I’ve been trying my best not only to make more money but find ways of saving as much money as I can over the last few years. From timing my grocery store trips to using items from my kitchen and laundry room as beauty products, I’ve learned a lot of interesting and effective ways to save money.
My boyfriend thinks I’m cheap because I do things like cut my paper towels in half, roll out every last bit of toothpaste and even cut the tube if necessary to save a few bucks. Just yesterday he rolled his eyes at the fact that I refused to park the car while picking him up at the airport and instead, drove around a few times until he came out. Parking is atrociously expensive at the airport and I will NOT forgive myself if I pay $20 for parking half an hour.
As frugal as I am however, there are some things I simply will not give up to save money. I’d rather work harder at my side hustle and find other ways of saving more money than give up these things. After all, I still have to enjoy my life and thee eight things are important to me to enjoy my life:
1. Ensuite laundry
One of my friends has a washer and dryer in her home but hasn’t used it in 3 years. To save money, she takes her clothes to the laundromat a block away and is convinced that she’s saving money. Since the laundromat has bigger washers and dryers, she can fit more into a single load and pay $2 each (washer and dryer). She may be saving money, but I look at the hassle of dragging laundry a block away, waiting there and dragging it back and it’s simply not worth it for me.
I want to save money too, but convenience is important. I like being able to do laundry at 2:00 am if I want.
My theory on not using AC is ‘why suffer when you don’t have to?’ We had a heat alert last week, it was honestly an absolute scorcher and I found myself running from my air-conditioned office to my air conditioned home. I’ve lived in homes without air-conditioning and survived just fine, but again, why suffer? I don’t blast the AC unnecessarily, but when I need it, I use it.
3. A land line
I had to think about this one, especially since I’m reading so much about how to ditch a landline and use a cell phone exclusively. And then I remember that I’m a worrier (not a warrior). In any situation, I will always think of the worst case scenario.
Something to consider before cancelling a landline is that 911 operators can identify your address from a landline, this is not the case for most cell phones, at least not yet. Images like me not being able to talk after calling 911 because I’m gasping for air or an intruder is just outside of the closet where I’m crouched on the floor hiding make me hold on to my land line (I told you I worry). Instead, I’ve just cancelled all services I never use – voicemail, call waiting and caller ID. Honestly, I can count how many times I use my landline in the last month, but I like knowing it’s there.
4. Good food
It’s been one of budget-friendly goals to find grocery stores that are affordable. I will go out of my way if it means I can save $2.00 on milk. But just because I’m trying to save money doesn’t mean I will eat macaroni and cheese every day. I still make the effort to eat well on a budget. I insist on including a variety of fruits and veggies, seafood and the occasional steak.
5. The right jeans
When I first started budgeting, my trips to the mall almost decreased drastically because the first thing to go was shopping. I needed new jeans and I remember buying cheap ones thinking that they were all the same. Take it from me, cheap jeans don’t fit well. Sure I saved a few bucks, but I was busy pulling them up in certain places and down in others. Not fun, but lesson learned – no more cheap jeans. I’ve learned that buying a few good quality clothes is far more cost-effective than buying lots of cheap clothes that are of poor quality.
I don’t care much for drinks other than wine. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve seen a tweet or 10 about my love for wine. I’ve It’s with me when I celebrate or when I need a little something after a rough day. I like trying different wines and pairing them with meals, but it can expensive. Rather than cutting wine out completely (tried that, didn’t work) I’ve just minimized buying wine and now try to find ones that are more cost effective. If anything, I’ve discovered a lot of really good wines that don’t cost much.
7. Space organizers
I hate clutter. It makes me uncomfortable and because I work from home a few days a week, I just can’t work in a cluttered space. I’m one of those people who will be thinking about the clutter instead of my work and nothing makes me more happy than to throw or donate out bags of stuff I don’t need. I love finding new ways to organize my life.
8. Good paper towels
I truly believe that buying cheap paper towers is actually more expensive than just investing in good ones. At the risk of sounding like those Bounty commercials, you really won’t be saving money if you’re using 3 of the cheap paper towels that keep falling apart every time you use them. I buy the good ones that are already pre-cut in half. You can rinse and use them more than once.
The truth is that I can easily live without these eight things to save money, but it won’t be sustainable over a long period of time. Cutting out EVERYTHING to save money is like a crash diet, it’s not likely to work because you’ll eventually go back to the way you used to live. The key to budgeting is finding a balance by cutting out a wasteful things but ensuring that you still enjoy your life. Budgeting is a way of life not something you try for a few months.