How to Save Money Part 1 - How to Spend Less

If you're serious about saving money, you've got to spend less. That's the only way you'll have something to save. So here are my tips to spend less money, without starving yourself or anything.

1. Don't cut down too much on food.

It will affect your health, which may come back as a huge medical bill. Where I live, fast food is so ridiculously expensive that it's cheaper to eat cleaner, but even if junk food is cheaper, it's actually not that cheap. Eat as healthfully as you possibly can.

2. Buy used.

When I needed something, my first instinct was to go to the supermarket or the mall. Now I hit thrift stores first. Of course, you can't buy food or toilet papers used, and I would not buy underwear used, but most non-consumables can be bought second hand. Thrift stores and flea markets are your friend. If you need a coat and have $50, buying $100 coat second-hand for $50 is much better than buying a $50 coat retail. Online second-hand exchange can be wonderful but since you often can't see the product for yourself, you need to be more careful. Also, never underestimate hand-me-downs. Half of my clothes and many of my best clothes came from my mother's closet.

3. Think 8 times before you buy something that isn't absolutely necessary.

I only allow myself to buy one non-essential thing per month at most. I kind of want cocktail shaker right now, but could I live without it? Yes, therefore it can wait. After a while you stop wanting unnecessary things. Shopping was an amusement for me, but now that time and money used to be spent on shopping can go somewhere more important.

4. Pack your lunch and bring your own beverage.

$6 lunches and $4 coffees add up to a significant amount of money. It's $10 a day, which is $220 in a month (22 business days), which is $2640 in a year. If you'd rather have Caramel Machiatto more than anything else, you do you, but ask yourself, would you really rather have a cup of coffee than (insert whatever matters to you)? If the answer is no, then you know what you have to do.

5. Go through your things. Sell what you don't use, and remember the things you have.

SO much money is spent because you buying something not remembering that you already have something like it. Get rid of the clutter and know what you have, and try to make use of what you already have instead of having to buy something new. Also selling things that you don't need can get you a decent amount of cash.

6. Think of the long-term cost.

Remember what I said about cheaping out on food can lead to hefty medical bills? Cheap things are not always actually cheap long term. If you buy cheap clothes, you'll have to replace them pretty soon and if you keep doing that you will end up spending more money than buying one, expensive, good quality clothing that will last you years after years. Of course price doesn't equate to quality, but remember that there are lots of overpriced things, but underpriced things don't exist (the spell checker is putting red line under "underpriced" as I type, that should prove it). You can use cheap toilet paper. Although pricier TPs feel nice, cheap toilet papers don't lead to anything bad and you'll use up expensive toilet papers just as fast as the cheap ones. Cheap bag? It will probably fall apart soon and repeatedly replacing bags can add up to greater sum of money than just buying one good quality bag.

7. Use rebate sites when you do buy something.

When I encountered the idea of these sites I was quite skeptical. Cashback for buying thing I would buy anyways? That's too good to be true, right? However, you do really get money! I personally use Ebates (referral link). However, beware. If you don't control yourself this might cause you to spend more money. Always be mindful!

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