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Ways to Save Money by Changing Your Methods...

Updated: Feb 25, 2021

Saving money can be a real struggle or even completely impossible at times. Many financial strategists advise you should save 15% of your income for retirement. Whether you are saving for a current goal or retirement, making some changes along the way can help you reach your goals.

1) Cook at home and eat what is already in the fridge and pantry

Eating out costs an average of $13 to over $20 per person, per meal. Keep in mind possible extra costs for tips and food delivery charges. The average cooked meal at home costs just $4-5 per person on average. If you don't know how to can learn for free! There are a plethora of free recipes online. Start with your favorite recipes, and branch into new things. You will get better and cooking at home, and it will become easier.

If you already cook at home, be sure to use up what you already have. Food can expire quickly, and experts say we throw away up to 40% of our expired food. Be sure to check the fridge and pantry for expiring foods, and make meals out of those foods first!

Cooking at home and using expired foods save you thousands per year. When you go to restaurants or order in, it will be a treat and you will appreciate it more.

2) Evaluate your transportation costs

New and late-model vehicles can be extremely expensive. It is not necessary to purchase or lease a new model every three years. Buying a pre-owned vehicle instead lowers your initial cost by thousands. It is recommended to research and purchase a 3-4 year old vehicle with a high reliability and resale rating. Also, consider vehicles with high fuel economy and even electric vehicles. Ideally, experts say to drive and maintain your vehicle for 8-10 years

to further lower your transportation costs. When you are ready to purchase another vehicle, you can still sell yours and receive some money back. Other alternatives include taking the bus, train, biking, or walking when possible.

3) DIY when you can

Do it yourself tasks and projects can save thousands. You can save by doing your own nails, facials, hair trims, and waxes. There are a host of You Tube videos to help teach you professional methods. Iron your own shirts or invest in a handheld steamer for a quicker method. (You can also avoid purchasing items that are dry clean only since the extra expense is so high.) Around the house, certain projects you can DIY vs. hiring a contractor.

There are online videos for every project imaginable. If you are up for the task, you can rent the project tools (if needed) and save hundreds or thousands.

4) Cancel unnecessary services and subscriptions

Consider cutting the cord from expensive TV service providers, and opt for a lower-cost streaming service. To go cost-free, you can even purchase an antenna or TV with free antenna channels built-in. (You will still need internet service for streaming and the TV with built-in channels.) Cut out gym memberships by exercising at home. There are endless free exercise routines online with cardio and weight training available. You can buy used exercise equipment, and weights from local sellers are a fraction of the new price (Craigslist, FB Marketplace). You can also cancel memberships for massages, magazines, book clubs, apps, etc. Look at your monthly spending and cut out unnecessary things. The savings will add up!

5) Start bargain hunting and purchasing second hand

New retail purchases have the most mark-up and inflated prices. Purchasing used will save hundreds, if not thousands, in the course of a year. If you love name brands, try online sellers, consignment shops, and thrift stores first. You will be shocked by what bargains you can find! You can find almost anything used, in good to near excellent condition.

Here is a shortlist of used items you find locally or online:

Clothing, shoes, bags, luggage, accessories, furniture, appliances, sporting goods, game consoles & games, home decor, kitchen & bath essentials. The list is endless! My number one rule is before I make a new retail purchase, I try to source it used locally or online.

Final notes:

For fun, you can also track how much money you would have spent and see your savings add up! Here's to saving money and being well!

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