23 Tricks From People Who Know a Little More About Saving Money Than We Do
Having lunch in a cafe instead of eating homemade food, addiction to coffee, and a habit of making spontaneous purchases — these are the biggest enemies of saving money, according to internet users. Today’s compilation includes little tricks that are all about how to save money.
If you’ve finally decided to challenge your habit of spending too much money, Bright Side has 23 simple life hacks to help you do this.
You can use outdated maps and old notebooks as wrapping paper.
When I encounter a really good deal, I first ask myself, “was I already planning to buy this?” If the answer is, “No,” it’s not really a good deal, because you’ve bought something you didn’t really need. ©NotJimIrsay, reddit
You can go to different stores and get some carpet samples either for free or at a very cheap price. Use duct tape to attach them and you can make yourself a great carpet.
A little trick that has really helped my wife and I spend less money is to try and have 2 days per week where we don’t spend a single dollar. By forcing yourself to forego the pack of gum, the diet Coke, and whatever else on your $0 days, you wind up cutting these things out naturally on the other days. If you don’t buy a latte on Tuesday and Thursday because these are your no-spend days, you’re unlikely to buy them on Wednesday and Friday to double-down and you’re equally unlikely to buy an extra one the day before to keep in your car for the next day. On top of all that, just getting into the mindset that it’s possible to go a full day without spending a dollar starts the habit of watching how you spend money every day. ©Oax_Mike, reddit
Instead of spending $20 a month on printer cartridges, I spent $60 on a continuous feed system that I can fill for almost nothing.
On every payday, I move half of what I had left over from the last pay period over into my savings account. (Paying myself). Sometimes it’s not a lot but it has added up quickly. I also add $5 to each of my kids’ savings accounts every payday. They each have over $1,000 and my personal savings has just reached 5 figures. As a single mom, who has always lived paycheck to paycheck, I have surprised myself. ©cupcakejenn, reddit
Replant green onions, leeks, and other veggies and put them in houseplants to save a little bit extra. It’s also fun to watch them grow, even if they die you have just wasted scrap bits anyway. Here, you will find a list of what you can grow on a balcony or your windowsill.
I made an Excel spreadsheet to budget with. It has all my bills, what I make each month, and what to put aside to save any specific amount. So far this year alone, I’ve managed to save $4,000. ©anaslex247365, reddit
Window Film — $25 per window. Frosted Glass Spray Paint — $6 per can.
When you go shopping, especially grocery shopping: make a list and stick to it. And never grocery shop on an empty stomach. Or after a busy day or week. You’ll be more inclined to buy bad food and make poorer purchasing decisions. ©Sumit316, reddit
We bought a mattress at IKEA. It cost around $300 (at the end of 2014). 4 years later, I noticed that the mattress got crumpled on my side. Then, I remembered that IKEA warranty for this and many other products is 25 years. I filled out a form on the website and started waiting. I got a call back the next day and they asked me to take a photo of the mattress and the tag with the date of manufacture. A week later, I had a new mattress that now costs about $350.
Potatoes. Keep plenty of them in stock — they can sit for a long time in the pantry or fridge, they’re versatile, easy to cook, and filling. ©Aggyness, reddit
Spent $2 on 4 heads of garlic last fall, now I have over 70 heads of garlic all braided together.
Buy a box of cheap envelopes and label them like this: Food week 1, Food week 2, Food week 3, Food week 4. Make an envelope for any bill you pay in cash. Then set a reasonable but small budget for each item. Each week you take the grocery money and ONLY spend that amount on food. Make adjustments based on sales, seasonal items, etc. to get as much food as you can for that amount of money. When money is left over from a week you put it in the empty envelope... and this money can only be used for one thing: fun. ©Oax_Mike, reddit
Saved a bunch of money by making my own granola rather than buying it, and it’s healthier too!
I was pretty bad about really wanting things and buying them as soon as I got paid, of course as the end of the month came near I had barely any money left and struggled. To fix this, instead of buying things at the start of the month I decided to buy things at the end of the month if I still had enough of that month’s wages left over to do so. If I didn’t, then I did the same again and waited till the end of the next month, and of course, with last month’s leftovers plus the new month’s wages, by the end of the 2nd month I had enough and sometimes saved money since the item I wanted was now cheaper. ©DarkangelUK, reddit
A lifehack for coffee fans: a French press can save you an incredible amount of money because you won’t have to go to coffee places but you will still be able to drink good coffee. You can find small tricks to make your coffee even tastier here.
Some expenses are harder to reduce than others. For me, it was eating out at work. Nearly every day I’d spend about $8.50 for a mediocre burrito, sandwich, or some other culinary money trap. It took a while to get into a routine of making meals to remedy this, but when you do some quick math, it becomes really hard to justify my previous habit. I’m able to get 4 meals out of a crockpot that also costs about a total of $8.50. Previously, 4 lunches would have cost me $34, so this saves me $25.50 each time. This is amplified if we look at the time cost. Picking up the extra groceries only takes a few minutes a week, and the prepping and dumping of the food into the crock pot doesn’t take much time either. It totals about 20 minutes. So I’m saving $25.50 for 20 minutes of work. That’s $76.50/hour, way more than I’m currently paid. ©Chi_FIRE, reddit
In order to make giving up buying business lunches easier, mark the days when you brought lunch with you (black color) and bought lunch in a cafe (red color). This little trick is not only very motivating but it will also show you how much you saved during a month.
My phone was very slow, so I did a back-up of my stuff, reset the phone, and installed only the apps I really use, and now it works really well. After the factory reset, I got 50% of my storage back and it’s way faster. ©bloody_hamster, reddit
Make homemade dog toys from old jeans and replacement squeakers if you don’t want to pay that much for something that is destroyed in under 5 minutes by your dog.
I was kind of shocked/thrilled when I reviewed my family’s recent bank statements and saw that the revamping of our meal planning (well, the creation of a meal plan instead of nothing) is saving us $400 a month. We did some pretty basic things, the main one being a spreadsheet of recipes that are 1) inexpensive, 2) have a cheap high-calorie ingredient and 3) are large enough for leftovers. ©dcgrey, reddit
I used to smoke a pack of cigarettes per day. I quit more than a year ago and I totally forgot that I was keeping track of my savings. As it turned out, I saved more than $5,000.
Which of these lifehacks are you going to use? Tell us in the comment section below and share your tips on saving money.
Preview photo credit starstufft / reddit