We have all had this one thought before: “I wish I could get this much with this little I have.” If you haven’t thought that yet, well you are either extremely lucky, or extremely rich. Either way, you may still want to read this article. You might find or learn something interesting. So here we go.
For as long as I remember, getting a good value out of my little spending has always concerned me. Some will call it “being cheap,” I call it “making the most out of what I have.” That’s why I have researched and tried many ways to save money, while still getting everything I need. The first one is:
1. Research the internet
When I am sure most of you know this already, I want to point out again how lucky we are to have the internet, and all these search engines. Nowadays, one doesn’t need to really know anything by heart, if they have an internet connexion. Though it’s important to know some things by heart and establish yourself as an expert, for the most part of your daily activities, you can get the help you need online. For example, now you are reading this blog and are about to get a piece of knowledge at no cost. Nice, right?
As technology and our use of it improves, so do our lives, somewhat. Now, you can get to a place you have never been before, just by using an app, or you can search online for discounts before you start shopping. But, this is just one way for you to get the spending value you want. Let’s move to the remaining 6.
2. Be a student
Yes, you read it right. Go to school. This is like killing two birds with one stone, especially if you live in a country where the system allows you to learn and save.
As a student, there are many things you can either get for free, or get at a discounted rate. It may sounds crazy but, sometimes, even discounted items are discounted for students.
To me, that’s more than a good deal. However, this may not be the best suited option depending on where you are in life. A 30-40 years old single mom, definitely can’t have the same priorities as a 21 years old, which means this is more of an optional solution. But if you can, do not hesitate to finish that degree you started a few years back. Or even start a new path. Who knows what lies ahead of this new journey?
3. Get free things
I mean that, literally. I know it sounds cliché but, don’t let other people opinions make you feel bad for wanting free goodies. Don’t spend where you don’t have to.
For example, you don’t need to get a full high tech equipment if your budget is too tight this month. Try to locate a library close to you, and get a library card. Or, attend free workshops, meetings and seminars in your city (even online with Meetup) to get a specific skillset. This is a substitute option to being a student. You get the knowledge you want and need at no cost to you. Plus you will get to meet someone knew. Good chance that someone is going to be someone with the same interests as you. And if that’s the case, option 4 will apply nicely.
4. Get like-minded (with same interests) friends
You will agree with me that having friends makes your like so much fun. Well, having like-minded friends has even more perks.
Picture this. You have had a long quarter full of night shifts and overtime. Your kids (if any) have been even giving you a hard time, and your partner has still not bought you both the flight ticket for the weekend he promised you almost a year ago. You are tired, frustrated and don’t know how to deal with all the stress. You talk to your friends and mention how nice it would be to get a little time off and spend it in Hawaï. Luckily, you friends think like you. They are passionate of travels and feel like a break is much needed. So you all decide of a date, make sure you have it off of work, and travel all together. Now how did this sound?
Getting yourself a few like-minded friends not only will make things fun; it will also make them cheaper. You can rent a car for your trip, stay at the same Airbnb, buy packages and share the costs. Easy peasy!
5. Subscribe to and/or be an ambassador of brands
While this is a more recent concept, it doesn’t make it less efficient. With more and more people turning to entrepreneurship, there are countless stores, shops and brands out there looking to get a piece of the market. For that, some of these business owners come up with marketing concepts such as giveaways, brand ambassadors etc. If you can, do it. What is it to loose? Nothing. All is to be gained.
The brand ambassador concept is one of the most popular among the youngest, since it involves content sharing and promotion, on social media. But it doesn’t mean that it’s age exclusive. You just need to find a brand that does something you like, can relate to, and would like to talk about. Believe me, that won’t be a problem. There are more brands, than you can possibly imagine. For example, brands like Rakuten reward you with cash for sharing a link. So have at it.
6. Buy multi-purpose items
The thing is, when going for a bargain shopping, sometimes, the highest price isn’t really one. Would you buy 5 different items at (let’s say) $50/piece if you can have one item that has all 5 items properties and is listed for only $150? The choice is easily made, wouldn’t you say?
It’s important to pay attention. Some days you just don’t care about the price as long as you have the brand you want or like. Other days, like halfway through the month or in between bi-weekly paychecks for example, this attention to details will save you a few dollars here and there. I know it’s hard not to numb on the cheapest item. I can relate. But, do this a few times every month, and you will thank me later. Especially, if you use them with option number 7.
7. Use the new financial apps and tools
You have a very small paycheck, you barely make it through your months, you swear by bargain shopping, but somehow you managed to put a few dollars aside, in a savings account. Maybe in a wallet hidden as far away from your sight as possible. Well done! But don’t stop there.
If you have a smartphone or a computer, download a financial app (like Acorns or Robinhood) that allows you to save and invest money. Most of them allow you to put as little as $10/deposit. Not much at first, but one big mistake we usually make is waiting for a lot to get some. Don’t make this mistake, invest every time you can. If you are consistent enough, you will be the one to tell this to someone else in a few months/years.
It can be frustrating not to have as much money as you need. And while these tips are not to be considered as professional financial advices, they still work and can be your first steps towards living well while spending less. Whether you decide to try them all, or just one, or even none, remember that there is always a way. Find yours and create a better tomorrow for yourself and your loved ones.