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We’re all going to need to start pinching pennies in the coming weeks so here are a few tips to make sure you’re getting the most out of your money and cut down on discretionary spending.
Check Your Subscriptions
One of the first things you can do is take an inventory of all the services you have a subscription to. These can quickly (and quietly) pile up, making a big dent in your pocketbook. If you watch Netflix 75% of the time, do you really need that Crave subscription? If you’re not driving as much, do you really need Spotify? Also, if a business or service has been suspended due to COVID-19 (such as a gym membership), don’t count on them to automatically halt payments. Inquire about it yourself to make sure you’re not being charged for a service you’re not using (or can’t use).
The 48-Hour Rule
While some non-essential services are closed, there are still a few ways to spend money on things you don’t really “need”. The 48-hour rule is a way to curb impulse spending and be more mindful when making purchases by having you wait 2 days before making a “want” purchase. Don’t get me wrong, we all deserve a treat every now and then but this rule will help you avoid the buyer’s remorse you can often feel after an impulse buy.
Learn To Sew
Basic Sewing skills are something that almost anyone can learn and will extend the life of your clothes, allowing you to save more money. There are countless tutorials on Youtube that will teach you this skill and I’ve been told by a reliable source that it can even be “fun”. However, fun or not, it will definitely get you to spend less money on clothes.
Lower Your Credit Card Interest
Whether you carry a small or large balance on your card, if you have been making regular payments you have the right to renegotiate your interest rate with your provider. One of your biggest bargaining chips is that you also have the right to transfer that balance to another card (that will offer you a lower, often introductory, interest rate). Getting a lower interest rate on your card, even for a short period, can save you a substantial amount of money.
Inflate Your Tires
You read that correctly. You might be wondering how inflating your tires will save you money but did you know that under-inflated tires can reduce the fuel economy of your vehicle? Exact numbers vary (average loss is around 3% for every 5 PSI) but making sure your tires are fully inflated will ensure you’re getting the best bang for your buck at the pumps.
Make Coffee At Home
That daily coffee is costing you a lot more than you think. If you buy a large coffee every morning before work, that $10 a week quickly adds up to over $500 a year. Grabbing a bag of coffee grounds and making that cup of joe yourself will save you a lot of money. If you want to save even more money, you could, and I know this is blasphemy, not have a daily coffee (but that’s crazy, right?).
Monetize Your Hobby
Not so much a way to save money as it is a way to bring extra money in. There are plenty of ways to turn your passion or hobby into a little extra income. Photographer? Sell some pictures on a stock photo website. Artist? Set up an Instagram account or website and try to sell some paintings. Writer? Start a blog and sell advertising space when you get enough traffic.
Buy Cheap Gas
No, I’m not referring to the quality. With the outbreak of COVID-19 (and Saudi Arabia flooding the market) gas prices are the lowest they’ve been in over a decade and you can save even more by making sure you’re buying it as cheaply as possible. Apps like GasBuddy will compare all prices in your area so you never pay full price for gas again.
Share Streaming Services
You might be able to save a little extra money every month on the (probably multiple) streaming services you use. With your subscription to Netflix, you can have it on up to six devices and stream simultaneously on two of them, with Crave five and two. If you only ever stream on one device at a time, why not split the cost of a subscription with someone and you can both watch all the movies and shows you want for half the price?
Featured image courtesy of Maitree Rimthong via Pexels.com