Money, money, money, must be funny
Sure, money doesn’t but happiness, but having a lack of money is definitely not helping with being happy either. And sure, you can do lots of things to make money; start selling things, get a job, write summaries, watch your nieces or walk your neighbour’s dog. However, all those things cost time and sometimes, that’s also just not at your disposal. Therefore, here are some tips that I implement when I’m short on cash without having to slow down the rest of my life.
1. Be honest about your situation
There is generally a huge taboo on finances, but I would suggest trying to be more open about your situation. Of course, this does not mean sharing every detail, but you can tell people that you are running low on cash. This will help them to help you, for instance when choosing places to eat or to think about cheaper options for activities. You could cook together instead of going out to eat for example. This is cheaper and the activity itself is fun as well.
Talking about your struggles might also make you more relaxed, which is great for your decision-making skills, since several studies found that (financial) stress makes you more focused on the here and now instead of the future, which is not always good when it comes to finances. Therefore, I only focus on tips that might also add a little bit of joy in your life.
2. Share with friends
Sharing stuff is an excellent example to help each other out. An idea to mix up your closet is to exchange stuff that you haven’t worn in a while or to use an app to do this with strangers, like Vinted, Poshmark or Twice. The same also works with furniture and decorations around the house or with food. I got a chair from a friend that wanted to get rid off it and my mom still had some Christmas decorations lying around that I could use at Christmas to decorate my house. You can also try eating together more often. It’s more fun and eating with more people is almost always cheaper.
3. Be ready for sales
Sales periods are pretty standard and they can save or cost you a lot, depending on your preparations. My aim is to always make shopping lists in advance. In the first week, I do some research into which stores have the best deals and then I choose one or two days to buy everything I wanted. By doing all of this, I force myself to buy everything I need at the time it is at it’s cheapest, but not buy more than I need and give into tempting deals. The list beforehand also shows me the exact amount of money I will have to spend, so by knowing that, I can adapt my budget of that month to this. Since I love skincare, I focus my attention on my skincare buys around this periods.
Another tip in this section is to be a member at stores you like to shop. They often have discount programs when you buy for a certain amount or after a number of buys, but you also tend to get personal savings. I, for instance, use the one from my supermarket a lot in this regard. I get weekly offers on things I buy a lot. Another very cheap food idea is to use the ‘Too good to go’ app, which you can read more about here. The risk in these things is that you can be persuaded to buy things you don’t need, so be sure to only buy things on the list of things you need.
4. Choose your products wisely
And by choosing wisely, I don’t mean necessarily the cheapest. I always take happiness that a product can give into consideration, so I try to pick my battles. For example, I almost never drink cola, but whenever I do, I buy Coca-Cola, since other brands just won’t give me that much joy. However, I don’t drink it that much and in other things, I choose the cheapest brands, like rice etc.
Also, I try to choose products that serve multiple purposes. For instance, I love cooking with fresh spinach, since I can not only use it at dinner (and it is also usable in different dinner recipes). I also make omelets in the morning with spinach in it. This way, I don’t have to eat the same dish three times until the package is empty, which is boring, but I do use everything. Staying in the food theme, buying wisely can also mean that you choose filling products. Wholewheat products tend to fill you up faster and leave you feeling satisfied for longer, so you need less of it and it therefore gets cheaper in the long term. Here are also some tips on buying the right beauty products for you online, so you don’t buy make-up and skincare products you hate!
In choosing products wisely, I also mean products that you can use over and over again, for instance investing in re-usable cotton pads, which save me a lot of money in the long term. A great money saver is also to buy a re-usable bottle for cold and warm drinks. It saves you money, since you don’t have to buy drinks anymore. In addition, a lot of companies actually give you a discount when you bring your own cup.
5. Try to buy in bulk
Buying bigger packagings is often way cheaper, so I tend to buy some products in bulk, like rice and pasta. However, since I live alone I only do this with dry products. This way I prevent myself from buying things that will expire easily. This tip is also relevant in combination with the tip about buying in the sale. You can prepare for the sales periods by trying new products in small packages. If you like it, you can then buy it in bulk in the sale. I would recommend trying products first before buying in bulk, since otherwise you might waste stuff by throwing it away if you don’t like something, or having to use stuff you hate for a long period. The tip of sharing dinner with friends also applies here if you are alone. Cooking in bulk is almost always cheaper. Therefore, you could make more than you would make for one meal, but then freeze the rest in for other days and if it is not that much anymore, you can use it for lunch.
Traveling from one place to another can be one of the most expensive things in life. This is especially the case when you don’t have student discounts like we have in the Netherlands. Therefore, as a true Dutchie, I will start this section of with the suggestion to walk or bike to places that are relatively near. You would be surprised how normal it will start to feel if you cycle 30 minutes every day. It will save you heaps of money on public transport or Uber, or even your own car. Public transport is often also still cheaper than driving your own car, especially when traveling far, just take a look at the prices of companies like ‘Flixbus’. The downside is of course the time it takes to travel, but it does save you a lot of money. This is something you might consider in the planning. However, if you can’t stand to not take a car, you can choose to commute with other people whenever possible. Things like ‘Blabla car’ are becoming increasingly popular and sharing the costs might help you out a lot.
When you are going on a holiday, it is also always a good idea to ask for tips of friends and family. They might know nice, cheap hotels, good transport options, nice things to do and amazing, affordable restaurants that you might not find on your own. Although you will probably have a place to sleep when you get there, asking locals for tips also works in this regard, since they tend to know where the real diamonds are.
7. Do it yourself
Time costs money, especially when you pay a part of someones salary. Therefore, it is good to be critical at things that make life easier for you, like pre-chopped vegetables or Hello Fresh. They really cost a lot more, so learn how to chop fast yourself and prepare your meals in advance at home, instead of buying prepared food. But this also works with activities. Buy a few masks and bath salts to create a home spa. Get a fitness dvd instead of a gym membership. Buy popcorn for a movie night at home. Learn to cook yourself instead of going out to dinner. In addition to the money you can save by doing all of this, it will also often feel much more intimate and it will give you memories to revisit every day in your own home.
I hope this list will be of help to you! Please, do not hesitate to write down your own tips down in the comment section! Also, please follow me on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. You could also subscribe and get a free e-book, full of tips to save even more!
Lots of love,
Ps. I have put a couple of affiliate links in this article. This means that I earn a small commission if you buy something. This way, I can keep this blog going. However, if you don’t want to buy from my link, don’t feel pressured to do so!Home » All posts »
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This is such a great post! I agree with all of these ideas! I try and buy in bulk!
Amber – The Unpredicted Page
Sounds like you’re doing great already then! 😀