Learning how to save money can sometimes be hard. At the same time, your goal is to build lasting wealth.
Don’t get me wrong:
The best way to build lasting wealth is to earn more money.
Here’s the problem though:
It takes an average of 6 months to a year… or even more, to build a new income stream that earns you more money.
From learning new skills… to figuring out what the market wants… to positioning your business… to earning enough to justify the hours you put in, earning more money might not be quick, easy or simple.
But here’s the good news:
There’s an easier way: Cutting back on your expenses. Not because you need to buy a new house, or get a new car.
Instead; cutting back on your expenses, so you can breath easy and not feel desperate if new income sources are hardly coming in.
In this guide, I’ve put together a comprehensive list of ways you can save, so you can be inspired to take action right now.
Use this guide to serve as a reminder or to simply discover new ways to cut back your spending.
My goal for you is to see “saving” as a fun and excellent thing to do, and not as a last resort to do when you’re financially struggling.
With that, let’s jump right in.
College & Career
1. Take classes at a community college: It costs a lot to go to college, depending on where you attend. According to Education Data, tuition for a a public 4-year institution averages around $21,950 (in-state); a private non-profit 4-year college costs almost twice as much, at an average cost of $49,879 per year. A cheaper and better way out of this might be to spend your first few years at a local community college (CC), and then transfer your CC credits to the 4-year college that you plan to attend. That way, you pay for 2 years (instead of 4 years) at the 4-year institution. On your diploma, your final degree won’t mention any of your CC credits at all, so you get the same diploma as everyone else you’ll be graduating with – only you’ll be saving more money. Just confirm that the 4-year college you plan to attend will transfer ALL of your CC credits when you transfer.
2. Take college classes in high school: Many high schools will let you take AP and college classes for both college and high school credits. That way, you can go on to college with lesser classes to take, and less money to pay overall.
3. Use Campus Book Rentals to save money on textbooks: If you were to buy every textbook you need for your classes each semester, then you might be looking at $1,000 or more. A better option is to use Campus Book Rentals to rent used textbooks that you need. You rent the book when you need it, and once you’re done, you return the book. As a result, you’re not left wondering what to do with your old textbooks once the semester is over.
4. Don’t get a cap or gown for your graduation: When I finished my Master’s, I told my friends and very few people. My friends were shocked to even learn I graduated. This ended up saving my family and friends the expenses of paying for food, travel, and lodging expenses for my graduation. Plus I saved costs by not getting a cap or gown. Just waited till school came back in session to collect my diploma. Talk about a win-win.
5. Use scholarships to lower your college costs: Whether you’re applying to your school as an undergrad or grad student, it’s always better to get as much scholarship money as you can. The less you have to worry about money, the better your educational experience will be. So invest the time while applying to search for scholarships, FAFSA, grants, and more (for undergrad), and fellowships and assistantships (for grad school).
6. Live at home: If you can live at home or go to school without paying rent, do it. This will help you save costs for rent and other housing expenses. If you’re worried that you might not enjoy the full college experience, your experience in college is what you make of it. You can have friends, go to events, and still save money on rent. Just saying you don’t have to choose one or the other.
7. Refinance your student loans: The biggest challenge in paying off student loans is the interest rate you’re working with. You can get better interest rates for your student loans when you refinance. I highly recommend using Credible to refinance your student loans. It’s free to apply to Credible, and you can use Credible to get personalized interest rates as low as 3.19%!
8. Don’t go into student loan debt: If you’re deciding whether to take out a loan or not, here’s what I recommend: don’t take out a student loan. I tell you: this is one of the biggest ways to save money over the long term. Most times, when students take on student loans, they haven’t really explored other means to get money. Going into student loans is a cultural norm in America, so I don’t expect that this will be a statement that will sit well with everyone. But dear college student, hear me: stay in-state, apply to more colleges, wait a year, work extra jobs, go to school from home, look for scholarships, grants, etc. now. You’ll be happy you did the hard work and sacrificed once you graduate, when you find out the entry-level salaries in your field isn’t all what it’s made out to be.
9. Use the library: Your local library probably has a lot of books you’ve been wanting to read. Even more, you can borrow books from your library to read on your devices, e.g. your Kindle. And all you need is a free library card. This is a better option than buying physical books that you’ll perhaps end up not reading.
10. Sleep on an air mattress: Rather than spend money on a King/queen-sized mattress alongside bed frames, you can buy an air mattress that you can blow up and collapse wherever you want to. You not only save money, you also conserve space… since once you’re awake, you can collapse the air mattress into something smaller and pretty mobile.
11. Move back in with your parents or your spouse’s parents: If your parents can afford to take you back home, then DEFINITELY seize the opportunity. Renting or paying mortgage on a house costs a lot. Especially if you’re paying down debt, moving back in with your family to your parents’ basement may give you that much-needed push to make a dent on your student loans. Know this: Not everyone has the chance to get free/subsidized rent, so if your parents will let you, definitely move back home. So far, as you are being responsible, not sleeping on the couch all day, you can work remotely, save costs on rent, utilities and transportation, and get to enjoy your parents’ care even more.
12. Save money on rent by having roommates: If you have access to a room or two where you live, that you can rent out, then do it. You just have to make sure you know enough about the roommate and their habits, so you don’t end up regretting to rent out to them. If you land a good roommate, you will save on food and no food will go to waste (as you can cook for more people at once); they’ll motivate you to work harder, study smarter, and rub off on you in a good way; while also helping you develop life habits on how to live with others, even when things aren’t smooth sometimes.
13. Reduce the amount of stuff you have: The more you have, the more you have to worry about keeping them safe and useful. Before you buy stuff, think about the extra space that it will take in your house. You don’t have to sell everything you have, so you can be a “financial minimalist”; but you can definitely sell your books on eBay or give out the good clothes you no longer use to others.
14. Open a high-yield savings account for your savings: Don’t try to leave your savings in the same checking account where you get your paychecks. You might end up spending way beyond your budget, or just plainly lose control on how much you plan to keep as savings as opposed to the amount you plan to spend. To avoid this, open a new savings account that gives you a nice saving interest rate (so you can earn money on what you save), while also paying zero account-related fees (e.g. Capital One’s Online Saving Account or Ally Bank’s).
15. Cancel your gym membership: If you’ve had your gym subscription because of the feeling that it gives you – that feeling that you’re working out – when, in reality, you’re not… then it’s time to cancel your gym membership. You can take on running outdoors, hiking, going for a bike ride, working out from home, etc.
16. Find good use for empty space in your house: If you have a big house, it might be emotionally challenging to downsize your house. But do you really need that big of a house to live comfortably? The answer: probably not. A bigger house comes with bigger worries such as higher mortgage/rent, maintenance fees, taxes, furniture, cleaning, insurance, items to buy for the house, cockroaches, etc.. See if you can convert rooms into rental apartments to rent out, or if you can convert your basement to an Airbnb for rentals.
17. Negotiate your home insurance bill: If you’ve been using your home insurance for 2 years or more, or you just had a major life event (for example, married, moved); start looking at other options where you can get a similar deal at a lesser price. Also look into options to see if you can get a lower premium by improving your home. For example, giving your roof a modern look can help save you money on your home insurance premiums.
18. Use a programmable thermostat: You can save up to 30% of your space heating and cooling energy bills by using a programmable thermostat. You can set a programmable thermostat to adjust the temperature of your rooms, depending on the weather indoors or outside. For example, you can program the thermostat to turn on the A.C. before you arrive from work, instead of setting it on throughout the day to maintain a cooler temperature at home.
19. Build up an emergency fund: Emergency fund helps you stay away from debt. Life happens, and people always think life happens to other people but them. Examples: you have a medical emergency, your basement floods, your roof starts leaking, someone brushed your car, you just had a flat tire, your child suddenly gets ill, etc. In all of these, you can prepare as much as you can by keeping some decent amount of your paycheck in an emergency fund. That way, you save a lot in interest charges that come from taking out loans.
20. Stop using a storage unit: If you’ve stored your items in a storage unit, think of how much you pay each month to keep storing those items. Do you have a specific date in the near future when you plan to go claim all those items? You probably don’t need most of the items, since you’ve been doing well without them. So instead of paying storage fees on items that you don’t need, you can sell the items, give them away, and cut off your storage fees.
21. Know how much driving your car will cost you: The monthly expenses on your car should be 10% of your after-tax income. Before you buy a car (new or used), sit down and actually take stock of what you’re getting into – cost of the car, depreciation (worse for new cars), gas, fuel efficiency, insurance, car emergencies, parking tickets, fines, etc. Even worse, if you have to take a high interest loan on your car (I’ve heard people taking out a 15% or more interest loan on their new cars). Here’s the truth: there’s no shame in driving the car that you have right now, so far it can take you from point A to point B.
22. Negotiate your car insurance bills: Car insurance companies often hike up their prices, and expect that most people will simply keep paying. Don’t let the hassle of calling up your insurance company stop you from getting better rates. If you’ve been with your insurance company for up to 2 years or more, shop around, and see what other good insurance options are out there for better prices. Then, talk to your car insurance agent and ask for a better deal. My family use Root Insurance, and we’ve been getting better rates than that from the major insurance companies for the same coverage.
23. Don’t forget to renew your driver’s license in time: I once forgot to renew my driver’s license and had to pay an extra $15 as late fees… ouch.The truth is, most states give you a wide range of dates (commonly, 6 months) when you can renew your license. It’s better to renew it very early… than wait until your license expires (and then end up paying late fees). So right now, set a reminder on your calendar for every week leading up to the final 6 months until your license is due. That way, you’re unlikely to forget.
24. Trade in your car: Check the gas mileage of your car – that is, how much gas your car consumes. If you drive a luxury or high-maintenance car, then chances are, you need more gas to power its engine. Look at options to trade in your car for a more fuel-efficient one.
25. Sell one of your cars: As a family, if you currently use two cars, consider selling one of the cars. To do this, you need to analyze if you can make do with one car as a family. For example, you can batch your trips, plan who uses the car and when, bike to work, use the train, etc. All of these will help save costs related to buying and owning a car.
26. Run errands in batches: Most people buy each thing they need just when they need it. For example, they get groceries, and then they realize they forgot to get spices; so they have to go back to get spices. If you run errands this way, you spend more money on gas, more miles on your car mileage, and lose focus and time with other things you might be doing. Instead, spend a few minutes ahead of time planning what you need to buy for the week or month. Then, set a specific time to go get those. That way, you’ll save more money, time, and effort.
27. Only eat when you are hungry: According to Web MD, drinking water before meals yields an average reduction in intake of 75 calories per meal. That way, you not only save money, but also lose weight or stay fit. You’ll be surprised by how less amount of food your body really needs. Most people eat up to 5 times or more a day. This includes snacks, fast food, and other foods that not only cost a lot, but also make many feel weak or passive. If you train your body to only eat when you’re hungry, your body will adjust to it. And often times when you think you need to eat, you might just need to drink lots of water. In the Web MD study, researchers found that drinking just two 8-ounce glasses of water before meals helps people melt fat away.
28. Tame your food cravings: How many times have you sat down and decided you want that $15 ice cream, $30 crab or $125 steak? And then went straight ahead to ordering it? You can save lots of money by reducing how much you spend on your food cravings. Often times, you really aren’t hungry or need the food. You just thought of it and just like that… you had to get it. But when you exercise restraint and discipline in choosing not to order just because you feel like it, you’re not only saving money but you’re also training your mind that it won’t get everything it wants, just because… – which is a valuable life skill to learn anyways.
29. Pack your lunch to work: If you go out to lunch every workday spending, on average $15 per meal, then you’d have spent $3,750/year. That’s a lot of money and time spent waiting in line to order your burger. Either you work from home or you commute to work, find a simple recipe for lunch and then stick to it. So rather than going during lunch hours to buy lunch, I pack corn flakes, milk, and tea all in one bowl. I do this everyday. It not only saves money (vs buying sandwiches, burgers, etc.), it also saves a TON of time (as I don’t have to constantly think about what to pack or stay in line to get lunch at a food place).
30. Cut your weekly grocery bill by $50 or more: Crystal, over at MoneySavingMom.com, posts multiple times a day on how to get deals and coupons for groceries, shoes, and other merchandise. All you have to do is sign up for her email list at MoneySavingMom.com to learn how she spends $70 or less per week to feed her family of five.
31. Filter your water: Except you live in (a few American) towns where the water is not safe enough to drink, you can filter the water coming from your tap. We simply use a jug fitted with a water filter and generally change our filter every 3 months or so. This will help you save money from buying water bottles and having to worry about recycling your bottles.
32. Drink more water and less sugary drinks: Once you start filtering your water, you’ll save lots of money that you’d have spent buying bottled water. To even save more, don’t buy sugary or high-calorie drinks. According to Web MD, results from a water consumption and weight loss study show that “people should drink more water and less sugary, high-calorie drinks.”
33. Shun cravings like candies, pop, chips, and other unhealthy snacks: Grocery stores usually put these unhealthy snacks at the check out lines at higher prices, just to make sure you get them while you check out. These foods do nothing good to your body, but also drain your grocery budget and savings.
34. Reduce your food waste: According to data from waste management company RTS, about 80 billion lbs of food (or nearly 40% of the U.S. food supply) is thrown away every year in the United States. That’s a lot of food and money going to waste. First, track your food expenses. Know how much cereal, vegetables, eggs, meat, etc. you use each month, and stick within that range. Second, don’t buy food you won’t cook. If you want to try a food item, first buy in smaller quantities (so you can decide whether or not you’ll like it in large quantities). For example, most vegetables tend to spoil within a week. So, buy only one type of perishable fresh vegetables for each grocery run. Third, plan your meals. It’s okay to eat leftover food. According to Mayo Clinic, leftovers can be kept for three to four days in the refrigerator. If you think you won’t be able to eat the leftovers within four days, freeze the foods immediately. Finish your leftovers before cooking a new meal; or even better, take your leftovers to work for lunch.
35. Clean out your pantry: Because you buy a lot of food that you plan to cook, but that you never get to, your pantry might be a mess. As a result, pack of noodles and pasta start falling over the other end of the pantry. They fall to the floor, stay there for days, and rot away. You can save a decent amount of money by clearing out your pantry. Unfortunately, you might need to throw away spoilt food, and strive to always keep it as clean and minimal as you can.
36. Organize your refrigerator: You might be wasting money on foods you bought that have been pushed all the way to the back of your refrigerator. Bring foods that can quickly spoil (for example, veggies, unfrozen meat, leftovers) to the front, so you can eat them in time before they spoil. When you organize your refrigerator, you reduced the chances of having foods rotting away at the back of your refrigerator (or pushed down) just because your refrigerator is a mess.
37. Don’t go to restaurants: Coming from Nigeria, I definitely do not see a restaurant as a way to ‘enjoy’ and have better food. Instead, when I need to enjoy excellent cuisines, I look for local food stores, buy the ingredients, and bring everything home to cook. My wife also enjoys this. She always appreciates both of us cooking these types of meals together. There’s something about a couple cooking meals together that just bonds you two closer… For occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries or special events, we cook in-house, instead of going to a lavish restaurant. At home, we eat to fullness and keep the leftovers. That way, we save money and have the privacy of our home to ourselves. Now, I wish we never have to go to restaurants… ever, but I’m still working on that with my wife… (I’ll keep you posted).
38. Have a food calendar: It’s a LOT of work to constantly think of what you’ll eat/cook for your family, morning, afternoon, and night. I know I run away from this type of work – because it’s hard work. But I’ve found using a food calendar helpful. Try to plan for at least your breakfast and dinners. That way, you don’t buy whatever is not on the food calendar. Even more, everyone at home knows what food they’ll be eating, and the responsibility doesn’t fall on just one person to think about the meals and make them.
39. Use weekends to prepare your meals ahead of time: It’s hard to prepare foods for later meals with the demands of a busy work week. Instead, spread out your meal prep over the weekend, and get help from other members of your household. If you wait until you’re hungry before deciding what to eat, you’re more likely to eat junk food or spend a lot ordering takeout. But if you have multiple meals prepared for the week, you’ll have food ready for when you NEED food right away!
40. Use the $5 Meal Plan: $5 Meal Plan is a weekly meal planning service. Basically, $5 Meal Plan helps you plan your meals and make sure you get a delicious menu that is both affordable and craved by your entire family. If you want to cook more at home, and do so affordably, then use the $5 Meal Plan. They offer a free 14-day trial during which you get to try out their meal planning service. Within those 14 days, try them out with forty recipes and see if you and your family enjoy what they come up with. Plus, this service helps you develop the discipline to totally stick to your grocery list.
41. Get a clean shave/hair cut: Guys typically have to trip their hair every 2 weeks. Ladies, even more. If you go without hair, you’ll not only save money for getting a hair cut, buying expensive hair products or paying for hair dressers, you’ll also save time that can easily turn into hours (especially for ladies) to continuously keep your hair in shape.
42. Learn to cut your own hair: Related to the high costs of getting a hair cut in a salon, you can save money by ordering for hair clippers online, watch YouTube videos, and try to rock low-maintenance hair styles. Worse case scenario: if you mess up your hair, you can always wear a baseball cap. You can even let your friend or spouse try it out, they might end up doing a good job!
43. Use minimal make-up: One of the biggest and most profitable industries catering to women is make-up and beauty products. As a lady, you often have to clean off your make-up the same day you wear it, else it might make your face break out. You can save costs by simply using none or minimal make-up. That way, you cut back expenses from make-up products, and also save time in front of the mirror wearing the make-up.
44. Shop with a list… NEVER shop without a list: Often times, I would go with my wife to a store. She would then direct my attention to a new pair of jeans or an attractive box of cookies. And I would just ask: “is it on the list?” If not, then we shouldn’t buy it. Sometimes, I feel like I should ‘let lose’, but you can save money by writing out the exact things you’ll buying in a store, and absolutely sticking to those. That is, no things to add, or no extra deals going on to look at.
45. If you have to shop, shop online: When you shop at a mall, they charge you extra. Because not only do you get the convenience of testing what you’re buying before leaving, but they also have to pay for rent, utilities, and staff. Expenses like these are generally minimized at online stores, so if you really have to shop; AGAIN have a list. And then go online to get specifically what you’ve listed.
46. Do your own manicure/pedicure: Just the same way you can do your own make up, a great way to save is to do your own massage, nails and feet. You’ll not only save money, but you’ll be able to easily do it for friends, family, and your spouse whenever the need arises.
47. Shop for a more affordable cell phone plan: Most people get charged every month for calls and internet services they don’t use. Decide what you really use in a phone plan, and shop around for good deals. For example, I know I have Wi-Fi connection from my internet company and I hardly check social media on my phone, so I really don’t need unlimited internet option for my phone plan. So, I’m paying $35 for a monthly phone subscription with Cricket Wireless (that comes with a 5G internet, mainly for my internet connection for Google Maps while driving on the road).
48. Discard cable: The news, shows, sporting events, and movies that you’d like to watch are already on other places beyond cable. Think Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Peacock, etc. More so, most of the shows are really about other people doing things and living their lives anyway – we sit and watch others live their lives. Cut your cable and satellite, save up to $1,236 a year, and you might even find the drive to start living your own life, instead of watching others live theirs.
49. Cut off subscription TV: What skills do you learn when you watch a new Netflix show? How about learning how to tie a tie, or learning how to build profitable Google Ads on YouTube? You can save money by cutting off subscriptions from TV services that won’t add to you. Everything you need to learn and be better in life is now on YouTube, not Netflix. Even more, you can now watch Hassan Minhaj’s The Patriot (that used to be exclusively on Netflix) now for free on YouTube.
50. When you travel, pause your utilities/bills wherever possible: Most times when we travel, we leave the lights, AC, internet, etc. on and then keep paying for these, even when we’re not using it. If you’ll be out of the house for extended periods, you can pause services that would just keep spinning bills to you even when you’re not using it.
51. Use your credit card to get travel miles, bonuses and perks: You can get bonus points, travel miles, and cash back on your credit card purchases. This will end up being a benefit for you if you’re good with credit cards. Don’t buy things you won’t buy (just because you’re using a credit card). Instead, put all your purchases (that you’d buy anyway) on your credit card, then pay off everything the same day or latest the next morning (to avoid late fees). That way, you can earn free reward benefits and extra cash, just for using your credit card right.
52. Marry the right person: According to a 2018 survey by Ramsey Solutions, money fights are the second leading cause of divorce, behind infidelity. The study also found that one-third of people who say they argued with their spouse about money say they hid a purchase from their spouse because they knew their partner would not approve. This is why a lot of successful entrepreneurs today quickly point to their spouses as THE key reason behind their success… they achieved success because their spouses believed in them, even when they’d spend gobs of money on their business with no clear results… and yet they won’t go back to a 9-5 job for a seemingly stable paycheck.
Most couples think they have a money problem; when, in fact, they have a marriage problem. For many people, it’s hard to achieve their financial goals simply because the conditions in their marriage won’t allow it. One of the biggest factors that will determine whether you will succeed in your personal finance journey is the level of your connection and intimacy with your spouse. Marrying the right person will help you communicate better; when, for example, you discover you’re the saver and your spouse is the spender. If you pay attention to the right things, and look beyond temporary things, and marry the right person, you’ll be setting yourself up for saving LOTS of money.
53. Ask your spouse before buying gifts for special occasions: How do you buy a gift for your spouse, say, for Mother’s day, your wedding anniversary, her birthday, Valentine’s, Christmas, etc.? If you’re like a lot of people, you decide what you want to buy for them, you buy it, and hope they like it. Most times, this approach wastes money and makes your spouse unhappy at the same time. Instead of buying an item and pray your spouse likes it, you can simply ask them. “Hey babe, I’ve been thinking of getting you a nice gift for your upcoming birthday. I want something you’ll really like and that would actually be useful for you. So, could you help me decide?” You can go further and present them with two to three options, e.g. an Amazon Kindle, an electric massager, or a set of shoes. Once your spouse tells you their choice, you know for sure what they want, and you save money in buying things that your spouse will actually use, and not just lie unused around the house. Also, both men and women I’ve talked to agree that this is romantic, and won’t kill the spark in your relationship.
54. Avoid emotional spending: Most people rack up a lot of debt, shop online, or just buy things due to emotional (or stress) spending. Emotional spending happens when you let your emotions control how you spend. For example, paying for everyone’s drink at a bar because you’re overly excited about your favorite team’s win, buying stuff after you just had an argument with your spouse, you have had a bad day at work, someone made you feel bad and you want to “prove them wrong”, you feel stressed, angry, annoyed, discouraged, frustrated, sad, bored, under-valued, etc. Here are some helpful tips to combat emotional spending: One) You need to catch yourself before you try to use your emotions to decide what to buy. Two) Prepare a budget and stick to it. Three) Cut your credit card if you can’t control how often you spend on things that are not in your budget.
55. Quit smoking: You won’t just be saving money, you’ll be saving your life. The National Cancer Institute estimates the average cost of a pack of cigarettes at $6.28. This varies based on where you live. For example, it might cost you up to $10.67 per pack to smoke, if you factor in state and local taxes. This means, at $6.28 per pack, you spend $188 per month on smoking… money that can definitely go into more productive areas of life. Beyond the costs, you lose time having to walk away from people to smoke (and then come back to work). Much more than the costs of cigarette though, you’ll spend a lot more in health insurance, life insurance, and expensive medical care (from diseases like asthma, lung cancer, pneumonia, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), etc. What I’m most concerned about here is this: parents who smoke at home or around their kids. If you choose not to stop smoking, that’s bad enough. But it’s heartbreaking that you have to make your kids inhale your smoke, and pass on the negative effects to them as second-hand smokers. Bottom line: smoking drains your finances, time, health; and that of others – just stop.
56. Have fun for cheaper: Do you really need $400 a month as your ‘fun’ budget? Or are you trying to compensate for something that a higher fun budget simply won’t buy for you? When most people think of fun, they naturally think of expensive vacations or an all-night dinner at a high-class steak house. They think having ‘fun’ moments like this will naturally make them feel excited and happy again, but they still feel empty and incomplete inside even after those moments. Because most times, happiness and joy hardly come from how much you spend to try to achieve it. It depends on the kind of healthy relationships you’ve built with yourself and with others.
57. Use a budget: Back in grad school, I didn’t have an actual budget. But I knew where my money will be going once it came in. I had fewer expenses then, so it was easier to just list out 5 items (rent, food, loan, etc.), and then just leave the rest in my account. This helped me cut back on a lot of things that might look good, but won’t actually help me stay financially afloat in grad school. As you start working, adding more line items to your budget, you’d realize you’d need to be more intentional about where your money goes every month. Before you receive your paycheck, list out what your expenses are, then know how much will be left once you pay all those expenses. This is where most people start (which is good), but don’t stop here. Once you know what’s taking your money each month, you’ll need to have honest conversations with yourself about what really should be an expense. Therefore, having a budget will not only help you meet your financial obligations, it will also help you dramatically cut back.
58. List out “savings” as part of your expenses: Most people, once they get their paychecks, pay for all their bills, then save the rest. I believe there’s a better way. Here it is: let ‘savings’ be an expense on your budget, just like rent, groceries, and internet, etc. That way, you know there’s a specific amount that goes to your savings every month. This makes it easy for you to save, and with time, you could actually increase this ‘savings’ amount to reflect your raise at work or extra income sources coming in.
59. Stop using a tanning bed: Cherish the skin that you have, or use a suitable lotion. Whatever you do, stay away from a tanning bed. Many people actually have monthly payments on their tanning bed (yes; like for a car, mortgage or student loans). That’s just ridiculous. Come to think of it: tanning beds are NOT proven to be safer than the sun, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). According to AAD, tanning also speeds up aging, causes injury, and dangerously addictive. Even more, just one indoor tanning session can increase your risk of getting melanoma skin cancer by 20% and squamous cell carcinoma by 67%.
60. Don’t get a wedding loan: According to The Knot, the average wedding now costs over $33,000. Getting a wedding loan for that amount or close is more like a difficult way to start your life together as a couple. Yes, you might be able to invite everyone you wanted for your wedding, and smile a lot for the cameras, but think about the fights, stress, and sacrifices that will come with that loan. Whether or not you have student loans or consumer debt, a good way to save money as you start your life together is by shunning wedding loans. Start off on the right foot by DIYin some aspects of your wedding (for example wedding planning, flowers, cake, etc.) or asking a friend; reduce the number of people on your guest list; have your wedding on a weekday, etc. At the end of the day, you don’t want to spend money you don’t have in one day, and regret it for months or even years.
61. Get treats and goodies on your birthday for free: On your birthday, you can get lots of freebies and goodies from restaurants and food places. It’s simple – just sign up for their emails (so you can get their coupons) or go in-store on your birthday to show them your driver’s license and prove your age. That way, you can get birthday treats such as ice cream, cakes, donuts, bread, entree, coffee, etc… all for free. Common places and stores that offer stuff like these are: Apple Bee’s, Baskin Robbins, Dunkin Donuts, Einstein Bros, IHOP, Jamba Juice, Noodles, Panera, Red Robin, Starbucks; CVS, Old Navy, Gap, Sephora, and more.
62. Book daytime for your wedding venue: Generally, it’s a lot cheaper to rent a venue during the day than at night. So if you can get a booking for the daytime hours, go for it. For one, you’d save costs. Also, it will save your wedding guests quite some money, as there’ll be less motivation to drink and get drunk during the day.
63. “Hire” friends and family to serve roles at your wedding: Rather than get a pro photographer, wedding MC or DJ, explore the option of your friends and family members helping you out. Ask to see samples of their work, e.g. past photo shoots, videos, or MC b-rolls. I actually got my start as a wedding MC by hosting a wedding for a friend. I not only got the opportunity to be super useful to my friends (bride and groom), but I also got to better refine my wedding MCing skills in a friendly atmosphere.
From this list, what do you notice?
It’s interesting how so many of the things that help you save money also help you save a TON of time.
So moral of the story? Save lots of money, and you can end up saving TONS of time in the process.
Which: if you come to think of it, money and time are the two top resources dictating the day-to-day lives of billions of people around the world today.
For example, as an employee, you’re selling your time to your employer; so are your fellow employees. As a result, your employer has (MULTIPLES of 8-hour work days from hundreds or thousands of employees like you).
And once you feel ready to be an employer, you quit that time-for-money race (hopefully, you don’t have to worry about money as before), and then you start buying other people’s time too.
I hope you got some interesting ideas on how to cut expenses… and save more money.
Now I’d like to hear from you: which of these methods of saving cash will you try today?
Are you going to try start with your home?
Or maybe you want to work on negotiating your insurance bills?
Either way, let me know by leaving a quick comment below.