11 Painless Ways to Save Money Like a Pro
There’s no better feeling than having money in your pocket. It can best be described as security wrapped up in relaxation, with a sprinkle of happiness on top. Having money in your account means that you can pay bills, save for a splurge, or even donate to a worthwhile cause.
The word “save” shouldn’t be synonymous with sacrifice. Saving money doesn’t have to mean meals of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or wearing three sweaters and refusing to turn on the heat.
It’s not all doom and gloom. In fact, saving money should be considered a fun activity!
When you save, you flex your creative-thinking muscles, try new things, and watch the stacks of money pile up. You get to think of the best ways to save money for your personality and situation.
Maybe getting a roommate isn’t ideal for you because you enjoy walking around in your skivvies, but you can save boatloads of money by selling your car and opting for a bus pass instead. Or maybe you found that you passionately love shopping at thrift stores, and malls (with their high price tags) are now dead to you. Total control — what fun!
I’ve compiled a list of 11 painless ways to save money. Use these as a jumping-off point to discover what approach you want to take to saving.
1. Clothing Swaps
This is one of my favorite ways to spend time with friends and to score some new clothes. Everyone brings something they don’t want anymore and picks up something new. Totally free, totally fun.
2. Negotiate With Your Landlord
Can you do some work on your home to save on rent? Sometimes if you can fix a leak or take care of the lawn, landlords may lower your rent.
3. Only Shop on Tax-Free Days or in Tax-Free States
New Hampshire, Oregon, Alaska, Montana, and Delaware are the only U.S. states that are tax-free. If you live near state lines, do all your shopping in one of those states. Personally, I go to New Hampshire for Christmas every year. I stock up on toiletries and clothes, then fly them back to my home in Texas. (The state tax in Texas is over eight percent!)
4. Buy In-Season Food at Your Grocery Store
Grocery stores have seasons. If you shop for in-season food, you’ll save on groceries throughout the year.
You can save even more on your groceries by using apps like Ibotta to score discounts on your food.
5. Stop Buying Meat for a Week
I know meat is a staple of the American diet, but it’s much more expensive than vegetables. Try a meat-free week, and you can save a hefty chunk of money. Instead, focus your shopping on vegetables, beans, and carbs.
6. Insulate Your House and Stop Air Leaks
Many houses are poorly insulated, and air leaks can drive up your electric bill. Use door “snakes” to stop drafts. And if you can, also try insulating your house.
7. Give Up Going to Bars and Restaurants for a Week
You may be shocked by how much you can save with just a one-week ban on eating and drinking out. If you skip two happy hours and two lunches out, you can easily save $30 in one week.
8. Skip Salons and Hit Up Beauty Schools
Need a haircut or dye job regularly? Try skipping the salon. Instead, turn to your local beauty school. Students need practice, and they’ll give you a steep discount to get it.
9. Make Gifts at Home
Birthdays, anniversaries, and the holidays all call for gifts. Try your hand at something like homemade candles or cookies instead of hitting up the mall.
10. Time Your Showers
Water’s fairly cheap, but it’s also a precious resource. Only one percent of Earth’s water is available for human use. Spending three minutes or less in the shower will see your water bill drop. Plus, you’ll be doing the Earth a favor.
11. Make Your Own Cleaning Solutions
Homemade cleaning solutions are another Earth-friendly option that saves you money. Baking soda and white vinegar are cheap, but powerful cleaning solutions that you can use at home.
A Final Thought
Again, these aren’t the only ways to save money — they’re just starting points. Change them around to fit your life and needs. Use your creativity to choose which money-saving tactics work best for you!