When you need to save some money in a hurry for whatever reason, it can be frustrating trying to figure out how to do it.
This is because most of us have very ingrained spending habits which prevent us from seeing the forest for the trees.
It’s often easy for us to see how others could cut back. The girl in accounting who complains about auto insurance prices, as she’s sucking down her second Starbucks Café Latte. Or the brother in law who says cars are way overpriced, as he’s paying someone to wash and detail said car every weekend.
One of the best ways to save some serious cash is to look at what you want vs what you need.
You don’t NEED a new Play Station. You probably don’t NEED that new iPhone.
You do need to eat and pay rent.
Let’s look at 15 easy hacks to save money fast and make yourself a nice little stash of cash.
Cut Back on Daily Expenses
Yes, we mean those take-out lunches and Starbucks runs. You don’t have to live like a monk, but you can cut your own nails, put on a sweater and turn the thermostat down, and pack a lunch to take to work.
Save on Food
Yes, those precut salads are easy, but they cost a lot more. Cut your produce yourself. Learn to cook at least basic meals at home. You can eat cheaper cuts of meat when you use a slow cooker to tenderize them. Oh, and buy the store brand. It’s much cheaper and is probably made by the same company.
You can often save big bucks by shopping online or in bulk (or both) not to mention saving gas money. Things like toilet paper, dish soap, and deodorant don’t go bad, so stock up when they are on sale. Check Amazon and other online sites for cheaper prices if you buy in bulk. Oh, and don’t forget to check for online coupons!
Learn to Love Thrift Stores
One of the biggest places where you can save money is to use garage sales, thrift stores, and flea markets. Brand name clothing that looks like new is a fraction of the cost. OK, so you don’t want to buy used underwear, but things like jackets, kitchen appliances, and more are half price or less when you buy them used. No one needs to know that your Gucci bag came from a second-hand store unless you want to tell them about the great deal you got.
Cut the Cable
Most people watch only a small fraction of the channels they are paying for. Try using a Roku, which is free, and keeping only one service, such as Netflix.
Share the Internet Bill
If you are buddy buddy with your neighbor, you might want to offer to pay for half of his internet bill if he shares his password with you.
You can save big bucks by taking turns with friends on the weekend hosting parties at each other’s houses. Make it a potluck and bring your own drinks. Cheaper than the bar by far!
Want to vacation in another city but don’t want to pay the big hotel/restaurant bills? Consider housesitting. Yes, you will need to clean up after yourself and perhaps feed Fido, but free accommodations?
The next time you need to use something that you might not use again (or at least not for a long time) don’t buy it, borrow it. If friends don’t have what you need, rent one instead.
Cut Back on Energy
You don’t need to wear shorts in the dead of winter while watching TV. Put on some sweatpants, a sweatshirt and turn down the heat! You can also use fans and spritz yourself with water in the summer months to stay cool. Don’t forget what your mama said, “Turn off those lights”.
Use Your Car Less
We get it, cars are super comfy and a great source of privacy. They are also super costly. See if you can carpool, ride your bike, or take public transportation. No, taxis don’t count. If you can do without your car frequently, consider letting others rent it and get $ for your car, rather than letting it eat up money.
Cut Out the Gym
Most people do not need a gym membership to stay in shape. See if a friend has an apartment with a gym that you could use or invest in a treadmill. You can also pick up a set of used dumbbells cheap online. Take your dog for a run and go walking with your friends at the park.
Shop for Insurance
Most people don’t want to spend the time to shop around for insurance and pay way more than they need to. Try Esurance, which shops dozens of sites for you.
Cut Back on Your Cell Phone
Everyone loves unlimited everything, but those plans are super expensive. Take a long hard look at your cell phone bill and carrier and make adjustments where you can. There are tons of free services, such as WhatsApp, which gives you free texting and phone calls.
If you use prescription drugs and get charged more for brand-name drugs, ask if a generic is available. Most insurance companies don’t even charge a copay if you use generic. Don’t forget to use other generic products as well, including toothpaste, mouthwash, vitamins, and hairspray.