Being in quarantine I have been spending less money, as I am sure many of you have been too. This has made me reflect on ways I can spend less and save money once quarantine is over as well. Here are my top 12 ways to spend less and save money!
12 Ways to Spend Less and Save Money
1. Spend less and save money on food
Who loves to eat out? I know I sure do! As much as I love eating out, it can easily take up a good chunk of your pay check. It is so much cheaper to cook at home, and usually a lot healthier too. Budget how much you want to spend on dining out each month, and don’t allow yourself to go over that amount. Also shop around for groceries, and see where you can find the best deals for food. Buying store brands are usually cheaper than name brands, and can save you a lot of money.
2. Make your own tea and coffee
Like food, tea and coffee is an easy way to spend a lot of your money. Spend less and save money by limiting how frequently you get Starbucks and make your drinks at home! Invest in a Keurig and you could save yourself hundreds of dollars down the line. I also bought a super cute coffee cup that I love using, because it makes me feel like I am still getting my drink from Starbucks even when I’m not! This cup can be purchased from Lauren McKenzie Decals on Etsy.
3. Workout from home or change memberships at the gym
The gym can be so expensive. If going to the gym is something you love, and do regularly, you definitely should continue to go. However, if you find you rarely get to the gym and you are spending a lot of money on your membership, there are a few ways you can spend less and save money.
First, evaluate how often you go to the gym. If you go once a week but have an unlimited membership, it may benefit you to see if there is a different membership you can change to. Another way to save money, is by going to a cheaper gym. There are some gyms like Planet Fitness that only cost $10 a month! Lastly, there are so many good at home workouts you can do. I have just started the Chloe Ting Summer Shred Challenge, and I have a better workout then if I were to go to the gym myself! There are thousands of great apps and YouTube videos that can help make working out at home easier.
4. Cut back on subscription services
It is so easy to join a ton of different subscription services, because let’s face it, no one subscription service has it all! I’m not saying to unsubscribe to them all, but there are a few ways you can spend less and save money. Consider splitting the cost of a subscription service with your friends and family in order to reduce the cost. You should also take advantage of free trials to see if you really enjoy that service. I would also evaluate the subscriptions you have every few months, and see how often you truly use them, and whether it makes sense for you to continue using that service!
5. Cut back on the number of clothes you buy
This one is something I have definitely been trying to work on. I love clothes, and always want to have the newest fashion. It can be easy to get caught up in thinking that you need to have the newest styles and trends, but this is not true! Rather than not buy new clothes, invest in items that are timeless, and can be worn multiple ways. Also, there are so many clothes you can purchase that are so similar to designer items, but are a fraction of the cost.
You can spend less and save money by going through your closet and writing down which items of clothing you need. I recommend doing this for each season. This way you are buying with purpose, and not just buying those jeans you really don’t need (Guilty!). Another thing to do is sell clothes you no longer wear, and use that money to buy new pieces. I recommend selling clothes at stores such as Plato’s Closet, Uptown Cheapskate, or online on Poshmark or Curtsy.
6. Switch to drugstore makeup brands
Something I have learnt is that you do not need to buy the most expensive makeup brands for everyday wear. This has helped me to spend less and save money, because previously I would purchase all the expensive brands. I would suggest purchasing drugstore makeup for everyday use, and using the more expensive brands when you are going out or have a more special event on. I have also learnt not to buy a hundred different makeup items at once. I have over 10 eyeshadow palettes, and I am yet to finish a single one. By purchasing only one or two of each item, you won’t be wasting your money and cluttering up your house.
7. Invest in a water bottle
Repeat after me: You do not need to buy bottled water! Not purchasing bottled water will save you a lot of money, and not only will you spend less and save money, you are doing something good for the environment too! Invest in a good water bottle, I personally use a S’well bottle and I love it, as it keeps my water cold for hours. You should also consider investing in a Brita water filter. Not only do they filter the water, but put it in the fridge and you have nice cold water.
8. Borrow books from the library
How many of you buy books and leave them on your shelves? I know I am definitely guilty of this. I love books, but they can be really expensive! You can spend less and save money by borrowing books from the library. The library has a great selection of books, and that way you don’t end up paying for books you don’t read. Also if you don’t like the book you can just return it to the library.
For college students, I would recommend waiting until class starts to purchase your textbooks, unless you know you really need it. I have purchased textbooks for classes before only to use it once the whole semester. I could have saved a ton of money by just borrowing it from the library. Also, don’t be afraid to search the internet, I have found a ton of my books for class online for a fraction of the price the book store was selling it for, and sometimes I have even found books for free!
Looking for other items to stop buying? Checkout 15 Things I Stopped Buying to Save Money.
9. Don’t purchase fancy cocktails
This is one I struggle with! I LOVE fancy cocktails, but unfortunately they are much more expensive. Making the switch to wine or beer can help you spend less and save money. Another way to save money is by purchasing cheaper liquor brands, and having a few drinks prior to the bar, so you don’t spend all your money there.
10. Take advantage of your credit card benefits
I am in no way recommending that anyone get a credit card, but if you have a credit card or are looking to get one, do your research and take advantage of the benefits. Some credit cards offer great bonuses when you join, which can help you spend less and save money.
Also, many credit cards give you cash back on eligible purchases. My credit card with Bank of America gives me different deals each month from a variety of retaillers such as Starbucks, Airbnb, and Five Guys, where I can earn 5-10% cash back on purchases I make. The only catch is, I have to add the deals to my card, so I need to check regularly to see if any new deals have been added. If your credit card is not giving you any significant benefits, consider looking into new credit cards that may help you spend less and save money.
11. Shop during sales
Sales happen all year around, and you can usually get items for much less than the original cost. I know some of my favorite stores such as Abercrombie, American Eagle, and Forever 21, ALWAYS have sales. I rarely buy anything from these stores full price, as I know it will likely go on sale within the next few weeks. If you are needing to purchase an expensive item for your home, I recommend waiting until the huge sales events such as Black Friday, or Amazon Prime Day if you are able to wait. By waiting for sales you are guaranteed to spend less and save money.
12. Use apps that help you to spend less and make money
If you didn’t already know, I am a HUGE fan of cash back and money making apps. You can read about the 15 best money making apps for college students here. I have saved hundreds of dollars using these apps such as Ibotta, Honey, and Rakuten. I would recommend downloading these apps, and using them to help spend less and save money, as well as give you cash back on purchases you are already making. You can also make money with some of these apps for doing next to nothing, which is also a great way to increase your savings.
I hope these 12 ways to spend less and save money help you! If you have any suggestions on ways to spend less or save money, comment below! I am always looking for ways to reduce my spending. As always, thanks for reading!