The US endeavored an inflation rate up to 7.5% this past year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. With numbers like that, there isn’t a choice in how we handle money anymore. Decreasing your spending is one if the easiest ways to up your net-worth . Though this is not the end all be all of becoming wealthy, it is a great start. To aid in this, I comprised a list of ways that I was able to save an extra $7,000 within a year with a $40,000 income. This list shows ways to save some extra cash in 9 different areas of life. These won’t guarantee you an increased income, but the ideas in this article have the potential to help those with a lower income catch up with their financially comfortable peers.
(Pin for later…)
Please note that BudgetBasedLife.com does not represent financial advice within its contents. The contents of this article represents educational scenarios being used for your reading pleasure. Please consult with a professional when making these decisions. There may be affiliate links within this post that provide this blog with a small percentage of any purchase made, at no additional cost to you. Click here to read our full disclosure.
How to save money on food
– Non commercial food shopping is a huge factor in saving income. This means visiting local food shops, or foreign markets if available.
Avoid name brands if possible. Go for fruits and veggies that are in season at the time. Focus on whole foods (rice, beans, veggies, fruits).
– Frozen veggies and fruits – can run cheaper than fresh, and comes in bulk!
– Meal prep – choose one day out of the week to plan your meals. This helps you have a set plan that can help with spending on food to go. I like to grab affordable meal prep kits from eBay to aid in my weekly food preparation.
– Regrow foods – green onion, lettuce, etc. There is a multitude of foods out there that we can regrow at home, and never need to purchase again!
– Try to resist restaurants, as the bills could really add up on you at the end of the month.(no more than 1-2 times per month!).
Re-use as much as possible
– Avoid bottled water. This is THE biggest money sink that a lot of people fall into, and the plastic waste is ghastly.
Filter the water instead. The filter only needs replaced every once in a while and then you can use the tap for free! what blows my mind is that there are filters that costs around the same as ONE package of bottled water.
Reusable water bottles are handy for when you’re at work and home. The same can go for aluminum foil and sandwich bags. these things can all be re used as long as they aren’t damaged with stains or become dirty.
You don’t have to forgo coffee to save money
– Support local coffee shops if you don’t brew your own. If you happen to brew your own, then try buying coffee beans in BULK and seal them to keep them fresh.
A Lot of coffee shops have cheaper/ better tasting coffee than your leading coffee moguls, and You would be surprised at how much variety there is outside of our major stop – ins.
One of my favorite memories are from Hawaii, because they fueled my anniversary with caffeine that felt as pure as the air smelled off the coast of Waikiki.
– Investing in a french press made it more convenient to home brew coffee because they are easy to clean, and one of the more affordable options.
What really blew my mind when I started making my own coffee is that it’s possible to find shops that will grind the beans for you!
How to navigate fashion and style the frugal way
– Do your own hair! This goes for braids, haircuts, and other styles. (these skills can also make you a profit, if you’re willing to hustle).
Youtube tutorials have come a long way in teaching us to take care of our own matters, and then you don’t have to worry about any awkward hair encounters or mishaps.
– Shop at small thrift boutiques and consignment shops. Poshmark is a great resource for shopping and selling.
There is also a secret community on eBay that sells great clothing for very low prices (just be patient with the shipping times). I like to get a lot of my oversized Korean inspired sweaters from there.
– Wear shoes until they are no longer in good shape, and refrain from buying every new pair that you come across.
3-5 pair of shoes is a practical number: casual, work, workout, formal, snow and/or rain
Do you absolutely need to spend money on cable?
– Do. NOT. BUY. CABLE. You will never use all of the channels that come in your package, plus, this bill can run you hundreds of dollars per month.
There are antennas online, or at your local convenience store that cost as little as 15 dollars, so you can catch the news or the game if you’re into that.
The internet is your friend. Hulu can start at around $6.99 dollars per month and includes some of your favorite shows (although they may come a week later). The same goes for youtube or Netflix. These are all a fraction of the price of cable per month.
Save on phone plans
Go no contract! Pay as you go can be as little as 35 dollars per month if you use certain discount services like Boost mobile.
I use T-mobile‘s pay as you go plan, and my bill been lowered to 40$/month from 70 just for being a loyal customer!
It also saves you money to buy (and keep) phones for more more than 2-3 years. There’s really no reason to upgrade to a new phone every year.
More on how to cut cost with your phone plan will become available in a blog post to come, so be sure to check back for an update!
Money saving in general
Please invest in the stock market if you can. It’s like shopping for your favorite things on a much bigger (and more lucrative) scale.
It changes your way of thinking about money, because it puts your money to work for you, and the potential for savings is highly proliferative.
It’s a great way to supplement your savings account, as it’s easier for you to earn interest in the market than in a standard savings.
one of my favorite investment platforms to use when I was a beginner was Mint brokers, because the commission rate for US trades are only $5 compared to other brokers that can charge around $7 to $20.
Mint is a sub product of Intuit, which is a great financial resource because it’s like a one stop shop for may of your financial needs such as: credit checks, tax filing, budgeting, and now investing!
It also teaches practicality and responsibility with your cash. Who wouldn’t enjoy that?
You can still have fun on a budget
Learn how to have fun for low prices, (or free…free is great too).
Avoid always going to bars or clubs, as it’s easy to fall into the money spending trap.
Feel free to have destination activities, where the perks come in a package (ie: Wisconsin dells, or six flags).
Free fun really comes in handy when you live in a place that is surrounded by nature. places like Colorado, or Oregon are great states that have natural fun destinations for any occasion, such as national parks, or mountain ranges with hiking trails.
How I travel and save money
This may seem counter intuitive, but travel actually helps regulate expenses in a number of ways!
On average, people tend to travel for vacation one to two times per year. This will allow you to save up for each vacation over time, and monitor your spending.
I tend to find the experiences that come with travel to be so fulfilling that it’s easy for this to become a healthy habit to get into.
The feeling of freedom as you board the plane, and the sense of accomplishment when you get a new passport stamp make being frugal a whole lot easier.
This also gives you a reason to stick to your budget throughout the year. Who doesn’t work harder when there is something to look forward to at the end of the journey?
I use all of these ways to save or spend less money on a daily basis, and it has allowed me to save on average and extra 500-1000 dollars in a single month. WOWZA!
These tips are not meant to make you rich by any means, but if followed pretty strictly, it has the potential to help add more comfortability to your life. Please feel free to leave some feedback below on ways that you cut back on spending throughout the year. Also check out some other posts similar to this one.