Most people think that living a frugal life entails making huge adjustments in their spending habits. Far from it. On the contrary, much of the money that we cannot account for is often lost on small expenses that are easy to overlook. As they say, it’s the little things in life that matter.
For instance, it might sound ridiculous if someone told you that the mid-morning coffee is eating into your finances. Or, how those frequent trips to the grocery store are costing you more in the long run compared to shopping for groceries on designated days of the week or dates of the month.
So, what are those small adjustments that, if you make today, will guarantee more money in your pocket? Let’s find out.
Top 40 Ways to Save Money
1. Carry Packed Lunch
The Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that the average household spends about $3,365 on food outside of their homes every year. That works out as $280 every month. I bet you don’t want to be part of these statistics, so consider carrying packed lunch to work every day.
2. Cut Your Own Hair
The average American gets a haircut every month, with some cutting their hair as frequently as every week. Why not invest in a buzzer and cut your own hair instead? You’ll be surprised at how much you’ll have saved in a year.
3. Avoid Cable TV
Another excellent way to save money is to avoid watching cable TV and substitute it with DVDs. And if you discover that you still spend significant amounts of money buying CDs, you might as well shun DVD too and replace it with reading.
4. Watch Less Television
If you’re averse to the idea of avoiding cable TV, you might consider reducing the amount of time that you watch TV. That way, you won’t be swayed by the many spending-inducing ads that fill our television screens every day. Plus, you save significantly on electricity.
5. Stop Collecting and Start Selling
We are all naturally-born collectors. However, some people stretch their collecting habits too far. It’s time to cut back on collecting and instead, put up your collections for sale on sites like Craigslist.
6. Take Advantage of Free Customer Rewards Program
The retail market is full of traders that are willing to offer rewards to customers who shop at their stores. Why not take advantage of these? All you need to do is to open a temporary email address that you use specifically for these purposes.
7. Have a Shopping List
The best way to overcome impulse buying is to write everything down before you go shopping. If possible, also match each item with its average price.
8. Keep Your Credit Cards Out Of Sight
If you can’t help overspending with your credit cards, maybe you should consider leaving them home. You’ll not only reduce the temptation to spend, but your credit cards will also be safer home.
9. When Planning To Buy Anything, Master the 30-Day Rule
Whenever you feel a strong urge to purchase anything, allow for up to 30 days to see if you still have those urges. If the item is truly worth buying, your feelings won’t change even after 30 days.
10. Take Shorter Showers
Just like cutting back on television watching, taking shorter showers goes a long way in helping you reduce energy costs in your home. Oh, and the key phrase is “shorter showers,” not fewer showers.
11. Unsubscribe From Emails
Most of us are easily swayed by the temptation to go shopping whenever we see a special offer in our email subscriptions. The best way to overcome these temptations is to unsubscribe from emails.
12. Consider Borrowing Instead of Buying
There are lots of stuff that we can borrow instead of buying, ranging from books to tree trimmers, and even lawnmowers. Anything that you don’t use often is better off borrowed than purchased.
13. Ask for Discounts
Nobody has ever lost their ego by asking for discounts. So, the next time you’re in the grocery store, supermarket, or purchasing an events ticket, don’t shy away from asking for discounts.
14. Declutter Your Home
Take a walk around your house, and you will spot quite a few items that you no longer need but can fetch you money. Why not round them up and put them up for sale?
15. Be a DIY Geek
How much money do you shelve out on monthly home repair and renovation projects? A lot, I believe. Well, you can reduce those expenses significantly by DIYing some of the electrical or plumbing repairs in your home. And if a project appears too complex, invest in YouTube tutorials.
16. Fix Leaky Pipes
A small leak may not look like much, but you could be losing volumes of water every day through that pipe. The net effect? Inflated monthly water bills. So, fix leaky pipes as soon as you spot the leaks.
17. Check Your Community Calendar
It doesn’t matter where you live; there will always be lots of events coming up within your locale. You can use these events to socialize as you enjoy free meals and entertainment.
18. Take Public Transportation
Don’t be afraid to take advantage of your city’s transit system. It’s cheaper than driving your car. And it also saves you the hassles of having to look for a safer and cheaper parking space.
If you are keen on saving money but are averse to the idea of public transportation, you might consider car-pooling. That will ensure more money in your pockets and less traffic on the roads.
20. Inflate Your Tires
Did you know that every two PSI of air pressure below the recommended levels in your tires makes you lose 1% in gas mileage? There can never be a better reason to keep those tires inflated.
21. Start a Garden
Gardening shouldn’t be a preserve of full-time farmers, neither should you do it only as a hobby. A garden will guarantee you endless supply of fresh fruits and vegetables, which translates to fewer trips to the grocery store.
22. Use LED Light Bulbs
This is another excellent tip for saving on home energy bills. According to the Energy Saver, LED bulbs are between 25 and 80% more energy-efficient compared to the traditional incandescent bulbs.
23. Consider Domestic Traveling
A safari vacation in Africa sounds enticing. However, traveling to an exotic destination requires a lot of money, which you might not presently have. A better and more affordable alternative is to explore your local city.
24. Quit Smoking
The cost of one cigarette roll isn’t high enough to raise eyebrows. But since cigarette is highly addictive, you’ll need more than a few puffs a day to quench your thirsts. So, your best bet is to quit smoking.
25. Cut Down on Alcohol
Like cigarette, alcohol is also addictive. That’s why you walk into a pub with the intention of having one for the road, but end up ordering a crate. Your drinking buddies don’t make it better either. If you can’t give up the bottle altogether, at least cut back on it.
26. Stay Indoors
Going to the clubs, opera, ballet, amusement park etc. have one thing in common; they require money. The good news is – you won’t die if you simply choose to stay indoors.
27. Stay Healthy
Take to healthy and mindful dieting, have a robust workout plan, do some yoga and meditation…These will translate into fewer trips to the doctor.
28. Consider Home Deliveries
You can avoid the temptations of impulse buying by insisting on home deliveries. Just ensure there is no shipping fee involved or the fee charged is negligible.
29. Don’t Be a Slave of Fast Fashion
When a new clothing style or shoe design is in vogue, bide your time. Wait till the craze is over. You’ll be surprised at how reduced the prizes will be.
30. Repair Old Clothing
A slit on your shirt isn’t a sufficient reason to toss it into the trash. Not when there are plenty of professional tailors near you that can help to repair the shirt.
31. Avoid Peak Traveling
There’s no logic behind spending thrice as much as usual on vacation to a beach that’s twice as crowded. Be patient and wait till the holidays are over, then you can have the beach all to yourself at half the usual cost.
32. Do Holiday Shopping Right after the Holidays
This is a no-brainier. If you already understand the significance of traveling during low seasons, then you’ll appreciate the importance of shopping for holiday stuff right after the holidays.
33. Avoid Magazine Subscriptions
One article on Time magazine piqued your interest ten years ago, and you ended up subscribing for the magazine. Well, it’s time to turn off that subscription.
34. Move Bank Accounts
Do you keep your money in bank accounts that charge a monthly fee? Unless there are redeeming perks, such as fairer lending rates, you should consider moving accounts.
35. Remove Your Credit Cards from Your Online Accounts
The scourge of impulse buying affects us both offline and online. With your credit card numbers linked to your online accounts, it’s easier to spend on unnecessary items. So, your best bet is to remove those numbers.
36. Save Money Automatically
If you get paid through the bank, you can set up your bank account such that funds are transferred automatically from your checking into your savings account.
37. Buy Generic
Generic brands, ranging from staple food items, medicine, paper products, pet products, etc., are far cheaper than brand name products.
38. Play Around With Your Blinds
Need more light into the room? Keep the blinds open and turn off the lights. During winter, keep them closed to keep cold air out of the room.
39. Use Coupons
Using coupons is one of the most useful money-saving tips out there. And no, coupons are not a preserve of poor people. In fact, research suggests that the rich use coupons more than poor people do.
40. Compare Prices Before You Buy
Even after successfully locating an item to buy, don’t hit the order button just yet. Instead, invest in price comparison websites to check for better price deals.
There are thousands of seemingly insignificant but highly effective money-saving tips out there that anyone can implement. The best thing about these tips is that you don’t need to make any drastic changes in your lifestyle.
A bit of financial discipline is all it takes, and you’ll be surprised at how much money you can save.