By Casey Bond
You’re probably tired of hearing people, whether it be your parents, friends or personal finance experts, tell you that you need to start saving more money now.
What you really need instead are some helpful tips on how you can realistically start growing your savings today.
After all, skipping your daily $5 Starbucks coffee will only take you so far.
Fortunately, there are many easy ways you can save money every day. And in some cases, these tips will even help you earn a bit more cash on the side. If you apply all nine of these money-saving tips to your life, you could save substantially.
PACK A LUNCH EVERY OTHER DAY
When most of your weeknight dinners consist of frozen pizzas or protein shakes, you probably don’t want to sit in the break room with a depressing sandwich at lunchtime. However, limiting lunches out to every other workday is a simple way to save $5 to $15 per meal, easily $100 over the course of a month.
BORROW A DRESS OR SUIT
With friends’ weddings, corporate conferences and maybe even girls’ (or boys’) nights out, it can be easy to find an excuse to buy a dress or suit every month. But unless you plan to wear that garment several more times in the future, it’s not really worth the expense. If you have an event coming up, just borrow a nice outfit from a close friend or rent one for the day. You can rent the latest looks from websites like Rent the Runway or Style Lend.
CLEAN OUT YOUR CLOSET
You know you have a ton of clothes in the depths of your closet. Maybe they’re not your style or don’t fit anymore. If you have some fairly nice stuff, you can take it all to Buffalo Exchange or similar retailers for cash on the spot. Tip: Washing and hanging everything nicely will increase your chances of making a sale, as will bringing in items that are in season.
LET YOUR ROOTS SHOW
Getting your hair professionally colored is ridiculously expensive, especially if you’re a brunette living as a platinum blond. If you dare, perform your own at-home touch-up, or simply wait eight weeks instead of four. Besides, having ombre hair is still pretty cool.
ADD AN AUTOMATIC TRANSFER
Here’s an easy way to save without cutting a single expense: Set up an automatic transfer of $25 per week from your checking account to your savings account. I guarantee you won’t miss the money.
SKIP THE BARS THIS WEEKEND
By the time you take a cab, grab a bite to eat, order a few rounds of drinks and take a cab back home, you’re looking at an expensive night out on the town. Pick a Friday or Saturday night to stay in, order takeout, have some friends over and tell them to each bring along their favorite refreshment.
CLEAN YOUR OWN HOUSE
Some of us don’t have the luxury of employing household help, but there are plenty of people who spend at least $100 on a house cleaner every month. Try cleaning up after yourself just once, you’ll save a lot of cash and gain a greater appreciation for all your maid does for you.
PUT A FREEZE ON YOUR GYM MEMBERSHIP
A number of personal finance experts always point to the gym membership as the first expense that should be cut. If you’re in need of extra savings this month, just freeze your membership instead of canceling it. This will allow you to resume your fitness routine in the future without having to pay sign-up fees again.
BUY YOUR PLANE TICKETS A MONTH EARLY
Booking last-minute travel is an easy way to pay an extra $100 or more. A recent study by CheapAir found that you can get the lowest airfares three weeks to 3 1/2 months in advance for domestic travel and at least two months in advance for international travel. So if you know you’d like to travel in the near future, plan accordingly to save the most on airfare.