A brand new year has arrived and one of your top resolutions should be to save as much money as you can this year. We are heading into uncertain financial times, so it’s best to be ready for everything. Read ahead for your ultimate frugal living guide for 2017:
1. Take the Train or Bus
Owning a car is expensive. You have to pay insurance and also gas can eat away at your monthly budget. There’s a cheaper way to get about: public transportation. It’s not as bad as everyone says. Also, subway trains are actually much faster than going by car. You won’t have to drive yourself, or be stuck in traffic forever when you take the bus or train. And at the end of each month, you will have saved hundreds of dollars.
2. Go on Local Vacations
You have to spend thousands of dollars to travel overseas or even to go out of state. You can enjoy equally gratifying vacations by traveling locally and in-state. If you are strapped for cash right now, travel within a 200-mile radius of your home to enjoy a budget vacation that is just as thrilling as going to the Maldives.
3. Master the Art of the Coupon
You can save hundreds of dollars on food and groceries by learning how coupons work. While it’s simple to use a coupon, there’s a way to use several coupons at once so it actually saves you money. It’s a learned skill and there are even reality TV shows about it! If you Google around and watch videos, you can be a master couponer too.
4. Grow Food
Have you ever thought about how much money you can save if you grew the vegetables you buy? It’s a surprising amount. It’s relatively easy to grow edible plants like tomatoes and green beans at home. If you live in an apartment, you can still grow herbs. Growing your own food is healthier and also very cost efficient.
5. Eat at Home
Eating out is a well-known way to drain your monthly budget. While you may indulge yourself eating out once or twice a year, don’t make a habit of it. Even cheap fast food restaurants are not so cheap when you think about it. So, learn to cook your own meals and eat at home on a regular basis. Your wallet and your waistline will thank you later.
6. Stop Using Dryers
Dryers consume a lot of energy because they generate heat to dry clothes. Your washing is probably very energy intensive because of the dryer. If you avoid using the dryer, you will immediately notice the difference it makes in your monthly power bill. Instead of using the dryer, hang your clothes on a clothesline to dry. On hot days, you can do this indoors too. Only use the dryer when there’s no sunlight available, as in winter.
7. Give Up Cable
Do you often fret over your cable bill? Then give it up. You can watch the same shows and get your news easily with the internet connection and the computer that you already own. Your internet bill might go up by about $20, but you will save over a hundred dollars spent on the cable bill.
8. Go to Thrift Stores
You can cut clothing and other shopping expenses by half or even more by shopping at thrift stores. These places are great for finding vintage items, good furniture and even electronic items. Some people throw away great gadgets or furniture over little scratches. And you can get them for bargain prices at thrift stores! Shopping at thrift stores is also an excellent remedy for compulsive shopping. Shopaholics waste a lot of money and go into serious debt. You must really make up your mind to avoid impulsive shopping sprees and save money this year. Otherwise, you might find yourself on the phone with BLG bankruptcy .
9. Mend Clothes
If you are shopping for new pants because the pair you own has a small tear, stop. You can mend the tear on your own without spending a penny. There are plenty of videos online that shows how you can patch up your own clothes easily without a hassle.
10. Skip the Bleach and Use Vinegar
Expensive cleaning products like Clorox and Mr. Clean costs a lot of money monthly. Save yourself the cash and the trouble by cleaning using vinegar and water. Vinegar is gentle on almost all surfaces and is not environmentally harmful.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to save money this year. If you cannot adopt all the mentioned practices, at least learn to do one or two. You will notice the difference soon enough.