We all like to save money, right? In my case, until a few months ago, I never made any efforts to save money every day. I wasn’t careful with my money I would simply spend it with no strategy. But everything changed in July this year when I decided to pay off my debt as quickly as possible.
If you are willing to do it too, you already know that you have to make more money or spend less so you can allocate more money to your debt payoff.
I am on my way to increasing my monthly income. In the meantime, I spent the last months looking for simple ways to save money. I am the kind of person who wants to save money without making drastic changes and feeling miserable.
If you are looking for simple ways to cut down your expenses without depriving yourself, this post will help you!
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1. Internet, Apps, and other subscription services
- Cancel unused subscriptions: Look at your phone bill, credit card, and bank account statements and look for subscriptions you are being charged. If you are actually not using their services, take a few minutes to cancel them.
- Avoid paid apps: There are so many apps out there. If you are used to paying for apps, try to find free alternatives. This simple trick can save you a couple of hundred dollars a year.
- Share accounts: Another simple way to save money is to share Netflix/Prime/Disney+ accounts. These services offer the possibility to install the app on several devices. Sharing a friend’s account can make you save over 100$ per year.
- Lower your phone bill by looking for a better rate: You probably already know this, but you can negotiate prices for all types of contracts. Take a few minutes to visit the websites of your regional phone operators and look for their prices and special offers. You can make massive savings by choosing your phone operator wisely! I actually saved 900$ a year on my phone rate and received a free HP computer, Samsung TV, and tablet by taking a special offer! If you don’t find any special offers, give your operator a call asking for their termination terms. Chances are they will offer you a big discount to stay with them.
- Avoid overpaying for the internet: Have you ever checked your actual internet speed? You might be overpaying as the internet speed advertised by your operator might not be technically possible in your region. Should it be the case, downgrade your contract to save money.
- Block in-app purchases: This is an easy way to save a lot of money, especially if you are used to downloading lots of apps and games. You will avoid temptation and save money by blocking the service, allowing you to make in-app purchases charged directly on your phone bill.
- Buy local: Buying local is great for the environment and communities but is also good for your budget. I actually didn’t realize that before the first lockdown. I wanted to help small merchants from my region and noticed that food products are actually cheaper if you buy them directly at the farm.
- Avoid buying coffee on your way to work: I had to mention this one because it is probably part of every single post on saving money. Buying coffee on your way to work, especially at Starbucks, can cost you several hundred per year.
- Start to cook: Cooking and avoiding take-out can save you a lot of money. Ordering take-out was a bad habit I took during the first lockdown. I spent over 1000$ in take-out in just a few months! Starting to cook will help you eat healthier and save money.
- Have breakfast at home: Having breakfast on the go is bad for your health (because people who do it tend to eat unhealthily) and for your wallet, as you might be spending 5-10$ every day with this bad habit. Preparing a healthy breakfast will nourish your body, give you the energy to crush your goals, and help you save a lot of money in the long run.
- Avoid prepared/frozen dishes: Prepared and frozen dishes are expensive, often packed in a lot of plastic, and full of additives.
- Plan your meals or even meal prep if you can: Planning your meals in advance or meal prepping will help you save time. Planning your meals will help you write your grocery list. If you stick to it, you will avoid impulse buying and save money.
- Order your groceries online: This simple trick helped me save up to 50% on my grocery budget. I love saving money but hate spending more than 20-30 minutes at the supermarket. When shopping for groceries, I would just take the first things insight and wouldn’t pay attention to prices. Ordering groceries online makes it so much easier and cheaper! This will help you stick to your list, compare prices and avoid impulse buying.
- Pay attention to the energy consumption of your appliances: Old appliances can require a lot of energy to function. Replacing them by eco-friendly models will make you save money in the long run.
- Use your appliances’ “eco” mode: Did you know that setting your dishwasher in eco-mode can reduce its energy consumption by 40%?
- Switch off appliances after using them: Even in sleep mode, appliances use energy. Turn them completely off to save money on your energy bill.
- Switch to LED bulbs: LED bulbs use 90% less energy than traditional light bulbs and last much longer. You should definitely consider switching your traditional lights for LEDs to make savings on your energy bill.
- Be aware of off-peak energy times: Energy can be up to 50% cheaper between 10 pm and 8 am. The reason is simple: this is the period when power demands are at their lowest. Doing your laundry (and other tasks consuming a lot of energy) during this time frame can help you save money.
- Open windows for a few minutes only: This is another trick to save money on your energy bill, especially in winter. Keeping your windows slightly open for several hours wastes so much energy. Open them 3-4 times a day for a maximum of 10 minutes each time. This will really help you lower your energy bill while keeping your home warm.
- Switch to solid shampoos, face washes, and shower gels: The solid versions of these products last so much longer. They might be a bit more expensive, but believe me, they will save you money in the long run. In addition to that, they are also helping us fight against single-use plastic!
- Ask for free samples: I used to spend a lot of money on cosmetics. I would buy new products to try them out and often throw or give them away. Asking for free samples is a great way to save money on perfumes and cosmetics. You can either ask for free samples at the checkout or on brands’ websites.
- Avoid high-end skincare: Ok… I might get controversial here. Although I love luxury products, I realized that high-end skincare is really not worth it. I used to follow a routine from Estee Lauder that cost me over 300$ a month. I switched to products from drugstore brands, now spend less than 50$ a month, and did not see any difference in my skin. In addition to its excessive prices, high-end skincare is also often filled with chemicals and perfumes that are bad for your skin.
- Participate in giveaways: Giveaways are a great way to save money by receiving free products. A lot of cosmetic brands organize giveaways on their websites and social media. All you need is a bit of luck 🙂
5. Spend Money Wisely
- Unsubscribe from your favorite websites’ newsletters: An easy way to save money is to avoid impulse shopping. To do so, unsubscribe from your favorite online stores. No temptation = Money saved.
- Uninstall your favorite shopping apps: This simple trick really helped me save money. Uninstalling shopping apps from your phone can help you stop impulse buying. When I was bored, I was used to mindlessly scrolling on my phone. I used to make a lot of small purchases mindlessly. Deleting those apps definitely helped me save money.
- Use cashback apps: When you really need to buy something, do it using a cashback app if possible. Apps like Rakuten and Igraal offer interesting cashback on selected stores.
- Use fidelity cards: Fidelity cards can sometimes make you overspend as you feel like you are making a great deal thanks to the discounts offered. Still, if you only use them to buy things you actually need, the points and discounts received will save you money.
- Subscribe to couponing websites: Couponing is great to save money as long as you only buy products you actually need. Buying everything in bulk can be a waste of money if you buy products you don’t need or have never tried before.
- Buy on outlet websites: This is another trick I use, especially when I want to get new clothing. Outlet websites are a great way to get brand new things for a fraction of their retail price. Mangooutlet is definitely my go-to when it comes to getting new clothing. I love their brand and they offer up to 80% discounts on items from previous collections!
- Buy on Private sales websites: Whenever I need to buy a new piece of furniture, clothing, makeup, or skincare, I visit my favorite private sales websites to check their offers. I saved thousands with this trick, as private sales websites can offer up to 90% discounts on brand new items!
- Buy on secondhand websites: You can save a lot of money by buying secondhand items. This tip is also valid If you are willing to splurge on luxury. Do your shopping wisely and never pay full price.
6. Better Money Management
- Avoid unnecessary bank fees: A simple trick to save money is to compare the offering of several banks to find the one with the lowest fees. I used to pay 25$ per month in bank fees and now pay 0$ because I canceled one of my accounts. This simple action saved me 300$ a year.
- Have several bank accounts: Having several bank accounts can help you keep your budget. It can also help you save money if you keep the bare minimum on your main account and wire any extra money to your second or third account. Having several bank accounts is also a must to create an emergency and survival fund.
- Avoid late fees by automating your payments: Did you know that the average American pays over 48$ in late fees per month?! It’s a staggering 577$ per year! Keeping track of your bills’ due dates and automating your payments is an easy way to avoid these unnecessary fees.
- Refinance your loans: Getting more debt when you are willing to get out of debt can seem counterproductive but it can actually make you save thousands in interest! If you got your student or car loan long ago, you might consider refinancing it to get a better rate. I had a 40,000$ loan at 9.95% and was able to decrease the rate to 5.95! This simple trick made me save over 3,000$ in interest.
- Consolidate your debt: This trick can be directly linked to the previous one. By consolidating your debt (taking a new loan that will reimburse all of your existing debt), you can also save a lot of money. Credit cards usually have staggering interest rates. Consolidating your debt will allow you to pay off your credit card debt right away, saving you money in the long run.
- Leave your credit cards at home: This is something I started doing a few months ago and it helped me save so much money! As explained in this post, the biggest mistake I made while paying off debt was using my credit cards while trying to pay them off. Leaving them at home definitely helps using them less.
- Erase your credit card information from your browsers: The other simple way to stop using your credit cards is to delete their information from your phone, laptop, tablet, and favorite websites. This is also a good initiative to protect yourself in case your accounts or devices get hacked.
- Have cash in your wallet: According to several studies, people spend up to 100% more when they pay with a debit or credit card. Paying with cash instead makes you more conscious about your money and helps you spend less.
- Get insurance: Insurance is key to financial planning and can save you a lot of money when something bad happens. I pay thousands per year in insurance; this is money well spent to me. I have car insurance, home insurance, health insurance, legal insurance, civil insurance … You name it, I have it. As a Finance specialist, I can tell you that money spent on insurance is well spent as it brings financial security.
- Consolidate your insurance policies: You can get interesting discounts if you subscribe to several insurances at the same company. I managed to get a $ 2,000 discount on my annual car insurance policy by doing so.
- Purchase the right products at the right time: You can save a lot of money by simply buying things at the right time. Do not wait until the 24th of December to buy Christmas presents and buy winter clothing before September. You will save so much money by simply buying things in advance.
- Get cleaning products on sale only: I love having a clean and nice-smelling home. Unfortunately, cleaning products can cost so much. I started buying them in bulk when they were on sale. This saves me an easy 500$ per year.
- Buy generic brands: This is definitely the trick that can save you the most money. You can save so much money by looking for cheaper alternatives and avoiding brands. I used to buy branded water bottles which cost me up to 700$ a year. By buying a generic brand, I cut down this expense to 200$ a year. You can do this with any branded product you buy. When you do so, savings really add up. Easy, no?
- Always compare prices: Prices can vary greatly depending on where and when you decide to buy things. I have one easy rule: if something costs more than 25$, I always check the prices on several websites before buying it.
- Never pay full price: This is a trick I live by to save money: I NEVER pay full price except for food. We all know that we can get discounts on literally everything now. If you are paying full price, you are wasting money.
- Buy refurbished electronics: Electronics are way cheaper than they used to be 10 or 20 years ago but they can still be too expensive for tight budgets. If you are willing to get a new smartphone or computer, you might consider buying a refurbished one. Refurbished items are like new, usually covered by a 24 months warranty, and sold with 30-70% discounts!
- Sell your (too expensive) car: Car payments, fuel, maintenance, and insurance can get so expensive. If you have a car that costs you too much, try to sell it to get a cheaper one. I know people who waste thousands per year because they have a super expensive car that requires a lot of maintenance. Nothing is worst for your budget than an overly expensive car!
- Wait a few days before making purchases: This is another simple thing you can do to save money. If you want to buy something, wait a few days before doing so. If you still desperately want that thing a week or so after, go get it. These few days will often help you realize that you don’t want it so bad.
- Forget about the brand: I used to buy products based on their brands only. Whether it was for food, makeup, or fashion, I used to think that high-end brands were just better because, in my mind, more expensive = better quality. I couldn’t be more wrong. Try to find cheaper quality brands to replace your go-to favorites. You will be surprised by the quality offered by some cheap brands. In most cases, buying high-end brands is just a waste of money.
- Buy your plane tickets in advance: This one is obvious but believe me, many people still wait a few weeks before their trip to take their plane tickets. You can actually save thousands by booking your flights months before. If you are the kind of person who waits until the last minute to book a flight just in case your plans change, consider taking travel insurance and buying your tickets in advance.
- Do not book your hotel on a third-party website: This is something I found out a few years ago. I used to go to Paris 2-3 times per year. I would always stay in the same hotel and ask for the same room. Once, the manager told me that I should call before my next visit instead of booking a room through booking.com. He explained that third-party companies sometimes charge them a lot. And by calling the hotel to book a room, I would get a much better rate. I have done so ever since and have always been able to get at least 15% off!
As you can see per the list above, saving money is actually easy. There are hundreds if not thousands of ways to save money and the internet makes it super easy to find new money-saving hacks. Implementing these tips will help you save money, pay off debt fast and build wealth.
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