Saving money and living better seem to be on opposite ends of the spectrum some days. The irony of this is that living an enjoyable life usually requires spending more money. The trick, though, is learning how to live well without overspending. I’ve compiled a list of 20+ ways you can do just that!
1) Pay attention to what you’re buying and why
If there’s something on the shelf that doesn’t seem worth it – don’t buy it! It may be tempting to drop $6 on a box of cereal because you remember loving it as a kid, but if you walk past the aisle with only two boxes left- chances are good somebody else has caught onto your childhood favorite too. This will help cut down on impulse buys for things we don’t need.
2) Cook at home
Eating out is expensive, especially if you’re not picky about what you order. You’ll save money by cooking your own meals, and the food will probably taste better too! Cooking meals at home is a great bonding exercise and also gives you a sense of accomplishment.
3) Invest in quality items once…
Rather than purchasing 10 cheap items of clothing to last five years, it’s more effective to purchase a few quality items. You’ll save time and money by shopping for what you need only once, and you won’t have to worry about buying another pair of jeans for a decade or so!
4) Make a budget
Many people don’t know how much they spend every month because there never seems to be enough left over. That’s because we don’t know how much we spend! It seems like a no-brainer, but it can be hard to get into the habit of tracking your expenses. Set up a budget and try sticking to it for at least a month.
5) Save money on groceries
Grocery shopping is an area where many people overspend. If you’re eating healthier, you have to buy healthier foods. This means things like fresh produce, which can be expensive. You can still eat healthy on a budget and live better by purchasing what’s in season and buying from a local farmer’s market for fresh produce at a reasonable price.
6) Take advantage of coupons
Coupons are an easy way to save money, and the Internet has made it easier than ever. You can find coupons for almost anything you buy on a regular basis, including household items like laundry detergent and toilet paper.
7) Pass on cable television
The average American pays $80 – $200 every month for cable television! There’s no reason to pay for cable when you can access most television shows online, through streaming services like Netflix. You’ll not only save money, but you’ll have more time for other things that are just as enjoyable. Plus you cut out all those annoying commercials.
8) Take public transportation or ride a bike
Using the subway or some form of public transportation is an inexpensive way to get around and is way cheaper than a car. Plus you’ll get a little exercise! In some cities, public transportation is faster than driving in heavy traffic, which saves you time and money.
9) Walk or bike to nearby destinations
This tip goes hand-in-hand with using public transportation, and the exercise will help you live better. If you live near a grocery store, library, or any other popular destination, you’ll save money by walking or biking to them.
10) Avoid convenience foods
Convenience foods like frozen dinners and canned soup cost more than cooking from scratch. You can cook healthier food for less if you prepare it yourself rather than buying it premade. Plus, many people find cooking to be a stress reliever.
11) Learn how to do simple car repairs
You don’t need to know how to rebuild an engine to live a better life, but learning some basic repair skills can save you money. Oil changes and swapping out your winter tires are great ways to save money and empower yourself adding to your quality of life. When your brakes squeak, take them into the shop for an inspection! You’ll avoid paying more later on by doing some research first.
12) Buy used clothing
There are plenty of places to buy gently used clothing, and it’s important that you save money. When buying secondhand, though, make sure you know what the clothes are made of. Synthetic materials will hold up well when washed multiple times, while natural fibers like cotton will wear out quickly after a few goes in the wash. Look for used clothing at your local thrift stores, consignment shops, or online through eBay or Craigslist.
13) Sell your old stuff
When you’re cleaning out your closets and drawers, save money by thinking about all the things you could possibly sell. You might be surprised! Old books, music CDs, video games, and movies can all be sold for cash at places like Craigslist. Other items such as furniture can be sold at a consignment store for more money than you’d get from dropping it off at a thrift store.
14) Coupon comparison
Before buying something, save money by comparing coupons online. There is a world of stores out there fighting for your business, do some research and see which ones are giving you the best discounts.
15) Replace all your light bulbs with LED
Replace all your light bulbs with LED lights for energy efficiency and lower power bills: Replacing your incandescent light bulbs with LEDs is a great way to save money. LED lights are more energy-efficient, which means you’ll save up to 80% on your electric bill! Plus they last much longer than traditional bulbs.
16) Bring lunch to work
Lunch is one of the biggest expenses for office workers to save money and live better. Bringing your own lunch to work is a simple way to save the cash you would have spent eating out for lunch every day. This will save you more than $3,000 a year! Make it a habit and you’ll save even more.
17) Fix little things around the house
As long as you know how to use basic tools, you can save money by fixing broken things around your house. A blown-out light fixture is a simple fix that can save you from buying a new one or hiring an electrician to come out and do it. The same goes for leaky faucets, squeaky doors, and noisy furnaces.
18) Get rid of your landline
I save money by getting rid of my home phone in favor of using my cell phone when I’m at home. Everything is done online now, and you can use Google Voice to make calls from your computer or the Chrome browser extension that turns your address bar into a free Skype-like chat window.
19) Stop buying bottled water
Save money and save the environment by simply carrying a reusable bottle. Just fill it up from your local tap water source when you’re thirsty, and save more than $1,000 a year in the process!
20) Give yourself incentives to save
If you give yourself an incentive to save, it’ll be easier for you to save money. Commit to the cause by setting yourself up to save, whether that’s depositing your savings directly into an IRA or putting a little bit of your paycheck into an account each week.
21) Maintain proper tire pressure
Keeping tires properly inflated saves money by increasing your car’s fuel efficiency and extending its life. Save even more by checking the tire pressure in your other vehicles while you’re at it!
22) Use coupons when shopping online
If you’re looking to save money you can save big bucks on every purchase and use coupons. Sites like Honey are great for finding codes for you and figuring out if you are getting the best price.
23) Get rid of your gym membership
Save money by getting rid of that overpriced monthly gym membership save more than $500 a year (or more!). Everyone has access to something different, like running outside or using bodyweight exercises. You can get an effective workout at home with minimal equipment live better.
24) Cook at home instead of dining out
Save money save more than $1,500 a year (or more) by not eating out saves money and you eat healthier too. That’s 365 days worth of cooking with fresh ingredients in your kitchen save time and save money!
25) Shop around for car insurance
Car insurance companies are always looking to get you onboard save money. Shop around and see if you can save more than $1,000 a year (or more) and save on your car insurance.
There are so many ways to save money and live better.
Saving money is an important part of living better. We’ve already come up with over 250 ways to save money and it’s never going to stop.