10 creative ways to save money you've probably never thought of
Did you know that 90% of Americans say they are stressed out about their finances? One way to combat this stress is by finding more ways to save money.
We know this is often easier said than done with busy school schedules limiting work hours and other purchases taking priority. But saving money doesn’t have to be hard - practicing small savings habits daily can go a long way. In fact, we’ve put together a list of 10 quick and easy savings hacks to get you started!
1. Save all your change
Like most people, you probably have some loose change lying around your house - perhaps in between couch cushions or hidden beneath receipts in your purse. Once a month, scrounge up all the change you can find and put it in a piggy bank or jar. Then, once it starts to fill up, take your change to the bank and exchange it for cash or make a deposit. You might walk out with an additional $10 or $20 in your pocket!
2. Put yourself on a spending freeze
Start by picking one day a week where you refrain from spending any money. It’s that simple. Ditch the Starbucks run for coffee at home and pause any online shopping. You’d be surprised how much you can save, and as you get the hang of it, consider gradually increasing your spending-free days from one to many.
3. Stop saving your payment information online
One-click online purchasing makes it insanely easy to spend money without even thinking about it. The next time an online retailer offers to store your card information, say no. The time it takes to enter your card number may be all you need to second-guess whether you really want the item.
4. Consider cosmetology schools for your next haircut or manicure
While we all enjoy the small luxuries of a fresh manicure or new hairdo, they can be pretty pricey. However, there are a lot of cosmetology schools from the Aveda Institute to Paul Mitchell School, which need clients for their students to practice on. Consider booking your next appointment at a local cosmetology school and enjoy a major discount.
5. Do a clothing swap
If you’re looking for a new outfit to spice up your wardrobe, hit up your friends to see if anyone is interested in doing a clothing swap before spending some of your hard earned cash at the mall. Chances are, you each have things that you rarely wear or don't fit, that could be a perfect addition to another’s closet. Here’s a few tips for hosting your first clothing swap.
6. Set all subscriptions to expire after one year
Most subscriptions like your Netflix or Spotify accounts renew automatically, so you could be paying for services you forgot you have or no longer use. When you subscribe to new services, make sure to turn off the auto-renew feature. That way, you’ll have to actively decide to renew them, giving you time to weigh in on things like if you really need Apple TV, HBO and Hulu.
7. Cash in on rewards points
If your favorite retailers, food delivery or ride sharing apps offer rewards points, don’t forget to use them! Be sure to take advantage of your points when they reach certain thresholds, like a free coffee or money off your next clothing purchase or food order.
8. Search for discount codes
Start making it a habit to do a quick online search or ask a sales associate about any special promotions they have going on before making a purchase. It only takes a minute or two and chances are you could save on shipping, take advantage of a student discount and more. Browser extensions like Honey and Rakuten can even do the coupon hunting for you!
9. Get an e-library card
If you’re an avid reader, married to your Kindle or iPad, the good news is most libraries now offer e-books that you can check out for free. So, before paying to download the next book on your reading list, check to see if your local library has it available for download. You’ll be shocked how quickly the savings add up!
10. Avoid late fees
Put a recurring reminder on your calendar or select autopay for important bills to avoid paying a late fee. They’re such an unnecessary expense that you can easily avoid by planning ahead. If you’ve been with your bank for a while, take a few minutes to review their policies and don’t be afraid to shop around for one that’s offering a better deal. Step, for instance, does not charge monthly, overdraft, ATM, minimum or service fees of any kind. Ultimately, by practicing these small savings strategies now, they’ll become second nature and save you a lot of money over time. If you’re interested in learning more, check out our Money 101 section dedicated to Making Money & Saving where we break down all the key things you’ll want to know.