10 Creative Ways to Save Money
When you’re trying to save money, it can be hard to think of new and exciting ways to save when you’re already finding it difficult to make ends meet. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways that you can be more creative with your finances and end up saving more than you expected. These 10 creative ways to save money will give you ideas on how to stretch your dollar further so that you can save more money over time, whether it’s through budgeting or through purchasing new products that help you better manage your finances.
1) Use Cash and Avoid Using Credit Cards
Every time you swipe your credit card, you’re taking on debt—and with interest rates as high as they are, you’re often using debt just to pay off interest. Credit cards are also an easy way for consumers to overspend; charging items creates a feeling of out of sight, out of mind and makes us more likely to spend our money on things we don’t really need. If you want to save money, use cash instead.
2) Consider a Fixer-Upper Property
If you’re trying to save up for a home, consider purchasing a property that needs some work. Fixer-upper homes are often sold at a lower price than comparable properties and can sometimes be bought with enough equity that you’ll only need a small down payment. You can then invest your money in fixing up your new home—saving on labor and materials, of course—and watch your equity grow over time.
3) To Save Money: Buy in Bulk
Not only does it help reduce cost and packaging, but buying in bulk means you’ll have enough food on hand for the busy weeks ahead. Stick with foods that don’t require a ton of prep (fresh produce, for example), and then make sure you have several no-cook meals in your recipe rotation—like simple salads with homemade dressing or grilled chicken breast with roasted vegetables.
4) Cut Down on Car Insurance
Auto insurance can be notoriously expensive in some states, and if you’re trying to cut costs, it’s definitely something you can explore. Always compare car insurance quotes for your area as policies vary significantly from provider to provider. There are many ways you can save on auto insurance – consider raising your deductible or lowering your coverage limits.
5) Go Camping Instead of Taking Vacations
There’s no reason why you can’t have fun and get away from it all right in your own backyard. Rather than fork over cash for a vacation, set up camp in your backyard or at a local campsite. Not only will it save you money on flights and hotel stays, but it also allows you to be close to home if an emergency arises. And, more important, there are plenty of things to do while camping that you never would have time for while on vacation! You don’t even need expensive gear either; there are plenty of ways to sleep comfortably outdoors without investing in top-of-the-line equipment or getting fancy with air mattresses and tarps.
6) Save Money: Use Coupons and Groupon Deals
One of the biggest financial drains I see in my practice is people who impulsively spend on things they don’t need. While it can be fun and feel rewarding to indulge, keep in mind that it is not worth it if you are hurting your long-term financial goals. If you absolutely need something, make sure you price compare using a site like google shopping so that you find a good deal. Otherwise, coupon clipping can save you up to 40% off your grocery bill. Groupon deals for local activities are also a great way to save money and have fun at night! The possibilities are endless: restaurants, museums, comedy clubs, wineries-there’s always an option for groupon deals around every corner!
7) Cook Your Own Meals Instead of Eating Out at Restaurants
Eating out can be really expensive. Cook your own meals instead, and you’ll save a ton of money. Preparing homemade meals from scratch will also reduce your overall caloric intake while keeping you full, which is good if you want to lose weight. And, if you do splurge on a meal out, go ahead and order that appetizer or dessert—but save half for another meal! It might sound like cheating, but it won’t actually cause any harm. Bonus tip: If you do decide to order appetizers or desserts at restaurants often, split them with someone else! You’ll still be able to enjoy your food while being less tempted by having only one serving of dessert/appetizer.
8) Use Public Transportation Instead of Driving Your Car Everywhere
Since you’re not paying for gas, car insurance or parking, you’ll save a lot of money by taking public transportation. If you live near where most people work and play (the city center), you may even get around for free using city buses or walking. The only time you should drive is if no other options are available—for example, when visiting friends out of town. If your city has a public transportation system, use it! It can help keep your budget in check. You may also want to look into triple-play services that bundle cable, Internet and phone service together at a discount; finding one could cut down on your monthly bills significantly.
9) Use Less Water, Gas, and Electricity in the Home to Save Money
The biggest ways we waste energy aren’t in our cars, but at home. Think about how many times you leave appliances, lights, and electronics plugged in when they’re not in use. Or that time you kept your computer on just so it would download a file faster (or is it even still doing that?). These small examples add up quickly. If everyone cut their energy usage down by just 10 percent, it would be equivalent to taking 1 million cars off of America’s roads for a year!
10) Find Free Entertainment Options
Saving money is all about getting creative, so think outside of your typical routine. Look up free events in your area and go with friends, or even search for local coupons and discounts you might not have tried before. It’s also worth noting that saving on groceries can be accomplished by eating at home more often—and cooking at home is cheaper than going out to eat. Use online recipes that don’t require a ton of ingredients, or save time by making two meals at once with a slow cooker (like a beef stew) for dinner one night and then using it as leftovers for another meal later in the week.