Ways to Save Money Without Sacrificing Your Lifestyle
Saving money can be intimidating, especially when it feels like the only way to save is to give up your lifestyle completely. Fortunately, it doesn't have to be that way! Here are some hacks that can help you save money without sacrificing the things you love.
Heading off to college or working at your first job? One of the best ways to save money on living expenses when you’re young is by embracing roommates. Not only will splitting the rent and utilities help you save cash, but living with roommates is a great way to build new relationships and have fun. As a bonus, having roommates can also help you keep your social life and entertainment expenses down since you can socialize at home for free.
Take public transportation
Another great way to save money is by using public transportation. Not only is it generally cheaper than driving a car or taking a taxi, but it can also be a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. Many public transportation systems even offer student discounts, making it an even more cost-effective option. Bonus points if you can bike or walk where you need to go so you can save money and squeeze in some exercise at the same time.
Make coffee at home
Switching up your daily routine can also help you save money. Rather than buying coffee every day, consider making coffee at home. Investing in a simple coffee maker can save you upwards hundreds of dollars per year while ensuring you don’t have to give up your favorite way to start the day. Plus, you can save a lot of time by skipping those long Starbucks lines in the morning!
Use in-network ATMs
Avoid pesky out-of-network ATM fees and use in-network ATMs as much as possible. Before starting your search for an ATM, check your bank’s app or website for locations of in-network ATMs. For example, if you visit one ATM a week and pay $4 per transaction, this hack alone could save you a little over $200 per year.
While you can’t avoid spending money altogether, you can make smarter shopping decisions. Before making a purchase, consider if it is a need or a want, and whether it aligns with your budget. Additionally, consider buying in bulk, purchasing pre-owned items, and signing up for loyalty programs to save even more. Don’t be afraid to leave things in a virtual shopping cart and come back for them later if you really need to! Being strategic about how and when you spend your money can make it much easier to avoid making impulse purchases or unnecessary purchases.
Have a night in
Going out can be expensive, especially when you factor in the cost of transportation, food, drinks, and entertainment. Instead of going out to eat or seeing a movie in the theater, plan a fun night. Gather some friends, cook a meal together, and enjoy a movie or game night. Your friends will probably appreciate the break their wallet gets too.
Create a budget
One of the best ways to save money is to create a budget that incorporates savings goals. By knowing where your money is going, you can make informed decisions about your spending habits and can make saving a priority. For extra help here, you can download a budgeting app that can help you track your spending and stay on top of your savings goals.
When you sign up for a credit card, the issuer may offer a rewards program. Depending on the type of rewards card you use, you could earn cashback to help offset the cost of items you’ve purchased; points that could be redeemed for travel, merchandise, gift cards, or cash; or travel miles that could be redeemed for air travel or more.
It’s important to remember that using a credit card can end up costing you money if you fail to pay off your balance in full each month or open a card with a very high annual fee, but if used strategically, you might be able to take advantage of credit card rewards to save money.
Use your savings to make money
If you’re smart about where you stash your savings, the simple act of saving can lead to earning more money. Find a product that offers more than or closer to the inflation rate on your savings.
Depending on what your financial goals are, you might want to consider a high-yield savings account, a certificate of deposit, a money market account, or Step. With Step, you can earn 5.00% on your savings balances up to $250,000 if you have a monthly qualifying direct deposit^1.
Saving money doesn't have to mean sacrificing your lifestyle. By embracing these hacks, you can save money while still living your best life.
*1: Your Step deposit account is not an interest bearing product. The savings percentage is not interest, but instead earned as cash rewards directly funded and managed by Step. The rewards, if calculated as an APY, would be 5.00%. This percentage is variable and may change over time. See our Step Premium Rewards terms for more detail. To qualify, a minimum direct deposit of $500 or more from a payroll provider or employer within each 30 day period is required. We may offer promotions for new or existing customers from time to time.
*This content is for informational purposes only. Nothing in this post constitutes investment, financial, tax, nor legal advice. Consult your investment advisor, accountant, or legal counsel regarding your particular circumstances.