When the going gets tough, the tough get going.
Desperate times call for Desperate measures
Maybe you haven’t experienced times tough enough to resort to desperate measures. But keep in mind that they can be worthwhile actions even through good times though to carry money further and take advantage of more compounding growth in investments.
A few bucks saved here and there can add up to quite a few if you are able to plug those saved dollars into your investment account and watch them grow over time.
There is literally an endless amount of content online about money hacks and how to save cash. I won’t be covering all of them here because these are not ideas I have grabbed from other people this is stuff that I have honestly done myself to save money. So without further adieu:
Microwave Left Over Coffee:
If you were raised within earshot of a rural place you definitely know someone who does this. And the savings are actually staggering.
$3-$6 coffee every day on the way to work plus weekends = roughly $1500 per year.
Make your coffee at home. It doesn’t even have to be the cheap stuff. If you can make a $10 bag of brand name coffee last 10 days, you are saving a boatload of money.
$10 bag of coffee every 10 days = $365 per year. Over $1000 saved just making coffee at home.
This doesn’t even include microwaving your old coffee. I’m proud to say that for a time I would make a pot of coffee, and if I didn’t finish it that day I would microwave the rest every day until that pot was gone.
This significantly reduced my coffee costs throughout the year and it was still name brand.
Sell Your Second Vehicle
This one is a no brainer unless you have a really good reason to have two vehicles. I have seen families with several vehicles just throwing money out the window as if they had won the lottery.
If you do not absolutely without question need your second vehicle, get rid of it. Having a second vehicle jacks up cost of living huge. Twice the insurance, twice the payments, twice the interest, and twice the maintenance cost. It is not worth it.
Ditch your second vehicle and you’ll see results from that in no time. I recently sold my second vehicle and that saved me over $350 per month.
Want to take this one even further?
Here is a trend I see picking up speed these days with the rising costs of owning vehicles.
For people living in close proximity to their family and friends this one is great. Instead of two groups of people owning maybe 3-4 vehicles between them, shed all the dead weight and just share one vehicle between the two. Say you and your significant other share your vehicle with your friends a few blocks away.
You can cut your costs in half if not further. Depending on the situation this can save each group potentially thousands of dollars per year.
Don’t Throw Out That Tea Bag
Love tea? Good. Its often good for you and if you get the fancy brands it makes your house smell nice.
But don’t sell the farm just to keep up your tea addiction. Most teas if you aren’t steeping them too strong can be used 1 or 2 times again even a while later and its still just fine.
Stretch your tea dollars as far as they can go. Instead of using one bag per day, use that same bag the next day as well, cutting your cost in half without sacrificing much at all.
If there is one thing that can demolish any chances of saving money it is new clothes. Granted, someone has to buy them new before they can be bought used. But don’t be that person!
This practice of thrifting is only growing in popularity. The exact same clothes for a fraction of the cost.
You can find inexpensive clothing at thrift stores, use the interweb to get creative with your outfits. Did you find an outfit on Pinterest that you cant live without? I would be willing to bet you could put together pretty much the exact same outfit at your local thrift store for a quarter of the price if not less.
There are also boutique consignment stores for both men and women. Great deals on clothes that are in good shape can be had. Recently I got a pair of jeans from a consignment store that looked like they just came off the production line. Normally they would have cost me around $100 and I got them for $25.
That kind of savings on clothing can add up in a real hurry.
Put On A Sweater
It all makes sense now. Years of our parents telling us “if you’re cold then put on a sweater!” while we were thinking, “why do we even have heat if I am just putting on all these damn sweaters?”
Enter: the heating bill. Adult life exposes us to all kinds of new experiences that were once taken for granted. This includes the age-old parent/kid sweater/thermostat battle.
Now I find myself piling on the sweaters in the winter and testing the limits of my water pipes as I try and save as much money as possible on the heating bill.
Alas, my parents were not the crazy, cold-blooded reptiles I believed them to be. They just didn’t like shelling out a bunch of extra cash for heat in the winter while also having to manage the financial burden of Christmas and all.
While you are at that thrift store, grab a bunch of sweaters. You’ll need them.
Workout At Home
This one might be a no go for some people that cant give up the equipment they enjoy using at their gym. Fair enough, people who have their routines like to stick to them. But during tight times it can be a big savings to ditch that gym membership and start working out at home.
Both cardio and strength building exercise is possible in the home with a little creativity and minimal investment. Investment wise it could mean getting some equipment to make the most of body weight workouts, or possibly getting a heavy bag, skipping rope, or a used weight set. Whatever the case may be you can likely find cheaper ways to stay in shape than going to the gym. Gyms aren’t cheap!
Creating a home workout regime is just as much work as committing to head to the gym. Just sit down for an hour or two online and find a suitable replacement for the workouts you do at the gym that can be done at home.
Let Your Hair Go
Halt your hair routines. It may seem like you cant live without it. But what is it really worth? You can still have great looking hair without having to spend hundreds of dollars per month… or per week even.
If you really need it cut, cut it yourself. Or get your neighbor to cut it. It wont be the end of the world and you will save a bunch of cash. You shave on your own, no? You can deal with your hair care as well.
You also don’t need to spend a bunch of money on high-end hair care products. I am no scientist but just not shampooing your hair altogether is probably better for it that cooking it with chemicals and such. In recent months I have surrendered the hair routine for a more natural path. Not only does my hair feel better now, it also doesn’t cost me a fortune anymore.
The Times Don’t Have To Be Tight
You don’t have to be desperate to do these things. Make a similar list and commit to trying it for a six-month period. You’ll be shocked how much more money you have around. Some of them might seem a little extreme, or maybe they are normal life for you. But there is money to be saved and with each even finding a happy medium of some kind can still be a cost savings.
Make a list of areas where you are spending money. Commit to reducing or eliminating each one of them, and all of the sudden that dream vacation isn’t so out of reach.