do the news scare you, too? Are you afraid of checking your bank account because you’re spending too much; and who knows what food is going to cost tomorrow? Every day we’re being told everything gets more expensive, but our wages don’t see the same spikes. Now is the time to become more frugal, so you needn’t worry about money. Being frugal is nothing bad, in fact, it’s clever saving. Who’s going to enjoy life more? The one who’s always obsessing about money or the one who just doesn’t spend much and needn’t worry? If you can keep your money in your wallet and bank account, you can use the time to enjoy life instead of worrying about your future finances. After all, it’s all about our lifestyle. Yes, there are things we don’t have as much influence on; e.g. the rent. But here’s the thing: The more things we own, the more space we need for them. We are paying rent for all our things! But you needn’t get rid of all your things now (we’ll come to minimalism and decluttering later). Here are some ways to save money in your everyday life. They are quick and simple, and you can immediately incorporate them in your life. You might think ‘it won’t matter’ but here’s the thing: the small things add up. And they eventually become big things. If you buy Starbucks coffee five times a week, that’s £20 per week, £80 per month, and £960 per year! It doesn’t need to be five times a week to add up. So, here we go, the very first tip:
- Drink Coffee & Eat at Home
Now, that doesn’t mean you shall never leave your house again and meet friends for coffee. Just do it less often. You can invite friends over for coffee, or give yourself a limit: e.g. to only go to a café once a week or even just once a month. The same goes for food, which is even more expensive. Cook at home whenever possible, bring your food to your workplace or uni. These small things do add up.
2. Don’t Buy Things You Don’t Need
This is a no-brainer. Almost everyone would agree to this, but also, almost everyone goes to town and buys the umpteenth pair of trousers or shoes, a new eyeliner or nail polisher (even though you’ve got a dozen of them at home) or another book to add to your pile. Yes, shopping gives us a boost of dopamine. It’s nice bringing new stuff home. But again; you want to save money right? Why not wait until you actually need a new pair of trousers, your products are empty, and you’ve finally read all the books from your piles? Not only will you save money and time, you will also feel better if you actually use the products you have instead of just adding to them.
3. Walk or Cycle instead of Taking Public Transport or a Taxi
Here’s another thing that adds up; your spending on transport. The first thing would be to get rid of your car, but this is a list for quick changes, so keep the car if you want, but use it less (especially now that the gas prices have become exorbitant). If you can go to town by foot, do it. If you have a bicycle, use it. Not only will you save money, but it will also make you fit! If you get into the habit of walking everywhere you may even quit your gym membership and save even more!
4. Do Activities That Don’t Cost Money
When I worked in a hostel in Korea, I met a French woman travelling the world. She had just arrived but already knew the best free spots to go to and the cheapest food we could get. She was a master of budgeting, doing the best with the money you have (which also lead everyone else to feel anxious when we were grocery shopping with her). We got to see Busan from great heights, walked on abandoned railways to watch a beautiful sunset, and saw free live performances on the beach. Here’s the thing: Most people think that you need to spend money on everything. But that’s not true. You can enjoy life without spending a single penny (or cent). Okay, perhaps you’ve to pay for some food and drinks, unless you have people who feed you. But chances are you, you live in a city or village, near a forest, river, or the sea. You can go into nature and hike, have picnics in parks, read books at the riverside, or play boardgames with your friends. You can look for public spaces, such as public museums and art galleries. You can volunteer in animal shelters, and take dogs for a walk. You can create your own sightseeing map. Or write, draw, tinker, it’s up to you. The possibilities are endless. Think more like a child. A child never needs money to entertain itself. Let your imagination roam, and see where it’ll take you.
5. Cancel Subscriptions
In an age where you need an online subscription for almost anything, it’s clever to check up on them and see which services you are actually using. Have you paid amazon prime for months and not even bought a thing? Do you need Spotify or are the other ways you can listen to music? Is Skillshare really helping you or can you get the same knowledge from YouTube? I’m not against these services, but see where you pay and get little or nothing out of it. You aren’t a charity. Decide on a couple of subscriptions you’re happy to pay for and get rid of the rest.
6. Wait 1-7 Days / Wait A Month Before Buying Something
This is something I also need to practise. In spring, I bought a gaming laptop in the span of three days. I became so fascinated with the idea of me playing videogames and streaming on twitch that I didn’t want to wait. Then I had the laptop, and after a month I stopped using it. I noticed, that all those violent games aren’t good for my mental health, and anyway, I’ve already got a laptop, I don’t need two. What a waste of money! If you want to buy something expensive, wait for more than seven days, if not a month! Compare products, do your research, and evaluate the new thing: what kind of impact would it make on your life? Do you really need it? For smaller things, wait a day or up to seven days. So often, we see something we like in a shop and then take it home only for it to collect dust in our cupboards and drawers. You get nothing out of it and are paying rent for it now!
7. Use Less Water & Electricity
If you pay for gas, water, and electricity, you probably thought of this before. But there are still, somehow, people in this world who use the washing machine for just one piece of clothing, don’t turn off the lights at night, and have the radiator on while the window is open (bascially, my flatmate)! Need I say it? Not only is it a waste of money, but also bad for the environment. When it comes to water, gas, and electricity, it’s not just our bill that’s affected; it’s the whole big wide world! Be more responsible and try to use less water, turn on the radiator only when you’re actually cold, and save electricity. Turn off all the lights when you’re not home and not in the room (the French have a great saying for this: ‘C’est pas Versailles ici!’ (This is not Versailles)) and also, only charge your electronic devices when they’re actually low on battery. Not only will you save electricity, but it’s also better for your device’s internal battery. The more often you re-charge them, especially when they’re still almost fully charged or still have +50%, the worse their battery gets.
8. Eat the Food You Already Have / Only Buy Food You Need
Here’s another thing that not only affects your bill but also the entire world: food waste! It’s a big problem and it’s barely talked about. Most people think they throw their food away and that’s that. But it doesn’t end there. It takes up a huge amount of energy to get rid of the food that could’ve given you energy (the irony of that). If you can, compost your food, if you can’t; eat the food before it expires and don’t throw it away. I have been living on my own for seven years now, and have never wasted food. Perhaps there was a mouldy tomato somewhere, but, in general, I don’t throw food away. I am shocked to find loaves of bread, or leftovers in the bin! Why do so many people throw their food away? Two reasons: They bought too much food, and as a result, some of the food got bad, so they threw it away. Second, they don’t care. We live in a society where people don’t think twice, buy everything they want at the moment without thinking of the consequences; and later, without another thought, get rid of said product. We need to be more responsible with our shopping and eating habits. Now, what does that have to do with saving money? I don’t think I need to answer the question. Food prices, just like everything else, are also increasing. Simple solution: Buy what you need! Eat what you have!
9. Borrow Instead of Buying
Here’s another easy way to save money. Borrow from your friends and family; books, kitchen utensils, games,.. as long as it’s not too personal. And perhaps don’t do it too often or else they might get annoyed. But if you need something only once that they already own, why not ask? The worst that can happen is them saying no. Instead of buying books, you could also go to the library; that way you save money on books and you’ve got another activity you can do without spending extra money!
10. The Greatest Tip Comes Last: Just Consume Less.
I could write a 50+ Tips list on how to save money; or I just end it with the only tip you really need: Just consume less. Use the things you have, try to repair what’s broken before buying, and eat less (we’ve all turned into food addicts and eat more than we need), just do less. Nowadays, everyone is busy, buying, and consuming. We do everything to not spend one minute in silence and with ourselves. Even when we are alone, we distract ourselves by scrolling down our social media feeds or binge-watching a new Netflix show. Just take a deep breath, meditate, and connect with yourself. You don’t need much to live. Yes, it’s true. You already have everything you need. How else would you have survived until today? And worrying that it might be gone tomorrow only makes you attached to things and will never give you piece. Your mind can only see what it has to lose, not what it can gain. Get comfortable with not knowing. Life is nothing but a wild roller-coaster ride!
There you have it, 10 Tips on saving more money. You can start today. All you need to do is – right, nothing. Well, perhaps check your bank account, and see how much money you’re spending on what. Write down a budget; how much money you want to spend on groceries each week, etc etc. Cancel subscriptions you don’t need. See where your money is going to. This is vital if you want to save money.
have a great day,
Follow me on: