It’s true that money isn’t everything. But when rent is due, your pantry is bare, and your direct deposit hasn’t hit yet, a little extra cash can give you a huge slice of peace of mind.
Saving money can make a difference on our personal finances. But even when we make it a conscious priority, it’s still hard finding where to cut back. Want to make saving money a little more effortless? Try these clever hacks that anyone can do to save more money:
1. Borrow Instead of Buy
Before you rush out to the store to buy something you need, like a tool or video game or dress shoes you only need for one event, see if you can borrow it from a friend or neighbor first. This not only saves you from spending money, but it also helps you avoid accumulating things you don’t really need long-term.
If borrowing isn’t an option, see if you can rent the item from a local store. Renting usually costs pennies on the dollar for things like tools equipment and will help you get the job done without having to pay a professional.
2. Barter for Services
Do you have a skill or service that someone else might value? Consider offering to trade for services so you can both get something in return. This can be a great way to get a free haircut, babysitter, or even a freshly mown yard.
3. DIY Your Own Cleaners and Personal Care Products
Did you know that most of the household cleaners you buy at the store are mostly water? You can get that at home for almost nothing! Instead of paying for water and clever marketing, try your hand at making your own cleaners at home. All you really need is a little vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice for a cleaner that will tackle all your home’s messes. As an added bonus, you can mix your own cleaner at home and stop contributing to the growing global plastics problem.
Put your DIY skills to use by making your own personal care products, too. Things like sugar scrubs, soaps, bath bombs, face masks, and even shampoo are easy to make with simple, safe ingredients you likely already have at home.
4. Save All Your Coins
The coin-saving strategy is an old-but-gold way to pad your savings. Every time you get coin change back from a purchase (or find it on the ground), add it to a jar or bucket. Over time, those coins can be turned into big bucks. And chances are you aren’t going to miss all the jingle in your pocket.
5. Get Creative on Holiday Gifting
Have you ever considered doing a no-spend holiday? The average person spends just under $1K on holiday gifts, décor, and related expenses – and that’s just for Christmas! All the gift-giving holidays throughout the year, like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s and Father’s Days, and birthdays can really rack up some negative cash flow.
But as the old saying goes, it really is the thought that counts. You can host a no-spend holiday while still making those around you feel special. For example, consider baking something tasty instead of grabbing an expensive gift off the shelf. Make personalized cards instead of buying pre-made greetings.
Or, if you don’t want to cut back on gifts, ditch the “extras” like fancy foods, gift wrap, décor, and other impulse buys.
6. Share on Subscription Services
How many streaming services and subscriptions does a person really need? Yes, these can be cheap entertainment compared to other options (like cable), but too many subscriptions can really eat into your finances.
The average household has nine paid subscriptions across video, music, and gaming. Chances are, you know many people who have some of the same ones you do, so why not go in halfsies? Some subscriptions, like Netflix, allow you to connect up to a certain number of devices per subscription. This way, you don’t have to sacrifice your entertainment to save a few bucks.
Or, if you know someone who has a membership to Amazon Prime or a wholesale warehouse, see if you can “borrow” their membership to stock up on a few items for yourself and enjoy the savings.
7. Go for Reusable Products
Some things you should only have to buy once. This is obvious for things like good tools or cast-iron skillets. But you can apply this to a lot of things that are usually disposable, too. For example, instead of constantly buying paper towels and napkins, get a few sets of reusable ones and toss them in with your weekly laundry. Trade your dryer sheets for wool dryer balls. Reusable makeup cloths, sandwich bags, cleaning wipes, and even baking mats instead of foil can be minimal investments and pay for themselves after just a few uses.
8. Automate Your Savings
Saving money is something that most people think consciously about it. But there are ways to automate your savings, too. For example, if you have direct deposit at work, you might have a percentage of your paycheck automatically stashed in a savings account. Or, you can look into services like Acorn that rounds up every purchase made with a debit card and puts that change into a separate account.
Saving money can take some creativity. But if you’re willing to put in the effort and try something new, you might be surprised at just how quickly you notice a difference.
We have over 200 Ways You Can Save inside of our free online community, Credit Makes $ense. Go check it out!