11 Unexpected Places To Save Money In Your Everyday Life
I think it's safe to say we all like saving money. And while most of us know the obvious little money-saving tricks and tips, like making coffee at home or turning off lights, there are unexpected ways to save money that a ton of people still don't know about.
The thing about saving money is that it all adds up (literally). Saving a couple dollars here and there might not seem like a big deal, but think of it like this: if you save a mere five dollars a week through small choices, you'll have an extra $240 at the end of the year. That can be used to treat yourself to that oh-so-amazing dress, put towards a new big screen TV, or just stored away in your saving account for emergencies. And that's just five dollars. Think about it managed to save 20.
OK, you get the idea. Small daily savings equal big savings in the long run. The question then becomes how to maximize savings without feeling like you're totally depriving yourself and living like a monk. And this is important! I've often found that when I get super restrictive with my budget, I end up ultimately splurging way more than I ever would have on big impulse buys simply because I was way too strict (kind of like the yo-yo dieting of wallets).
If you're looking to cut costs in new places, but also don't want to feel like you have to count pennies, here are eleven unexpected ways to save money that will definitely help you out.
1. Don't Buy The Glass, Buy The Bottle
... of wine, that is! According to wine seller Etty Lewensztain on the YoutTube channel The Menuism Blog, wine by the glass is one of the biggest places restaurants make money when it comes to markups. You're way better off splitting a bottle between a few friends, even though it might seem like the bigger upfront cost.
2. Get A Reusable Cup For Starbucks
Oggi™ Lustre 16 oz. Multi-Grip Stainless Steel Travel Mug in Purple, $8.99, BedBathandBeyond.com
Did you know you get ten cents off any beverage at Starbucks when you bring a personal cup? This is definitely worth it if you're someone who regularly buys coffee outside the home. And if you really want to save money, try limiting your non-homeade coffee to one cup a week.
3. Cut Your Dryer Sheets In Half
Bounce Fabric Softener Dryer Sheets, Outdoor Fresh, $2.37, Jet.com
A compilation piece on Allyou.com on ways to save money recommended ripping your dryer sheets in half, as it will be just as effective as a whole sheet. I also do this with paper towels, as I usually find I don't need a whole towel. This can make certain products literally last twice as long.
4. Master The Art Of The At-Home Bang Trim
It's possible. Trust me. I spent years trimming my own bangs back when I had them, and I probably ended up saving myself several thousand dollars given New York's super pricey salons. Just make sure you have the proper (sharp) hair scissors and have blocked out enough time to really do the job right.
5. Shop For Bath Products At Discount Stores
Cactus Flower & Tibetan Ginseng Hydrating Mist, $17, Kiehls.com
This was a tip I learned way too late in life — especially since I'm guilty of loving pricier hair and skin products. The hair and lotion sections of your local TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Nordstrom Rack typically has a ton of higher-end products at discount prices. I've consistently been able to find my favorite salon-level shampoo for two-thirds of the price.
6. Always Buy In Bulk
Bounty Paper Towels, $8.99, Jet.com
A piece for the U.S. News and World Report Money section reminded us that buying non-perishable items, like toilet paper, trash bags, and toothpaste is always worth it. It can be hard to spend what seems like significantly more up front, but just remind yourself you're actually saving money (and time, since you'll need to go to the store less).
7. Do BOGO With Friends
Buy one get one off sales are the perfect opportunity to hit up a store with a friend. That way you can each get an item at half the price. Just try to only purchase items that you actually need, because no matter how good the deal, you're not saving money if you'll never use it!
8. Always Opt For Matinees
I've found that you can save as much as six dollars when you opt to go to the movies a little earlier in the day versus catching an evening show, and this definitely adds up if you're a movie buff. Also check to see if your local movie chain has any special point systems. For example, Regal has the Crown Club Card which awards you points every time you see a movie at one of their theaters. When you've saved up enough points you get a free movie!
9. Switch To A No-Fee Bank
A piece on MagnifyMoney.com points out that most banks make a killing on hidden fees for things like withdrawing from your savings account or using another bank's ATM (and odds are that other bank is also charging you a non-member fee). However, a lot of banks are doing away with these fees altogether (and some will even reimburse you the fees other banks charge you for using their machines). By doing a little research and putting in a few hours of legwork transferring your money, you'll save a ton of money each year.
10. Work Out At Home
According to U.S. News and World Report, 67 percent of people with gym memberships never use them. If you have a gym membership but don't go that often — or if you just think you could probably get the same results working out on your own — think about canceling your membership. With YouTube it's seriously easier than ever to find awesome guided workouts for free.
11. Remember The Library
OK, this might seem obvious, but I can't tell you what a revelation it was to re-discover the library again as an adult. With books costing up to 20 dollars new (and sometimes more), being able to read for free is pretty amazing. It's especially awesome if you live in an apartment and don't have a ton of storage space for books anyway.
Saving money doesn't have to ruin all the fun in your life. Just keep a few of these basics in mind, and laugh all the way to the bank.