You’ll be shocked at how easy these 8 Simple Ways to Save Money Every Day are to implement in your life. Whether you’re looking to pay off debt or save up for something special – you can easily start saving today with these tips!
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You might be wondering.. why am I writing about money? This is a food blog, right? But after talking to a bunch of you – I found out that A LOT of people are in my situation.
Whether they’re trying to pay off student loan debt, buy a house, or pay off a credit card bill.. most people have debt and want to get rid of it. Over the past 6 or so years I’ve implemented these 8 ways to save money every day.
The first chunk of money I saved I used to go on a 14 day trip all over Italy. It was hands down, the best 2 weeks of my life. You can read about it here. The second chunk of money I saved was/is going to student loans. Here’s what sparked this post…
Monday night I was doing my weekly (yes weekly) login to all of my financial accounts, including MyFedLoan, and staring at my remaining $6,755.27 balance and thinking when will you EVER go away.
Don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful that this is the only student loan debt I have as of right now. At its highest, my student loan debt was $22,000 – a small amount in the grand scheme of things.
In 2017, the average person had $37,400 in student loans (according to this article), and even that seems small when I look at some of my friends who have hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay off.
My parents worked SO incredibly hard to be able to pay for a large portion of my college tuition and for that I’m eternally thankful. I also saved about $30,000 by opting to live at home during my last 3 years of school which I’m also very thankful for.
But it doesn’t put aside the fact that $22,000 of my hard earned money has to go to the federal government to pay off a college degree that 1) I’m not even using and 2) I didn’t even enjoy getting. (I hated college. That’s a story for another day.)
For these two reasons more than anything… I want my student loans gone. While I didn’t know I wasn’t going to be using my degree when I graduated college (although I kinda did already know in the back of my head), I set a goal to pay off my debt by the time I turned 25, which would be 3 years and 5 months after my graduation day (My birthday is October 8 and I graduated in May of 2015)
So how does someone at an entry level marketing job plan to pay off $22,000? Or really any person with any amount of debt. Unless you’re lucky enough to win the lotto or get an inheritance.. chances are you have to find a way to chip away at it every day. I’ve been implementing these 8 simple ways to save money every day, and now – they’re things that I do without even thinking.
This is just how I live, and when I’m done paying off my debt, I’ll use this method to save up for things I want like vacations, a new camera, a house (if we can ever find one), and a dog (Ziti needs a friend).
I’m sharing my tips for saving money below and I think you’ll be surprised at how simple they are. Some people take even more extreme steps to save money, and I’m sure I could too – but I also like to enjoy life and am only willing to sacrifice so many things… you have to decide what works for you!
1)Ask yourself: Do I really need this?
This is a question I ask myself with literally every purchase. Cool new paleo snack I see in an Instagram story… do I want to try it, yes, but do I really need this? No. I have 3 other bags of granola and 17 other types of snacks so I don’t need this. A $4.99 kombucha at Whole Foods (why is that stuff so expensive, BTW???). Do I want to drink it? Heck yes, it looks delicious and refreshing. Do I need to drink it? Absolutely not.
See where I’m going here? There is a difference between WANTING and NEEDING. Sometimes just pausing to think about the purchase is all you need to do.. but 9/10 times your answer will be no, you don’t need this.
I’m not saying you should completely stop purchasing things you ‘want’ vs ‘need’.. but really think about it and act accordingly. The 3 things I just talked about here could’ve easily saved me $50-$60, and these are all purchase decisions we could all easily come across each day.
2) Making Your Coffee At Home
This is one that everyone talks about.. but if you’re still buying coffee every day at Starbucks or Dunkin (or a boujee $8 oat milk latte from your local coffee shop) you’re wasting more money than you think.
Do you realize how CHEAP coffee is? I bought a pound of organic fair trade coffee at Trader Joes for $7.99. For some of you, that might be what you spend in one day on coffee… For Tyler and I.. $7.99 is our morning coffee for the next three weeks. Let me give you a little breakdown
Let’s just say hypothetically you get a medium coffee at a coffee shop every day and it costs you $2.50 (which I’m lowballing, but stay with me)
$2.50 x 7 days in a week = $17.50
$17.50 x 52 weeks in a year = $910
But what if you get something a little more fancy.. let’s say a small latte at Starbucks for $4.
$4 x 7 days in a week = $28
$28 x 52 weeks in a year = $1, 452
A latte seems pretty harmless until you look at what it’s costing you for the year and realize you could’ve gone on an all inclusive trip to Turks and Caicos for a week. That’s literally what our vacation (that actually got canceled) cost per person back in September. Lattes vs a week long vacation… I mean is that even a question?
I’m not crazy enough to say you should give up caffeine but think about making it at home instead. We have this Ninja Coffee Bar which costs $119. I’m getting into the numbers here, but even if you were to invest in that, buy a $7.99 1 lb bag of coffee every 3 weeks (if you’re just one person you will not go through it that quick).
Between the coffee + the coffee maker you’re only looking at around $300 a year. If you’re a latte person.. get a Nespresso and warm milk in the microwave. We have had this Nespresso for almost 6 years and Trader Joes just started selling pods for it which only cost $0.40 a pod (If you don’t have TJ’s near you, Nespresso’s pods are around $0.70 a pod.
Between $111 on the machine, $145 on coffee pods (1 every day), and say you spend $100 on milk a year… you’re saving OVER a thousand dollars. That’s crazy!
Ty definitely doesn’t follow this rule as much as I do… but unless I’m out and for some reason not going to be home… I always opt for coffee from home.
(us on vacation spending all the money we saved)
3)Skip Buying Lunch/Going Out to Dinner Every Day
I know, I have the liberty of working for myself…but when I worked in corporate America I think I ordered food all of MAYBE 5 times in my 3 years working. I just couldn’t justify it. More math for you.
Say you spend $12 a day and only order out for lunch during the week.. That’s $60/during the work week. Friday and Saturday night you go out for dinner and drinks and Sunday you hit up brunch. Another $60/easily. That’s $120 for the week and not even considering breakfast/dinner the rest of the days.
For perspective… I spend no more than $400 on groceries a month and feed two people with it. You can easily save around $3,000-$4,000 a year by bringing your own meals to work. I would never recommend giving up going out with your friends to simply save money.
The $30 you’ll spend at dinner and drinks is a small price to pay for invaluable conversations, laughs, and memories… but why waste $60 a week on lame food that you sit and eat at your cubicle? You could just make a liiiiitle extra food when you cook dinner and take it for leftovers…. which brings me to…
4) Buy food in bulk
I say it all the time but MAN do I love Costco. It perpetually blows my mind how much money you can save by shopping there. You might be saying.. but I’m only one person – I can’t buy in bulk.
Yes, you totally can! While it probably would be hard to buy perishable items like some fruits, eggs, etc…. most things you can buy in bulk. Think canned goods, grains, nuts, seeds, meat (freeze it!), and even some veggies!
If you eat salads every day, buy your greens there! And if you don’t mind eating things like berries every day, you can get those for super cheap too… then the next week, grab a different greens mix or fruit! For more tips on how to eat healthy on a budget, read this post.
5) Get a side hustle
Up until January, this blog was my side hustle and a huge reason why I was able to pay off this income. Until this year, my blog was making about 1/2 my previous salary. (now it’s surpassing it) Imagine if you got an extra half of your income every week? That adds up quickly.
Making more money is the easiest way to pay off debt quickly. I also teach at the gym which brings in an extra $400-500 a month depending on how many classes I teach. In previous years I worked catering gigs and babysat (Even after college).
There are countless ways to make money now with Uber, Lyft, Wag, etc… but if you’re skeptical – try finding a side hustle that is something that you love. This blog and teaching at the gym were the ultimate side hustles for me…
I liked to eat healthy food and work out… why not work a little hard and make money for it? Here’s the story of How I Quit My Job + Became a Full Time Food Blogger
6)Save spare change in a jar
This seems like a silly one, and if you use mostly a credit card – it might not be for you. Tyler and I have a giant mug in our closet where we put all of our spare change.
We don’t even think about it being there… but when it gets full, we roll the change. Usually, we have about $200 in there by the time it’s full, which is a couple of times a year. It adds up, and while it isn’t a ton of money, you rarely think of change as being anything, so putting it away doesn’t feel like a big loss.
We did this when we first started dating to save up for our trip to Italy when we graduated. The coins paid for both of our flights (Around $3,000)… so it definitely counts 🙂
Most impulse purchases can be prevented simply by planning ahead… your morning coffee, eating a homemade lunch, and buying in bulk are all examples of things you can do that will help you save money simply by putting a little thought into your next day. But specifically from a money perspective, think about your goals.
It’s easy to think ‘oh I have years to pay that off!’ Or ‘maybe someday I’ll get to visit XYZ place’… but why wait? As cheesy as it sounds, there is no time like the present. Make a plan, and stick to it to tackle your debt or save up for what you want! Adding a hard date to it makes it seem more ‘official’ to attain!
8) Just say no
Saying no to things that don’t serve you can change your life. Not to sound self centered.. but everyone’s time, money, and energy are precious, so you CAN be a little self centered in this respect.
There are two ways to say no… actually saying ‘no’ to things that you don’t want to do/buy/be a part of. As in.. people invite you out to dinner and you don’t really like the crew that’s going, and don’t feel like wasting money at the place. A simple ‘sorry I can’t that night, dinner with my family!’ will get you out of that. You don’t have to be mean, just politely decline.
The other way to say ‘no’ is more mental than anything and it’s saying no to what society tells you you have to do. Now, more than ever – we are pressured by society(*Cough* social media *cough*) to act/think/do certain things.
So if you’re looking for someone to tell you that it’s ok that you DON’T hit up a SoulCycle class in your LuluLemon outfit, follow it up with brunch that has $17 avocado toast, do your grocery shopping strictly in the organic section of Whole Foods, get fancy manicures, make an adaptogenic life changing smoothie bowl with $82 worth of ingredients and finish your day with a grass fed filet mignon – that’s cool. I’m right there with you.
Other Random Little Tips:
-Cancel Monthly Subscriptions- I love ButcherBox but I recently paused mine to save a little extra money. We’ll go back to it in the future because I love their steak.. but for now.. we don’t need to eat steak. We can eat the cheaper chicken, pork, and turkey I buy locally. Right now the only month charge we have is Netflix. Consider splitting the cost of something like Netflix or Amazon Prime with a family member.
-DIY Whatever you can: I make my own things when I can. In the kitchen, I opt for homemade sauce and milk. In beauty products, I make my own body butter, sugar scrubs, makeup remover, and have started to do my own manicures.
-Stop buying boutique fitness or overly expensive workout clothes. I got a gym reimbursement at my last job and purchased SoulCycle classes with that. They ran out last Tuesday. I’m NOT repurchasing it. I don’t care how much I love it. I don’t have the disposable income to comfortably spend hundreds to spin in a dark room for 45 minutes. Be real with yourself.. what are your boutique barre, yoga, and spinning classes costing you? Maybe you need to try joining a regular gym for $20 a month and test out all the instructors. You might find one you like even better!
-Set it and forget it: This is harder for me to do because I work for and ‘pay’ myself, but if you’re in corporate America.. set up a 401K RIGHT NOW and automatically deduct money from your paycheck from it. I used to put 20% of my income into a 401K account.. and both my previous jobs matched a percent of that.. literally FREE money. And when it comes out of your paycheck automatically you don’t even think about it. You can also set up a separate account in your bank and have monthly or weekly amounts come out of your checking account into your special savings account. Even if you just remove $20 a week that’s just above $1,000 a year!
Now… I want to know… how do you save money?!
Here are some tips from YOU on how to save money:
-Create envelopes of cash for each week labeled: grocery, entertainment, essentials, or anything else needed budgeted for. Whatever isn’t used at the end of the week goes back into savings! – Mandy
-Delete shopping apps on your phone. Having the convenience of having the Amazon app can lead to you buying unnecessary things multiple times in a week – Iliana