Ever said that you need to spend less? Well, spending less is certainly something that we can all benefit from and it doesn't have to be as difficult as it seems. As long as you are willing to put in a little effort and become a bit creative, you can work on cutting back on how much money you spend.
"As long as you are willing to put in a little effort and become a bit creative, you can work on cutting back on how much money you spend."
The best part is that you can take the money you save and put it towards paying down debt or savings. Below are a few suggestions to help you out!
Ideas on how to spend less
1. Barter with your friends
Bartering is basically when you trade something you have for something you want with someone else and it can be pretty much anything you want it to be as long as it works for both parties. For instance, you can barter babysitting hours where your friend watches your kids in exchange for you cooking her dinner or even a few meals.
You can barter food items that are sitting in your pantry that you know you will not use in exchange for food you know you will use from a friend's pantry. You can barter to help a friend clean up her house if she does the same for you this way you can ditch your house cleaning service every now and then. There are a ton of ways and ideas with which you can barter and it can definitely save you a good amount of money and help you spend less.
2. Skip the dry cleaners
If you find that you are going to dry cleaners all the time, you can make a plan to reduce your visits and take care of your clothes on your own instead. Consider investing in a good iron and/or steamer so you can press your clothing at home as well as specific "dry clean only" clothing cleaning products. For your delicate items, do some research on how to care for them i.e. how to wash and dry them etc. Over time this will help you save money on those dry cleaning costs.
3. Space out your manicure and hair appointments
Getting your hair and nails done every week or every 2 weeks can cost a pretty penny. One great way to spend less is to space out your appointments to say once a month and do your hair and nails on your own. Look out for nail kits on sale at your local pharmacy and invest in some good shampoo, conditioner, and other hairstyle products and tools. Not sure how to do your hair or nails by yourself? Well, practice makes perfect and YouTube is a great place to find tutorials so you can start learning!
4. Read books and magazine online or at the library
Your local library is a great place to check out the latest books and magazine editions for free. Many libraries do a great job of keeping multiple copies of best-selling books in stock that you can borrow. Several also keep a good stock of the most popular magazine that you can stop by to read. If you prefer to read online, many libraries in the US have free library apps where you can read books through the app for free!
5. Keep savings in a separate bank
Do you find that you are constantly transferring money out of your savings account into your checking account to spend on stuff? One way to curb that habit is to make it super inconvenient to get money out of your savings accounts. Move your savings to a different bank, don't get a debit card or checks and don't connect your savings accounts to your checking account. The next time to try to make a transfer from your savings for a non-essential purchase it won't be that easy!
6. Do coffee or tea instead of a full meal with friends
It's always fun to catch up with friends every now and then but big lunches or dinners can cost a pretty penny. Instead, plan to meet up for tea or coffee and pastries. It will be just as much fun catching up over lunch and you'll still get to spend quality time with your friends!
7. Skip going out for dinner and at home
Dinner is typically the most expensive meal to eat out and if you are eating dinner (or even ordering it in) multiple times a week then you are probably spending a good amount of money. Instead, plan to cook dinner at home more often and invite friends over as opposed to going out to eat. If you have a hectic schedule, spending some time to plan and prepare your meals once a week will save you a lot of money and ensure you always have a yummy dinner prepared for you to eat.
8. Have clothing exchange party with friends
Feel like you need to refresh your closet or you need some new clothes? Have a clothing exchange party with your girlfriends! Put out some drinks and snacks have everyone come over with 5 to 10 things they don't wear and then exchange your items! You could very well walk away with a brand new wardrobe (or at least a fun outfit) at no cost to you!
9. Get a travel mug and brew your own coffee at home
Those daily trips to Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts might not seem like much, but if you were to tally up your visits, you might be (unpleasantly) surprised at how much money you spend there. Cut back on the number of visits you make and brew your own coffee at home! Buy your favorite instant coffee brand or invest in a coffee brewer and skip the visits to the coffee shop entirely!