15 Creative Ways That Help Us to Stick to Our Budget and Save Money Effectively
Nobody likes to spend more money on everyday things than needed. Although sometimes we don’t monitor our expenses thoroughly, and by the end of the month, it turns out that part of our income has disappeared. Luckily, some tips can help to save some small amounts here and there, like avoiding drinking coffee before shopping or filling the gas tank on specific weekdays.
1. Fill up on gas on Monday mornings.
This is your way to start the week strong. Refueling on Monday morning has proven to be a smart move if you want to save some money. Mondays are a day when gas stations are generally quieter traffic-wise. As the week progresses, prices are more likely to rise and, therefore, the worst days to refuel are Fridays. So forget about hating Mondays and fill yourself with energy just as you do your car.
2. Enjoy a mint while you’re shopping
Stores often use the power of smell to attract customers and make them spend more than they intended. For example, gas stations that have increased the smell of coffee see an increase in their coffee sales. What you can do to avoid falling victim to this trick is to suck on a mint or chew minty gum right before you go shopping. The smell of the mint might be able to block the scent of a store and therefore keep your spending under control.
3. Use wool dryer balls instead of expensive dryer sheets.
Wool balls are meant for the dryer to make the laundry fluffier and softer. They are reusable, and they can endure up to 1,000 loads, which makes them a much better deal than store-bought dryer sheets. There are no toxic chemicals and scents if you’re allergic or sensitive to those, but you can add your favorite essential oil if you feel like adding a fragrance to your laundry.
4. Buy cheaper alternatives of expensive products
Among the great variety of cereals that exist, it’s possible to choose some of the most economical brands when you have a goal of saving money at the supermarket. You can look at the generic and cheap versions of the most common ones, such as corn flakes or wheat flakes. To get an idea of the price difference, we found that a supermarket brand offers cereals for about $2.50, but you can also find others for up to $5.
It’s recommended that, beyond the brand or price, consumers review the nutritional table on the cereal boxes, especially at the amount of sugar, so that they can make the best choice.
5. Use hydrogen peroxide to clean white sneakers.
Some sneakers can’t be washed in the washing machine: it’s true for Converse, and it’s a good idea to check the care instructions for yours. If that’s the case, getting rid of stains might be a challenge, but dipping a soft brush in hydrogen peroxide and scrubbing should help. And if you have leather shoes, baking soda will come in handy.
6. Sleep on an expensive purchase.
If you have to make a high-spending decision, it’s best for you to think it through and mark yourself safe from impulse buying. In fact, sleep medicine doctors recommend dedicating time for a few hours in dreamland to help us make good decisions when we wake up. It’ll save us from impractical purchases and recharges us too.
7. Skip the coffee before shopping.
A study shows that caffeine impacts how much you spend and how many items you are going to buy. During the experiment, people who drank a cup of coffee spent 50 percent more money and bought about 30 percent more items than those who just had decaf or drank water. Caffeine releases dopamine in the brain. That’s why we’re so excited and why we are more eager to make impulse purchases.
8. Pay with cash.
You see, psychologically, it is much easier for us to just swipe a card rather than to part with cash. The thing is that when we take a look at our money, we’re more aware of its value, and we get more of a psychological impact from making a purchase with it.
It’s way different from a credit card. So it’s better to go shopping with a certain amount of cash with you. In this case, you will stop immediately when your wallet is empty and avoid spending more than your budget can afford.
9. Only spend money on certain days of the week.
Just choose the most comfortable day of the week and only go shopping on that day. Give yourself some limits as well, so you don’t throw all your money away in one single day. This method will help you to control your spending better, and you’ll save a lot of money in the future. Just try it and find it out for yourself.
10. Find cheaper entertainment.
For instance, in theaters, consider seeing a matinee. They are much cheaper. Also, consider taking popcorn made at home by yourself. This will not only save you a lot of money when going out but will be good for your diet since homemade popcorn has less fat and, consequently, fewer calories.
11. Wash your clothes in cold water to cut water expenses.
Just set your washing machine in cold water mode. This will significantly cut down on water heating costs to the benefit of your monthly budget. Besides, this way it will prevent your clothes from shrinking or colors from fading.
12. Use beeswax to make your shoes waterproof.
This is a proven method that’s so much easier than you could imagine. The first step is to clean or wash your shoes in order to remove any dirt, then let them dry completely. Next, you can melt the beeswax in a pan and apply it to the shoes using a clean towel. The shoes won’t look very nice at first, as they will be all white and yellowish, but that’s absolutely normal.
The next step is to take a blow dryer and warm the beeswax on the shoes until it melts. Don’t stand too close to the shoes though in case you overheat the leather. You will notice a massive difference in your shoes, and after you’ve melted all of the beeswax, you can use a towel to remove any remnants.
13. Turn your regular clothes into maternity outfits during pregnancy.
Maternity clothes are adorable, but buying tops and dresses you’ll be wearing for a relatively short period might not be easy on your wallet. Instead of spending a fortune on special outfits for moms-to-be, go through your closet and dresser drawers. Any oversized blazer or a looser top will fall nicely over your growing bump and can even help you hide your news if you’re not ready to tell everyone yet. Instead of buying a maternity bra, pick up some affordable bra extenders at your local fabric store that can help you adjust your bra to your new size.
14. Flush toilets with bathwater.
In certain cases, this method might also be a solution. Just empty used bath water into buckets or cut off the water and fill up the toilet tank every time you need to flush the toilet. Anyhow, it’s another way to pay less than usual for water.
Do you know of any helpful tips that have helped you save money? Share them with us in the comments!