You probably already know the “usual” ways to save money:
- packing your own lunch for work or school
- clipping coupons
- buying used versus new, et cetera.
These are typical things that many of us do, so we don’t give them much thought.
However, there are some not-so-typical ideas out there that can save you even more money. Some require more effort than others, and there is a learning curve for a few of these ideas. However, even these “learning intense” tips have benefits: you learn something new and save money!
Here are some of the less-expected ways to save money.
- Learn a new hobby – one that saves money. This might require you to invest a little money at first, but think of the long-term benefits. Do you love lighting scented candles? Learn how to make your own. If you’ve always been interested in home improvement, make that your new hobby: a few do-it-yourself books or DVDs are much cheaper than the contractor’s bill. You can also apply this “get a hobby” idea to things like sewing and gourmet cooking.
- Round up to the nearest whole dollar every time you write a check or use your debit card. When you balance your ledger or checkbook, record that $45.09 purchase as $46. You should separately record the “real” amount spent, though, so that you can accurately reconcile your banking records. At the end of the month, or the year, see how much money you have – versus what you thought you had. You could have enough “surprise cash” to take a road trip, enjoy a weekend away, or pay an unexpected bill.
- Take cash when you go to make a large purchase. If you have actual, folding money, the other party might negotiate. Don’t expect outrageous savings, though; you aren’t likely to get a brand-new pickup truck for two thousand dollars cash, after all.
- Portion control is your friend – and not just for food. If you use a little less laundry soap in every load, the container will last longer. The same goes for dish soap, toothpaste, and pretty much everything else that you dispense at your own discretion.
- Take advantage of freebies. Check newspapers, Web sites and in-store circulars for coupons and other offers. Similarly: use manufacturer’s rebates to your advantage. Oh, sure, you’ll have to clip the bar code, fill out a form, and mail in everything – then wait six weeks or longer for your rebate. However, that’s your money; go get it back.
Unusual money-saving ideas don’t end with these tips, though. Use these ideas to come up with some of your own; that way, you’ll save even more money.
You should also get together with family and friends to trade ideas. Somebody in one of your social circles might be doing something that saves enough cash every month to finance a nice evening out; the sooner you hear this idea, the sooner you can put it to work for yourself.