Supply-chain price hikes, banking collapses, and high-interest rates are just three factors contributing to a tangible fall in living standards. With the last three years of post-pandemic inflation dwarfing anything, many people seek ideas and guidance.
However, the good news is that people are more than willing to share their successful money-saving methods. This is apparent in a recent online discussion, where a treasure trove of cash-friendly tips awaits. So here are some simple life-improving and frugal tips to combat the rising financial tide.
1. Drink Tap Water
We must be sensitive to residents of Flint, MN, and East Palestine, OH, in this recommendation. However, those lucky enough to have nice tap water — I’m looking at you, residents of Maine and Vermont — can take advantage of this cheap resource.
2. Save First, Not Spend First.
Quite a simple rule, but one that is hard to execute without discipline, is, “Don’t save what is left after spending but rather spend what is left after saving.” In other words, pay yourself first before giving back to the economy.
3. Avoid Lifestyle Creep
Lifestyle creep is the idea that your living standards must improve as your income increases, and we are all guilty of it. “When you get a pay raise, add that to the amount you’re saving already,” comments one helpful person. “Just don’t increase your expenses accordingly.”
4. Force Your Income Into Savings
By allocating a good slice of your hard-earned dollars into a separate savings account, you take away any option for being frivolous. This is what one saver did; after three years, it is showing results: “That account is now up to almost $30k. It’s growing slower than I expected,” they concede. “But unlike my 401k, it’s after-tax money.”
5. Get a Budgeting App
With countless budgeting apps on the market, now is a great time to take control of your spending. Apps such as YNAB (You Need a Budget) or Mint help you track spending, synchronize with your banking, and allocate your funds into savings, with a host of money-saving features to help you.
6. Learn To Cook
By cutting back on that ramen or the odd taco Tuesday and hitting the kitchen, you can save a lot of money. The cost of a few takeout meals (plus tips) per month will surprise some people.
7. Use a Butcher
Following on from cooking at home is to befriend your local butcher shop, where one commenter swears, “You will pay significantly less.” However, a nonplussed reply disagrees that buying ingredients is cheaper. “Where I am, it’s the other way around.”
8. Live in Canada
One person in the thread keeps it simple: “Come to Canada, they joke. “Where it’s cheaper to eat at McDonald’s than buy and make it yourself.” I think they were being sarcastic there. However, the medical bills from eating that way will add up.
9. Make Coffee at Home
As a Brit living in the States, I was shocked by how few people make their own coffee at home. Those who drop eight bucks a day on morning and mid-morning flat-white will save a to. While homemade coffee may not be as good as your local brewer, it can be close.
10. Cut Out the Drinking (Out)
This isn’t only related to the act of drinking itself, but the going out part. What is wrong with going out for coffee or dinner instead? Moreover, brewing your own craft beer at home can be both fun and rewarding. A night out drinking cocktails or good microbrews will set you back a ton, especially if this is happening every weekend.
This thread inspired this post.