will it get utilized, used, or wasted? Will it add value to my life? If the answer is not clearly a yes, I put it back.
37. BE POSITIVE AND CELEBRATE YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS: Each time you resist spending money or save yourself a cost, let that feeling wash over you. When in the future all the money you save comes into use on your travels, you will be even more proud of your thrifty and restrictive choices. Your whole approach to living will change; value will be placed more on experiences, friends, family and suddenly spending will seem like an annoyance, not a short-cut to happiness.
MORE MONEY-SAVING GOODNESS:
Thanks for reading!
Hannah here, one half of NomaderHowFar. I love reading, the beach, proper fish and chips, and a good cup of tea. But I mostly like to chat about minimalism, simplifying your life, the beauty of travel and sometimes I get a bit deep. Get to know us here!
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