I’ve picked up a lot of money-saving tips over the years, many during the time when all four of our kids were little and I was at home with them while Dave worked to support all six of us. From that experience, I realized that a lot of of money-saving tips cover the same things: cut back on monthly subscriptions, buy groceries when they’re on sale, buy things secondhand when possible, etc.
But when you really need to save money (or even if you just really want to in order to achieve a specific goal), those basic measures will only take you so far. But as I’ve found out, there are plenty of “out of the box” ways to spend less money and save even more, and it’s those sort of tips that we’ll be focusing on in today’s post!
Whether you’re struggling to keep up with monthly expenses, saving up for a major purchase, or hoping to take a dream vacation in the future, these simple tips will help you get creative with how you save and get you one step closer to achieving your financial goals.
13 Creative Ways To Spend Less And Save More
1. Get More Sleep
Having a regular, reasonable bed time will lower your monthly expenses. You’ll spend less on electricity, cut down on late-night snacking and drinking, and you’ll enjoy all the health benefits that come along with getting enough sleep. It’s a win-win-win!
2. Take “Navy Showers”
This technique was invented by the Navy to save precious water rations, and it uses just 11 gallons of water instead of the typical 60 gallons used during a typical shower. Turn the water on just long enough to get yourself wet, then turn it off, soap up, and only turn the water back on when you’re ready to rinse.
3. Potty Train Your Cat
It may sound ridiculous, but training your cat to use the toilet instead of a litter box can save you a lot of money. According to PetEducation.com, you can save up to $1,650 in litter costs over your cat’s lifetime. And apparently teaching your cat to use the toilet is a very doable process. Who knew?
4. Put Something Back Every Time You Shop
If you find yourself with a cart full of stuff at your favorite store (much like I do every time I shop at TJ Maxx), put one item back on the shelf before you head to the checkout stand. Every little bit adds up, and it may save you some buyer’s remorse too.
5. Paint Your Roof White
Did you know that around 16% of all electricity consumed in the U.S. is used for air conditioning? You can reduce your own A/C costs and save money by doing one simple project: painting your roof white.
Covering a black tar roof with solar-reflective white paint will immediately help reduce temperatures inside and out. On a 90°F day, a black roof can reach a sizzling 180°F, while a white roof will stay relatively cool at 100°F. This can reduce your cooling costs by 40%!
6. Unplug Everything
Many of our modern gizmos and gadgets are “energy vampires,” meaning they continue to consume energy even when they’re turned off or aren’t currently in use. So even when you’re not streaming your favorite shows on your TV or charging your cell phone, your electronics like your TV, streaming devices, and phone charger are still using energy and ultimately costing you money!
The easiest way to spend less on energy vampires is to unplug things whenever you’re not using them. (Surge protectors can make this easier because you can quickly cut power to several things at once.)
7. Cut Your Hair Short
Water, shampoo, conditioner, and even the energy needed to power your hair dryer all cost money. A simple way to spend less on these things is to just have less hair! Get your hair cut short and start saving on hair-related expenses instantly.
8. Use Professionals-In-Training
If you’re in need of a massage or a haircut, odds are good you can find a student or trainee who can provide the service for a fraction of the cost of a fully trained professional. Check out local cosmetology schools, dental schools, massage schools, and other schools and training programs to see if their students offer discounted services.
9. Get Rid Of Grey Charges
If you don’t regularly check your credit card and bank account statements, you should really start. “Grey charges” consist of small fees, subscriptions, renewals, and other charges that many of us don’t notice, and they can cost you hundreds of dollars each year!
Grey charges can become even more of a money drain if they happen across several of your accounts. The best way to address them is to inspect your statements carefully, and when you identify a grey charge you want to get rid of, call the customer service line of the company responsible.
10. Save It For Later
When you’re browsing online and come across something that you feel compelled to buy right that second, save the item by pinning it to one of your Pinterest boards, bookmarking the tab in your browser, or whatever method you use to keep track of things online.
After 30 days, or however long you deem suitable, revisit the item. If you still want it, go ahead and buy it, because you can feel fairly confident at that point that you won’t experience buyer’s remorse. But don’t be surprised if you end up deciding you don’t actually want the thing as much as you thought you did a month ago!
11. Get Inspired to Save
Delaying instant gratification can be difficult, but it’s a lot easier when you’re properly motivated! To keep yourself inspired to spend less and save more, make an inspiration board that captures the motivation behind your decision to save money (a vacation, your kid’s college fund, retirement, etc.), then hang it up in a place you’ll see it often to keep yourself inspired and motivated.
12. Drink More Water
The simple act of drinking more tap water throughout the day instead of sodas, energy drinks, or coffee drinks can save you a surprising amount of money. Plus, drinking more water will also improve your health, which can help keep your health care costs down too!
13. Slow Down While Driving
According to the Department of Energy, the fuel economy of the average vehicle starts dropping rapidly above 50 mph. In fact, for each 5 mph you go over that speed, that’s like paying an extra 20 cents per gallon for gas!
That additional cost can add up over time, so stick to the speed limit to keep that cash in your pocket. And avoid excessive accelerating and heavy breaking too, which can both make your car less fuel efficient.
What are your favorite creative ways to save money?