Financial goals (and probably other goals in life) are achieved through a series of small, simple, connected tasks and habits we do daily. Those little things add up in the end. The same applies to frugality. Here are examples of simple little things we do add up and make us realize we are losing money.
1. Add Items to a Wish List When Shopping Online
When you see something you want while shopping online, put it on a wish list and leave it there for 48 hours. There is a chance you do not need the item. 985 of people who do so do not go back to buy these items. If you get an email about a sale, delete it immediately and unsubscribe from websites that keep prompting you to buy things you do not need.
2. Use Everything in Your Freezer
Always keep stock of your food items in your freezer and fridge. This prevents you from potentially wasting food as you will take note of the stock that nears expiration and incorporate it into meals. Making a stir fry is one of the best ways to deal with veggies. Breads can be frozen to make bread pudding.
3. Selling What You Do Not Use
Selling an item at a low price here and there can add up eventually, and it also helps you declutter. We usually have so much stuff around the house with little or no use. Sell off the clothing you have not worn for over a year, and get rid of toys and equipment you never use. The money generated can be put to good use, such as saving for vacation. Having less stuff to worry about makes life less complicated.
4. Save Money When Buying Food in College
College students have ingenious ways of saving money while in school. Most times this is out of necessity. You want to stretch the little money you have as far as possible. There are many ways of doing so but I find bringing lunch to school more effective. Breakfasts are generally cheap on campus, but lunch and dinner can be pricey for a student. Some students carry tea bags to school, get free hot water, and make tea. This saves over $40 per semester.
5. Do Not Order Water in Plastic Bottles When Dining Out
Besides not being friendly to the environment, plastic water bottles tend to be overpriced. If possible, carry a water bottle (possibly stainless steel) and ask for free tap water when you dine out. Most restaurants will gladly provide this water. For example, you have taken your family out for dinner, and everyone orders a bottle of drinking water at $3 each. You will have spent a lot of money on water alone during this outing. Multiply this by the number of times you go out for dinner during the year, and the figures will surprise you. You would rather carry drink-flavoring sachets if the free tap water’s taste is not to your liking.
6. Make Ice Cream at Home
This tip is helpful for people who have a sweet tooth. Calculate how much you spend on ice cream and candy in a month, and consider how this amount can benefit you in other ways. For instance, you can make a quick mug cake at home for less than a dollar, saving you over $6. Oatmeal cookies are also a simple way of saving money. Mix peanut butter, Nutella, milk, and oatmeal, and you will have your sweet fix for the day. You can also make oatmeal bars with bananas, oats, raisins, vanilla, and some peanut butter to substitute for the pricey ice cream you get from the streets.
7. Buy Second Hand
Some items (such as toys) can save you a lot of money if you buy them secondhand from a thrift store. When your kid outgrows these toys, put them in a bag and donate them to others. Go to the thrift store when buying clothing. You will come across great quality clothing at a fantastic price. Most of these second-hand clothing outlive the new ones.
8. Hang Clothes To Dry
Hanging clothes to dry has several benefits. The energy you would have used for drying is conserved (saving you money on electric bills), the heat from the dryer does not damage your fabric, and the UV light from the sun disinfects your clothing and helps get rid of bacteria.
9. Buy In Bulk
When something you use regularly is on sale, stock up. Always time when there is a sale to save substantially while doing so. You will get good discounts on most products if you buy in bulk.
10. Get the Most Out of Your Shampoo
Do not throw away your shampoo container when it seems empty. If you cut it open, you will find you can still get 4-5 uses out of the bottle. You can imagine how much shampoo you have been wasting over time. You can transfer the shampoo inside into a reusable plastic container with a lid to prevent it from drying up. The same applies to body wash and hand wash.
11. Get a Shift Differential
If you time your shifts at work well, you can get a slight differential that will eventually add up to a decent at the end of the month. For instance, if you switch your schedule from 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m. to 12 p.m.-10:30 p.m., you can get roughly $1.75/hr shift differential. This comes to about $280 extra per month.
12. Slow Down To Save on Gas
Driving faster burns more fuel since you are putting your pedal to the ground. Try leaving a bit earlier so that you can drive at a normal speed and save some money on the pump. This usually adds up to a decent amount in the long run.
13. Cut Your Hair at Home
I know this may not be practical for many people, but if you can do it, it will save you a lot of money in the long run. Say you spend $25 on a haircut per session and do it every week. If you cut your hair at home, you will save roughly $400 annually.
14. Exercise at Home
You do not need to go to the gym to achieve your fitness goals. If you are committed enough, you can achieve success by simply doing exercises at home. If possible, buy gym equipment one by one to create a wholesome gym at home. Hunt for yard sales or thrift store equipment to get the best deal. You will save several hundred dollars a month doing so.
15. Do Not Fill Car Tires at the Gas Station
Some gas stations offer this service freely, while others charge a little money to fill up your car tires. A small air compressor is only $25, which can work for many years. Since it is also portable, an air compressor can save you a lot of trouble if you get a puncture in the middle of nowhere.
16. Do Not Throw Away Food
Do not throw away your leftovers. Cook meals that will get gobbled up at once if you hate reheating leftovers. Leftover food (such as rice) works better than freshly cooked rice when repurposing it into a new dish.
Chop up leftover vegetables or blend them into puree and hot sauces to go over pasta.
17. Do Not Buy a Card While Buying Gifts
Instead of buying a card every time you buy someone a gift, how about spending the extra $5 on your present or on something else that will be more appreciated? If you enjoy crafting, you can use your creativity to make cards to accompany your gift.
18. Pay off Credit Card Bills
The interest charged on late payments for credit card bills can add up to a decent figure over time. Always pay your bills on time to avoid these charges. If you forget to pay by mistake, call the credit card company and ask them to waive the late charges and interest. In most cases, they comply, which can save you money.
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