I recently took a deep dive in to the world of budgeting and money saving blogs and let me tell you…wow.
There are an insane amount of intelligent, money conscious people out there sharing some really interesting tidbits of information. As it turns out, saving money is not as hard as you think when you have the right resources.
We’ve all heard the classic tips like make a budget, don’t go in to credit card debt, and only buy what’s on your grocery list.
But what about the 24-hour rule, micro investing, and shelf cooking?
Today I’m bringing you the coolest, most creative money saving tips I could find on the internet. If you think you’ve heard it all, keep reading…you probably haven’t.
Tip #1: Think of items in terms of hours worked instead of price
What it is: You’re eying that $100 air fryer at Costco and wondering if it’s worth the splurge. Instead of thinking of it as $100, think of it in terms of how many hours you will have to work to pay it off.
If you make $15/hr, you will need to work almost 6.5 hours to pay for it.
Is it really worth it now?
Why I like it: It’s easy to think of prices as just numbers. What’s $50 here and $85 there, right?
Quantifying items in terms of hours worked helps put things in perspective and makes you really evaluate whether or not an item is worth so much of your time.
Sometimes, it totally will be. Other times, not so much. Either way, you’re becoming aware of how much your time is worth, and hopefully saving some money along the way.
Tip #2: Stock up on groceries, then skip a grocery shop each month
What it is: Take advantage of those 3 for 5 deals and stock up on your grocery essentials when things go on sale. If the pasta you always eat is $2 off, buy it in bulk now and keep it in the pantry. You can do this with meat, bread, and produce by freezing them for later.
Then, skip a weekly grocery shop each month and use what you have in your pantry and freezer instead. You should have plenty of food to eat if you’re stocking up on things when they go on sale.
Why I like it: This is a cool idea because it’s based off the spend now, save later principle. If you know you’re going to use 20 pounds of rice, it makes sense to buy it when it’s on sale so that you save money down the road.
It also helps reduce food waste by encouraging you to use up what you have at home. You’d be surprised at what you can make at home with the items you have on hand.
Just remember to skip a grocery shop each month to compensate for the little bit of extra money you’re spending along the way! This is essential to saving money long term.
Need some help making grocery shopping easier? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Tip #3: Price match
What it is: You may have heard of stores price matching online retailers like Amazon. All it means is if you, the consumer, can prove that the item you’re buying is cheaper somewhere else, the store will give it to you for that price.
Some stores will even take an additional 10% off, making their price not just equal to but lower than their competitors.
Stores will usually advertise if they price match or not, but if you’re not sure, then just ask. If you’re in Canada, you can price match at Real Canadian Superstore, No Frills, and FreshCo. Just be sure to check out their policy before you do!
Why I like it: Price matching is an easy way to save time and money while grocery shopping. It can keep you from going to multiple stores looking for the best price on a specific item, and it can save you money by ensuring you get the lowest price.
It’s not for the faint of heart – you’ll need to be comfortable with bringing flyers in to stores and requesting lower prices.
Trust us though, the awkward conversations are totally worth the amount of money you can save.
Tip #4: Save when you treat yourself
What it is: Every time you buy yourself a “treat” – think a morning muffin, a cozy pair of socks, or anything else you don’t really need, but kind of want – put the equivalent of that item into your savings account.
So, if that muffin cost $3.50, put $3.50 directly into your savings account.
Spend a little, save a little.
Why I like it: I love this idea for a couple of reasons. One, because it considers that some frivolous spending is bound to happen. You don’t want to deprive yourself of everything you love all the time. That can lead to serious spending binges down the road.
Two, it’s an easy and simple way to grow your savings account. $3.50 doesn’t seem like much, but saving $3.50 a couple times a week is sure to add up considerably over time.
Tip #5: Start micro investing
What it is: Micro investing apps like Acorns help introduce you to the ins and outs of investing so your money can start making money for you. These apps let you use small amounts of money to buy micro shares of stocks, which will make money for you over time.
You even have the option of linking a debit card to the app and rounding up your purchases. This way, every purchase you make will be rounded up to the nearest dollar and the difference will be invested.
Why I like it: Micro investing makes investing your money really easy…especially for those of us who know absolutely nothing about investing.
It’s a nice way of getting your feet wet in the world of investing. It’s not a get rich quick scheme by any means, but it’s a great opportunity to learn more about the stock market when you’re young and inexperienced.
By making your money work for you, you can really begin to grow your savings account.
Tip #6: Use the 24-hour rule
What it is: Before you make a bigger purchase, an impulse buy, or anything that’s not absolutely necessary, give yourself 24 hours to think about it.
It’s the equivalent of sleeping on a problem and coming back to it the next day.
Why I like it: This is a good rule to live by, especially if you’re susceptible to those last-minute items in the checkout line.
Chances are if you give yourself some time to think about it, you’ll find you didn’t need that item after all. If you do decide to buy something after waiting 24 hours, at least you’re making the purchase mindfully.
We love mindful spending.
Tip #7: Automate everything
What it is: This technique takes automation to the next level. Create separate savings accounts within your savings account – say a Netflix savings account, an electricity bill savings account, etc. – and set up your auto deposits so that each paycheck deposits the correct amount of money into each savings account.
If Netflix costs $10 a month and you get paid biweekly, each paycheck will automatically deposit $5 into the Netflix savings account. For bills you can’t predict, like hydro, include a rough estimate, say $100 a month, and deposit $50 from each paycheck in to that account.
If your hydro bill ends up only being $80, take the $20 in that account and move it in to a savings account that you can’t touch.
Now, whatever money is left in your checking account is money that’s free for you to spend how you like.
Why I like it: Automated payments are a great way to make sure your bills get paid on time. Automated deposits are a great way to make sure your bills are getting paid at all.
By automating your paychecks, you can rest easy knowing that your bills are going to be paid on time. It also helps you manage your spending money better, because you know that whatever is in your checking account at the end of each paycheck is fair game.
It will take a bit of time and tech savvy-ness to get everything set up, but once it’s set up, everything will happen for you.
Tip #8: Use internet and telephone resellers
What it is: Here in Canada, your internet options are limited to Shaw, Rogers, and Telus.
Or are they?
Third-party resellers offer the same internet service at a much lower price, sometimes up to a third of the cost of other providers. You can even get packaged deals with TV, internet, and phone to save even more money.
Why I like it: If your building or home has access to an internet reseller, it’s totally worth it. You get the exact same internet service at a much lower price than if you were to go with one of the big three.
I got internet from a reseller for less than half of what I would have gotten from someone else. The service is fantastic, the price is right, and I couldn’t be happier with my experience.
Plus, I’m saving $30 a month and you really can’t beat that.
Tip #9: Don’t have more cash on you than you’re willing to spend
What it is: If you don’t want to spend $100, then don’t carry around $100 cash in your wallet. Leave $40 at home and only take $60 with you. It’s that easy.
You’ll always have your debit or credit card in case of an absolute emergency, but chances are, you won’t need to use it.
Why I like it: I’m one of those people who spends cash more frivolously than plastic. If I have $80 cash, I’m a lot more likely to spend it than if all I had was my debit card.
Putting a limit on how much cash you carry can stop you from accidentally spending more money than you should. You can’t spend $100 if you only have $60 in your wallet, right?
Sometimes it’s the simplest things that can make the biggest difference.
Tip #10: Try the $5 rule
What it is: Anytime you have a $5 bill or less in your wallet, put it in to an empty wine bottle. It’s an easy way to start building your savings without adjusting your lifestyle at all.
Plus, the shape of the bottle will prevent you from getting to the money before you should. The only way to get to your money?
Break the bottle.
Why I like it: Any habit that encourages small incremental changes that add up over time is a win in my book. You probably won’t miss that toonie in your wallet. But if you drop a toonie in to a jar every couple of days, you’ll have hundreds of dollars by the end of the year.
That’s a far better use for a toonie than buying a pack of gum you probably don’t need.
I also like visual representations of my savings, so I’m a big fan of cash in jars. Seeing how much I have always encourages me to save even more.
Tip #11: Do a spending freeze
What it is: Challenge yourself to not spend any money for one week each month. That means eating what’s in the pantry, not going out, and not buying anything that isn’t essential.
The only exception is if there’s an emergency or a bill needs to be paid. Other than that, no money can be spent for the entire week.
Why I like it: I like a good challenge, and a spending freeze is just that. A spending freeze can help you evaluate what you think you need vs. what you actually need. If you can go a week without buying something, do you really need to buy it the following week?
I like to do a spending freeze for at least a week each month to remind myself to slow down on my spending. And if the idea of doing it scares you…you should probably do it.
Tip #12: Start shelf cooking
What it is: Build your meals around what you have at home, instead of making something that requires you to buy a lot of different ingredients.
It’s based off the idea that most people look for a recipe, go to the store and buy ingredients for it, and use a couple pantry staples to supplement the recipe. Instead, create meals with what you have at home, and buy only one or two ingredients at the store.
Your store purchases should supplement your pantry staples, not the other way around.
Why I like it: I end up wasting a lot of ingredients because I buy them for one recipe and then never use them again. Building meals around what you have at home encourages you to use what’s in your pantry before buying more things.
This also helps reduce food waste, which translates to tons of money saved over time.
Get savvy about saving money
The best tips and tricks I found were easy, simple, and just made sense.
I’m a big fan of making small changes that add up over time. By incorporating some of these tips into your life, you can start to make big changes to your saving habits.
What’s another cool way to save money? By getting deals and bonuses on gift cards from Moola.
You can save $10, $20, even $50 at the places you shop just by buying a gift card before you go there. You’re spending the money anyways, why not save while you’re at it?
Stretch your dollar further with Moola and start saving for the things that you really want to buy.
And try a few cool money saving tips along the way.
Hey by the way, have you downloaded Moola yet?