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Do you feel like you are broke ALL. THE. TIME? You are not alone, that is how I was feeling too! It is stressful and hard to feel like you just never have enough money or are just struggling just to make it to payday. I was this person – constantly coming up short despite having a good day job AND a side hustle. But student loans, rent, car payments, living expenses, they all add up and they add up quickly! It felt like I was never going to get ahead. So, one day I sat down and I brainstormed how I could make more, save more, and spend less!
The 25 items in the list below are what I came up with and I have been trying to incorporate what I can into my life since I made it. It has been helping me significantly, some ideas more than others. It is all about finding what works for you and your life style!
I created a budget to get started on my “get better with money” journey. I purchased this awesome little Budget Planner / Expense tracker combo and it has been AMAZING! So so helpful!
After I sorted out a budget that was actually realistic – I started trying to incorporate these 25 things into my life as well. So check out the list and see what you may be able to incorporate into your own life! Even starting with one or two is a step in the right direction!
1 | Sticking to a Shopping List
I know this is a big one for myself personally, but if I go into a grocery store or run errands without a list, I tend to spend way more than if I have a list with me. There are two reasons behind this. The first reason is I have no plans so I buy all kinds of random things and then get home and realize even though I spent $100 at the grocery store, I only really have the correct ingredients for 2 meals. The second reason is because I forget items and end up back at the store where I grab more than just the item I forgot.
I also find sticking to a list helps me only buy what I need instead of mindlessly throwing things in my cart!
2 | Meal Plan & Prep
Similar to my first point, when I plan out my meals and prep for the week, I spend WAY less on groceries and way less on eating out! Plus it makes my life a lot easier!
3 | Buy in Bulk
I try to buy in bulk when I can. We are a small household and my partner works away every second week so a lot of the time it’s just me and my toddler, so buying food in bulk isn’t always our best option. BUT, we buy things in bulk like paper towel, kleenex, toilet paper, laundry detergent, and any food that lasts for a long time (peanut butter, frozen chicken breasts, ketchup, etc.) and it saves us a lot of money and typically lasts us a long time!
4 | Make Your Own Coffee
Speaking of buying in bulk, another thing we buy in bulk now is our own coffee beans. We invested in a coffee grinder and now buy a giant bag of coffee beans and grind our own coffee and brew it at home. We have completely cut out take out coffee and it has saved me about $70 a month!
5 | Shop the Flyers or Sales
I find it hard to do personally, but a great way to save some money is to base your meals or shopping around the weekly flyers or sales!
6 | Organize Your Kitchen
When you know what you have it saves you from buying things again. I use to get to the grocery store and never remember if I needed more pasta, rice, or eggs – so I would just buy more. Next thing I knew I had like 6 boxes of Pasta in my pantry. Once I started to organize my fridge and cupboards, I always had an idea of what I had on hand.
7 | Subscribe and Save
If you have items that you buy every month or every 3 months, use a program like the Amazon subscribe and save feature! The more items you subscribe to the more you save on each item. If it is things you are buying regularly anyway such as paper towels or laundry detergent, then why not make your life easier and have them delivered to your door for cheaper!
If you have Amazon Prime you can utilize their subscribe and save program and it is awesome! Try it for FREE by clicking here.
8 | Utilize Your Freezer
Freeze your left overs, or better yet make big batches of meals for the purpose of freezing half! You always have meals on hand plus if you buy in bulk you often save money! Double up your ingredients and freeze. You can also buy things like chicken breasts in bulk for cheaper than 2-3 packs, buy the large box and freeze it!
9 | Hold a Clothing Swap with Friends
A fun way to purge your closet and also get some new clothes! Have a few friends come over and bring some clothing they no longer wear, everyone can go through each others things and pick and choose from the items.
10 | Sell Unused Items
Whether it is clothing, furniture, toys, etc. usually if they are in decent condition, someone will buy them. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure!
11 | Shop Thrift Stores
Speaking of selling used items, you can also buy second hand items for much cheaper than you would find them new! Before you make a big purchase, check local thrift stores, or online buy and sell pages.
12 | Buy Staple Pieces
Create a wardrobe that consists of quality staple pieces that you can wear in a variety of different ways. Sure it is fun to buy something fun and unique every once and a while but remember things go out of style quickly and what is in style this year probably won’t be the next, so you are better off sticking to classic styles that tend to stick around.
13 | Do a No Spend Challenge
Challenge yourself every month and try to complete a certain amount of days where you spend absolutely no money. Obviously automatic bill payments do not count, but skip your coffee or your store bought lunch, etc. for a few days a month and see how much you can save!
14 | Set Up Automatic Withdrawals
The best thing I did for my Savings account was set up automatic withdrawals. I have it set up so that on the same day that I get paid, a certain amount is automatically deducted and put into my savings account. If I never see it then I forget it even happens. I always found it hard to transfer money into a savings account manually because I could always think of other things I could use that money for, but if I don’t have to do it myself, I hardly notice the amount is gone.
15 | Shop Around for Better Deals
I love convenience so this is a hard one for me, but sometimes if you take the time to shop around, you will find a better price.
16 | Track your spending
Have you ever actually really looked at your spending habits? Try it for one month and you may become very aware of how much money you spend on certain things (eating out, coffee, random splurge purchases, groceries, etc.) If at the end of your month you are okay with where your money is going, great! If not, make some changes!
I use my little Budget Planner for this!
17 | Cut Costs Where You Can
Subscription, memberships, nails, parking, or any other fees you may be able to ditch. Take the time to go through where your money goes and decide what you can live without. Split a subscription service with another family member or roommate, shop around for better prices, etc.
18 | Pack Your Own Lunch
This one seems obvious yet it can be hard to actually make this change! It so convenient to eat out, but have you ever actually sat down and figured out how much you would spend on eating out weekly, monthly, or even yearly? Try it, I bet you will be more inclined to pack a lunch. Getting into the habit of meal prepping for the week can honestly be life changing for your wallet!
20 | Use the Library
Libraries have come a long way and are no longer solely focused on books. I actually work at a Library in Human Resources and it is amazing what it provides for FREE. Not only books, but courses, meeting rooms, online learning, and so much more. Before you pay for a new book, or online course, check out your local library to see if they offer something similar for free!
21 | Ditch Your Cable
I feel like this is a pretty obvious one. Most of us only watch Netflix or some other streaming platform anyway, so why not save that monthly cable fee?
22 | Do a Savings Challenge
One thing that motivates me is having some sort of challenge! Whether it is a 60 day challenge where I put away my change everyday, or a no spend challenge where I try to have 10 no spend days a month. When I turn it into a challenge, it makes me want to succeed!
23 | Find a Side Hustle
There are so many profitable side hustles out there now! With the Internet and Social Media it is so easy to get an idea out there and find clients or customers, etc.
Whether it is blogging, crafting, selling products, selling a service, bookkeeping, whatever you can think of can probably be made into some sort of side hustle!
I highly recommend this book: Side Hustle by Chris Guillebeau
24 | Only Buy What You Can Afford
This was something I struggled with for a long time. I wanted something in the moment so I would toss it on my Credit Card and tell myself that my next pay cheque I would just pay it off. Well one maxed out Credit Card later – I realized I would not actually pay it back. So, I stopped buying things that I couldn’t afford. If I NEEDED to put it on my credit card – then I couldn’t afford it.
25 | Don’t Buy Something Just Because It Is On Sale
As much as we love to believe this is saving us money – it is not. We don’t HAVE to buy the shoes that we wouldn’t have bought if they weren’t on sale. If you are waiting on something to go on sale because you love it or you need it – absolutely, buy it! But if you randomly walk into a store and see something on sale and think WOW I need to buy this because it is a great price, I want you to ask yourself this first – “Would I have wanted this is it was regular price?” and “Do I actually need this?”
So there you have it! 25 super easy ways to save or make some extra money! Don’t get me wrong I do not do all of these things – however I am trying really hard to be better with my money and more intentional and what I buy, how much I save, and with a budget.
So, have any additional money saving tips? Let me know in the comments below!