Money-saving: not everyone’s favorite, but at some point or another it becomes a must. Saving money doesn’t have to always be a torturous concept that means you never go out to eat or never buy anything new. There are simple tips and tricks that everyone can implement to save money and still have fun!
1. Make Your Coffee At Home
This tip is probably the easiest and still allows you to be creative. On average, (depending on your coffee maker, Keurig, etc.), supplies such as bags of coffee beans or coffee K-cups, are just $6.99 at your local grocery store, and that’ll make about 10 cups of coffee. So right there, you have 10 cups for under $7.00, and one coffee purchased out, (depending on where you go), is about $3.00. That is an easy habit to adjust. Before work or school, on a Sunday night, its fun and easy to make a bunch of cups and pour them into a pitcher allowing for easy access throughout the weekday mornings. Whether your sweet spot is a dash of cinnamon, extra ice, or an extra spoonful of sugar, making coffee at home will allow you to make every cup just how you like it. See, saving money isn’t that bad after all!
2. Prioritize Your Paycheck
So, it’s Friday and you just got your paycheck. Yay! Before you spend $100.00 on that jacket you’ve been wanting, it’s time to think. Prioritize in order of what requires the most of your money. If that means you’re car payment, school loan, or whatever the case may be, this will get the boring stuff out of the way to allow that whatever is left of your paycheck can be used for something fun. A common mistake and seemingly irresistible aspect of seeing your bank account expand with weekly paychecks is thinking you can spend more than is realistic. Prioritizing your paycheck allows you to secretly save money without feeling suffocated.
3. Become A Rewards Member
Many of us are familiar with checking out somewhere like CVS, and hearing the cashier ask, “Are you a rewards member?” This simple trick can turn into cash in your pocket – literally. CVS is a good example because simply registering your phone number is free, and with each purchase, you earn points. At no added cost or fee, you rack up points with every purchase and that leads to cash to spend in the store – or ‘extra bucks’. Every store is different, but major companies like ‘Ulta’, ‘Sephora’, and other well known retail stores offer something similar. Becoming a rewards member is probably one of the easiest and most fun ways to save money because it allows you to still shop and live comfortably, just with a tailored mindset to get cash with each transaction.
4. Dine Cheap, Literally
Everyone looks forward to that stress-relieving part of a Friday night. Food, laughs, and lots of margaritas. Well, no need to give that up just yet! You can still save money and enjoy going out for a bite to eat. If you live in a college town, this is extremely easy. Any town where a University is close by is going to have tons of restaurants nearby. (Well, at least they should.) Let’s say that your favorite dinner on average is $35.00 per person. Okay, there are ways around it. You can still enjoy your panini, beer, caesar salad, for a cheaper price. Looking for diners and less expensive options can make a huge difference. Popular chains that are available almost anywhere in the United States that also have healthy options include, ‘Panera Bread’, ‘The 99’, ‘Moes’, ‘Olive Garden’, (etc.)
5. Movie Night, Board Game, Night In
Cliche? Not one bit. A classic for a reason, movie nights and board game nights are perfect ways to catch up, relax, and have fun with friends. An added bonus, movie nights with a boyfriend or girlfriend can be super romantic! It doesn’t hurt to stay in one or two nights a month and just unwind with the company of your best buds. Grab a deck of cards, popcorn, and a couple of blankets, because while movie tickets average over $20.00, you can have the same experience if not better in the comfort of your own home.
6. Five Dollar Rule
The five-dollar rule can be adjusted to any amount, (ten dollar rule, twenty dollar rule), but basically means that is the number that you are going to set aside into a ‘savings account’, each week. It may seem like a very insignificant amount, but five dollars a week is twenty dollars a month, and that’s $240.00 per year. Make that ten dollars a week, is forty dollars a month, and that’s $480.00 per year. A good way to do this is every week (or every other week), when you receive a paycheck, immediately transfer the money over before doing anything else. Most banks offer a digital option that is used by downloading the app on your smartphone. This allows easy 24/7 access to your bank accounts. Set aside any amount of your choice, and watch the funds grow. You’ll have that dream vacation in no time!
7. Download Apps For Selling
Nobody likes thinking of getting rid of their belongings. But, with yard sales no longer relevant, think of downloading apps such as ‘eBay’, ‘Poshmark’, or ‘Etsy’, where you can find hundreds of dollars in just your closet alone. Personally, I have met so many people who have made thousands off of Poshmark. You probably do not realize it, but the name brand backpack in your basement is easily worth $15.00, and so is the coat you haven’t worn in a year.
8. Cook At Home
It may seem like a pretty standard, boring way to save money, but it’s one of the easiest ways. Everyone has to eat, and therefore everyone has to buy groceries. But simple tips can cut your costs in half. Shopping at your local grocery store and choosing the store brand over the name brand is an efficient source of money-saving right there. Having fun with cooking is simple: make one-night pizza and salad night, one night taco night, and one night sandwich night. Or whatever floats your boat.
When you save money, comment below which one of these tips you’ll use! I hope everyone enjoyed reading!
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Senior at UMass Dartmouth with a minor in communications, writing has always been a part of me. I believe writing is a powerful form of self-expression, and I couldn't have found an internship more aligned with my goals to pursue a career in this field.