10 Unexpected Ways to Save Money

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Saving money is harddd. We always have an excuse for splurging on that thing we crave (you know that thing for you). But we all know we need a little money cushion at all times. Don’t beat yourself up — you can start saving today. Whether you’re saving for an emergency fund, downpayment, or a vacation, follow these 10 tips to save money that you might’ve not thought of before (or you’ve thought about it before, but need an extra push to get you to save).

  1. Cut that Cord

    Many people are spending $100+ a month to get good ‘ol cable for entertainment. That is a massive amount of money, especially considering the fact that people only watch a small amount of channels. Instead, go for a cheaper option like Netflix and Hulu, and if you still want live TV, opt for a product like Sling. You’ll literally be paying for a fraction of the cost, while pretty much getting the same entertainment experience.

  2. Go on a walk

    Better yet, don’t even get a cheaper TV option, just stop watching as much TV. You can literally watch so many entertaining people on Youtube for free. And honestly, with the loneliness epidemic that is sweeping our nation, it would make more sense for you to go outside and meet people rather than building fake connections with celebrities on the screen. Go out and take a walk to entertain yourself and you’ll save so much money, meet new people, and exercise, all of which increases your quality of life.

  3. #PREGAME

    I don’t understand why this glorious college tradition isn’t used more in real life. Yes, I understand what a delicious cocktail tastes like; but let’s be honest, when you’re going out out, you’re just drinking gin and tonic at the bar. Save your money for these sub-par drinks that you can make at home for the fraction of the price. Do like the British do: get drunk at the pregame and buy maybe 1 drink at the pub.

  4. Grocery shop like a European

    Speaking of the British, you need to start grocery shopping like them and the rest of the Europeans. Admittedly, their food is higher quality, so they can’t just leave bread sitting around for a week and expect it not to spoil. But that’s not the point. The point is that you will save so much money if you shop once a week, instead of going to Costco and buying things in bulk that you expect to eat for the next two weeks. I love Costco, but let’s be real with ourselves: we are going to waste like 1/3 of the food, which is a waste of money (and not very environmentally friendly). Shop for your meals every week at the grocery store and you will surely waste less money.

  5. Meal prep with your pantry

    Before you start your weekly grocery shop run, head on over to your pantry. Sometimes I forget that I have a little linguini, shrimp, and parmesan left. Bam! That’s a full meal. That’s one less meal I need to grocery shop for. I don’t even have that much food, so if you are the type that shops at Costco, I know that you have small quantities of ingredients that can be combined into a full meal. This method is a double whammy: you don’t waste the money you already spent and you don’t waste the money you have now.

  6. Double check what you already have

    You need to check your pantry, but you also need to check your closet, your bathroom, your supply closet. Often times we buy stuff we already have. For example, I thought I ran out of cleaning wipes, so I frantically bought wipes on Amazon. Literally the next day I was doing my laundry and realized I stored cleaning wipes in the laundry closet. I totally forgot about them. So do yourself a favor and check for those pesky items you think you need, but you probably already have. That goes double for beauty products (saved money this week by finding a lip balm deep in one of my makeup bags when I was about to head over to Target to buy a new lip balm).

  7. Clean with reusable products

    The most annoying thing to me is buying cleaning wipes when I run out (especially when I already had a supply on hand). Why do I keep buying these disposable thingies. Let’s go back to the old fashion way and use a cloth and cleaning fluid. Throw that cloth into your regular laundry cycle and you’re golden. Look around in your kitchen and bathroom in particular and see how you can clean those places in a more sustainable and cheaper way.

  8. Skip the gym

    I’m all about a good group workout class — I’ve done boxing, cycling, barre, yoga, and weightlifting group classes. I’ve done ClassPass when they gave me a discount. I’ve even had a personal trainer before, which is truly a beautiful luxury if you can afford it. However, I’ve now seen the light after months and months of not working out (don’t judge me because I’ve already judged myself). Go on YouTube or Amazon Prime and get yourself a free workout video. There are a plethora of options, ranging from dance to abs and booty to yoga. You can do these workouts in the privacy of your home, and these videos secretly make me feel more motivated than going to group workout classes because i only make myself do a 10 – 25 min workout at home; whereas, when I go to group workout classes I tend to give it all I got like I’m in the best shape when I’m not and quickly burn out from working out entirely. Oh, and the best part is you save money, whether you’re opting out of expensive classes like SoulCycle or a cheap monthly Planet Fitness membership.

  9. Close your eyes during ads

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been sucked into email marketing. The prospect of getting 40% off at Anthropologie is too enticing. I couldn’t even imagine perusing through Instagram with the gorgeous, immaculate women pushing products in my face constantly by targeting my insecurities. So what I do is choose to ignore these ads, whether it’s  not going to my Promotions folder in Gmail or engaging in Instagram or taking a bathroom break during TV ads. Marketing is super effective, even if you’re like me and think that you’re not affected too much by them. If you can picture the gecko from Geico in your head, then you have been influenced by marketing.   

  10. Stop being a hoarder

    Some of y’all have a closet full of clothes, shoes, and accessories that you never wear. If you have books or textbooks that you are willing to part with, you can make some extra cash by selling those too. It’s almost spring so get ready for spring cleaning. You can sell stuff on Craigslist, Amazon, Poshmark, and many others. Not only will you make money, you will clean your place at the same. Now that a two for one that I need in my life.

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