Lets face it: most of us are constantly looking for more ways to save money. Unfortunately, we get so wrapped up in ways to save on outings, products, and activities that we just end up overlooking the budget investments we can easily make in our everyday lives.
It’s simpler than we think to save on things we want to, and it’s also important to save on the things we have to. Saving money is just one of those inevitable pet peeves, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a mundane task. Set your good old piggy bank in the back of the closet, because these five nifty ways of cutting back will make the whole ordeal at least ten times less painful.
Thinking up of a budget can be a pain in the butt, but there are definitely ways to do in a more enjoyable manner. Instead of relying on your debit/credit card for transactions, take out some cash at the beginning of the week for a fresh start. First, decide on a specific amount you are willing to spend per week. After you are ready, extract the cash, and leave your account alone for the rest of the week, let alone even think about it. This method will keep you from overspending any time soon, which can easily be done with a debit card (never underestimate the power of the debit card – ever). Not only that, but also it will help you make sound decisions on what to/what not to spend on. With limited weekly funds, eating out four times a week won’t seem so appealing anymore. Think money, think rational.
Pay for Bad Habits
Not surprisingly, this is probably a tactic that may not appear as fascinating to some people. The whole idea is quite simple – once you’ve taken out the cash, decide on a denomination to save. To start off, choose a habit you cannot break but you’d like to get rid of. Have a jar and label it with that bad habit, then choose a denomination to put in the jar every time you find yourself partaking in the particular habit. Take swearing, for instance. If you want to correct this habit by cutting down on profanity, label the jar “Cursing Habit”, and deposit $1 in the jar every time you catch yourself dropping the f-bomb. Hopefully, you’ll earn a reasonable amount of profit that way and get rid of the habit as well. After all, who wouldn’t want to kill two birds with one stone?
Do-It-Yourself Household Cleaning Supplies
The DIY lifestyle is rapidly dominating the media and the boundaries of homeware industry, and the rising culture is there for a reason. If you’re fed up with reaching for cleaning products of heavy price tags and names you can barely pronounce, then head to your local grocery store for several basic materials, and just make your own! From oxygen bleach to dry fabric softener, you’ll be astonished at how effortless these DIYs are to pull off. To top it all off, the homemade supplies cost pennies per concoction to create, with better results. Through some research and the help of Pinterest, the making of cleaning supplies is extremely cost-effective, and totally eco-friendly.
Use Your Points Wisely
Many of us cannot live without a credit card safely tucked in our pockets. Sometimes, it’s better to just satisfy your cravings rather than getting stressed about not having them. So if you plan to use your credit cards, make sure to actually take advantage of the given rewards. Most card companies have a point system that you can use to earn free goods, gift cards, and even cash back. Use your credit or debit cards for what you’d normally spend on- snacks, school supplies, books, etc. A note of reminder here is to never put off paying back your credit card bills. Place the cash aside to pay off the credit cards immediately, and you save yourself from interest charges while still getting the free points. One word, eight letters: s-o-l-u-t-i-o-n.
Take Advantage of Public Transportation
Although it might be a clichéd idea that is stressed upon everyone all the time, it’s never wrong to go back to the basics. Public transportation can save you a bundle on commuting costs because you won’t have to spend money on parking spaces, gas, and auto maintenance. Plus, you can probably get a lower insurance rate for driving less (a little advice for all the commuting teachers out there). So rather than pestering your parents for a car ride, take the subway or the bus to get to your desired destination. If that is not possible, remember: at least two heads are better than one when it comes to commuting. To reduce gas costs, you can always carpool around with your friends. However, if all fails, walking is always an option, too. It’s never too late to go green and save your bank account along the way. Hop on the bus, Gus!
Everybody loves a good deal, but they don’t want to sacrifice comfort nor quality at the same time. So try out these five tips on how you can cut your costs – without having to compromise your standards!
– Ashley Kim (‘18)