No matter where you are on your financial journey, you need to know that it’s possible for anyone to turn their
financial life around. Sometimes all it takes is that first step in the right direction to get things moving in your favor. But, as with most things, sometimes that very first step is the hardest part.
There are many ways to save money that are easy and fun. Here are 21 painless ways to save money:
1. Instead of buying a new phone every year, replace your battery
An easy one: If your iPhone starts to feel sluggish, don’t spend hundreds upgrading to a new phone after only a year or two. Just get a replacement $29 battery through the Apple Store or authorized service provider. Apple recently admitted to slowing down phone performance as the device’s battery ages, and, after customer outcry, it lowered the price of replacement batteries.
2. Turn off the television
One big way to save money is to drastically cut down on the amount of television you watch. There are a lot of financial benefits to this: less exposure to spending-inducing ads, a lower electric bill (and perhaps a lower cable bill if you downgrade your subscription), more time to focus on other things in life — such as a side business — and so on.
3. Make your own gifts instead of buying stuff from the store
If you want to save money while also giving generously, creating your own homemade gifts is one way to accomplish both goals. You can make food mixes, candles, fresh-baked bread or cookies, soap, and all kinds of other things at home quite easily and inexpensively.
4. Master the 30-day rule
Avoiding instant gratification is one of the most important rules of personal finance, and waiting 30 days to decide on a purchase is an excellent way to implement that rule.
Quite often, after a month has passed, you’ll find that the urge to buy has passed as well, and you’ll have saved yourself some money simply by waiting. If you’re on the fence about a purchase anyway, waiting a while can give you a better perspective on whether it’s truly worth the money.
5. Write a list before you go shopping – and stick to it
One of the easiest ways to save money is to only shop when you have a list. Because when you’re without one, you typically end up making impulse buys and unplanned purchases – all things that cost money.
6. Quit smoking
If you’re still a smoker, you have to know by now that your habit is not only expensive, but potentially deadly as well. If you want to add years to your life and save a boatload of money, the easiest thing to do is to stop smoking altogether.
7. Use public transport
Some places can only be reached by car. But as a good practise, check your public transport website and see if any routes pass nearby where you need to get to. Walk as much as you can.
8. Choose deodorant, not perfume
It blows my mind when someone drops $70 on a bottle of spray. Stick with a nice deodorant, and not only will you smell just fine but you’ll be sweat-free as well!
9. Minimize SMS and phone calls
A combination of a free chat service such as WhatsApp and a free call service such as Skype can reduce your bill to nothing (so long as you have a decent Wifi connection).
10. Shop around for insurance
Most people don’t spend enough time searching for the best insurance deal. Keep a watchful eye out for deals and new competitors in the market.
11. Try re-negotiating your rent/mortgage
If you have built up a good credit history, or a good rapport with your landlord, then chances are a frank chat about needing to tighten your spending could result in lowering your payments. You’ve nothing to lose from trying.
12. Have house parties
Instead of paying for overpriced drinks, set up a series of in-house get-togethers with your friends. Everyone takes a turn, so it’s not always your house that needs cleaning. For sound insulation hang heavy drapes on the walls and windows. For music, invest in a good second-hand set of speakers which you can connect to your computer. Let Spotify or Grooveshark playlists do the rest.
13. Open festivals, meetups and events
It never fails to surprise me how much underground stuff goes on around me for free or for very cheap. Find out who runs the blogs and websites that list all the less well-known cultural activities.
14. Say no and don’t feel pressured to do what everyone else is doing
Don’t feel pressured by friends, kids or colleagues into spending money you don’t have. It’s okay to say “no” now and then!
15. Bottle your own water
There’s something satisfying about bottled water, but that doesn’t mean you have to buy a new bottle every day. Buy the bottle and then subsequently refill it from a tap or water cooler.
16. Eat more vegetables
When it comes to meat versus veggies, the latter is both cheaper and more nutritionally valuable. We’re not saying go vegetarian, but eating less meat and more vegetables will help out your weekly budget.
17. Pay your bills on time and avoid late fees – they can be $10 or more per bill
Paying your bills on time is also a great way to keep your credit record clean. If you struggle with your bills, set up a regular repayment amount to even out the cashflow.
18. Get healthy
Your health will directly impact the cost of life insurance. Healthier people are likely to spend less on actual healthcare, too. And, in some cases, becoming healthier may reduce your health insurance premiums.
19. Monitor your bank balance
To avoid paying overdrawn fees, ensure that the interest rate is correct and that you have not been charged for purchases you didn’t make.
20. Cancel memberships you don’t use
If you’ve got a gym membership, sports club membership, or something similar that you’re paying for but not using, cancel that ASAP. You’re just throwing money away.
21. Do the stuff on this list
I’m serious! It’s one thing to read a list of savings tips – but if you really do want to save money, you actually need to follow the advice. So get on it.