Stockpiling some cash is one of the best things to do for your financial future. And trying to budget in order to put more into your savings account doesn’t have to mean living life without the things you love. Though it’s true that cutting stuff out can help you bank more, there are a lot of modern banking services that can help you spend smarter without making happiness-altering changes. So don’t stop treating yourself to that glass of wine or second-think traveling more this year. Read on for 10 easy things you can do to conserve cash and watch your savings pile up!
1. Cut back on fast fashion. Don’t get us wrong — we love Forever 21 and H&M as much as the next gal. But there’s something to be said about buying pieces you don’t have to replace. While spending a few bucks on this season’s trendiest top is cool, save up for things you’ll wear again and again, like work pants that fit super well or a high-quality coat in a timeless style. The cost per wear on something that lasts a long time will be much lower than something you sport a few times before tossing.
2. Power shop. There’s a reason why people love places like Costco so much — buying in bulk saves a ton of cash. Avoid buying one-off items like paper towels, toilet paper and soap at the drugstore, and take advantage of the savings (both in money and time) that come with stocking up in advance. The same applies when you catch something you love and use regularly on sale, like during Sephora’s VIB event. Buy a few of your must-have everyday beauty products at a lower price to save more money long-term.
3. DIY your mani/pedi. Painting your own nails is fun and a great way to channel your creativity. Plus, DIYing your own manicure or pedicure will save you money. Even if you save just $25 a month, that’s $300 extra dollars you’ll have in your bank account at the end of the year.
4. Master the art of maintenance. Learn how to maintain your eyebrows in between regular waxings, or think about trying a place like Supercuts for basic hair trims. While investing in a high-quality service for your main beauty treatment is super important for looking and feeling your best, the in-between period may be where you’re spending more.
5. Be smart about using promo codes. It’s not just about browsing and buying. You can be strategic when you’re shopping online. Before making a purchase, scour the web for promo codes that may help cut costs. To find ‘em, type the store and “promo code” into Google, or try searching for your item on ShopStyle, which often showcases promo codes for partner stores. If you surf the web using Chrome, install the extension Honey ASAP. It automatically searches for promo codes at checkout and applies the best one on your behalf. It’s a game changer.
6. Get cash back. Ebates is the most effortless way to earn cash back when shopping online! Sign in, search for a store and click over to shop as normal. The site opens a tracking ticket on your behalf and automatically stores your cash back in your account. You can look forward to a “big fat payment” four times per year, paid out into your Paypal account or by check. Cash back percentages at stores like Intermix, Nordstrom and Bloomingdales can be as high as 20 percent, which, by the way, work WITH coupons at checkout.
7. Ask for price adjustments. Instead of feeling bummed when you notice an item you just bought dropped in price, actually take a minute to see if you qualify for an adjustment. Many major retailers will credit the difference between the price you paid and the lowest price within 14 days, so don’t be shy about bringing in your receipt or emailing customer service. If you shop online a lot, use Paribus — the smart tool will scan your email and automatically ask for your adjustment!
8. Prep and pack your food. Those out-of-office lunches with teammates during the workweek are fun and delicious, but bringing your own lunch is one of the easiest ways you can immediately save money. Pick up your fave foods during the weekend to prep for the week ahead. Another bonus: You might unintentionally eat a bit healthier without spontaneous temptation.
9. Reconsider how you use your credit card. Instead of losing money by paying credit card fees, use yours to earn more! Choose a card like the Chase Sapphire, which will give you generous points for dining, travel and much more. Instead of swiping with your debit card, use your credit card for everything and pay the balance entirely at the end of the month to reap max rewards. You’ll simultaneously build superb credit.
10. Buy only what you need (or seriously LOVE). Okay, this one might take a little bit of practice. But honestly, how many sweaters does a girl need? To make evaluating needs easier, consider if you’d be willing to part with something similar you already own in order to buy another. The same thing applies to anything you like. If it’s not super unique or you can’t see yourself suffering from a case of non-buyer’s regret after leaving the store, put it back. There’s always something else to buy in your future.
How do you conserve cash? Share your tips, tricks and fave hacks with us @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)