Thursday, March 26, 2015

50 Ways to Save Money

Every little bit helps. And you can spend it all on travel.
  1. Be conscious of your spending and maintain a responsible budget.
  2. Keep money in a savings account and allow it to collect interest. (I earned $300+ in interest last year with my American Express Personal Savings account.)
  3. Dine in and bring brown bags to lunch.
  4. Drink the coffee in the breakroom (instead of hitting up a coffee shop). Charge your cell phone at your desk (and save on electricity at home). Basically, take a little extra advantage of being at work.
  5. Drink tap water when dining out.
  6. And look for Groupons or Living Social deals or Gilt City deals (you get the picture) when dining out. Or just dine out during Restaurant Week.
  7. See a penny, pick it up. All day long, you'll have good luck, but also, you'll be a little richer. Every little bit helps so collect your loose change. I have a piggy bank and yes, I really use it.
  8. Clean out your closet, donate to charity, and write it off on your taxes.
  9. Don't wash your hair everyday (but still shower everyday). You'll save on shampoo costs (and time, which equals money) and your hair will be healthier.
  10. Buy generic. Sometimes, the cheaper stuff is better than the real thing.
  11. Grow your own produce. You can spend $1 on a basil plant that will keep producing basil or you can spend $1 on a small packet at the grocery store and have it go bad before you've even used it all up. Herbs and peppers are super easy to maintain and grow. Also, scallion roots left in a cup of water will "regenerate" and you'll never have to buy scallions again.
  12. Get a cash-back rewards credit card. I was head-over-heels in love with my Chase Freedom card when it first came out. It's not as awesome anymore but I'm still head-over-heels in love with the cash back that I earn for just doing ma thang.
  13. Sign up for frequently-shopped-at stores' loyalty rewards cards (not to be confused with credit cards). Often times, discounts for sale items are only given to people with the rewards cards. I know saving 10¢ on a yogurt doesn't seem like much, but every little bit helps.
  14. Buy groceries in bulk. You don't need a Costco membership; you can order groceries (in bulk) on Amazon.
  15. Instead of spending money on a gym membership, exercise at home in the winter and go for walks in beautiful parks in the warmer seasons.
  16. Sell stuff you don't use.
  17. Buy pre-owned / refurbished stuff.
  18. Act like your grandma and take a few extra sugar packets at the coffee shop, pocket some ketchup packets at the fast food joint, smuggle a stack of napkins under your jacket. That napkin thing is no joke. Keep them in your car and you'll never have to buy tiny tissue packets again.
  19. Check for promo codes whenever you shop online.
  20. Look for coupons whenever you're shopping in brick-and-mortar stores.
  21. In the summer, dry laundry on an old-fashioned clothes line. You'll save money on dryer sheets and electricity and air conditioning (because dryers heat up the house) and your clothes will smell amazing. Sun-dried clothing always smells so good.
  22. Go to the movies in the daytime. My local theater charges $6 for movies in the morning and early afternoon and $14 for evening visits. Seriously, that's an $8 savings and it's an awesome rainy day activity. Save even more by bringing your own snacks.
  23. Learn to drive stick. Manual transmission cars retail for cheaper than automatic transmission vehicles most of the time (not if you're looking for a Porsche). Plus, you can coast (which saves on gas) and in Europe, most rental agencies charge a hefty upgrade fee for cars with an automatic transmission because they're less common.
  24. Buy a fake Christmas tree. I know some people love their real trees, but it's an expense every year and it's horrible for the environment.
  25. Reuse your dental floss and toilet paper. I'm kidding! But snip the end off the toothpaste tube and lotion container to get every last drop. And I know this is kind of college fratboy-esque, but add a little water to your shampoo bottle to make use of the last remnants of product left inside.
  26. Maintain accounts with banks that don't charge you fees to have those accounts.
  27. Don't pay ATM fees. Always go to your bank's ATM. If I can't find a Chase location, I look up an ATM location for my Capital One 360 debit card. It's not fee-free everywhere but there are a hell of a lot of ATMs to choose from.
  28. Make friends with your neighbors and split the cost of wifi.
  29. Share a Netflix account with a friend.
  30. Don't shop while you're hungry. It will cause you to make irrational decisions and impulse buy. And make a shopping list and stick to it.
  31. Listen to traffic and weather reports. Getting caught in traffic is a waste of gas which is a waste of money.
  32. Use coconut oil as a hand & body lotion, as a hair mask, as a lip balm, to remove makeup, as a moisturizer for your face (if your skin is compatible), as a cuticle oil, to soften rough feet; basically, it does everything. It's the cheapest and most effective beauty product ever.
  33. Bring back pregaming. I know it's an embarrassingly awesome part of college / early 20s life, but cocktails are the most overpriced items in restaurants. It's how they make their money. So, if you're heading out to the bar, get a headstart on your buzz at home and save some money.
  34. Spend $10 to get a dancer's sole put on your favorite shoes. They'll last longer which means you won't have to replace them as quickly and you'll save some money on shoes.
  35. Go retail shopping in states that don't charge sales tax. Off the top of my head, for clothing and shoes, I know that NJ, PA, and VT are tax-exempt and NY, MA, and RI are tax-exempt up to a certain amount. And I think DE doesn't have sales tax at all. (Sorry, my knowledge is limited to the northeast.)
  36. Eat more rice, beans, pasta, and salad, as these are the grocery items that give you the most bang for your buck.
  37. Ask for samples at the cosmetics counter. They're free.
  38. Buy gift cards from one of those websites that sells discounted gift cards (people who don't want them sell them for a lower price than their retail value) and use those to do your shopping.
  39. Practice preventative medical and dental care. Keeping healthy totally saves money.
  40. Check the prices of gas stations that are on your route and fill up at the cheapest one. There's no sense in wasting gas to go out of your way to try and save a little money on the cost of the gas itself, right?
  41. Go to the library. They have books, movies, language CDs, internet, heating in the winter, air conditioning in the summer. And all of it is free. And, if you have an e-reader, find out if your library has an ebook loaning program.
  42. Quit expensive (bad) habits. Stop drinking sodas. Stop smoking. Stop buying scratch-off lottery tickets.
  43. Buy in-season produce in its whole form. Skip the out-of-season veggies and the pre-chopped stuff.
  44. Check your bank statements and bills and look for any mistakes.
  45. Get a water filter pitcher instead of buying bottled water.
  46. Bundle up in the cold months and turn down the heat. Use a fan in the warm months and turn down the air conditioning.
  47. Turn off lights and unplug electronics that aren't in use. Even if the electronics are off, they still draw power when they're plugged in. And use LED or CFL energy-efficient bulbs. They cost more, but the savings on electricity is worth it.
  48. Bring your own snacks - to the movie theater, on road trips, to the airport, to the amusement park - basically, when you can, avoid overpriced food.
  49. Have a spa day at home. Manicures and pedicures are a costly expense for something so temporary.
  50. File your taxes early and put the money into a interest-earning savings account (and use it for travel, duh).
These are all small things you can do to save money. Big things you can do to earn money are getting a job, getting a job that pays well, investing your money, and marrying rich. That last one is a joke, kind of.

Anyway, save up and go somewhere amazing.

xoxo.

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