5 Simple Money Saving Tips for Young Adults
Want to save money but having a hard time figuring out ways to do it that are simple and not time consuming? Here are five simple money saving tips for young adults that come from the best selling book How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck by Avery Breyer.
*Disclosure: This post does contain affiliate links meaning that I may receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you) if you purchase through one of the links. This helps keep this blog up and running.*
1. Buy store brands and cook from scratch
Although each meal might be cheap on its own, buying fast food or prepared meals from the grocery store can add up over time. Instead, try buying the ingredients for your favorite meals and cooking from scratch. For example, if you love Chicken Alfredo from Olive Garden, try buying all of the ingredients and making it yourself. It might cost you more than the $16 initially, you will also be buying items that will stay in your pantry and that can be used in other recipes later on.
"An easy way to avoid most of the pre-packaged food is to do most of your shopping in the outer perimeter of the store: the fresh produce section, the bakery, the meat department, and the dairy aisle. This way you'll only need to round out your purchases with a minimum of items from the central aisles of the store." - How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck by Avery Breyer
2. Buy clothes out of season
Another easy way to save money is to buy clothes out of season. For a lot of people, including me, not buying clothes at all is a huge leap. Instead, just try buying your clothes at the end of the season when it's all marked down to make room for new arrivals. I've gotten hoodies in the summer for $4 and shorts in the summer for $5. This way, you can still get your retail therapy, and save money while doing it.
Also: a lot of stores allow you to use coupons on clearance items so make sure you're checking for coupons online before you go shopping
"And the next best thing is to buy at the end of the season. These are the time when you'll find things marked down to rock-bottom prices, with discounts of 70% not uncommon. This can save you a ton of money over the long term." - How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck by Avery Breyer
3. Try using cash only
If you have a habit of just swiping your debit card without really thinking about where your money is going, you should try using cash only. A really easy way to do it is by using the envelope system. When using the envelope system, you use cash only to pay for certain categories of your budget such as groceries, gas, misc. spending, etc. You can only spend the money each envelope on things in that category and once it's gone, it's gone. If you get an envelope system like this, you can also write on the envelope and keep track of your spending. Using cash allows you to see where your money is going easier, and you aren't still swiping your debit card.
"For example, if you know you spend about $500 every two weeks on groceries and other household shopping expenses, why not take out $500 cash every two weeks and pay a single fee, instead of using your debit card or a series of smaller withdrawals that will each have their own fee? It adds up, and it's easy to avoid with a little bit of planning." - How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck by Avery Breyer
4. Stock up when things go on sale
Another super simple way to save money is to stock up on items that you already buy when they go on sale. There are some dry food items and household supplies/cleaners that store well, so it is smart to stock up on them when they go on sake. If you have a Meijer near you, they usually always have a 10 for 10 sale once a month. The 10 for 10 sale is where certain items are $1 and if you buy 10, you get the 11th item free. Some of the great things about this sale is that you don't have to buy 10 items to get one for a $1, and you can mix & match. This post here explains in more detail and gives great tips for how to save big.
"So use the 80-20 rule and stick to tracking prices of items that'll give you the most bang for your buck: the most costly items that you tend to buy, which also tend to store well over the long term." - How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck by Avery Breyer
5. Don't buy it unless you need it
The easiest, and most simple way to save money is to buy what you need WHEN YOU NEED IT. For those of you who like to find ways around things, yes you might need new shoes, clothes, etc. EVENTUALLY but that doesn't necessarily mean you need it right now. If you know that in a few months you might need new work shoes, try setting aside money for them each week instead of just splurging on them with money that you need for other things. If you can live without it, don't waste your money on it.
"Lastly, figuring out concrete goals for your money will also help you resist the temptation to spend unnecessarily - when you have something better in mind that you want that money to go towards, it's easy to say "no" to the latest temptation if it doesn't fit our long-term goals." - How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck by Avery Breyer
Have you or do you currently use any of these tips to save money? Share your other tips below in the comments.