For the longest time, I had a negative relationship with money. Thinking about it stressed me out and I had no idea how to handle this area of my life. Although I still struggle with budgeting, I’ve found some ways to save hundreds of dollars each year. Blowing each paycheck can be super tempting in your twenties which is why you should start training your brain to save now before it’s too late.
1. Check your bank account every day
I used to avoid my bank account like the plague. I would never know how much money I actually possessed because I was always way to scared to check. A few months ago, I made it a mission to look at my account every day, even if it was a number that made me want to light myself on fire. Since then, I’ve noticed little charges here and there that just weren’t necessary. This adjustment has helped tremendously by raising my awareness of where my money is going and how much I can actually spend on any given day.
2. You can find a coupon code for just about anything
Online shopping is my anti-drug. Scratch that, it’s my actual drug. I f*cking love it even though half the clothes I order end up not fitting me. But I will say, by shopping online, there are much more opportunities to save money. Before I hit the “Checkout” button in my cart, I always google promo codes or coupons for that particular store. It has saved me THOUSANDS of dollars, real talk. Like I even do it for business expenses like when I registered my business on Legalzoom.com or when I set up my website on Godaddy.com. Also, download the plug-in Honey on your browser. Before you purchase something online, Honey will scan the entire interweb for coupons and automatically apply it to your cart. Like, what??!!
3. Go grocery shopping
I know you’re thinking “Ok Caroline, I’ve heard this from everyone this isn’t news.” That may be, but I cannot stress enough how big of a GAME CHANGER this has been in my life. Every Sunday or Monday I use my crockpot to make a huge meal then I eat it for lunch for the rest of the week. Also, since I started cooking my own meals, I’ve noticed how little I have to go to the doctor. I used to be sick ALL THE TIME. Just ask my mother… Once I started eating proper nutrition, my immune system was like “oh shit, we have to actually work now” and I don’t have to pay for crazy medical bills.
4. Research free events in your area
If you live in a big city like I do, this really comes in handy. I am surrounded by so many free concerts, festivals, and networking events that sometimes I just get overwhelmed and stay home anyway. Stop spending money on $15 movie tickets and go to the free showing of “Guardians of the Galaxy” at your local park instead.
5. Offer to host happy hour at your house
This was especially helpful in college. Offer to host a happy hour at your house even if you don’t plan on going out afterwards. Your friends will all bring over their favorite choice of alcohol and then leave it there. Now you have beer and wine to last you for weeks. You’re welcome.
6. Mystery Shopping
Mystery shopping can be a little confusing at first but it is so worth the extra legwork. Basically, you register for an assignment and then fill out paperwork with your honest opinion of the shopping experience. Through Evaluate It by SQM, I have been refunded hundreds of dollars for multiple flights and they even have Megabus assignments for shorter trips. I also use Bestmark to get free oil changes and tire rotations.
7. Use groupons instead of joining a gym.
Unless you’re using it every day and can’t live without it, cancel your gym membership right now. Groupon offers AMAZING deals on fitness studios and classes that you would otherwise pay hundreds of dollars for. I also use groupons frequently for beauty services such as facials, spray tans, and sometimes haircuts. Another tip, don’t buy a groupon unless they are offering a deal for that day. They always have awesome sales where you can get 20% any purchase or $30 off $100.
Let me know in the comments what your favorite money-saving tips are!