BEST WAYS TO SAVE MONEY
Saving money sounds as easy as eating a piece of chocolate cake. But it’s not as simple as that. In fact, it is difficult and even the ones who study the numbers struggle. Before payday, we always find a way to spend the money. Of course, in our head, we only want to spend it on essential stuff. But when we look at our closet at the end of the year, sometimes, we can’t help but wonder why we bought certain items.
We tend to forget our financial plan as we receive our salary. This is especially true when you’re in the shopping mall or the nearest store. It’s very tempting to buy everything that appeals to you. It’s too late to realize that most of them are not that important. They are wants, rather than needs.
In this article, you’ll understand the best ways to save money. Sometimes, the solutions are highly apparent. We tend to be blind especially when we have a stable job and other significant sources of income. It all starts within us. Control and commitment is an essential component to saving money.
By growing up in a place where resources were very limited, you learn to save money the hard way. I have also added some of the tips I picked up through my experiences in the western world.
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101 Effective and Tested Tips to Save Money
1. Quit smoking : Save money
I knew one day, being a pulmonary doctor would come in handy in one of my posts. This is my moment and I aim to seize it. Here is the deal. Smoking will delay and ruin your retirement. If you need more explanation, then here are three powerful reasons to quit.
Smoking is expensive
I actually Googled how much cigarette cost in Arkansas on average, it cost about $6.07 a pack. So let’s say, you smoke 1 pack per day, you are spending $182 per month. That’s $2,185 per year. If you invest that over a period of 30 years which is not uncommon, that comes up to 273,000 dollars if you have invested that money instead. What about over 60 years, this came up to 3.26 million dollars!! Yet, it is not uncommon for me to hear of patients that smoked 3 packs per day. More information here.
Smoking is not only costly, but it is also deadly.
Cigarette smoking is still the leading cause of preventable death in the USA. Of course, you want to live longer and acquire more significant savings, so stop smoking now. There are multiple ways to quit, just talk to your pulmonologist (shameless self promotion here) or primary doctor. Although, I have never smoked, I still believe will power is the most important component to quitting.
Smoking ruins our society
Cigarette smoking or the lack of disposing the butts properly is the leading cause of fires in many states. Also, the direct effect of smoking on the nation’s finances is insane.
A 2016 study estimated the total economic cost of smoking in the US at more than $300 billion a year. The first part is about $170 billion in direct medical care for the adult smokers in treating COPD (chronic obstructive lung disease) and other lung diseases. The other part is about $156 billion due to lost productivity due to premature death and exposure to secondhand smoke.
So say no to cigarette either for a financial reason, health reason or whatever reason, just Quit.
2. Move bank accounts for other amazing perks
Whether you’re paying a monthly fee for your savings or checking account, it’s time to research the newest banking offers on the market. Top banks don’t only provide sign-up bonuses, but they also offer attractive interest rates. Save the juices of your hard work with a bank that give importance to your money.
You don’t believe me? I got 300 dollars when I signed up for PNC bank in Pittsburgh when we were living there. That was the easiest 300 bucks I ever earned. Time to start searching. Dig for gold my friend.
3. Turn off the appliance when not in use
We all have that family member who is anti electricity wastage. Turning off the light and TV is not enough for my dad. My dad made us unplug all electrical appliances from the socket to save money. I used to think he was excessive, but now that I pay the bills, I am just as serious.
That was the level of seriousness you have to employ in this area. I never really find out if unplugging saved money or worth the hassle to unplug appliances but you get the point.
Watching television can also be a waste of time and money anyway. While it’s still good to watch your favorite channels for entertainment purposes, it’s not ideal to spend 8 hours a day watching an intense action movie or drama.
Control yourself and educate other household members to avoid a pile of electric bills. You might not want to be this intense, but the sky is the limit on how deep you want to go here.
The main reason I personally don’t watch TV is because I have more important use for my time, like writing an extensive blog post like this for example. This is where I would like to add that an entrepreneur in my opinion needs to get rid of TV. It is a distraction.
Disclosure though – we do have TV, mostly for the kids.
4. Sell stuff you don’t need or use
Usually, people follow the fad, which is not suitable in the long run. Is your cabinet full of collectible items and other stuff? Then, this is the best time to sell them.
Here’s the good news! There are resale sites you can choose. Take action today before the price reaches the bottom.
I even found places you can resell books instead of using it to design your shelves.
5. Sign up for customer rewards program
Wherever you are, you’ll find a multitude of retailers that provide rewards program for shopping. It can be in the form of discounts and other amazing deals. It can be free shipping, too. It depends on the service provider of your option. Visit the site of your choice for further details.
I was hesitant about reward programs in the past. I am one of those people who want to prove that best buy or Amazon can’t get me. On further evaluation, Amazon prime and Amazon credit card in combination has saved us thousands of dollars every year. To finish the trifecta, I am now an affiliate and I get the saving codes regularly. For example, 70% savings on clothes. Feel free to browse through and find some discount to save money. But, only if you had planned to buy already.
6. Gifts can be a D.I.Y Project
Since it’s only a few days away before Christmas at the time of writing, it’s challenging to find the best gift for family, friends, and god-children. Most times, people (including me) buy ready-made items to avoid any hassle.
I am sometimes guilty too. Especially, if I am running late to get gift for Mrs. Breathe Easy Finance. It is either the quick delivery or face the consequences. Sometimes, money saves lives that way.
I digress, but it’s always ideal to customize holiday presents. For kids, you can make food mixes, cookies, come up with something nice. For your buddies, homemade gifts or game night are go to.
Here is some list of possible homemade gift ideas. Just be careful with the bath salts, not to be consumed. This concept was discussed in prior post about saving and living better this holiday season. You will find 6 awesome tips to avoid the post holiday empty wallet syndrome.
7. Think a million times before shopping
One of the most effective rules of personal finance is avoiding instant gratification. Wait for days to make a decision. After a month of waiting, you will not only save money, but you will also realize that the item is not worth an investment. Apparently, there is a 30 days rule of personal finance out there which says to wait 30 days before making a major purchase. I do this often, even without knowing the rule.
8. Stick to your list
Without a shopping list, your quick trip to the mall leads to unplanned purchases and a waste of money. Before you go to the nearest mall, write down the essential items on a piece of paper. Don’t forget to stick to it.
Although it’s tempting to buy a new set of jewelry or a clothing brand, pause, think and look at the list. If it’s not there, delay the purchase for another time.
This is one of our ways of staying on budget. Get a copy of our free budgeting E-book.
9. Don’t go grocery shopping when you are hungry
This one I saw from Arrest your debt article. It details the 5 common money mistake people make. The 5th point is all about making sure your stomach is full before going shopping. You are more likely to spend more. Having a shopping list as said above would help you immensely but sometimes the survival instinct overtakes us all.
10. Invite your college friends, colleagues or relatives over
Going out of town can destroy your budget in one fell swoop. It’s always cheaper to invite people over instead. Nothing can beat quality moment at home.
I am not saying its bad to explore a new place, but it should not be too often.
In fellowship, we could not find where about 4,000 dollars was going in our budget, we finally traced it back to the amount of outings that we do. The date nights. We used to go every week. This endeavor require us paying a babysitter about 50 – 70 dollars for the night and we spend 50 dollars on the date. Simple mathematics 120 dollars x 4 = 480 bucks every month.
We reduced this to once a month and we saved significantly. We also started going with the kids. It wasn’t as bad as we thought. Yes they drive some people insane, but hey! kids gotta be kids.
11. Repair clothing instead of buying a new one
This is easy for me based on my background. Left to me alone, I won’t even purchase new clothing. Some folks toss out a shirt because of a missing button. This is like throwing away a nice meal because a fly was buzzing around. For me, it’s not that I can’t afford to buy clothes; it’s a matter of principle.
I buy for a purpose, my mantra about anything is – if it still works, why change it? Just look at your cabinet to find a button. Basic sewing skills is all you need. I saw some pictures I took while in medical school with the same shirts I have right now. To me, that’s money well spent.
As long as it has no holes in it or only minimal fade in color. Even that could be worn inside the house. Judge me, but my bank account will continue to grow.
12. Never spend big money on children’s entertainment
Young ones can be entertained cheaply. Play basketball with them in the backyard. Head to the nearest park. Plant a garden with your kids or give them used toys. These activities are fun and free.
In fact, planting a tree is good for nature, you are teaching them life lessons that way. As a parent, remember that attention, care, and love are what every child needs.
Our kids don’t actually play with the toys we get them, instead they play with boxes in the house and random household items.
Interesting fact, most kids don’t have recollection before the age of 4, so they most likely won’t even remember expensive entertainment and pricey gifts. Why go bankrupt to buy expensive gadgets your kids won’t remember.
This is also a good reason to hold off on having a lavish first birthday celebration. Have a small celebration and save your money for a bash, when your child can actually enjoy and remember the birthday.
I grew up in Nigeria, where I made my own toys from random items. I think that habit played a huge role in my creativity and brain development. Unfortunately, there is only one of me and we cannot reverse time for you to perform a randomized control experiment to confirm.
Here is a fun article on webMD about when kids form their first memory.
13. Negotiate rates with the credit card company of your choice
If you are paying high interest on your credit cards or loans, you can negotiate your rate with your loan company. All you have to do is pick up the phone and have a good pitch like a sales person.
This is money matter, so take it seriously. The difference between 10% and 18% interest rate could be the difference between retiring at 65 versus 70. You can check out our post about getting out of debt for more information on this matter. You will learn effective ways to get out of debt including debt consolidation.
If you want to negotiate your physician contract, try contract diagnostics. That was the company I used for my contract.
14. Be a credit card tart
I know the first time I came across the phrase, “credit card tart” I had to check it twice, but it was enticing enough for me to click it. It turns out that “tart” when it relates to personal finance; it is used to describe a practice of transferring balances from one credit card to another to maintain a low interest rate.
Take advantage of the low introductory rate credit cards. Sometimes, you can even get zero percent introductory rates.
Be careful with this strategy though, you have to be disciplined to execute it perfectly, otherwise you might end up spending more that you plan for.
Investopedia has an awesome article for your viewing pleasure also.
15. Yard sale unnecessary stuff in your closets
A full cabinet can be a headache. Find anything you don’t use. My mum used to say, if you have clothes you have not worn for 6 months, you don’t need it. That’s a bit strict, but you know what? That is probably true. If 6 months is too soon for you due to various seasons, then do one year.
Instead of getting rid of them, you can have a yard sale. It is fun for the community to get to know each other while making some money in the process. Win win here.
Although we are talking about saving money, you can donate it to an organization for a charitable cause if you are so inclined. A dozen shirts or pants can be a huge help for many.
You might be able to get a receipt and have a tax deduction from your donations too. See, how I link it back to saving or making money somehow.
16. Avoid expensive beverages: drink water instead
We all know what kills the bill at restaurants. It is the alcoholic beverages. A nice bottle of wine at the restaurant could cost you 100 dollars. Now you have a great excuse to tell the waiter – I don’t drink alcohol or, I am increasing my water intake for health reasons. Just don’t tell them you are doing it to save money. Actually, you can. You will be my hero.
Drinking water does not only have remarkable health benefits, but it also has financial advantages. Drink a glass of water before a meal to become hydrated and save food. Your digestive system will thank you for it.
17. Purchase an artificial Christmas tree instead of a brand new and fresh ones
Real Christmas trees are beautiful. They boost the aesthetic value to your home and transform it into a haven of harmony, and make your place bright every day like heaven. But they are not durable and long-lasting. They might not even survive for the Christmas season.
It is always a wise decision to take advantage of artificial products. They are as vibrant and magnificent as a real tree. They are sturdy and affordable. Plus, they can stand the test of time, saving costs for the other seasons of gift giving. Our artificial Christmas tree, although more like Christmas twig, that we bought in residency, is still the one we are using this season.
Just dress it up, we have not had one person complain to us about the look of our tree. We actually ran out of ribbon but we made it work.
I am hoping we can keep it this way, subject to Mrs Breathe Easy Finance approval.
18. Cook a batch of casserole
Ok! This one is interesting. This concept came up over and over again while I was doing research for this article. So it has to be included. This is based on my research and Mrs Breathe Easy’s input as I actually don’t eat casserole.
Casseroles are easy, healthy and flavorful dishes. When you crave a bowl of such an addicting dish, make more batch of it. Put it in the fridge and heat it up everyday or every other day. This allows you to purchase ingredients in bulk and acquire additional savings.
That being said, we eat mostly Nigerian food. The Nigerian version of this is Jollof rice. We make one for the week and eat away. We sometimes freeze the rest if when we get tired of it. Those could be a life saver when you are really hungry and you are late on grocery shopping.
You save money by eating the leftover rather than going out to eat.
19. Don’t spend too much during a weekend
The weekend is the time for most family gatherings, travel and other adventures. So you don’t have a choice, but to spend hundreds of dollars. Here’s a good news for you! While you can have some fun with family members, relatives, and friends, you can avoid paying too much during the weekend.
How? It’s all simple! Share the expenses with them. Don’t shoulder all expenditures. You may end up ruining your financial goals. Also, do more meaningful activities like playing games together which is cheaper and more fun
Our weekend fun is eating pizza (splitting the cost with friends) and playing board games. We have a blast! Expensive weekend activities such as trying new restaurants, concerts and other entertainments, can kill your budget
20. Get the most out of your yard sales
This is not to be confused with selling your stuff in yard sale. I am talking about buying during a yard sale.
Yard sales are a one-stop opportunity to score impressive deals on different items. Think of sports equipment, housewares, clothing, and shoes. Just don’t buy cheap stuff. They still cost money, which you can save for the future.
Recently, we acquired a beautiful functional bike for our 3 year old daughter for 10 bucks!!! During a yard sale. Beat that bargain.. I am waiting…
21. Exchange DVDs and books anywhere
Do you know that you can swap your books, CDs and other stuff? This becomes possible because of online sites and other relevant providers. Clean out your collection and trade them now.
Instead of purchasing new movies and books, start a trading system with friends. This way you get to watch new movies or read a different book but not have to pay for each new item. Rotate with friends.
22. Use highly tested and free software
It’s no doubt that Microsoft Office is expensive. It cost hundreds of dollars to acquire one nowadays. Do you know there are spectacular alternatives out there? Search the net for free and reliable software. You can try Open office or Google Docs. For editing photos and videos, browse online for more options. Be creative, but don’t cross the piracy line.
23. Inspect and maintain your car and home appliances
Instead of hiring a specialist right away, check your appliance on a regular basis. Check the vents on the refrigerator or HVAC unit. Without dust and dirt, they’ll operate as functional as possible without high electric bills.
Also, make sure you maintain your car regularly. The upfront cost for proper maintenance, will increase longevity and prevent the need for purchasing a new car sooner. We all know, getting a new car is not for the faint of heart, financially.
24. Vinegar is a flexible product
Vinegar is typically used for cooking. Now, it can be used for cleaning the floors, glass and bathroom tiles. Instead of buying expensive solutions, give this item a try and see how it really works. Not only can it help you avoid the need to go to a nearby mall, but you can also get rid of unnecessary expenses.
Mrs. Breathe Easy loves vinegar because it is believed to be less toxic than many other cleaning products.
If you are following the theme here, always avoid the store unless you absolutely have to get something. You don’t believe me? Here is 28 ways to use vinegar around the house .
25. Buy used items if you can
New items are costly. Purchase used and sturdy stuff to save money. Just be clever when shopping at used shops. Invite a friend for helpful tips.
In residency, I purchased my whole living room set for 200 dollars from a colleague who was graduating. When I graduated, I sold them for the same amount after 3 years. Not too shabby . In fellowship, we got some of our furniture at on clearance. Some were returned products which we scooped up for half price.
Who is looking at a little scuff mark on your furniture anyways? Especially, if it is in your bedroom.
26. Practice good hygiene: Wash your hands
In the hospital, there are scouts and cameras sometimes watching if doctors washed their hands. Someone even did a quality improvement on it. Let’s just say, the study showed there is a lot of improvement to be made.
This is very simple. Wash your hands every time you handle raw foods or use the bathroom. This is an excellent way to protect yourself against different viruses and bacteria, therefore, ultimately avoiding medical bills. Those bills are not cheap.
27. Remove credit card numbers from different online accounts
Having your card information stored in an account makes online shopping simple. But the convenience turns to a bad habit. Delete the card after the transaction.
Whenever you’re tempted to spend, it takes a few minutes to find your card. This is the best time for you to contemplate whether an item is necessary or not.
This happened to us with Amazon prime at first. With just a click, the merchandise arrives at our door step. It was very reinforcing.
We eventually got a grip of ourselves and had to remove our card for few months to detox. Now we are more matured and focus, and we can control ourselves.
By being mindful, you can stop this habit. However, if you are having self control issues, just take your card off. Better still, go old school and use cash. The time it takes to go to the store, can help you repent your sin. Yes! not being a good steward of your finance is a sin against humanity.
28. Giving the gift of labor is cool
For pet owners, offer to babysit, or should I say pet sit their dogs and cats when they leave the country for business meetings. For new parents, an hour of babysitting can be a great gift. We sure would gladly accept this gift gladly. You can also provide lawn care as a gift to a friend. Be innovative, I am sure you can come up with something.
29. Do shopping after the holiday season
Some folks use this technique for the season of gift giving – Christmas. But it also works for other holidays. How to get started? Wait for two days after a holiday before shopping. Store them in the closet and use it next year. It is that simple.
We literally get upwards of 50% discount on stuff this way. This I learn from my mum. Do you want a winter jacket, try getting it at the end of winter. You will be surprised at the savings.
30. Refrain from using a vending machine
Vending machines are great because they can save you time and effort. But they are not healthy and cost-effective. We had a vending machine in one hotel we stayed at when we first came to Arkansas. Water cost 2 dollars.
We actually got a whole case of water for 3 dollars on our way out that day at Sams Club. It has 24 bottles in it and it lasted us for the whole week. We even left some in the hotel fridge when we left.
Prepare your own meal if possible. This way, you will enjoy every last bite. Most importantly, you eat a tasty and nutritious meal every day.
31. Check the air pressure of your tire
Underinflated tires are one of the factors contributing to your gas inefficiency and wastage. Before you start the engine, check your air pressure. Efficient tires save hundreds of dollars. This reminds me, time to check ours.
This practice actually makes your car safe too. You don’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere because of a flat tire. Especially, for someone like me who prefer not to get my hands dirty. I enjoy calling TRIPLE A. Judge me all you want.
32. Generic brands of items are the way to go
Do you just pick up brand items without a thought? Try out the generic version. This will not only save a few cents, but it will also help you discover excellent alternatives.
In recent years, there’s a negative stereotype about generic products. Things have changed! Now, generic choices could be a durable and worth-it solution. We even buy the CVS store brand of Claritin. It works exactly the same. Just be sure the ingredients are the same.
Even, if you don’t want to dare like us, at least buy generic clothes. Every time I watch the billionaires I respect like Bill Gates, he always dresses simple. I still don’t understand why poor people buy Jordan shoes. Here are 20 things you should consider buying generic.
33. Take advantage of energy-efficient appliances
Does your electric bill get higher every month? Install energy-efficient light bulbs, but don’t stop there, you can buy energy efficient appliances too including TV.
Choose between compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulbs and light emitting diode (LED). Both are cheaper and well tested. Before making a decision, identify your needs first. Once you’re aware of what you prefer, the selection process becomes stress-free.
Feel free to check out energy efficient bulbs on amazon.
34. Consider a programmable thermostat
What is a programmable thermostat?
Programmable thermostat is a thermostat which is efficiently designed to modify the temperature based on a series of programmed settings. These settings can be programmed to take effect at different times of the day.
This is amazing as it cuts down energy usage. Just set it to cool or heat your home at particular times.
35. Quality appliances are expert-recommended
This one is counter intuitive. Will you rather buy a stove for 100 dollars that last for a year? Or buy a 1,000 dollars stove that last a lifetime?
Never get tempted to purchase the most affordable fridge or oven. Be willing to spend more to achieve significant savings and high-quality home appliances. Read customer reviews, examine a company’s reputation, and shop.
36. Keep your car air filter clean
A clean air filter boosts gas mileage. Some car owners call an expert. But this can be a D.I.Y task. Follow the directions in the vehicle’s manual.
37. Don’t use credit cards
Credit cards are useful but burdensome. Never put them in your wallet. Keep them out of sight. Use them when the need arises.
We already talked about using cash if possible.
38. Plan your meals according to a store’s flyer
Creating an unplanned meal plan is expensive. Make sure to look at the store’s sales. Then, plan recipes. You’ll find a smaller food bill than the past.
This, we used to do more when I was in training. Every dollar counts, and you should strive to always get the lowest price for everything. Billionaires do it, why won’t you?
39. Compare prices and choose a cheaper store
Over time, we get used to shopping at the same store. It’s too late to realize we don’t get the best deals. Create a list of things to buy and visit different malls to compare the price. The cheap rate is the best way to go.
Just be careful to factor in your gas price and effort into this one. I sometimes have to debate with my mum about why we need to drive 2 miles to save 50 cent. To some, it is a matter of principle. Not to pay more if it is cheaper elsewhere. Weigh your pros and cons.
40. Have a movie marathon at home
Say bye to expensive tickets to watch newly released movies in cinemas. Turn your PC, laptop or smartphone on and browse your favorite celebrities’ movies. Not only does this lead a quality bonding moment with your family, you can minimize unnecessary expenses.
It is also an excellent opportunity for you to know your partner more profoundly, strengthening your relationship.
The movie theater is too restrictive anyways. You can’t bring your own food, you can’t chew the way you want (loudly) and you can’t talk or laugh awkwardly.
41. Don’t consider shopping a stress-reliever
Spending money to wind down from a stressful day might sound like an excellent idea. But you and I know that it’s a trap to lose your money. Don’t stress shop. Find other ways to relax. Hitting the gym is better. Watching a comedy film at home is more helpful. Plus, speaking to a friend or a relative lessens the worries.
42. Grab the amazon prime
We highly recommend Amazon Prime for people who want to save a ton of money within a long span of time. Unlike the competition, it remains the topnotch option for many out there. With its benefits, it’s no wonder it becomes the leading choice for shoppers.
Among the pros are free two-day shipping, full access to thousands of movies or TV shows, amazing bonus deals for students, unlimited access to magazines or e-books, and unlimited photo storage.
Just make sure you don’t get trigger happy here and keep ordering because it arrives fast.
43. Think about term life insurance
Insurance cannot be considered an investment. So get what you need. Do not be suckered into whole life insurance. Whenever you’re stuck in a costly policy, a cheaper coverage is convenient. Get the most out of the cash to build some wealth.
44.Work with fuel-efficient vehicles
It’s no doubt that a reliable car will save you thousands of dollars over a long run. Our two cars are Toyota corolla and Rav 4. Before that, I had a Honda civic. You see the theme here? These cares are so efficient, it’s insane. We drive 6 hours from New Jersey to Pittsburgh many times without filling the tank on the way. Now that’s what I am talking about.
I am sure you can think of even better efficient cars, but those works well.
45. Refrain from going to malls altogether
Shopping malls are a relaxing place to watch. But it is packed with temptation. Don’t go to malls unless you have something to buy. It’s wise to leave your cards and cash at home.
Many time people start out with window shopping, the next thing you see them walking out with multiple bags of merchandise.
46. Practice the 10-second rule
Whenever you add an item to the cart, pause for a few seconds and ask yourself, “Is it essential?” If not, put them back. This aids you to utilize your money on the most basic needs.
This is not to be confused with the 5 seconds rule for food on the floor. Don’t even pretend, you know the deal.
47. Be open to renting out any unused space in your property
Do you have an extra room? Be a part of Airbnb. This yields to extra money especially when you live in a popular tourist area. Develop the space, paint the walls, and arrange pieces of furniture.
I remember watching it on TV how many people made thousands of dollars during the last eclipse. People literally rented out their lawn for hundreds of dollars. If opportunity like this falls in your lap, take advantage too.
48. Customize a visual reminder of your debt
Debt is overwhelming to deal with. Customize a giant progress bar to fill in a few dollars. After a month of putting some cash into it, you’re ready to pay your debt. Every dollar you put towards your debt is a dollar invested. And you save on interest rate while paying the debt sooner.
49. Cancel a magazine subscription
Do you have some unread magazines? Perhaps, as a result of a subscription. Cancel it for now to get a refund. You’ll never regret it. You can still renew the membership in the coming years.
As a doctor, I find so many organizations that I paid for, that I barely use anymore. I cancelled the membership. A good example is the internal medicine related subscriptions. As a specialist, I barely read those magazines they send.
I never regretted cancelling them.
50. Eat breakfast
Breakfast is the most essential meal for the day. Skipping it increases the desire to eat big and costly lunch. Think about it, the longest duration your stomach is empty is night till morning. For the long sleepers, it means, your last meal was 12 hours ago. Don’t skip breakfast as it’s inexpensive, quick and healthy.
Even if you have to eat a quick cereal or fruit, get something in your stomach in the morning.
51. Swap babysitting with relatives and close friends
Are you living in a neighborhood with dozens of families with kids? Perhaps, some parents are willing to swap babysitting nights with you. This eliminates the expenses of hiring a babysitter. However, choose the one you trust.
We do this with our family friends and it has brought the kids and our family together more.
52. Make your own wine
Do you enjoy an occasional drink? Then, make gallons of wine or beer. It’s an excellent activity to do with the family or colleagues. While having some fun, you can have delicious, tasty drinks at the end of the day.
You might want to learn how to make one.
I am skipping on this one though.
53. Air seal your residential property
Air leaks affect the temperature at home. It’s arduous to keep your space warm during winter and cool during summer. It might be worth it to take a full day off work to air seal your house.
Mrs Breathe Easy Finance makes sure we heat proof the house to save money. I am usually disgruntled by it, but when it comes to saving some dollars, I eventually muster the energy.
54. Maximize the use of an efficient coupon technique
Shopping based on a grocery store flyer is money-saving. Using coupons is even more cost-effective and allows you to enjoy the experience.
There are different rules of thought on this one though, some believe couponing waste time and at the end the time it take to collect them night not be worth it. Ill say that’s some excuse. Nowadays, coupon can be found online.
Before I buy anything online, I Google for coupon first. You would be surprised how many discount coupons are out there.
Remember to ask the suppliers to stay updated.
55. Consider a gas water heater
Are electricity rates in your area increasing? Then, a gas water heater might be a good idea. It is more efficient, saving your money within a long span of time. But wait, there’s more! Despite a power outage, it can still work, providing maximum comfort.
56. Avoid overspending on any hygiene stuff
Affordable hygiene products are as tested as expensive items. So, why would you waste your money on popular brands? Choose the cheapest solution from a trusted provider.
Is there a major difference between a 5 dollar and 20 dollar toothpaste? I doubt it.
57. Request companies to waive fees
Typically, signing up for a service requires additional charges in way of sign up fees. All you have to do is to ask the service provider to waive the cost. This is great help and it lowers the bill.
If you don’t ask, you will never receive it. This is part of negotiation skill. Always give it a try.
58. Choose a different route to school, home or work
Driving a new road to home or work is a powerful tip. This is useful if your route pass by a mall you love to visit.
I used to think the opposite. I tend to take the mall route in the hopes I will remember something I wanted to get. That led to unnecessary spending at the mall.
If you avoid the mall route, you can say bye to the temptation of stopping near the mall and expect triple-digit savings one day. Give it a try and see a huge difference.
59. Live in a smaller residential property
Everyone dreams of a large place to live. But that’s not cost-effective. This is particularly important for doctors who feel like they have worked this hard and they ditch common sense. You’d end up paying more bills than you’ve ever thought. A small space is not a bad idea.
We are renting now, but we have decided not to go above 2,000 square feet.
60. Read the books of your interest
You don’t need to play casino and lose thousands of dollars within a snap of a finger to have some fun. Reading a book is incredible. It will improve your skills and widen your perspective. Most importantly, you will enjoy.
61. Don’t be a fast driver
Driving your car at high speed leads to more gas usage. It also results in a high insurance premiums. Try to drive the recommended speed for your comfort and safety.
Also, getting a ticket does not further your bottom line.
62.Take advantage of affordable activities for a family gathering
The success of a celebration does not depend on luxury. A complete family is what matters the most. Even if its just a simple, cheap celebration, sharing the moment with family is memorable.
63. Customize cleaning supplies
Commercially manufactured detergents are strong and effective. However, they can provide some dangers. You can make your own solutions to clean your house. The materials can be around the kitchen, so look around.
64. Understand the benefits of the company where you work
Instead of browsing social media, talk to the HR staff about the benefits and perks of your company. Perhaps, you’ll be surprised to qualify for free tickets to a sporting event and other opportunities.
We took advantage of this during my training and went to many amusement parks for free.
65. Groom yourself
It’s not necessary to go to the barber every time you want to shave. With a constant practice, you can get a good shave and become presentable to people without breaking the bank.
When going for an important interview though, you might break this rule if you are not confident in your skills.
I cut my hair about once a month for 20 dollars. The other maintenance grooming, I take care of it myself.
If you want to kick it a notch, you can cut your own hair.
66. Maximize your time in the library
The library is the place for reading. It goes beyond that. After scanning a book for an upcoming exam, you can grab newspapers, check out movies, etc. Indeed, there are lots of things to do, and it depends on how much you want to utilize this.
67. Buy used cars
New cars can be a terrible investment. They are more likely to lose their value as years pass by. Look for used cars. Be careful when selecting an option. Choose the one that comes in a perfect condition.
68. Consolidate all loans
These days, interest rates for student loans are low. Just don’t forget to consolidate such loans into a competitive package. It’s a perfect way to tackle your debt and save tons of money. Before you do, check out these tips here. You will learn all the things to know before consolidating your loans.
69. Bring food when you go out of town for travel
Aside from the transportation costs, there are entrance fees to deal with throughout an escapade. If you don’t pack food for a day of exploration, you need to modify your budget. It’s money-saving to bring meals and snacks.
70. Buy items in bulk
With stuff we use often, we purchase them in bulk. This is particularly true when it comes to non perishable products. Buy laundry detergent, trash bags, or diapers in a bulk to save money.
71. Learn how to dress appropriately and minimally
Buying new clothes is fun, isn’t it? This is the reason why we end up purchasing what we don’t need. It’s always great to buy clothes that mix and match well to avoid a messy closet. A good number of pants, shirts,and ties give you a variety of options.
72. Ask for encouragement and assistance from your friends
It’s normal to feel discouraged about budgeting and saving money. Take a deep breath and speak with the people you care the most. Tell them your financial problem as they could offer pieces of advice. The experience is going to be helpful.
73. Ride your bike
Riding your car is useful and cool. But if your apartment is near your workplace, use a bike instead. It’s not only a good exercise, but it also saves a serious cash on gas and transportation costs.
74. Check out free events in the city
Hitting the gym and fulfilling your hobby can be costly sometimes. Guess what! Instead of spending a hundred dollars on your workout and other recreational activities, check out free tennis courts, disc golf, trails, basketball areas, etc. It’s enjoyable and cheap.
75. Cut down your vacation expenses
Everyone wants a luxury escapade. For those who are looking for cost-effective and fun travel experience, it’s always possible. Search the internet for affordable adventure and ask a friend for referrals.
76. Utilize cloth diapers
Commercially manufactured diapers are unhealthy. Even though some products are safe, they still pose a risk to your cute little babies. Of course, using cloth diapers may sound traditional and uncomfortable. Guess what! They are comfy, rash-free, and cost-effective.
PS: we personally did not use this technique, but it is an option.
78. Automate your savings, finances, and bills
Many people don’t save money because they don’t know what to do in the first place. Instead of guessing how much of your salary should go into your bills and savings, you should automate the process. Not only does this avoid headaches, but this also reduces stress.
This saves you money by avoiding late payment on your bills.
78. Cut the landline
Who uses a landline at this age? With the development of technology, we’re already living in a wireless world. This is the best time to get rid of the landline. Approximately, you can save up to $240 to 480 per year. For more exciting read, check out this link.
79. Let a virtual assistant handle some of your duties
This might be counter intuitive to many frugal people.
Is your time worth $60 an hour? How much time are you willing to spend on a $5 task? Well, you’re more likely to do the job yourself. But wasting your time is more expensive than you’ve ever thought. Consider hiring a virtual assistant.
This is especially important if you are a high income earner. This is something I have been looking into for our blog.
80. Hire a Protégé
Does your business grow to the point where you can begin taking regular employees? Then, it’s imperative to consider the idea of bringing an intern. In exchange for work experience and coaching, you can acquire a passionate individual for your team.
81. Create a financial plan
Without a financial plan, saving money is impossible. Before it’s too late, spend a few hours to set up an appropriate budget to follow. Ask help from an expert if necessary.
Check out our post on wealth planning for other tips and strategies.
82. Look for cost-effective and result-oriented marketing
Spending on inefficient marketing is a big hassle for businesses. Consider excellent alternatives such as content advertising. Give social media a try, too. It leads to a significant traffic.
We have had great success with Pinterest using Tailwind to schedule pins if you don’t have the time.
83. Employ cruise control
Are you on the lookout for a solution that can reduce wear and tear on your car? Then, don’t look further than cruise control. It can minimize that risk, boost fuel efficiency, and avoid maintenance or replacement expenses.
84. Hire the right people
Yes, choosing highly qualified people can cost more money. But, they can help you save expenses and maximize success in the long run.
85. Bring a grocery bag to store
A large and durable bag for your groceries makes shopping convenient and money-saving. While you can put different items on a sturdy bag, you can minimize costs. You can also be an eco-friendly shopper.
86. Have single pane windows replaced
Windows are what to blame for 10% or 25% of a property’s heating cost, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. When you have a high amount of bills, replacing inefficient windows is a fantastic start. Purchase a long-lasting item from a reputable manufacturer.
87. Learn to say “No”
Don’t feel pressured to do what your friends are doing. It’s better to say no than spending your money frivolously. Think ahead. The future is more important than today, isn’t it?
88. Reevaluate your internet package
These days, the internet is necessary. It updates us about the world. It aids us to make money. It provides us the opportunity to see lucrative employment. With the high demand from people of all ages, they may become costly.
Although you can think of hotspot as an alternative to cost-cutting, you need to spend more on the internet. A secure and reliable connection is essential for your daily life without a doubt.
89. Add video games with a high replay value into the card
For an avid online gamer, you always look for a variety. Well, it’s useful for entertainment purposes. However, it is ideal to focus on games you can play over and over again. Have you mastered a gaming option, consider selling it for good.
90. Be a handyman
Most folks hire a specialist to do simple jobs for themselves. This is particularly true to those who have a hectic schedule. Despite your situation, find ways to paint your walls, arrange furniture, and fix other problems. Nothing is more fulfilling than transforming your home into a creative and comfy space.
91. Take care of your clothes
Using your pants, shirts or clothes in the right way is vital to avoid purchasing another expensive set. Hang them after use and never apply strong detergents. Use a washing machine to prolong their aesthetic, stylish and fashionable looks. Plus, be cautious about selecting soaps.
Aren’t you tired of spending thousands of dollars on renting fees? Then, share the space with other businesses. It will help you avoid expenses, save money, and find a good marketing strategy. Never forget a healthy competition for a high return on investment.
93. Try a money-saving challenge
Spending money is easy. Saving it for the future is tough. For inspiration, why don’t you try a money-saving challenge? It’s effective and fun. Encourage a friend or relative for motivation.
Just be careful of those no spending challenge and avoid the crash and burn.
94. Pretend you don’t know your salary increase
Increased compensation does not mean spending more than what you’re supposed to use. Pretend you don’t know. Continue your buying routine to accelerate your finances. It’s all about the right mindset.
95. Save tax refunds
A tax refund should not be considered as winning the lottery. While buying a new pair of shoes can be a good treat for yourself, pause and think. Always consider your future. Be a forward thinker for your own good. Why not save that tax refund and supersize your emergency fund (Financial pyramid and importance of emergency fund)and investment (The link tells you how you can start investing as a beginner).
96. Save spare change
Are you not fond of putting importance to coins? Never do that. Customize a piggy bank and save your spare change. Within a year or two, it will be a higher amount than you never expect. You can use that for education, medical bills, and many more.
97. Check your credit score
Checking credit score lets everyone improve it and saves thousands of dollars for future debts like a mortgage. A better credit score means lower interest rates and more useful lending terms. Whether you’re planning to start a business or does not have enough capital, checking and improving your credit score plays a crucial role.
98. Establish funds for emergencies
It’s wise to have a few months of living expenses. 3 to 6 months is a good start. Instead of going to nearby malls or grocery stores, you should contact a direct supplier to achieve a bulk and cost-effective purchase. Let your friends and relatives know the opportunity, too. While you can buy fresh and healthy produce, you can help other people.
99. Grow herbs in your garden
A bunch of basil is worth a few dollars, which is why planting some in the backyard is a brilliant decision. Just do your homework when purchasing basil seeds. Choose the ones that are of the highest quality and count on a trusted service provider. Cultivating the soil, watering the plants, harvesting, and cooking your own produce provide a deep sense of fulfillment. You can also encourage your neighbors to grow herbs in their garden, too.
100. Keep parties simple yet unforgettable
Of course, everyone wants grand and special celebrations, from birthday parties to wedding anniversaries. Yes, some people would say it’s only once a year. But for those who dream to cut costs, a simple celebration is a useful idea.
Don’t forget that a cost-effective occasion does not measure or affect the success of an event. What’s important is that everyone acquires an experience to cherish.
101. Live below your means
No post about saving money is complete without touching on the subject of living below one means. At the end, the best way to build wealth is to increase your income and also decrease your spending.
Here is an article that detailed how to live below your means.
In that post, you will learn the 7 steps that actually works to live below your means and be debt free.
Saving money can be difficult for many. Follow any of the above tested and efficient tips to make your journey easier than you’ve imagined. Still, saving for the future requires you to make a change within yourself.
You need to be patient, dedicated, and eager on everything you do. Always think of the bright side of life. Believe that one day you’ll wake up with the savings of your dreams.
Minimize your spending and save for the future to have a lucrative, peaceful and fulfilling life in the coming years!
There you go. It is a long list and we aim to add to the list in the future. If you have an awesome idea, please comment below, if it sound awesome, I would add it to the list.
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