As a college student, I'm not exactly rolling in the dough. Apart from the occasional coffee (which I deem a vital life necessity and not a morning luxury), I rarely spend any cash. While a new pair of jeans or a sundress would certainly be nice, I have to remember that I also need to buy books, pay sorority dues, and help with the rent for my off-campus house. While I like to think I'm doing my best to save money, I love finding new, subtle ways to cut back here and there. I've recently discovered that there are multiple ways to save money without negatively affecting my lifestyle, and wanted to share them with Lovelyish readers. After all, who doesn't like to save some cash once in awhile?
These tips are extremely useful, and are more than likely to help your bank account. Put the extra money towards something rewarding, such as a cute pair of shoes or a weekend away. Or, you could be like me and put it towards student loans (sigh).
1. Not Using Coupons: Though it may not seem like much, the money saved by coupons can really add up over time. Try using websites such as Retail Me Not and SmartSource for coupons to use online or at a store near you!
2. Buying Brand-Name Products: While sometimes brand names truly deliver better products, many times a name is simply used as an excuse to raise the price of a product. If you're a die-hard fan of Honey Nut Cheerios, then buying the band name is reasonable. However, with staples such as flour, bottled water, butter, or over-the-counter medications, the "off brand" products are made of the same material as the ones with a brand name, but are sold at a better price.
3. Outrageously Expensive Cosmetics: Stores like Sephora sell beautiful cosmetics, but at ridiculous prices. Save money by purchasing makeup at a drugstore or Eyes Lips Face (e.l.f.) Cosmetics. E.l.f. sells quality products, but at very low prices. I'm a huge fan of their makeup! Also check out BeautyEncounter for low-priced products.
4. Buying Gum: While we all love to have minty-fresh breath, constantly purchasing gum can be expensive. Spending $1.50 per week on gum (and we all know it actually costs more than that) can add up to $70 a year! Cut back by buying gum in bulk at Costco or BJ's Wholesale Club.
5. Impulse Shopping: I am admittedly guilty of this spending crime. After all, who can ignore the makeup and body sprays while standing in line at Victoria's Secret, or the magazines at the grocery store? I'm also guilty of picking up random foods while grocery shopping that I never intended to buy. For occasions such as this, it definitely helps to make a list ahead of time and stick to it. That way, you'll spend less on unnecessary items. For a trip to the mall, it definitely helps to leave the credit card at home and carry a reasonable amount of cash.
6. Paying Retail For Books: I love to read, but rarely do I walk into a Barnes & Noble looking for a new book. There are so many cheap options to find your next great read. Try an online book swap, browse garage sales, or simply check your local library.
7. Purchasing Bottled Water: At $1.50-2.00 a bottle, water purchases can definitely add up over time. Although tap water is definitely cheaper, it often has a bad taste. I recommend investing in a water filtration system, which can cost arounf $20 but can also save hundreds of dollars a year!
8. Making 411 Calls: I didn't realize this, but 411 calls can be extremely expensive - up to $2.50 per call! If you have a smartphone, use Google to search for numbers. No smartphone yet? Simply dial Free411 or (800) Free411. You may have to listen to a short advertisement, but the call will be free!
Do any Lovelies out there have advice when it comes to saving cash? Share your tips!