Let’s face it – being a human is expensive. Between all the coffee you may need to grind through projects to having to pay off student loans, expenses can add up quickly. These costs can be burdening without even factoring in the movie you see or the drink you get on a night out on the rare occasion that you actually have time to have fun.
This is why doing small things to save money can help in the long run. Here are 9 little (and surprisingly easy) ways to save money this month.
1. Write a list before you go shopping and only buy what’s on the list
Before you go to a grocery store, clothing shop, or any other type of store, create a list of what you need to buy. When you go to that store, only buy what is on the list. Yes, that lavender-scented candle you saw at a discount price smells amazing, but you didn’t go to the store to buy that.
2. Turn off your lights
This won’t save you a ton of money, but turning off the lights in your house can save you a few dollars a month for little effort. This is also environmentally friendly. So, if you want to do your part in protecting the environment and have extra money to buy an Iced Chai Latte, here is your chance.
3. Cancel unused memberships
We all sign up for memberships that we never use. Remember that gym membership that you signed up for but only go once a month? Cancel it. This is not worth your money, and you can likely find free alternatives. This could be going on a jog around your neighborhood or looking for free outdoor yoga classes when it’s nice out.
4. Master the ten-second rule
Now, back to shopping. If you just have to buy an item that was not on your shopping list, practice the ten-second rule. The ten-second rule is when you commit to spending ten seconds to think about whether or not you really need something. If you don’t, you should decide not to buy it. If you do, try to not buy new spontaneous items in the future.
5. Don’t buy your coffee from coffee shops that often
Try to make your own coffee. You will see the money that you don’t spend on expensive specialty drinks at Starbucks can add up quickly. If you’re like me and hot coffee and cannot make good iced coffee, there is still hope for you. At many grocery stores, you can buy cartons of iced coffee. You will find getting one of these cartons is much cheaper than buying three iced coffee drinks at coffee shops.
6. Try to fix things yourself
If something breaks in your apartment or house, try to fix it yourself. This may involve some skill, but you can learn. There are plenty of instructional videos on YouTube that can teach you how to fix broken things like chairs, or call up a family member and ask them if they can teach you. Tools may be an expensive initial cost, but you can save money over time by limiting the number of times that a handyman has to come to your house.
7. Check out free events in your town
Your budget should not stop you from having fun, and, fortunately, not everything is expensive or even costs money. You should check to see if there are free events in your town which can serve as alternatives to activities that you already do. Instead of wasting your money at a movie theater, you can go to a free outdoor screening of a classic film.
8. Ask for fees to be waived
If you turned in a library book late or a part of your salary is put toward a company trip which you can’t go on, you should consider asking for a fee, or fees, to be waived. Worst case scenario, you will get a “no” accompanied by a glare or laugh. Best case scenario, you just saved yourself some money.
9. Take public transportation
This is another way to save money that is both financially smart and environmentally friendly. You can save money each month by taking public transportation. You will save a lot of money by not paying for parking, gas, or Uber rides if you don’t have your own car.
Hopefully, you find one of these suggestions to be helpful. Here’s to being financially responsible!