Saturday, 20 February 2021

How To Save Money Like A Minimalist ( Minimalist Money-Saving Tips)

If you are looking to save some serious money this year to put towards your financial goals, then you are in the right place. I'm going to be sharing my best 40 strategies to help you reach those financial goals more quickly and set aside more money. There's a range of difficulty for some of these too, so, whether you are super new to starting to save money, or you have been saving money and you're looking for a couple things that will challenge you, even more, this article is for you. I'll start out with some of the easier things, and then I'll end the article with some of the more challenging ways that maybe are not as easily done, but still can really add up on the savings. Whether you're trying to build up your emergency fund or pay off debt or save up for retirement, pay off a house, you have a big trip coming up that you want to save up, for whatever it is, saving money can be so crucial.

You have to remember that this is a personal journey. I'll be giving you my best strategies and all these have worked for me, but it doesn't necessarily mean they'll work for you. You might think you can't do that. And that's totally fine. We all have different preferences and maybe in some cases, I have been willing to make a certain sacrifice to save more money than other people are not willing to make. And so you have to just figure out what the best balance is for you.

Let's start out with some of the easier strategies

Purchasing Store Brands Items

Consider purchasing store brands of different Goods rather than the name-brand product. Personally, I have found there's not much of a difference on most products, and you can save dramatic amounts of money by choosing the store brand instead of the name-brand

Dress For The Weather

Here in Illinois, it can definitely be really chilly in the winters and really hot this summer. In general, in the winter I'm notorious for wearing a lot of layers. I'll be wearing multiple pairs of pants, long sleeve shirts, sweatshirt. I just like to bundle up, and then you don't have to have your heat set as high which can save a lot on energy bills 

Make Your Own Cleaning Products

DIY cleaning products. There are so many different products on the market but the truth is that you really don't need all of them or as many as you think. A couple of basic ingredients such as vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, and water in a spray bottle, you can even reuse one of your old ones. It's an amazing strategy, and that means you don't have to spend money on cleaning products again.

Make Your Own Beverages. Like Coffee Or Tea

A lot of people use the beverage example of your daily coffee habit as an issue that definitely does add up, but I think we can expand this to any type of beverage. See if you can make your favorite beverage at home. I'm guessing there's a recipe online and you can give it a try. That will save you a lot of money while still enjoying that particular beverage

Use Up What You Have Before You Buying More 

We're always going to be tempted to keep purchasing new things, but you can dramatically lower or delay your spending by using up what you have first. Whether that's things like body care or different food items that are in the pantry, use those up.

Purchase Used Or Secondhand Items Instead Of New Ones 

If you do need to purchase something, consider purchasing a used option instead of the new option. My friends know that I love used clothes, and honestly, probably 60 to 70% of my wardrobe are used items that I've purchased. And I love it. Because you're able to not only keep different items out of the landfill, you're not creating a new waste from that item because someone else already did that when they purchased it new. And honestly, the quality of products is amazing, typically because people have too much, they buy too much that they don't need, and then those end up in different thrift shops and charity shops. So definitely consider purchasing things used.

Compare Prices Before You Buy

If you are buying something new, compare prices before you buy. I've done a lot of home-related purchases recently. So ahead of time I always compare different stores to see what the cheapest price will be. Whether it's HomeDepot, Lowe's, Menards, Amazon. I like to look ahead of that stuff and say, hmmm, this is actually cheaper at this store, compared to this one.

Get Cash Back For What You Already Purchase 

There are also different programs that can help you earn some cashback or some sort of savings on things you are already buying. Popular examples include things like Ebates and those can have major benefits. But make sure it is purchasing things that you would already buy anyway, not buying things because you have an incentive.

Watch For Deals Before Purchasing Something 

Another tip is to wait before making a purchase and perhaps watch for deals over a period of time. Many different Goods will eventually go on sale. So if you don't need to get the item right away and you're willing to wait 1 or 2 months for it, then you can likely get a much better deal and save money, well also remind yourself is this something I actually need? Sometimes we have impulses that happen over a short time, but then after more thought, we've realized it was just a temporary one, and it's good we didn't purchase it

Be Mindful Of Subscriptions

Take a look at anything that you are purchasing or paying for on a monthly basis, and ask yourself if it's worth it. Are you using the features of your subscription or your membership? If not, that is such an easy thing to cut. I think so many times we might enjoy membership or start a subscription but then we realize we're not actually getting the value we thought, but that money set on autopay they just leave our accounts. So consider if those are necessary 

Use Your Local Library 

There are so many great services that just go beyond checking out books and movies and that kind of thing. See what services your local library provides. There may be cool events you can go into as well, from an entertainment perspective, save more money on books and movies and entertainment don't clutter up your space, that could be a really helpful tip for you especially you if spend a lot on entertainment

Switch To A High-Yield Savings Account 

If you have a savings account in your traditional bank and the interest rate is low, consider switching it over to a high-yield savings account. When I did this, I went from earning about $3 to $5 of interest per year from my bank accounts to over $1,000 per year. It was a dramatic increase and that's just from the type of account. You'll see so much more of a return on your savings.

Look At Unit Prices 

When you're shopping for things that have come in different sizes, look at the unit price. You can see what savings you can get depending on if you purchase a smaller or larger product. Typically, if you purchase a larger product, you're going to get a better cost per ounce, but it's always important to check, but looking at that can save you so much money especially when you're trying to decide between different brands and sizes of the product. etc...

Buy In Bulk

Similarly, consider purchasing in bulk. If your store has a bulk section, whether it's a traditional bulk section or spices, or even if there's not technically a bulk section, purchasing those larger size products can be a dramatic saving. My roommate has a Costco membership and so sometimes I go grocery shopping with her, and I was able to get 12 pounds of organic brown rice for $11. Which is a really great deal in our area, and was a huge saving compared to if I would have purchased a much smaller bag.

Drink Water Instead 

We talked a little bit about certain beverages like coffee or teas, but consider drinking water at most meals instead of other beverages. Now, this is something that I do. Honestly, I prefer to water in most situations than other beverages, but not only is this healthier for you and will help you stay hydrated but then you avoid those costs such as a meal at a restaurant if it's $7 for whatever you're choosing to drink.

Use Energy-Saving Settings On Appliances 

Another strategy is to use energy-saving options on your appliances. For example, my dishwasher has energy savings saying that doesn't actually dry the dishes, and you air dry the dishes instead.

Use LED Lightbulbs

Switch out your lightbulbs to be LED light bulbs or other more energy-saving light bulbs. I was stunned as I recently doing some upgrades about how there is a dramatic difference between dressed traditional light bulbs and LED light bulbs. For my bedroom lights, for instance, the light bulb packs themselves cost the same amount of money within a dollar, and your cost was $7 per year to operate the less efficient ones, and like $0.50 or $0.60 per year for the LED bulbs which were incredible to me. And those will last thirteen years compared to the traditional light bulbs just lacks in a few years. So it was a no-brainer for me to make the switch on those

Avoiding Single-use Items

It's also a way you can save a lot of money. There's a big range but there's a lot of different products sold in single servings, and if you purchase a larger portion or reusable items depending on the situation then you can really save on costs

Use Less Of Certain Products 

Another habit is to just use less of whatever products you are currently using. Can you use a little bit less shampoo or less laundry detergent or dishwashing soap or toothpaste? Again, I'm not talking about skipping things altogether or any dramatic shifts, but typically, when I wash my dishes I only filled a container up to about half and we've never had a problem. Sometimes we might even think we need a certain amount of those products because of what we see in commercials, but they're trying to get you to use way more than you need so you have to buy it sooner. 

Did you know that the toothpaste should not actually go across the whole toothbrush but should just be about a pea-sized amount? That's a big difference. You can save so much money just by reducing the amount of those products that you're using and still be using plenty.

Wash Your Clothing Less 

At least in the United States, people are guilty of over-washing their clothing way more than they actually need to. Most items with the exception of undergarments and socks and that kind of thing can be worn multiple times without actually watching them. They even recommend that genes are worn about 25 times before you wash them. So if you're washing your clothing too much not only are you wearing out your clothes but you're also wasting money.

Have More Financial Meeting 

My last easier tip for saving money is to have more regular financial meetings whether it's just a chance for you to check-in with yourself or check-in with your family members just to track the spending. Even though doing this just by itself maybe doesn't necessarily save money, you'll start to notice different patterns and it can be majorly impactful when trying to reach your savings goals.

  • Here are 12 more strategies. I think these are a little bit more difficult at least in my opinion, perhaps, you'll find that one of the earlier ones was more difficult than one of these, but again, this is just my own classification of them

Cut Your Own Hair 

Cut your own hair or see if someone in your family can cut your hair instead. I haven't been cutting my own hair, I don't have an elaborate hairstyle so it's fine.

Reduce Your TV Subscription 

Cutting TV or cable can be really positive. I do have about 10 TV channels on the main networks, and those are all that I need. I don't personally choose to have any of the online TV subscriptions such as like Netflix or Hulu I don't have any of those. Am not people who would actually get my money's worth of the several hundred channels that many people do get in a standard cable package, and that would just be throwing away money for me

Meal Prep

Meal prep can also be a great way to save money. Now, this is definitely something that's a newer thing for me. I'm not necessarily meal prepping for the whole week or anything, but I like to make a couple extra portions in the instant pot and then have easy leftovers for another night later on. prep can save you a lot of money and time too.

Make Copycat Recipes Of Your Favorite Meals 

Related to food, if you find yourself going out to eat regularly, try to make copycat versions of those items at home. A lot of people might say, oh, I've never gone out to eat. But you might have those similar cravings. So see if there are options of things you can make at home that will still satisfy those cravings of whatever that type of food is, and that you'll enjoy so that you're not tempted to spend more when you go out to eat.

Exercise On Your Own instead Of At A Gym

If you are someone who is trying to get healthier using exercise, and maybe you're not someone who gets a lot of value out of the different things available at the gym, it might help you to just consider working out at home. There's a lot of great exercises that you can do at home that don't require any equipment or much space. I usually like to dance a bit in the evening but also you can easily do different planks and push-ups and squats and lunges and a lot of those different types of exercises require no equipment whatsoever. There are so many great exercise-related channels on YouTube that you can watch completely free. 

Be Patient 

I know we talked a little bit about waiting for things to go on sale. But in this case, I'm talking about if something that you want comes out new, waiting however long you need to until it's no longer as new and the price drops. An easy example of this is with movies. If there's a movie that I want to see, in certain cases I'll go to the theater, but it's exponentially cheaper if I wait for it to come to a red box near me because instead of paying maybe $10 to go see it, I just pay $2 to rent it or I might wait even longer and then you could check it out from the library in which case it's free.

So again, just decided what works for you. If there is a new piece of tech that comes out, waiting a while or waiting to not get the newest version will allow them to make any adjustments that needed like little issues that maybe have come up with it that they can repair for the next version of it, and it will likely be cheaper by that point.

Fix Things Yourself 

I have experienced firsthand home repair can be very costly and kind of annoying. So if there are things you can do to save money that can be a big help.

Get A Programmable Thermostat 

Another thing on the homefront is to consider a programmable thermostat. I did end up purchasing the nest thermostat. It is a little bit pricier upfront, but I was able to get it for a Black Friday deal which took off $100, and I was also able to get another $100 rebate from my energy company. A programmable thermostat is amazing because you can have it set to different temperatures like I talked about earlier with keeping it a little bit cooler or a little bit warmer depending on the season, that can be a great way to save on costs because you're not heating or cooling your space when it's not needed such as when you're sleeping or when you're out of the house. So that could be a worthwhile option to look into 

Sell Collectibles That Don't Add Value 

Sell items that are no longer bringing new value. These could just be things that you don't longer need or perhaps, some of your collectible type items that maybe aren't actually bringing the value that you'd hoped they would 

Grow Your Own Food

Start a garden whether that's like a full garden or just an herb garden like on the windowsill. That could be a great option to save on some food costs. You do have to have a little skill involved in this, and my knowledge about gardening is minimal at this point, but I'm growing a few different herbs for cooking, but also, it's gonna be expensive when you're buying them from the store for a small pack when maybe you only need to pull off a couple leaves, so it just depends on the person and on what you're making, but that could be a helpful option for you to save on food costs.

Set Up Automatic Payments

Another option that's very important but maybe not always dealt with it, is to set up automatic transfers and payments. If you have certain savings goals, set up those transfers with your bank or with whatever the organization is. So you can start benefiting and paying yourself first. Setting these transfers up automatically meant you didn't have to think about it. And then whatever is left is what you can use for spending on certain things.

Surround Yourself With Budget-conscious People 

People who you surround yourself with are going to be more influenced by an act similar. So if you surround yourself with people who are more hygienic, you are also more likely to be a high achiever. The same thing is true with money. If you surround yourself with people who are more money-conscious, you will also more likely to be money-conscious. Whereas, if you're asserting yourself with people who don't know much about money or who spend frivolously, you are also more likely to do that. This doesn't mean leave your friends and you find completely new ones, but whoever you are influenced by will lead to different outcomes. So try to align yourself with those who will support whatever your goals are. Whether it's financial or not

  • Lastly, I have 7 more tips. I do consider these to be a bit more advanced. So if you are someone who really needs that extra push, most of them are not easy things to do, they do require a little bit of extra effort, but they can definitely be very worth it. 

Get A Roommate 

If you have extra space you can rent out as well as maybe you have someone in mind who is looking for space who would be a good roommate to have, that can be really helpful. Yes, it is a bit of a sacrifice at times, and it doesn't mean you're giving up some of your space and some of your privacy, but for me, this decision has made such a financial difference. So it's something that I recommend.

Downsize Your Living Space 

Maybe you don't want to get a roommate but you definitely have more room in your space and you should. One of the most expensive parts of life is our housing expenses, and if you go smaller, you will likely save a lot. If you have an extra bedroom or office that you're using mostly as a storage place, that is a really expensive storage unit and you can consider downsizing. Of course, there could be bigger things involved in this, so it's not a tip for everyone, but in case this does affect you you could dramatically help your financial situation with this one.


Do you drive yourself to work? Depending on the journey and other people who you work with, maybe it's beneficial to carpool. I've been carpooling now for about a year and a half and I love it. For $50 a month I don't have to think about driving, I don't put any miles on my car. I don't have to pay for the gas. I have someone I can talk to if I want. I can eat my breakfast in the car which means I can sleep in later. There are so many benefits for me at least, and I wonder if there are benefits for you for doing that.

Have A No-spend Challenge 

Another option is to go for a no-spend or cash the only type of challenge. There are so many different examples of these different challenges being done on YouTube. Limiting yourself to one of these more extreme degrees can be really helpful in preventing some of that extra spending. Now, of course, it depends on the person. You have to figure out what works best for you but many people might find that to be something that really for sure prevents them from spending too much. Kind of the opposite side of that, but still sort of related.

Use A Credit Card Strategically 

If you are someone who has really good control over your spending, you might find that using a certain type of credit card or rewards card is beneficial for you in terms of the cashback benefits. I have always been disciplined when it comes to my spending, am not likely to make frivolous purchases, and for me, having a cash back credit card I get 1.5% cashback on everything I purchase. That has been really helpful because I'm not using my credit card frivolously. I'm very intentional about what I buy and so for me, it's never been an issue. And in exchange, I get that nice bonus.

But if you are someone who struggles with that temptation then this is probably not the best approach for you if you're really trying to make some serious savings.

Live In Cheaper Areas 

My friend experienced this firsthand when he moved out to the middle of nowhere Western Illinois for his first teaching job. Overall, he had a really positive experience, but the cost compared to the Chicagoland area was ridiculously affordable. He rented out the whole first floor of a house for $500 a month. That is very little, and it was extremely easy for him to make those rent payments as well as save up a lot of other money. And he lived out there for three years. So you can imagine with a lot of savings.

Might not be as glamorous, but are there places you could live that would be more affordable? If you're really serious about your financial goals that could be an option. But again, definitely, something to consider with the trade-offs and with a specific area.

Lower Your Expectations 

Lowering your expectations is a really great way to save money. A lot of us might have different ideas about wealth and what status we want to portray or different types of lifestyles we want to live. If you want something and you're not really making as much money, lower those expectations, save money dramatically for a while, don't have the shame, and if you have to move back in with your parents or someone else, or if you can't spend as much money on food or you can't have some of the gouges. Postponing what you want that lifestyle to look like for a little bit to help me save money. I think this is really important.

I hope you are ready to save up and reach those financial goals this year.

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