An article came out a while back that lets you calculate how much you've made your entire life.
I immediately got a rush of anxiety and did not open the article because I was terrified to see my total income vs. how much I've actually saved.
This feeling alone was a huge wake-up call for me.
The average person doesn't have enough in savings to pay off a $500 medical bill. Many people don't have a fund in place for emergencies.
How many of us are struggling and living paycheck to paycheck?
It's never too late to start saving money. It's better to start now than to never have started at all.
I've shared a ton of money-saving tips on FITnancials, but this time I wanted to think outside the box and share tips that aren't so obvious. Some of these things might gross people out or might be too difficult for you to do, and I understand that!
The whole point of saving money is trying your best and cutting purchases when you can.
Think about how good it'll feel when you can put a huge chunk of money toward your credit card or into your emergency fund.
Below are 9 tips to get you saving more money each month. Enjoy!
1. Prepackaged Foods
Prepacked foods usually have a ton of added preservatives and other harmful ingredients, Ditch certain canned and prepackaged food that have harmful ingredients.
These end up costing you money, and learning how to make these foods is actually really easy! I'm constantly checking out Minimalist Baker's page for free and more importantly, easy recipes.
What to do instead: Get an Instant Pot and prepare meals the day before by throwing a few ingredients into the pot. Your meal will be ready the next day, and preparation takes very little time.
2. Books & Magazines
Eliminating 1 purchased book every 2 weeks can save around $40 a month or $480 a year.
You also create less clutter in your house by simultaneously helping out the environment a little by using less paper.
What to do instead: Check out Audible. You can get a 30-day trial for free here, which gives you 2 books that will last forever. If you don't love a book, they let you swap it out for free.
3. Vitamins and Supplements
There has been article after article about supplements, saying which ones you should and shouldn't take, and they all contradict each other.
Many doctors have even come out saying that you don't need to take vitamins, as long as you get a sufficient amount from your food.
What to do instead: Go to your doctor and find out from the best source which exact vitamins you should take and if you even need any. If you're on a special diet, then you should definitely look into what vitamins you need.
Related: Ibotta is a money-saving app for groceries (even fruits and vegetables), clothing, services, and more. It's really easy to use as you only have to redeem what products you want in the app snap a photo of your receipt. Get $10 for signing up here.
Tampons and pads have ingredients in them that aren't really regulated. Shocked?
Me too! Somehow, tampons don't need regulations around their ingredients. Read the other reasons you shouldn't be wearing tampons here. It's kind of scary.
Actually, it's really scary.
What to do instead: Invest in a Diva Cup. They range around $30 and can last a year, or more depending on how well you care for it. They're also amazing for the environment, as tampons are destructive to the environment.
Fun fact: Did you know almost 7 billion tampons and 13 million pads are dumped into the landfill every year?
5. Cut Car Mechanic Costs
Disclaimer: Don't try to fix your car if there are extreme damages (obviously). I felt that was necessary. If you must go to a shop, I would check in with neighbors and YELP reviews. I've saved a lot of money and headache from checking others reviews first.
What to do instead: Figure out how to do basic things yourself, such as changing a flight, switching windshield wiper blades, and staying up to date on maintenance such as keeping your tires inflated or checking fluid levels. Getting a Diagnostic Tool to check why your engine light came on is a good idea, too.
Related: Ebates can be used for flights, clothes, electronics, tax services, and so much more. All you do is log in to Ebates and find the store you want to shop at, and you'll get a certain amount of cash back. (It'll tell you beforehand). Get $10 for signing up here.
6. Cut Subscriptions
Spotify, Netflix, Hulu, and other monthly box subscriptions can add up fast. A simple $10 a month subscription can equate to $120 a month, and when you add all of the other subscriptions you have, it amounts to hundreds.
What to do instead: Watch videos on YouTube, or check out television channels such as CW or ABC. They have free episodes you can watch on both your computer or by the app.
Related: 50+ Ways To Make Extra Money
7. Paper Towels
13 billion paper towels are thrown away each year.
When you cut paper towel spending, you not only save time, but you're drastically helping the environment. They say the average person can save around $1,000 in a few years by cutting this simple item.
What to do instead: Invest in cloth napkins that will pay for themselves over and over again. You'll produce less waste, save money, and help the environment. There's no reason not to use cloth napkins.
8. Gym Membership
The average membership goes for $480 a year and is one of the best ways to eliminate spending if you're trying to save money.
What to do instead: Check out YouTube trainers, Sworkit, 7 Minute Workout, YouTube With Adrienne, Fitness Blender or Blogilates. The list is endless.
I've always found detergent to be so expensive, which is why I started getting interested in making my own. Creating your own detergent is incredibly easy and more importantly, cheap.
What to do instead: Learn how to make laundry detergent here.
J.D. and I are trying to save money any way possible, as we are trying to build our savings before we graduate.
We've looked up pretty much anyway to save money, and we're definitely not perfect, but have eliminated a lot of wasteful and unnecessary purchases! I think you should give it and try. 🙂
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Related articles to read:
- 16 Real Work From Home Jobs That Pay Up To $75,000 A Year
- 7 Books To Become A Better and Happier You
- Healthiest Foods For A Tight Budget
What things have you stopped buying to save money?
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