13 Secret Ways to Effectively Save Money
There are many useful tips on how to save money. And we’re pretty used to staying within our budget every single day. Take, for instance, following different coupons and discounts, and trying to avoid some little pleasures in life. It turns out that we can change some of our routine habits and save not only money but also a lot of time and effort. Let alone the fact that it may enhance our overall health and well-being too.
We at Bright Side have found some of the easy steps you can take today to ensure your financial stability and feel more confident in the future.
1. Skip the coffee before shopping.
A study shows that caffeine impacts how much you spend and how many items you are going to buy. During the experiment, people who drank a cup of coffee spent 50 percent more money and bought about 30 percent more items than those who just had decaf or drank water. Caffeine releases dopamine in the brain. That’s why we’re so excited and why we are more eager to make impulse purchases.
2. Plan to go shopping shortly after you’ve eaten.
The reason is very simple. If you shop when you’re hungry, everything will look too appealing, so there is a better chance that you’ll buy something you won’t need. To avoid throwing all the spoiled food away, just make a habit of shopping on a full stomach. This way, you will be less ambitious about what you’ll be able to eat.
3. Put aside and hide a small sum of money.
Many people use envelopes for this purpose. But if you prefer a locked safe or a money box, use them instead. The main thing here is to stash money away, out of sight, and to not think about it. You can start with very small sums of money, like one or a few dollars one week.
Next week add 2 dollars or more and so on through the end of the year. This way, you will have more than $1,300 by Christmas — that’s enough to make your friends and relatives happy with a lot of fancy gifts.
4. Pay with cash when you’re shopping.
You see, psychologically, it is much easier for us to just swipe a card rather than to part with cash. The thing is that when we take a look at our money, we’re more aware of its value, and we get more of a psychological impact from making a purchase with it.
It’s way different from a credit card. So it’s better to go shopping with a certain amount of cash with you. In this case, you will stop immediately when your wallet is empty and avoid spending more than your budget can afford.
5. Only spend money on certain days of the week.
Just choose the most comfortable day of the week and only go shopping on that day. Give yourself some limits as well, so you don’t throw all your money away in one single day. This method will help you to control your spending better, and you’ll save a lot of money in the future. Just try it and find it out for yourself.
6. Put some bread in the freezer.
The bread you buy in a store stays fresh for up to 12 days. And that’s only when you keep it tightly sealed in the fridge. Homemade, or bakery, bread stays fresh for only 5-8 days when stored in the same way. So, if you see that you’re not going to be able to eat it within that timeframe, seal it separately, and put it in the freezer.
Then you can toast it whenever you want to make a sandwich. This way your bread can last from 3-6 months, which will prevent you from having to buy fresh bread all the time.
7. Drink more water to feel fuller.
Drinking water before or during meals really does make you feel fuller. So if you want to not only save some money on food but to lose weight as well, a large drink is the solution. To lose an extra 4 lbs (1.8 kg) over 12 weeks, all you have to do is drink 500 ml of water with a meal. The amount of money saved will depend on how much you usually spend.
8. Make a sign reminding you how much you’ve spent on delivery food.
You can make a monthly report, but the more impressive the sum, the better. So try to count how much you spend every year on ordering food online. Tape it somewhere, so you can look at it as often as possible. This reminder will make you spend less and go shopping instead of sitting home and waiting for a delivery man.
9. Use everything you have before shopping.
Just make a rule for yourself to not buy any more groceries if you still have some fresh ones in your fridge. Plan every meal and cook everything by the next shopping date. It is also better to plan ahead. If you’re tired of throwing food away every week, this will be a better option. And your wallet will only thank you for that.
10. Find cheaper entertainment.
For instance, in theaters, consider seeing a matinee. They are much cheaper. Also, consider taking popcorn made at home by yourself. This will not only save you a lot of money when going out but will be good for your diet since homemade popcorn has less fat and, consequently, fewer calories.
11. Wash your clothes in cold water to cut water expenses.
Just set your washing machine in cold water mode. This will significantly cut down on water heating costs to the benefit of your monthly budget. Besides, this way it will prevent your clothes from shrinking or colors from fading.
12. Host potlucks.
This time you will be able to not only save on costs but have fun and socialize a bit with your friends and neighbors. Sometimes we get tired of eating the same food every week. So just ask everyone to bring a dish and drink to share in the bounty.
Sharing different food while talking and hanging out together will definitely cheer you up and chase all the blues away.
13. Flush toilets with bathwater.
In certain cases, this method might also be a solution. Just empty used bath water into buckets or cut off the water and fill up the toilet tank every time you need to flush the toilet. Anyhow, it’s another way to pay less than usual for water.
What other useful solutions have you found when trying to cut off certain expenses? What solutions have proven to be the best?