You’ve heard all of the standard advice from financial advisers and frugal gurus. Use cold water to wash your laundry, eat out less often, shop at thrift stores for your clothes – the list goes on. What happens if you have already adopted all of the standard money saving practices and find that you need to cut your budget back even further?
There are always more ways to save. You just have to get creative and be willing to make a few changes to your daily life. Start by implementing these unusual, but highly effective money saving techniques.
Adopt a no-cost beauty routine
How much do you spend on haircuts, expensive shampoo, razors, deodorant, and face washes? Include makeup on this list if you’re a female. Most of these products are not necessary, and once you stop using them or replace them with much cheaper options, you’ll wonder why you ever bothered to buy them in the first place. Replace your expensive razor with disposable ones – they’re not hard to use once you adapt. Learn to cut your own hair, and replace all of your shampoos and body washes with a single bottle of healthy and affordable castile soap.
If you’re a female, switch to a cheap drugstore makeup brand, or stop wearing makeup all-together. Chances are, you’re the only one that thinks you look any different with it on, anyways.
Have a no-spend weekend
Many people work hard to live frugally all week, but forget about their goals when the weekend comes and it’s time to have fun. Reel in your entertainment budget by having a no-spend weekend at least once per month. This will challenge you to explore free ways to have fun, such as playing board games, taking a walk around the neighborhood, and visiting local museums. Once you get out there and learn what fun can be had for free, you’ll start making no-cost entertainment a habit.
Rent out storage space
If you have a garage, you can make extra income by renting it our as storage space. The same goes for your attic or basement. Clear the space, and post an ad online or in your local paper. You’ll be surprised how many people need places to store their luxury cars or extra furniture.
Paint your roof white
This may sound silly at first, but painting your roof white can save you bundles of cash on your cooling bill. White reflects sunlight, while traditional black and brown roofs absorb the heat from the sun, raising your home’s temperature. With a white roof and a little adaptation, you may be able to forgo air conditioning all together, or at least use it only on the hottest days.
Adopt a vegetarian diet
The American Dietetic Association acknowledges that a vegetarian diet, when properly balanced, provides all of the nutrients needed for good health. Cutting meat out of your diet will save you piles of cash, since meats are some of the most expensive items in the grocery store. Just make sure you satisfy your protein needs by eating plenty of beans, eggs, and whole grains. Focus your diet on whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and you’ll feel healthy and satisfied for a lot less. If you’re not ready to completely take the leap, challenge yourself to eating meat just once per week or on special occasions only.
When cutting coupons and saving your pennies is not enough, these five tips can help you significantly reduce your bills and end each month in the black. Remember that living frugally is not about depriving yourself. It’s about finding more cost-efficient ways to have fun and live well.