Who likes to save money? Apparently, no one. How to save money seems to be an even trickier question. It’s difficult, especially if you’re a woman. There are simply so many beautiful things to buy that it seems almost impossible to put a little something on the side. We, girls, always dream of saving up for an entire palette of high-brand makeup, a gorgeous vacation, our first child, our wedding dress or our marriage, for that matter, but gathering money month after month can be quite tricky. However, fear not, because we have put together especially for you a fantastic list of 12 practical tips for women on how to save money.
Without much further ado, let’s delve straight into our list of tips.
#1. It’s All About Swapping
The first trick on how to save money if you’re a woman is centered around swapping. This practice can include everything, from clothes, shoes, makeup, purses, jewelry, scarves, books, and everything in between.
It’s highly recommended you do this when you are trying to put aside some cash because it will help you breathe new life into your everyday things without having to pay a single cent. Don’t limit yourself to a brief period or one single girlfriend. Depending on the sum of money you’re planning on saving and on how long you need to do this, choose several friends and start trading.
Here’s how the whole thing works. Gather your friends for a girls’ night and have them bring over every single item they want to swap and, therefore, renew. Go through them, play dress up and watch your wardrobe, jewelry box, and bookshelves refresh themselves in an instant.
There’s a trifecta of excellent things about this.
- There is absolutely no spending involved here. Therefore, all the money you would have normally paid for new clothes, makeup, books, and shoes are going straight to the bank.
- Don’t worry about your friends not wanting to do this. They, too, have things they’re tired of and want to be changed.
- You can also do this online, on an even bigger scale. Here are some websites for trading: com, dignswap.com, and rehashclothes.com.
#2. Free Furniture
Is that even possible? As it turns out, it is, and it’s an astonishing tip on our how to save money list. Now and then you get the urge to replace your furniture and restyle your house. Apart from that, there are also those pesky moments in which one of your chairs, table or even bed breaks down. What do you do then if you are on a saving money diet?
You log onto freecyle.org, create an account, join the group specially created for the city you live in, and start choosing. Freecycle is an international organization, entirely non-profit. It’s important to note the group itself does not own any of the objects traded on its platform, nor does it want to. You will be dealing directly with the people who are willing to donate the things they no longer need.
You can find furniture galore, and it would be a nice thing if you gave something too. How to save money just got a friendly, help-thy-neighbor spin!
#3. Every Little Bit Counts
When you’re thinking how to save money, remember this paramount rule: every little bit counts. Every month when you get your paycheck, put a minuscule and insignificant sum in the bank or your personal piggy. It can be $10, $20 or $40. When you make the deposit, you will not feel the financial gap at all, because it’s so small. However, you will notice and feel it, from an economic point of view when you want to make a withdrawal and discover there’s a lot more in there than you incipiently thought. Hello, vacation!
#4. No More Going to the Gym!
For some of you, reading these words might sound terrifying while for the rest, it sounds like heaven. I’m sorry to say, but you’re both wrong.
If the thought of not going to the gym anymore scared you, ladies, do not fret, as it is merely implying you stop paying for the membership, not stopping to exercise. Seeing as you are trying to find tips on how to save money, this is a good one.
Instead of paying for the gym, end your subscription and put that money to better use. Alternatively, you can start working out at home or outside. Take up jogging, running, yoga, and cardio. None of these require an actual gym to be performed. Both your bedroom and the park on a sunny day will work just fine.
If you immediately thought the advice of giving up the gym was good news, as you may well see, it’s not. You still have to work out to maintain your health. You just have to do it outside the gym as a tip on how to save money.
#5. Take Care of Everything You Own
The careless you are with your things, the faster they will tear, wear, and break. That means you have to buy new ones, and that’s simply not suitable for your plan on how to save money. There are a few simple tricks you can start doing right now to ensure your possessions live as long as possible.
For example, don’t hang your bags on hooks or doorknobs. Gravity will cause the leather to stretch, and the stitches to loosen, and the bag will fray a lot sooner. We all know leather bags are not cheap, so make the switch as soon as possible.
As far as clothes go, there are a few tips here as well.
- The same as with bags, do not hang dresses or pants. They will stretch out fast, and the fabric will loosen up.
- Zip your clothes prior to washing them, so that the zipper does not wear.
- Wash your dark clothes only once every three or four years. Don’t worry. They won’t get dirty sooner, contrary to popular belief.
#6. Happy Hour Turns into Short Hour
Ladies, we all love our happy hour, but cocktails cost a lot of money, and that’s just not good economics. During the time you’re on this ‘how to save money’ course, limit your nights on the town to just one, maybe two, if the occasion calls for it. Building on this premise, while you’re out, reduce the number of cocktails or wine glasses you normally have. Replace a part of them with water, soda with lime or a simple freshly squeezed juice. Apart from saving money, you won’t ingest as many calories, and you will positively feel better in the morning.
#7. How Big a Wedding Do You Actually Need?
We agree. A wedding is the most special moment of your life. It’s one day when it’s all about you, the bride. However, ‘special’ doesn’t have to translate to ‘huge’ and ‘’costly.’ Think of the simple adjustments you can do. Here are some practical examples.
- Do you need both lilies and roses, because one seems quite enough? Flowers can be expensive, so this is the first thing you should be thinking of on the ‘how to save money on my wedding’ topic.
- Carefully plan the guest’s list. Brides usually tend to go overboard when inviting people to their nuptials. It doesn’t have to be like that. You don’t need to ask old colleagues whom you haven’t spoken to in years, fellow graduates you did not interact with in college, your former accountant or your parents’ friends whom you only remember as a child.
- Find deals on your wedding dress, as well as your maid of honors’ dresses.
- Don’t serve expensive food, such as caviar, oysters, lobster or truffles. Remember people are not there for the food or the flowers. They are there to celebrate your love bond with you and your partner.
#8. The Groceries List
Another great tip on the how to save money list is carefully planning the way you buy your groceries. You should know that this matter has been given a lot of thought by many researchers since we now live in an all-consumerist age, and it’s slowly, but surely, taking control of our lives.
Therefore, there are many tips on how to successfully go shopping for groceries and not spend more money than you have to.
- Never go shopping on an empty stomach. If you’re hungry or desperately craving something, do not enter the store. Everything on the shelves will look appetizing, and you will end up cramming all matter of things you wouldn’t normally buy in your basket.
- When purchasing fruits and vegetables, always buy local and stick to produce that happens to be in season. If they are cultivated locally, they will be cheaper, due to the fact that the stores don’t have to pay for transportation.
The same goes for produce that is in season. They are always cheaper than strawberries in January, for example, which take a lot of work to be grown.
- Look for products that have at least 50% discount. These are usually eggs, dairy products, and fruit. Supermarkets lower their prices so much because they are about to expire, but the date inscribed on them is not usually the real one. For example, eggs, milk, and cheese are still fit for eating at least one week after their stamped expiration date.
- Studies show that most stores intentionally play slow music to encourage people subconsciously to slow down and spend more time in their shops. The more time you spend in there, the more likely you are to fill your cart, usually with unnecessary things. The solution? Wear headphones and play upbeat music to keep you going.
- Always take a grocery list with you and stick to it. This way you will keep your how to save money plan.
- Set a budget for yourself prior to entering the store and keep to it. Don’t buy anything that is beyond that financial point.
- Prepare a weekly meal plan and only buy the things you need for those meals.
- In case you have kids, don’t take them shopping, unless you absolutely have to. The little ones are easily attracted to everything they see in the store, and they will, most likely, insist until you actually buy them something.
- Don’t take your car. It’s a waste of gas.
#9. Cooking Is the Key
Another great way to save money and one that students always use is cooking for yourself. As we all know, eating out may be tasty and the easy way to do it, but it’s also very expensive. It might not seem so on a daily basis, but if you do the math at the end of the month, for example, you’ll get a good scare because of the numbers.
The solution is to cook at home as often and as much as you can and base your daily meals on that. One great tip here, so that you don’t feel like you waste time every day is to plan a cooking weekend. Take one weekend off and spend the entire two days cooking everything, from healthy snacks to main meals, to garnishes and desserts. You can then keep the surplus in the freezer and, as time goes by, unfreeze it.
Another great tip here is to use absolutely everything you can food related. Never throw away leftovers. For example, if you have been cooking, and you’re left with half a tomato, a handful of pasta at the bottom of the box, and a few fresh basil leaves that happened to fall out while you were busy over the stove do not discard them. Whip up a quick one-person meal that will save even more money on food.
Since we’re on the topic of nutrition, there are certain things that you can replace with cheaper alternatives. For example, swap store-bought sweets for homemade ones or fruit. Replace sodas and juices with water, simple or flavored with herbs and spices, such as lavender or basil. Instead of ice tea, you can lose the one you buy bottled from the supermarket, and make your own at home. It’s far cheaper, and you can make as much of it as you want. Coffee follows the same logic. Make your own spiced latte at home. There’s a good chance it will taste even better than the coffee shop one. Not to mention it’s a lot healthier!
#10. Coupons Can Be Your Best Friend
This is yet another tip on the ‘how to save money’ list related to shopping. If you manage to get enough of them, coupons will save you up to 20% of your total price at the cash register when you shop. In our view, that’s not too shabby for such a simple thing. All you need to do is keep an eye on coupons and clip them. You can usually find these little money-savers at store entrances, with flyers you receive for free, and in newspapers and magazines.
Everything that is on sale is worth buying. We’re talking about clothes, hygiene products, detergents, makeup since we all know how costly it is, appliances, and all the little what-not’s you need around the house.
Even if you don’t necessarily have a use for them at the moment of the sale, go ahead and buy them anyway, because they will be paying for themselves when the time comes. However, when you see a sale, it’s best you thoroughly check it out first. Make sure the items are truly on sale. There are some cases in which stores up the prices of their goods right before the sale kicks-off, just so that they can have something to cut.
Building on this idea, always buys in bulk, if it makes sense to do so. For an even better way of learning how to save money, pair sales with buying in bulk. If, for example, there is a sale of women’s hygiene products, don’t buy a single box or one single bottle of shampoo. Buy as many as your budget allows. On the long term, you’ll find out you saved as much as half their original price. All that extra money can then go to the bank.
#12. TV, Internet, and Phone
On the way to achieving your ‘how to save money’ goals, you mustn’t forget about technology. Take out the paperwork you signed when you got your cable, internet, and phone plan and see exactly what it is you’re paying for.
For example, regarding the cable bill, if you happen to be using a big package, with a lot of channels included, ask yourself: do I really watch all these channels? If the answer is no, then call your provider and ask to switch to a lower subscription. The same goes for your internet plan. There’s a good chance you don’t need high-speed internet at home unless you’re a freelancer, and that is also your office. However, if you simply use your internet to stream movies, socialize and listen to music, then you can definitely do it for a lower price.
Your phone plan is no different. Keep tabs for one month and see exactly how much you use it. Who do you call and how long does it take? Can you replace your message plan, which you are currently paying for, with a free one? Try using Facebook’s Messenger app, Skype for calling or What’s App. They are all free.
Since we’re on the subject of bills, here’s a freebie. Always pay all your bills on time. This way you will avoid any extra charge caused by being late penalties.
Save the world, some money, and some energy by installing solar panels in your home or building, if you can. In the long run, a lot of the electricity and heating bills will be paying themselves and your savings will quickly go up.
There you have it. Twelve marvelous and highly practical tips on how to save money. We say ‘amazing’, but do you know what’s really amazing about them? The fact that they’re so easy you can start doing them right now!
The above article was researched and written by the editorial staff at WomensWealth.Money.