We’ve heard the same standard tips for saving money time and time again - skip your morning latte, start walking to work, bring a lunch from home. But are those really our only options? Is no one getting creative in their efforts to save money nowadays?
These methods may not work for everyone, but just in case ham sandwiches and cutting out your morning caffeine really ain't doing it for you, they may just be worth a shot...
Cutting your cable cord
Like it or not, this is the new millennial trend that’s sweeping the globe. We know it sounds drastic, but once your cable’s gone, you probably won’t even miss it that much. You can watch pretty much everything online nowadays, and watching the Grammys is a nice excuse to go hang out with your parents and their full cable package.
Showering to music
Use your shower singing skills for good. Playing music while you shower helps you keep track of how long you’ve been lathering, so put on your favourite song and get everything clean before it’s over to save on your hot water bill.
You’d be surprised by how many services you can get on the cheap from students at local trade schools and colleges. Everything from teeth cleaning, mechanic work, salon services and massages can be obtained for a fraction of the price via student services.
Saying bye to bangs and dye
We’re not suggesting that you cut your hair entirely yourself unless you’re talented in that department, but there are certain aspects of your salon visit that you can cut out without looking totally crazy. Dye jobs and bang cuts have to be done more frequently than a standard style or trim, so either embrace your natural colour and long bangs, or learn how to cut your own fringe, rock your roots and grow that ombré into existence.
No more presents
A Christmas or birthday with no gifts?! We know, it sounds so depressing. Unwrapping presents is so much fun, but money is the adult gift you really need in your life. If an e-transfer is too anticlimactic for you, your friends and family can still wrap your cheques or cash. No biggie.
No ATMs, ever
We mean it. Unless you’re using your own bank’s ATM with no fees, don’t do it. Find your closest bank location, and start budgeting your cash better.
Hoarding your change
Don’t carry change with you, ever. Put all of your wallet change in a jar. Going forward, when you buy something and get change for a bill, do the same. You’re more likely to think about your purchases when you’re paying with bills, and it’s an easy way to save bit by bit.
It sounds a little weird, but just hear us out. Remember how good it felt when you got your allowance as a kid? Well, giving yourself an allowance for doing chores or frequent tasks is a fun way to save in your adult life, too. Pay yourself into your savings account/ jar every time you cook dinner, vacuum, or call your mom. It’s easy to remember, and makes your adult duties a bit less painful.
Patience and contemplation
It may sound too simple to be true, but just delaying or really contemplating a purchase is actually helping people spend less. The KonMari Method – which has become a worldwide de-cluttering phenomenon – can also be applied to new purchases as well. Rather than holding an item you already own before deciding if you should part with it, holding potential purchases in the same way, and then contemplating whether or not the item brings you joy, makes you put more thought into every purchase.
Alternatively, avoiding impulse buys altogether by putting a 7-day, 14-day or even month-long pause on any purchases is a great way to assess whether you really want or need that item long-term. If the intense desire or need is still there after that time period, you can purchase it guilt-free.
Shop more, waste less
No, not for shoes, we mean for groceries. Sticking to a list has always been a great way to buy less, but with the trend of buying in bulk, lots of people are actually just wasting more.
If you buy enough food for the whole week and then your plans change, you’re stuck with food that’ll go bad before you have the chance to eat it. And how many times have you put things in the freezer and then forgotten that they existed? Freezer burn has claimed far too many chicken breasts in our lifetime…
Especially when it comes to perishables like meat, fruit and veggies, buying what you need for one or two meals at a time can actually prevent waste, and you’ll save money by buying food you’ll actually eat.
Happy hour or bust
If you’ve gotta go out, get your money’s worth, even if that means drinking at 6pm instead of 11pm. Starting early doesn’t really qualify as an early night, and you’ll see a lot more mornings on the weekends that way as well.
Using the term ‘family’ loosely can save you and your friends bigtime. Netflix, Apple Music, gyms and lots more of your favourite services offer discounts for family accounts or even allow multiple people to utilize one account, so why not take advantage?
Making your triumphant return to the library
Remember this nostalgic place? You may not have been here since you were cramming for your finals, but it still exists, and it’s full of books and movies just waiting to be borrowed. You may love the smell of a newly purchased book, but they have candles for that now.
Keep track, daily
They say that millionaires know exactly how much money they have down to the dollar – why don’t you? Avoiding looking at your accounts doesn’t make your financial situation any better, and denial is not helpful on the path to savings. Look at your balance every day and start being accountable for your spending and savings. If the number you see on the screen makes you feel shitty, we bet you’re gonna have a frugal day. It hurts, but it works.
Have any unique money saving tips of your own? Share them in the comments below!