Do you have a bunch of extra money lying around your house? Do you have so much cash that you use it as toilet paper? Are you uninterested in money saving tips because all you do is spend?
If you answered “no” to any of these questions, congratulations! You’re normal!
All right, let’s get serious now.
No matter how old or young you are, evaluating your finances on a regular basis is important to extending the life of your dollar bills.
Why should you care about how much you save?
How do you feel about getting older and realizing you spent more money on coffee than a retirement fund? You’d be like 41% of millennials. But a cozy bed and a roof over your head will keep you warmer than a cup of joe.
Here are our favorite creative ways to save money.
1. Get Rewarded for Your Loyalty
In the form of loyalty programs.
We mentioned coffee earlier. Do you like to read, write, or work in a coffee shop? Do you find yourself buying a cup at least five times a week?
Whether pulling through the drive-thru at Starbucks or sitting down in a local shop, you could be spending way more than you realize. But have you ever asked if they offer loyalty programs?
Some places – coffee shops and otherwise! – offer a way to save money as you spend. If you buy 10 cups, you get 1 free. Or if you load up a card with $40, you get a free $5. It may not sound like much, but it’s something!
If you’re going to buy it, at least get rewarded for it. It doesn’t hurt to ask.
2. Check Out Student Discounts
Are you enrolled in school? Are you taking advantage of the many student discounts that various companies offer?
Some students may not even realize they could be saving money on things they already subscribe to or buy. Any college students know that every last dollar counts.
Check out some of these companies that offer discounts:
- Apple Music, for walking between classes – $5 a month, compared to $9.99
- The NY Times, for your research papers – $1 a week
- State Farm, for car insurance – save up to 25% for good academic performance
- Banana Republic, for a professional wardrobe – 15% off in-store
And these are only some of the many options out there.
3. Or Check Out Family Plans
If you’re not a student, you can still take advantage of family discounts. For example, instead of paying $9.99 a month for Apple Music, a family of six can listen for $14.99.
This can apply across the board, from AT&T cell phone plans to gym memberships at the YMCA.
If you find yourself doing some of the same activities as your parents or siblings, hold a family meeting! Explain how much money you could all can be saving.
4. I See
Gone are the days of spending upwards of $200 for a single pair of prescription glasses. Now, many companies offer a less expensive, just as effective, option for glasses.
Accidents can happen, too. What if your little sister steps on your glasses or you drop them and crack the frames? You need to be able to buy another without going into debt.
Companies like Warby Parker offer a flat fee of $95 for some pairs of prescription glasses (that are still trendy). And for every pair you buy, they give one to someone in need.
See more here – no, really. You’ll be able to see now that you can afford your specs!
5. Spend What You (Actually) Have
Credit cards are a great way to establish a history. They prove that you can pay bills on time and that you’re mature and responsible enough to handle your money.
That is if you pay your bill on time. . . or at all.
It’s so easy to spend money on a credit card because you don’t have to deal with the repercussions (i.e. paying) right away. But unpaid credit bills tack on interest and late fees and before you know it, that $50 pair of shoes is costing you $150.
If you want to “treat yourself,” do it on your debit card. Save your credit card for emergencies and important bills.
Moms love homemade gifts. Friends enjoy looking back at heartfelt scrapbooks. Dads love cards that come from the heart.
And so on.
Don’t you love when you get a gift that you can tell someone put time, love, and effort into? The sentimentality is priceless, and it saves money, too.
One great way to save money on presents is to consider letting your creative flag fly. Make your own cards, paintings, jewelry, plant pots. Check out Instagram and Pinterest for ideas – they’re loaded with unique inspiration.
7. Grocery Shopping? Make a List
And don’t forget to bring it with you!
Too often, a hungry grocery shopper spends way more than they need to or intended to, at the grocery store. We have a couple of ways to remedy this.
Don’t go grocery shopping hungry.
Your impulse buys will leave you feeling remorseful. Make a shopping list and stick to it. Don’t allow yourself to pull from the colorful aisles anything that looks appealing.
Don’t think you’re an impulse buyer? Check out your bank statement and add up your monthly grocery charges and see if you still agree.
8. Invest in Quality Items
This might be confusing advice. Doesn’t quality usually equal more money spent?
Yes and no.
The difference is that you spend the money one time.
What’s better than buying a slew of $15 sunglasses that get lost or broken at the bottom of your purse? Investing in a quality pair and taking care of it. Keep it in its case and treat it well!
9. Before You Buy New, Shop Around
Did you know that you can sometimes find used books on Amazon for as little as a penny?
Before you buy a brand new book at Barnes N Noble, check online. Sometimes the shipping costs are more than the price of the book itself!
This applies to more than books. The point here is to get second quotes and compare prices. It’s worth feeling like a true bargain hunter!
10. Who Needs Cable When There’s Netflix?
Do you really need that expensive cable bill weighing you down every month? Especially when there are platforms like Hulu, Netflix, and HBO?
Hulu streams Showtime. Netflix is always updating its queue. There’s little opportunity for boredom with these inexpensive ways to watch.
Plus, cutting out cable gives you more free time. Do you ever find yourself getting sucked into a sucky show? Without cable, you might be more inclined to spend your free time doing other things.
Like starting a side business and pulling in more cash!
Try One or All of These Creative Ways to Save Money
These are some of our favorite ways. What are yours?
If you’d like even more ideas of creative ways to save money, our site is full of them. Here’s how you can save big on your prescriptions!