Can You Save Money & Be Happy?
If you want to improve your overall financial health, you generally have two options.
You can make more money or find ways to hold on to more of the money you already have.
The problem with being more frugal and saving money, though, is that you may wind up feeling as though you’re sacrificing your quality of life.
That can make saving money hard. You’ll throw in the towel if you’re miserable.
Who could blame you?
Today we’re going to get around that yucky feeling.
We’re going to discuss 10 great ways to save money without sacrificing your quality of life.
You can live well on a budget, which ultimately means living well now – and later.
And how YOU can do it too!
10 Great Ways To Save Money & Enjoy It
Some of these tips you may have heard of before.
Others may be completely novel.
Still, others may sound totally insane and you could never imagine trying them yourself.
Keep in mind not everything works for everybody.
You have to try different things to see what works for you.
This list is meant to open your mind and give you fresh, unique ideas to save money in a way that feels sustainable and pleasant.
Keep an open mind, and be willing to try new things!
1- Pack Lunch
One of the easiest, most effective ways to save money is to pack lunch for work.
Even if you can’t make it every day, just doing it some days can pay off big.
Doing simple math, say lunch costs you $10 per day, 5 days per week.
That’s $200/month that you’re spending at work every day.
Who wants to go to work to spend $200?
Even if you pack lunch on just 3 of those days, you’re keeping $120 per month in your bank account.
It may not sound like much, but for the little bit of effort it would take you to put together lunch the night before, you could be putting $1,440 back into your pocket.
Get like Nike and “Just Do It!”
2- Coupon & Discount Website Shopping
Another great way to save money is by discount shopping online.
Sites like RetailMeNot make it so easy to find coupon codes for just about any website you may be purchasing from.
The problem with this is if you’re anything like me, sometimes you forget to check.
I’ve made purchases forgetting to search for coupon codes, then come back later only to discover 10-20% off.
To remedy this, you could try one of the many free web browser extensions that comparison shop for you, such as Honey.
3- Stop Buying Bottled Water
To save money, stop buying bottled water.
It is costly, takes up space, and studies have shown that bottled water is not any safer than tap water.
There is literally no point.
But what do you do if you just don’t like the flavor?
Buy a water filter!
I highly recommend the Brita brand.
4- Quit Drinking Alcohol
The average adult probably isn’t spending a metric ton of money on alcohol.
But many people drink more than “moderately”, which maxes out at just 1 drink per day for women and 2 for men.
Even if you don’t drink very often, alcohol can be expensive.
A few drinks out on the town with friends can easily run you $50.
Wine with dinner adds up too.
Then if you drink to excess you may wind up missing a day of work, making bad decisions, and even ruining your health (which is costly down the line).
Quitting alcohol completely is a great way to save money!
Click here for my 10 best tips to quit drinking alcohol.
5- Try Intermittent Fasting
Okay, so this may seem a bit unconventional, but hear me out.
Food is expensive, and so is obesity.
Obesity accounts for over 20% of yearly medical spending in the United States, alone.
Obesity-related health issues can put a serious dent in your financial life.
You don’t want that.
So why not kill two birds with one stone?
Intermittent fasting may help you do just that.
With intermittent fasting, you simply eat all your day’s food within a certain time frame.
For example, most people start with a 16:8 fasting plan, meaning they’ll fast 16 hours daily and eat all their food within 8 hours.
A common schedule is eating from 12pm to 8pm daily and fasting from 8pm until noon the following day.
Essentially skipping breakfast.
I tried intermittent fasting for a month, lost 10 pounds and saved a bunch of money on food.
6- Start A Side Hustle – Work From Home
Most people would love to wave a magic wand and be able to quit working.
Or at least eliminate some of the hassles of working by working from home.
One of the best ways to change your financial life is to start a side hustle or side business that will enable you to earn money from home.
Because a ton of time and money is wasted by working.
If you can eliminate the commute (either public transportation or gas plus wear-and-tear on your car), the need to purchase work clothes, costly food items for lunch out and the opportunity cost of lost time traveling to and fro (time that could better be spent doing other things), you could save a lot more money.
True, starting a business or a side hustle won’t immediately enable you to walk away from your job, BUT…
Anything is possible!
I started a side-hustle and quit my job just 18 months later.
You don’t know what’s possible until you try!
Here are 10 easy, fun ideas for hobbies that earn money.
7- Get A Good Credit Card
If your credit is fairly decent and you don’t have any blatant issues with running up huge credit card bills, perhaps getting a credit card with perks is right for you.
For example, my favorite card of all time is QuickSilver by Capital One.
I get 1.5% cash back on all items, which is nice, but it also has this really cool feature called Paribus, which constantly scans for best prices and automatically refunds me if something I bought turns out cheaper elsewhere!
I’ve saved hundreds of dollars using Paribus pretty effortlessly.
Check it out!
8- Cancel Your Gym Membership
I know you think you need your gym membership, but chances are you really don’t.
Most people don’t go anywhere near as frequently as they plan to, and all that money could be better spent elsewhere.
So yes, to save money, consider canceling your gym membership.
There are so many free ways to get and stay fit.
Go for a run, do calisthenics, go hiking, jump rope, or try quick workouts you can find online like this 8-Minute HIIT Fat Burner Workout.
If you need to up the ante and want to lift weights, I recommend investing in a pair of adjustable dumbbells, like this Bowflex SelecTech 552 brand.
I highly recommend these.
Though they seem a bit pricey, my husband and I use these many times weekly and have both canceled our gym memberships.
For us, it took less than 6 months for the dumbbells to pay for themselves.
You can work out most body parts between using these and adding other methods.
Eliminating any recurring payments is a great way to save money!
9- Cancel Cable, Get Netflix
Along the thread of canceling recurring payments to save money, if you have cable – you shouldn’t.
There’s literally no reason these days to spend all that money on cable!
With affordable video streaming services like Netflix, Prime Video and Hulu, you can watch almost anything at any time for a fraction of the cost.
10- In College? Buy Last Year’s Textbooks
One of the worst things about college to me was those super expensive textbooks!
Like, we’re already paying for tuition, why must we spend hundreds on new books too?
One of my top secrets was that for most subjects (especially things that don’t change much like history or sociology), I’d buy the previous version of the book for as little as one cent.
Yes, a PENNY.
Did it work?
Well, I successfully completed both a BA and an MPA using this approach, so I’d say so!
The best place for discount textbooks today would be Amazon Prime Student.
If you or someone you care for might like to take advantage of this approach, you get 6 whole months of Amazon Prime Student totally free when you first join.
You CAN Save Money & Still Live A Life You Love!
So, do you like any of these tips and tricks to save money?
Are you convinced that you really can save money and live a life you love?
I’ll be updating this list over time with way more great ways to save money, so check back often!