20 Incredible Ways To Save Money In 2018
Your financial situation is extremely dependent on your spending habits – are you someone who likes to save money and only buy necessities, or are you someone who splurges your entire month’s paycheck in a week? Whatever situation you’re in – you can change it in a few easy ways.
Whether you change your bank account or start writing shopping lists, small changes like these could become big savings in your pocket. Even interest rates on your spendings/savings account at your current bank could mean the difference of being able to afford a treat for yourself once in a while. If you want to find out 20 ways of saving money, read on.
1. Going Out
If you love to socialize, spending nights at a bar or club each week could seriously be hurting your bank account. You can still see your friends or family – just do it at home, or at one of their houses. Take turns at hosting a social night each week, and watch the savings grow.
If you enjoy having a drink with your friends, buy alcohol and have a fun night at home – it is usually a lot cheaper to buy them at a liquor store than it is at a pub/club, and you won’t have to pay for a taxi to get home!
2. Entertaining Children
If you have children, you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars each month on buying them new toys – make your own or repurpose old ones. Sure, you can’t exactly make the new iPhone in your garage out of stuff you have laying around your house, but you can make something almost as fun. Make it a family affair; if you’ve got young children let them have an input – they’ll much rather play with something they helped create than something you whipped up alone.
Whether it’s picking up a cheap, day-old newspaper from your local store and letting them have fun on the puzzle page(s) at the back, or allocating sections of your garden for them to create their own paradise, the possibilities are endless.
Many of us try to declutter once in a while – but what do you do with all of the old stuff; throw it out? If you do, then your bank account will be a lot better off if you sell it. Even selling things for $1 can add up; or you could even donate items and keep a receipt to claim it as a tax deduction.
4. Drinking Water
It might sound like a silly suggestion, but drink more water. Your body will thank you for it, and so will your wallet. In almost all civilized countries around the world, tap water is safe to drink – and while you still have to pay for it, in a lot of places – it’s very cheap. Water rates vary around the world, but you can be expecting to pay $1-$3 per kiloliter – that’s almost $1-$3 per year if you drink three liters per day.
If you drink water shortly before eating, you’ll save money on food as well because you’ll become fuller, quicker.
5. Quit Smoking
Smoking may just be one of the most expensive habits people have, and its also one of the deadliest. If you quit smoking right now, you’ll most likely be adding several years to your life and will begin saving money – not only that, you’ll reap health benefits from quitting within as little as a day.
If you’re unable to quit cold-turkey, use a substitution method that’s legal in your country. They may not be the cheapest, but it is still a lot cheaper than continuing to smoke. If you’re lucky, you may be able to find a doctor that could prescribe you the substitution – whether it’s patches or gum – which can cut the cost considerably.
6. Turning Off Your Lights
Whether you’re going out or staying home, turning off your lights can save you a boatload of money. Invest in a lamp and buy yourself a cheap LED bulb and you’ll be laughing when you get your next electricity bill. Whilst the technology of bulbs is always changing, a room with four 50-watt light bulbs will use a kilowatt of electricity every five hours – and if you leave these four bulbs on for five hours each day, every day, you’ll be paying $45-$50 per year. And that’s only four bulbs.
7. Stop Using Credit Cards
Credit cards may be your savior, but stop using them. Like right now. From all of the tips you’ll read here, you’re likely to be saving money in no time, and that means you’ll actually have some money in your savings account in a short time. Credit cards were created for banks to generate extra revenue by getting you to buy something when you don’t have the money, and you’ll end up paying a lot more for the same item due to interest.
If you ever want to buy an item, wait at least a week to buy it. If you still want the item at the end of the week, consider how much it is going to cost and find out how much you’ll have left in savings – this could be the determining factor.
Once you have some money in your savings account, you need to learn what affordability is. Just because you have the money for a new game, accessory, piece of clothing, etc, doesn’t mean you can afford it. You might have $300 in your bank account, and want an item that costs $150. Sure, you have the money to buy it, but can you afford it?
9. Compare Prices
Just because you’ve been shopping for groceries at the same place for the past few years doesn’t mean it’s the cheapest. It may be a couple of minutes closer to where you work or live, but you could be losing a lot of money by shopping there. The internet will be an invaluable tool for this – most shops have their prices online, so make your shopping list and find out the price of your shopping list from at least four stores.
Once you’ve found the lowest price, shop there for a week or two and then compare the differences to previous shops. Be on the lookout for discounted items, too.
10. Maintain Your Items
Most of us take almost all of our appliances for granted – they work right now, but when they don’t work you’ll be regretting not maintaining it. Choose a day within the next couple of weeks when you’re free, and spend a good few hours checking on all of your appliances. From dishwasher to toasters, to straighteners and consoles, they all get dusty or clogged up. Clean your appliances, but make sure they’re turned off first. This simple maintenance could make your appliances last a lot longer than if you left them alone.
If you want to save money on gifts for someone’s birthday, gift them something that won’t put you out of pocket. If your mum has always been dreaming of having a nice, manicured garden, rather than buying her a plant, take a weekend off to give her what she wants. You don’t have to pay for anything, and even if you do, it should be a lot cheaper than the present you were thinking of getting.
Gifting someone your hard work will not only help your wallet, but it is a lot more thoughtful than you think. What would you remember? Your cousin buying you a cactus that you left alone on a shelf, or them helping you move house, or babysitting so you can have a night to yourself.
Believe it or not, your car runs more better on different types of fuel. While the savings might not be apparent straight away, you’ll notice that you’re getting those extra miles out of the same amount of petrol/diesel/gas. Start a fuel diary, and keep it in your car. Every time you fill up with gas, write down your current mileage and when you go to fill up again, write the new mileage down.
Even the same fuel category from different gas stations can give you different mileage – try keeping a fuel diary and you’ll notice.
Most of us will have at least one subscription we don’t actually need. Whether it is a subscription of a magazine that you just throw into a cupboard when it gets delivered, or an online service, you can actually live without them. If you take a look at all of your subscriptions such as Netflix and try and find alternatives, you’ll be surprised how many cheaper/free ones are out there.
14. Fixing Things
If something is broken, it can be a lot easier to fix it yourself than get a professional to do it. This can apply to anything from your car to the seal on your fridge door. There are plenty of tutorials online that can help, and when you are paying someone else to fix them, oftentimes the majority of what you’re paying is for their time.
15. Finding A New Home
For those who own are renting, finding a new place can be a lot cheaper. Even if you’re saving $50 each month, you’re still saving. If there is nothing tying you down to your current city, consider moving to a cheaper, nearby one. Living in a city can be expensive, whilst houses in the surrounding suburbs can offer more space at a lower price. It may take you an extra 10 minutes to commute to work, but if you’re taking public transport, the cost is negligible.
16. Bank Account
Banks have different types of accounts, and each account has a different interest rate. If you leave money in one account long enough, the bank will actually give you interest on that money – it isn’t much, though. Have a look at the different bank accounts at the bank you’re with, and ones you’re not with. You’ll find a bank that gives you better interest rates and bonuses for being with them – this is someone you’ll want to be storing your money with.
17. Road Trips
If you’re going on a road trip, pack food you already have at home. If you’re going with friends, get them all to bring something so one person isn’t taking all of the cost. Food from your local grocery store is a lot cheaper than food from a gas station, and if you’re at a gas station specifically for snacks, you’ll likely overdo it.
18. Your Phone & Internet Bill
Nowadays barely anyone can live without a cell phone or internet – the world has become so focused on being online 24/7 that you probably wouldn’t even get a job if you didn’t have a phone or internet. In saying this, though, you don’t have to be spending a lot of money. Have a look at what you’re currently spending, and ask yourself if you actually need to spend that much. Shop around at different service providers and see what they offer – you may even be able to grab a discount if you haggle with them.
19. Don’t Break Any Laws
Laws are there for a reason; to keep people safe. Speed limits on public roads are there for a reason, so stick to them – if you don’t you could be forced to pay hundreds of dollars in fines. The same goes with other laws, such as littering – if you get caught, you’ll be paying a fine.
If you love seeing new places, don’t travel half way around the world. The majority of people barely explore the area around them – and while it may not feel like you’re on vacation at first, it soon will. Buy yourself a cheap tent and other camping supplies, gather a few friends and go on a road trip somewhere. Pick a destination and have a great time off the grid for a week – you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on flights, and then more money on hotels and food.