While creating a life you love, it's very important to have financial freedom and two simple rules to have it is: one, make more money and two, save more money.
Last week I gave you some amazing examples of jobs you can start as your side hustle to make more money. This week we will focus on saving money during quarantine!
I have always been money conscious. I remember once when I was younger, I went to summer camp with my brother. He spent all his money and had to message my mum to send him more. I came back from camp with presents for everyone and still had some spare money saved.
Right now, it's especially important to be money conscious, but even when there isn't a global pandemic, you still want to save some money, whether it's for a house, new car or like me... experiences, I usually spend some of the money I've saved to travel the world.
1. Save on rent.
If you are still young, you know how tempting it is to move out from your parents asap, but trust me... paying rent is no joke. A much smarter and easier way is to take living with your parents as an opportunity. Work hard and save up while you don't have to pay rent. This way when you are ready to move out you will already have money to invest in your own business or get your own apartment that you can rent with someone, instead of jumping straight into expenses and spending money you don't have, especially when you are a student!
I regret living on my own at a young age!
2. Write down all your expenses.
Go back through your spendings, write them down and keep track of how much you are spending and what on? How much did you spend on food, clothing, entertainment and so on. This will help you be more aware and manage where you can cut unnecessary costs! Did you really need the second pair of shoes which look exactly the same as the pair you just got a month ago?
A good idea is to challenge yourself and set goals. For example, spend $50 less on food or entertainment this month. And the month after... $100 less! It's totally doable! And it's already $1,200 saved in a year! You could invest this money or get a ticket to Europe next year!
3. Cancel subscriptions.
I'm sure there are quite a few things you are subscribed to that you don't really use or you can put on hold. I was subscribed to Stan and Disney, while only using Netflix. As well as various apps I got and used just once in my life!
If you like books, a nice alternative to these paid subscriptions is Libby. Libby is a free app where you can rent digital books and audiobooks from your local library so you don't have to spend a fortune on books which will just sit on a shelf and collect dust after you read them.
4. Use codes.
I prefer to cook at home. I don't go out to eat very often, mostly because I hate spending additional money on something I can do at home for cheaper. Also, being on a keto diet, it's really difficult to get good, reasonably priced meals. Unfortunately, when you eat out they usually feed you with cheap ingredients which they overcharge you for, like pasta or fries and so on, all carbs and sugar.
But, when I do go out, I take a look at Groupon first. It's a great way to discover new restaurants and adventures! You can also use Google or sites like FrugalFeeds to check for discount codes. You wouldn't believe how much money you can save this way, especially when you are a local in a touristy city! I cannot remember the last time I paid for something full price. Also, there are so many more in-house deals restaurants offer like happy hour and Taco Tuesday!
And instead of an expensive date night, where you would easily spend $150 for a dinner and a few drinks, go for a picnic, free open-air cinema or any other free activity around your city!
5. Plan your meals around grocery store sales.
Every week there are different deals in each store, go online and check what deals they have this week and plan some meals around them. It's especially good when you have some friends over for a big dinner.
And I cannot stress it enough, make a grocery list and buy ONLY what's on the list and don't go shopping when you are hungry. Not a good idea!!! It's easy to start wandering around and get all the little things that you didn't initially plan to get, and then you pay $50 or even $100 more than you were planning!!
6. Make your own lunch for work and buy less coffee.
I literally 99% of the time have my own lunch. Even though my uni friends or colleagues were going to cafes for lunches, spending around $15 for lunch, I would just take my own homemade sushi or whatever I felt like bringing that day. That's another... $75 per week saved and almost 4k per year!!! Plus, if you get Starbucks every day for example... that takes you close to $5k a year!
7. Use cashback apps.
Like ShopBack, when you shop through their platform you get cash back on your purchases. Simple and easy! They have thousands of brands like ASOS, The Body Shop, Sephora, UberEats or even Amazon! It literally rewards you for shopping at places where you would normally shop anyway, so it's kinda silly not to use it.
Search Results Web result with site links 8. Stop impulse buying. Did you know that online retail stores rely a great deal on impulse buyers?! That's why many of these stores will increase their prices, as they know an impulse buyer will most likely get it right now without checking other options. A good tip is: when you feel like you need something, write it down in a calendar, I would give it a week or even a month and when the day comes you will know if you REALLY need this item. In most cases, you will be thankful, because you'll forget you even wanted the item in the first place. And that $90 can go towards something more important like the house or car of your dreams. 9. Swap things. Sell or exchange things you don't use anymore, like clothes or old gadgets. And when it comes to buying things like a bike or golf clubs, try buying them second-hand. The good thing about buying used is, you don't have to constantly worry about damaging or losing something brand new. I once bought an amazing brand new bike in London, and I loved it!! But then... I just stressed over it every time I left it outside. And yeah... of course, someone stole it one day anyway :/ I bet if it was second-hand I would still have it :P So if you're interested in selling some of your stuff or buying second-hand items online, I would recommend using platforms like Poshmark or Facebook Marketplace. Just remember to stay safe and avoid scammers! 10. DIY. To be honest, I prefer making many things at home such as body oil or scrubs over buying them in the store. It's usually cheaper and I know it was made all-natural! For my body oil, I create a mixture with coconut oil as the main ingredient. I can use it on my face, body or even to nourish my hair. Plus it makes me smell like cookies! There are so many fun and easy DIY ideas online, and what better opportunity than now to explore the possibilities. 11. Cut your own hair. I cannot remember the last time I went to a hairdresser. Possibly 12 years ago! Seriously! That alone has saved me more than a thousand dollars a year!! It's a lot easier than you think to learn to cut your own hair! I have cut my own hair for years and I love it! In fact, everyone compliments my hair. And sometimes you spend all this money to cut and colour your hair at a salon, and you are not even happy with the outcome. But, when you learn what styles you love and how to do it... life becomes so much easier... and cheaper too! There are lots of youtube videos on how to cut your hair in different styles. If you need help with dying your hair, you can always ask a friend to help you. 12. Establish your financial boundaries. Try writing down what you can afford to spend more money on and what you should go cheaper on. For example, personally, I'm not that into makeup. I don't use it that much and I'm not very interested or experienced with it. I literally use 5 basic products, maybe 6 if I want to add some blush on my cheeks. I know many girls that spend LOTS of money on cosmetics. So, because I save by not buying many cosmetics, I am able to spend more on things that are more important to me like... booking a hotel in a good location when I'm traveling. It's all about learning what's important to you and what are your priorities. So that's it, guys! If you have any tips on saving money please leave a comment and let us know under the video!