Fresh Ways to Save Money…(On Just About Anything)

With April being Financial Literacy Month (SURPRISE) all of the posts for this month are going to cover allllllllll the financial “gimmes.” Think of it as personal finance 101. Veterans may enjoy reviewing the lessons and beginners can indulge in a month that's all about them. Yay!

As a personal finance blogger, I’m constantly being asked what my favorite ways to save money are. It’s one of the best parts about my job. I love helping my readers (yes, you!) find a new way to look at your finances or make the most of your money.

….But sometimes it’s hard to find fresh, new ideas. That’s the thing about personal finance – it doesn’t change that often. The basics are still (basically- ha ha!) the basics. A lot of the same tips our parents and our parents-parents used are still relevant today.

But when it comes to new ways to save, sometimes you’ve got to get a bit creative, but boy, does it pay off. Here are my favorite (new and improved) ways to save money….

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5 (Kinda Fresh) Ways to Save Money

Method #1 – Find Alternatives to Eating Out

Obviously going out to eat every night of the week isn’t saving anyone money. But are you still spending a large amount groceries that are just going to waste? There are a TON of creative ways to spend less on food. For those of us out of the collegiate life, try planning a potluck with your friends or roommates. It will encourage you to actually cook at home and you can eat the leftovers for lunch the next day.

Other ways to save in this category:

  • Order water
  • Keep entrees under $10
  • Fast Casual instead of Full Service

Related: Here's What Happened When I Stopped Eating Out for 30 Days

Method #2 – Make a Game Out of Using What You Own

If you’ve read any of my other posts, you probably know how much I love shopping. Correction, loved shopping..until I broke the bad habit. Unfortunately, it can be tough to get the clothes you want on the budget you can afford. That’s why I love the idea of shopping your closet.

Finding a new way to wear your favorite pieces can reinvigorate your wardrobe without breaking the bank. Pinterest offers great inspiration, and you can scout your own closet for similar looks. Maybe you have everything except for an item or two. Buying a new accessory or pair of shoes can totally change up an outfit – typically for less than buying a completely new look. Another great way to implement this is to swap clothes with friends who are also looking for a change. This way they get the stuff you don't want (and vice versa) and everyone gets to breathe new life into their wardrobe.

Other ways to save in this category:

Method #3 – Work the System to Accrue Points at the Places You Shop

So many stores offer rewards programs, as well as discounts for students or employees of certain companies. Be sure to check if your company offers a discount service for stores you frequent (your Payroll company may offer this), or if you can receive a student discount with an appropriate ID. And though they may seem superfluous, getting a membership card at Kroger or a RedCard at Target can lead to serious savings if you shop at those stores enough.

 

Other ways to save in this category:

  • Research credit card rewards
  • Only shop sales and when you have discount codes
  • Shop Ebay or Craigslist for second hand items

Related: How to Earn Cash Back at Swagbucks and Ebates

Method #4 – Hack Your Budget

I’ve always talked about how making a budget and sticking to it can make a huge difference in your finances, but sometimes that budget can change dramatically. When I had to hack my budget to find the money for a health insurance payment I was terrified. But once I learned to negotiate my bills a whole new world of savings opportunities opened up. Calling utility companies up to ask about deals or changing your rate can lead to fantastic savings each month.

Other ways to save in this category: 

  • Start tracking expenses
  • Practice conscious spending
  • Skip gifts if the budget is super tight

Method #5 – Leverage the Latest Apps

You can find our favorites here.

 

What are other inventive ways to save?

 

When it comes to new ways to save money, sometimes you’ve got to get a bit creative. Here are my favorite (new and improved) tips and tricks!

 

 

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  • Giulia Lombardo
    April 17, 2016 at 5:37 am

    Agree with the entire post, considering that the next two months will be quiet expensive ( maintenance of my car), I am trying to be more frugal than usual still having good social life…have a budget, tracking expenses daily haled me a lot to keep budget under control and I am doing shopping from my closet and it saved money:P thanks for your tips!!!

    • Lauren Bee
      April 17, 2016 at 10:42 am

      a budget is something that is always in flux. Good for you for cutting back!

  • quotes6.com
    April 12, 2016 at 5:04 am

    I already half a year I write down my expenses. It helps a lot to save.

    Thank you for your advice. I will follow the advice relating to the wardrobe.

    • Lauren Bee
      April 17, 2016 at 10:42 am

      Thank you for stopping by!

  • Aliyyah @RichAndHappyBlog
    April 11, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    This month, I decided to track every dollar I spend in a spreadsheet. I am hoping it will give me some insight on places I can cut down my spending.

    With Spring just starting, this is the perfect time to shop my closet and get rid of old stuff!

    • Lauren Bee
      April 17, 2016 at 10:43 am

      I am SO Much more accountable when I write down my spending. I’m also more productive when I physically write down my earnings too!

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