20 Ways To Save Money Right Now
Wherever you are in your financial journey, know that there’s always a corner you can cut or modify to save money and ultimately turn your life around. Most of the time, they’re simple, but it’s always the simplest things that get overlooked. As a famous quote goes: Simplicity is complex. It’s never simple to keep things simple. Simple solutions require the most advanced thinking.
But hey, we’ve done all the thinking for you, all you need now is to take that first step in the right direction, and get things moving towards your financial goals this year! You don’t have to do all of these (and we wouldn’t want you to — there is such a thing as being too frugal). But implementing even just a few of these tips can have a dramatic impact on your finances. Find out which tips will suit your lifestyle the best, and you’ll be saving money in no time:
Cut your cable
To begin with, cable channels aren’t a necessity. Nowadays, with the advent of the internet and streaming services, it’s also the least lifestyle-friendly option for most working professionals. Besides, if you’ve subscribed to streaming services or you frequent Youtube for entertainment instead, a cable channel can prove to be a redundant luxury to have.
Eat out less
The money you spend on one dinner at a decent restaurant could easily be used for a whole week’s worth of homemade meals.
You don’t need to drastically cut your eating out habit, perhaps start by reducing the frequency by one for the first month, then reducing it by two in the next, and so on.
Make your own coffee
If you frequent Starbucks or any other fancy coffee shops, you’ll be surprised how much money you can save in a year by reducing your purchase by once a week. We’ve all heard the cliché about wasting money on PHP200 lattes, but it’s a cliché for a reason. For starters, you don’t need to stop going to Starbucks, rather, reduce the times you go there for coffee and either skip caffeine once a week or make your own coffee at home or drink the free ones in the office.|
Put that money that you’d spend for coffee in a piggy bank or a separate bank account. You’d be surprised to have saved at least PHP9,600 by the end of the year – and that’s just for skipping Starbucks once a week!
Cut down or quit expensive vices
Whether that’s cigarettes, alcohol, or sodas, cutting down gradually (because it’s impossible to quit it overnight) will definitely leave you a good sum of savings in your wallet. An average smoker spends PHP10,800 a year on cigarettes, and if you’re a habitual drinker or *insert your expensive vice here* surely you’d save a lot more.
We’re not saying you quit right away, because withdrawal symptoms are real and you may need professional help to get through that. But gradual or small reductions to your vices can add up to a significant amount of savings in the long run.
Instead of just saving the money you use to spend on your vices, why not deposit that into an investment account, even as simple as depositing it to a Bitcoin wallet can be more promising than just stashing it in your wallet or savings.
Buy generic or store brands
Grocery stores and drugstores offer cheap generic brands of almost anything. And truth be told, generic medicines work as well as branded ones. You don’t have to take our word for it, you can read this piece from the FDA.
Branded drugs are priced 85% more than generic drugs. If you’re on a maintenance medication and it seems expensive, it wouldn’t hurt to ask your doctor for a generic brand. Disclaimer: We’re not health experts and not all medicines have generic brands, so before you do this, ask your doctor or a pharmacist first.
Before buying, see if you can borrow first
If you need some tools to fix something up, a specific type of clothing for a special occasion, or a movie you want to watch, ask your friends first. Borrows clothes which you know you’ll only wear once, tools you’ll only need for a single repair, or a streaming subscription just for one show or movie you want to watch.
Use free software alternatives
If you’re a professional who uses professional software such as Adobe Suites for work, or you have an established workflow with specific software, this one isn’t for you. But if you’re not, you can actually do without those expensive software subscriptions.
If you’re just doing light to moderate graphic work, you can use the free version of Canva as an alternative to AI; Gimp as a replacement for Photoshop; and Google docs for MS office.
Search the internet for free alternatives to software you need, chances are you’ll find one!
Get rid of your landline
You probably have a cell phone, and never use your landline. Get rid of it and you’ll cut costs. Most landlines nowadays are bundled with internet service, so dropping your phone service can make a huge amount of difference in the long run! Besides, why use a landline when using it to make phone calls actually costs you a lot of money. People nowadays communicate through Whatsapp, Viber, or Messenger anyway.
If you have to provide a landline for credit card applications, use your office landline.
Share your streaming and music subscription
The current monthly subscription for Netflix is as follows:
- Standard Netflix – PHP460 a month
- Basic plan – PHP370
- Premium – PHP564.
Netflix can allow you to create 5 different profiles in a single account. This means you can easily share your account and split the cost with 5 friends.
Meanwhile for Spotify, subscribe to Spotify family instead of the regular plan. This will allow you to have 6 different profiles in your account, but as long as they live in the same address as you. This way, you will only pay roughly PHP200 for that plan which you can split the cost with six people.
Imagine how much savings you can get with that?
Use a cashback credit card whenever you can
This also goes without saying that you should only use your card if you have enough money for using it right away. While it’s true that many people get into credit card debt, it isn’t true that it’s because of owning a credit card. It boils down to a person’s spending habits.
2. Cashback credit card’s rebates may seem small, but they add up in the long run potentially helping you earn back a few thousand pesos depending on your cashback credit card and spending.
Buy second-hand things
Used book sales can be a treasure trove, and will add up to much less than if you bought the books new. Thrift stores can yield great clothes for a much lower price.Or, if you’re shopping for clothes, it wouldn’t hurt to look for some ukay-ukay finds. You don’t really need a luxurious brand to look good and classy, it’s all about finding the right clothes that match your style.
Wait before buying…..
Depending on what you’ll buy, here’s how long you should wait.
- Wait at least 24 hours for big-ticket buys
This gives you enough time to compare priices. For big ticket items, a few percent difference can spell a big amount of savings!
- Wait at least 30 days before buying an unnecessary item
If you still want it after 30 days, you can buy it. If you forget about it, no sweat.
Ignore your bonuses
You’re used to living without this money; put it in savings, an investment where it can earn interest for you, or use it to pay down your debt. Either way, this is all about mindset, it’s not something you could easily develop overnight. But, the only way to learn it is to start practicing it.
Ladies, do your own mani/pedis more often
Cut down the number of trips to the nail salon and instead learn to do it yourself. Not only can you save money but it can also be a potential income-earning opportunity for you if you wanted to.
Don’t go grocery shopping with an empty stomach
Going to the grocery hungry will make you crave for food, and the hungrier you are, the easier you will be to be enticed with food that you won’t eat anyway. Your cravings will make you wanna buy more food than you need. So, fuel up before you go to the grocery and you’ll be surprised how much you’ll end up saving.
Make meals out of whatever’s on sale at the grocery store
Once a week or so the grocery puts different things on sale. (For example, there was recently a buy 1 kg chicken lollipops, get 500 g free deal at Rustan’s Fresh.) Plan your menu around the discounted grocery items!
Get a roommate
If you’re renting a big enough apartment for another person and you don’t mind sharing your living space with someone else, you could cut your utility bills and rent in half by asking a friend to share a room or house with you.
Collect your loose change
You’re probably sitting on thousands in coins right now, so take it to the bank. And whenever you’ve amassed PHP500 in coins, deposit it in a savings account.
Check your tire’s air pressure
Under-inflated tires lower your gas mileage by 0.4% for every one pound of drop in pressure of all 4 tires. That might seem small, but it can add up — if you have a 10-pound drop in pressure, you lose 4% of your car’s fuel economy. Check your car’s recommended tire pressure, and make sure you keep your tires at that level.
Find alternatives to retail therapy
Instead of taking out your anger on your credit card, think about what else you can do. You could go for a run, which reduces stress; meditate, which is free; or hang out with people that give you good vibes.