10 fun ways to save money
We’ll be honest: saving money isn’t exactly the most exciting thing in the world. All that talk about special accounts, cutting back on fun stuff, tightening the belt – it’s no wonder so many people don’t bother to even try saving some money.
But it’s not all dull. In fact, there are some pretty fun ways to save money. Here are some examples.
(Kinda) Extreme Couponing
Nope, it’s not the world’s worst extreme sport but an efficient way to save a ton of money on groceries and other stuff.
The idea behind extreme couponing is simple: you collect coupons for various products and combine them with other offers and coupons to try and get the most stuff for the smallest possible price. In the show the phenomenon takes its name from, some people manage to get whole carts of shopping for less than a dollar (and sometimes free).
While this kind of couponing takes months of work and curation, you can still save a few dollars just by looking for coupons and combining them with other discounts. Look online for coupons, check out the Sunday papers or, if you’re really dedicated, write to companies asking for a coupon (or declaring your love for them, which ever works).
To avoid hoarding stuff you don’t need, draw up a list of common items you use and try and find coupons solely for them. It’s also worth bearing in mind that buying generic brand goods is sometimes cheaper than buying branded, even if you have a coupon.
In short: do your research, be selective with your coupons and you could save big!
Sorting through your old stuff
Tidying up isn’t that much fun, but going through your old stuff definitely can be. Digging up old memories, laughing and cringing at them as you do, can make for a great afternoon!
It can help you save and make money too. Anything you sell, give away or recycle after sorting is one less thing you have to maintain and store, plus you’ll get cash to.
Watch Extreme Cheapskates
Extreme Cheapskates is a show that follows folks who take money saving to new extremes, like dumpster diving for food or foregoing toilet paper in favor of soap, water and…erm, hands.
Don’t worry, it’s not all gross. There are actually some pretty good ideas too, like buying second hand furniture or reusing household items for other purposes.
The main takeaway, though, is that you can pretty much save money on anything if you’re creative enough. Think about what you spend money on and see if you can come up with some novel ways to reduce your expenditure (without breaking the law or making yourself ill, obviously…).
Remember that show Supermarket Sweep, where contestants have to run around a grocery store throwing in as many items as they could in a set amount of time?
Applying those rules to your own shopping can actually help you save a ton of money. Write a list of what you need and give yourself 30 minutes to get it all; you’ll be in such a rush to get everything in your cart that you’ll ignore those tempting deals and impulse buys!
No spend days
One day a week, don’t spend anything. Not a single dime. It can be really fun trying to come up with ways of doing stuff for free, plus you’ll save a lot of cash by making your own lunch at home and making your own coffee.
There are some exceptions to this non-spend rule, of course, like getting the bus to work (unless you can walk), but you should be able to live without anything truly non-essential.
Make your own cards and gifts
Birthday cards are super expensive and usually get thrown away after a week or two. You can save a lot of money making your own; all you need is some card and some craft materials and you’re set. Plus, making your own card is a much nicer gesture than picking some random sentiment off a shelf.
If you’re feeling extra crafty, try making your own gifts too. Pinterest is jam-packed with homemade gift ideas so start up a board and get pinning!
The 365 Day Penny Challenge
The 365 day penny challenge is simple but oh-so-effective: put 1 penny in a jar on day one, 2 pennies on day two and so on. When you put $3.65 in the jar at the end of the challenge, you’ll have saved $667.95 without even really doing anything.
If you need help keeping track of your saving, print out this awesome free chart.
There are tons of websites dedicated to money saving tips and the latest offers. Add the likes of The Penny Hoarder to your daily reading list. We also recommend checking out the money saving communities on Reddit, like r/personalfinance and r/frugal.
Break out the board games, watch some movies, play some video games or just invite some friends over for a chat – staying in can be just as fun as going out!
Download some apps
If you’ve got access to Wi-Fi, there are loads of apps that can save you money on your cell phone bill. For example, Skype can cover your phone calls, while Viber and WhatsApp are a free alternative to SMS. Check out some of our other recommended money saving apps in this post!
Have you come up with a fun way to save money? Share it with us in the comments.
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