You probably think that you’ve read every trick under the sun for saving money. After all, there are only so many ways to say “brew coffee at home and bank the cost of your daily latte!”
But even though the problem of saving money may be age old, there are always new tricks to attempt. Here are some savings strategies that you probably haven’t tried.
1.Stash Your $2 and $5 Bills
Marie C. Franklin of the Boston Globe, suggests putting aside every $2 and $5 bill you find into a jar or envelope, and depositing those fives into savings at regular intervals. Ms. Franklin was able to save $12,000 in three years using this strategy.
Basically, this is a way of reframing your view of $5 bills. Instead of seeing them as cash to be spent, they become something to be saved.
2.Make More Money
It might sound crazy and it’s not exactly saving money. But getting another part-time job (especially if it is from home), can give you that extra income you need to save money.
With the internet world at our fingertips, there are lots of jobs you can do in front of a computer, and a lot of companies are offering them.
3.Use your talent to earn extra cash
If you’re not a pop star by the time you reach your 20s you’re probably never going to be. That’s probably just as well as the only way to pop stardom in 2013 is if Simon Cowell wants to marry you. But you may be able to use your talent as a guitarist to teach other wannabes the rudiments of the 12-bar blues.
4.Don’t automatically renew annual travel insurance
If your annual holiday insurance policy is about to expire and you don’t have a holiday booked, DON’T renew the policy. You’re handing your money over to cover an eventuality that won’t happen. People do this! Don’t! You wouldn’t have car insurance if you didn’t own a car. Some people probably do, dagnabbit. But you definitely wouldn’t insure your pet giraffe if you didn’t have a giraffe. So don’t insure a holiday to the Serengeti you haven’t booked it. Simply restart the cover again the next time you book a trip.
5.Buy Non-Perishable Items in Bulk
Many goods are cheaper when purchased in large quantities. Obviously, you want to stay away from things that will spoil (In other words, don’t buy milk in bulk). Some bulk purchases go wrong for reasons you couldn’t possibly predict: That pack of 500 blank DVDs seemed like a good idea at the time — until they started collecting dust when everyone switched to flash drives. Win some, lose some.
How can you make sure you win more than you lose? Make an organized space in your house to store your bulk goods. Sturdy basement shelves work well, as long as things stay dry. It can be difficult if you live in a small apartment or a house without a storage area. You might have to repurpose a closet or even buy (or build) a free-standing cabinet.
The best items to buy in bulk are paper goods. Toilet paper, paper towels and printer paper never go bad and store easily. It’s also sensible to stock up on cleaning supplies, garbage bags, soap, shampoo, and laundry detergent.
6.Learn to say ‘no’
It’s easy to give in to the demands of a screaming child in a packed Poundland on a Saturday afternoon. ‘Get me that bottle opener! I want a bottle opener. I know it’s poorly made and won’t last more than seventeen and three-quarter minutes. But I’m six! I want one. It’s only a pound!’ Similarly, how often does a ‘swift half’ after work turn into a £151.12 drinking session? Saying ‘no’ a few times a year will do wonders for your bank account.
7.Avoid expensive days / evenings out
Pampering yourself and your significant other once a while is fine but not every other day. Plenty of museums are free and there are other cheap and delicious food everywhere. The best will be buying some simple ingredients and cook together. This is cheap and fun!
8.Chasing branded goods
Trying to keep up appearances is a costly illness. It’s called snobbism. A snob, says the dictionary, is someone who ‘vulgarly admires or imitates someone of superior social position or wealth and looks down on those he considers inferior. Remember, you cannot judge someone by what they have because you don’t know how they got it. Chances are they’re in more debt than you are.
9.Ask yourself: do I really need this?
Imagine the scenario. It’s lunchtime and you’ve got an hour to kill. You find yourself in a department store and there’s a sale on. You pick up a beautifully packaged selection of barbecue tools, an antique-look cast-iron chimenea and associated garden paraphernalia. And it’s half price. Now, stop! Ask yourself: Do I really need this? Exactly. You live in a flat. It doesn’t even have a back door. Put it down and walk away.
10.Take up a money-saving hobby
Hobbies not only open your mind to new experiences but they also take up your time – important if you would otherwise spend it in the pub drinking away your hard-earned money. If a painting takes 200 hours to complete, and you normally get through a pint an hour. That’s a saving of a least 700 quid a picture. Think about it. Get painting. Go fishing. Make quiche.
11. Shop online
The internet is gradually taking over. It’s a slow process. Generally price online are cheaper compared to retail as rental is not an issue. But you need to do your due diligent to check out the reliability of the seller and if the items are genuine. The easiest method is to check out reviews left by the customers.
You might say all this is a waste of time, but that’s a lot better than queuing up to pay for your item at a retail shop or supermarket and best of all, you are shopping at your own comfort at your home!