9 Realistic Tips to Save More Money - This is the Life! - Build the Life of Your Dreams

9 Realistic Tips to Save More Money

April 05, 2021

girl holding money in her hand

If you've realized that you're spending too much money or you want to save up for something, you probably think that you have to live like a monk for a while and cut your expenses dramatically.

However, I'm here to tell you that it is possible to reduce your expenses without living miserably. You just have to know what to focus on and how to make sure you don't spend on things that bring you no value.

Here are 9 realistic tips to start saving more money without giving everything up in life:

1. Save before spending (and make it automatic)

I know you've probably heard this one, but it's crucial if you tend to let your spending get out of control. 

The trick is to put a percentage of your earnings into savings as soon as you get your paycheck. That way, you will only be able to spend what's left over instead of risking not having any money left to put into savings at the end of the month. 

If you can, automate the transfer of that percentage into your savings account right on the first day after you get paid so you don't forget to put that money away or feel tempted to spend it.

This is a really great way to build up your emergency fund faster!

2. Learn how to reduce your taxes

Most people hate taxes. Besides the fact that paying them isn't that much fun, understanding how they work can also be really daunting.

However, understanding taxes is the best way to pay less!

For instance, if you know what deductions you can make in your tax returns, you'll be able to apply them to pay less taxes and, in turn, save more money. 

Likewise, if you know how taxes work, you can predict how much you're going to pay and make better choices considering whether you think it's an adequate amount for your earnings or not - this is especially true with things like property taxes.

So it's time you become a grown-up and start learning about taxes so you can save more money and reduce the pain you feel when that time of the year comes around!

3. Stop buying little things everywhere

Some people spend a lot of money every month on little things because they think they're cheap and no harm will come from it. 

The thing is that these are usually impulse buys and they can really add up at the end of the month if you tend to do this very often.

It's easy to buy cheap things and not realize that you're spending a lot until you get to the end of the month and notice how much money you have left in your bank account.

If you're one of those people, try to notice when you're buying little things because you think they're so cheap it won't matter and really consider if you need to spend that money.

You want to avoid buying things just because you feel compelled to even if you don't actually need them.

4. Buy better-quality and more classic clothes 

Good quality clothes will last you a long time and if they're classic staples, they won't go out of fashion quickly like trends usually do. 

This means you won't have to keep buying new clothes every few months and your clothes will last you for years. 

If you want to go a step further, you might want to try building a capsule wardrobe - a mix-and-match wardrobe full of great-quality staples that all pair with each other. 

The idea is that you can easily make several outfits with all of those items and your wardrobe will last you quite a while because the items are good-quality and mainly classic items that are always in fashion.

If you need some ideas, check out these other articles: 

- A winter capsule-wardrobe;

- Spring/summer work outfits (with lots of items to build your capsule wardrobe);

- Elegant essential basics for your fall wardrobe.

5. Avoid technological consumerism

Do you really need the newest Iphone? How about the latest gadget in the market? 

You know it as well as I do that every day some new gadget is coming out on sale. It's impossible to keep up with it. Aren't you tired of being scammed out of your money just because society thinks newer is better?

Besides, even if you need a new phone, for instance, in this day and age, there are plenty of great-quality products out there that don't cost an arm and a leg. 

So why would you want to throw away your hard-earned money just to keep buying the newest thing? It doesn't make sense and it doesn't last very long because in a few months' time, it will no longer be the newest gadget on the market and it will no longer cost the same so you're just losing money.

Before you buy something because it's a new gadget or because it's a newer version, try to remember to put things into perspective: think about whether you really need it and whether you can find a cheaper version of another brand with just as much quality.

6. Don't buy brand-new cars

A lot like technology, a new car is usually a very bad investment. Cars usually depreciate to about half-price in only 2 or 3 years. 

So if you're one of those people who likes to buy new cars and sell them after 4 or 5 years, you'll be losing more than half the price of the car every time you sell it. That is usually a big hit on your wallet, although it will obviously depend on the price of the car in question.

However, if you buy a used car that's only one or two years old, it will probably have very low mileage and still be practically new. It will also be almost half the price. 

This also means that you will be able to buy a better-quality, safer car with the features that you might want. Good quality cars are more expensive when they're new but they are built to last. 

If you buy used, you will be able to buy a much better car which means your investment will be longer lasting as you won't need to trade up for some time.

7.  Cook more meals at home

Eating out or ordering take-out is a lot more expensive than having home-cooked meals. 

Restaurants need to make a profit so, naturally, your meal will always be more expensive than if you bought and cooked the food yourself.

So if you have a habit of going out to eat or ordering take-out a lot and you need to save some money, cooking your own meals more often is bound to help you have more money left over at the end of the month.

If the reason that you eat out and order food a lot is not having enough time to cook, you might want to try meal planning or even meal prepping (planning and preparing your food in advance). 

There are plenty of methods to do this, you just need to find the one that suits your lifestyle and taste and start eating delicious, money-saving, homecooked meals!

8. Switch to reusable products

Besides being better for the environment, reusable items also help you reduce your spending because you will only have to buy that item once.

Even if the discardable item is cheaper, the fact that you have to buy it over and over again will make it more expensive in the long run.

This is a really simple and painless way that you can use to save money and reduce your repetitive, monthly expenses.

If you want some ideas on what products you can switch for reusable ones, here is a list of 7 essentials to replace with reusable versions.

9. Consider changing to cheaper products or services

Sometimes we keep paying higher prices just because we're used to a service and don't want to bother changing it. 

Yes, I'm talking about things like electricity, phone services, cable tv companies, etc. You know that these companies are always competing among them so there are usually newer, cheaper packages on offer that you can change to.

So go check out the competition and find out if they're offering cheaper prices. Either tell that to the company to get a discount or consider changing to them. 

Besides those services, there are lots of white-label products these days that are just as good as brand ones but they are cheaper. 

Consider trying these cheaper products and if you like them and stick with them, you will most likely see a difference in your grocery bills.

Want to learn more about how to save money?

Read also: How to stretch your money.

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