Save That Money, Honey: 9 Things You Can Do Without To Hold On To Your Dollars

February 11, 2013  |  

 

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For some women, saving money can be one of the hardest things to do. If you’re like me, you always make a plan to save…that is until you find something new that you want to buy. Most times ambitions to save are short-lived and we end up in debt soon after our ‘super saving’ plans start, unless we actually have a plan.

If you’re one of those people that find it hard to save, going cold turkey and attempting to become a mini Suze Orman overnight probably isn’t the best way to go. Instead, start small and work your way up. I’ve found it’s easier to access things I can do without to jump-start the saving process. Here are a few things to consider doing without to help your grow your money.

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Gym Membership

If you’re only going to the gym to use one or two machines, or if you barely go, then you should consider canceling your membership. Working out at home (if you’re really going to work out) is sometimes physically better than working out at a gym. Try getting a Wii Fit, taking advantage of exercise apps on your phone that have plenty of cardio workouts to try on your own at home, or try your hand at working up a sweat in the great outdoors. Bundle up while it’s cold outside and get your bike ride, run, swim–whatever on, when the weather warms up.

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Your Favorite Latte

Some people love the taste of Starbucks coffee, while others simply love the name. If you are a latte lover, then consider investing in a home latte maker to save money. A four-dollar Starbucks drink every day can become costly. If only for a week, see how much money you can save by ditching it and making your own.

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All Of The Cable Channels

You have every channel that your satellite provider offers but you only watch two or three. Why pay for numerous channels ‘just in case’ you feel the urge to watch them? Even if you’re only saving twenty dollars a month, that’s money that you can use for something else. Besides, you’d be surprised how many shows are shown on cable that can actually be watched in good quality online. You might even consider getting rid of pricey channels while your favorite shows from a particular premium channel are on break.

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Name Brand Cleaning Supplies and Household Items

If it has the same ingredients, why pay for the name? Especially if you’re on a budget, stray away from items that provide you the same results just with a different name brand. Of course, we know all toilet tissues aren’t created equal, so I wouldn’t go to cheap on that, but things like disinfectant wipes or a tub cleaner can be just as good if they’re a store brand. So try the alternatives and see how much you can save.

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Extravagant Lunches

Choosing to bring your own lunch to work as opposed to eating out is probably one of the biggest ways to save money, but you have to plan carefully. Choose what you’re going to eat for the week before you go to the grocery store, and then just make sure you stick with it. Even cooking all on one day for the week, like a Sunday, and storing the food until a specific lunch day can keep you from having to waste too much time during a busy work week, but still have you covered for the week.

When all of your other co-workers are going out to eat during your lunch break, you’ve got to be disciplined enough to decline. Or you can even choose a day, like Friday, to splurge.

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Landline Phone

Seriously, how many people still have landline phones in addition to their cell phones? If your cell phone is always with you, do you need an additional form of communication in the home? It definitely doesn’t hurt to have a landline phone, but if you’re looking for ways to save, in this day and age, this should probably be one of the first things to go.

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Unlimited Minutes

If you don’t have a prepaid phone, it seems only natural to have unlimited minutes with your contract. But if you’re only using 300 minutes a month, you should look into decreasing your plan to make it suitable for your needs and pockets. Why pay for unlimited service when you’re not using it?

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A Surplus of Cosmetics

I am a product junkie. And recently I realized how my obsession to buy cosmetics is one of the most costly and wasteful habits that I have. I have numerous facial creams, moisturizers, and nail polishes (that are the same color), and a plethora of other girly crèmes and beauty quick-fixes. These products aren’t necessarily cheap and usually go unused because I have so many.

If you have a product you love, stick with it until you use it up. Don’t try new things when you haven’t given your current collection of products a fair try. It’s probably not a good idea beauty-wise to keep switching up, but definitely not a good thing for your finances.

Source: Shutterstock.com

Making Many Trips To The Hair Salon

Of course, we know that there’s nothing like a good hairdresser pampering your head and giving you a fresh style or cut, but how many times a month do you really need to go to the shop? Better yet, do you really need to go every six weeks at that? The convenience of having someone fix our hair is what keeps us going, but you’d be surprised the great work you can do on your own head when you really sit down and take the time. Certain things you might want to seek an experts help with, including getting your hair cut and colored, but simple washing, flat ironing, re-twisting, conditioning–do some research (you know you love those YouTube videos), get the right products (maybe even the ones your hairdresser uses) and get to work. Once you get the hang of it, you won’t need to drop so many dollars at the salon so often.

 

 

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  • jackieOsassin

    “terrible quick weaves and lace fronts” should have been numero UNO.

  • FromUR2UB

    When I was younger, I loved spending money and looking for things to buy. Now, I love saving. There’s not much that I want to buy anymore. I started by having a small amount of money directly deposited into savings, so that I learned to live without it. Every time I got a pay increase, I increased the deposit into savings by the difference. I take my lunch because I figured that if I spent an average of $8 a day, five days weekly, thats $2,080 after a year. I’ve been trying to get my Fun Fund off the ground since October. I’ve dipped into it a few times to buy gas. My goal is to get it to $1500, maintain a balance of $1000, use $500 for guilt-free leisure.

    • Nikki

      Try the 52-week money challenge

      • FromUR2UB

        Thank you. I’d never heard of the challenge, but when I Googled it, it sounds like fun.

  • Kahekili

    Make-up and age creams and whatnot should be on this list.

  • mac

    Learn how to do your own pedicures and manicures.

    And unless you have unsightly eyebrows, no one “needs” their eyebrows threaded, I don’t care. I tell ya, people love to create expenses for themselves.

    • Nikki

      I beg to differ. I was blessed with thick eyebrows, and I’m allergic to wax. Threading my eyebrows has to happen every 3 weeks or my unibrow begins to grow in.

      • mac

        ———-> “And unless you have unsightly eyebrows….”