With the holiday season quickly approaching, all of us could use a bit of extra cash for holiday gifts, travel expenses and general necessities. However, the cold winter months make it really difficult to resist the urge to buy hot drinks, new books, the latest iphone and other stuff on sale.
To help you slow down your spending here are life hacks to slow your spend without sacrificing on the things you really want.
1. Don’t head straight to Amazon for books
Amazon rarely has the best prices for books, whether you’re looking for a textbook or the latest mystery novel. Instead, check out discount online bookstores like AbeBooks, Book Depository, and Book Outlet.
2. Check Walmart and Costco before buying online
In most cases, the same product listed on Amazon will be far less expensive at Walmart or Costco (if it’s available in those stores). Go to the store, look at the price of the item you want, then pull out your phone and check the price of the same item on Amazon. You’ll be surprised at how much you are saving.
3. Get free eBooks
Instead of buying new books to read this winter, why not stock up on 100% free Kindle books? Check out JustKindleBooks to easily find your favorite genres and titles available for free download from the Kindle store. The free book lists are updated everyday, so check back frequently!
4. Buy second-hand
Stretch your budget by purchasing used clothing, sports equipment, and general home supplies as well. Try your local thrift store, OfferUp or Facebook Marketplace to find deals in your local area. Also, Half-Priced Books and library sales are great places to sift through gently used books to add to your collection. You can further
5. Expand your car search
If you need to purchase a vehicle, set up a nationwide search on Cars.com for the exact make and model of the car you want. Oftentimes, you can find the same car listed in another city or state for a cheaper price than it is in your own town. You can save thousands by expanding your search for a car, buying it at a less expensive price, and paying a cost of $1,000 to have the dealer ship it to you from far away.
6. Improve your DIY skills
Whether you need to fix a leaky faucet or renovate your living room, do your research before immediately paying for repairs or new furniture. There are thousands of videos available on YouTube that can show you how to do everything from basic home repairs to reupholstery. You just might find a fun new hobby along the way!
7. Drink mostly water
If you frequently drink smoothies, fancy coffee drinks, soda, or alcoholic beverages, the monetary costs can quickly add up. Try switching to water as your exclusive beverage for a week or two. Add fresh fruits to change up the flavor. You’ll save money, and you’ll probably feel better as well!
8. Track your spending
Write down how much you spend on any nonessential items during a typical month. Online stores and physical shops are specifically set up to entice you into buying things you don’t really need. Next time you’re tempted to buy something online because it’s on sale, stop and ask yourself if you really need it.
9. Improve your grocery shopping tactics
You probably already know that going shopping for food while you’re hungry often causes you to buy a lot more than you really need, but there are other clever tips to save money on meals. You can try meal planning, purchasing foods that are on sale, creating a preplanned list, or signing up for your grocery store’s loyalty program. Don’t hesitate to use coupons, either!
10. Avoid going out to eat
Going to restaurants with your friends can be a fun way to catch up, but the costs of eating out too often can seriously affect your savings goals. Instead, invite friends over for a home cooked meal, or suggest having a picnic or potluck where everyone can bring something to share.