Whether in school full time, embarking on our first career, or living as newlyweds, as young adults we are likely looking for ways to save money. It can be hard to know where to start and oftentimes the problem is that we simply overcomplicate things. Saving money can be very simple and done in ways we tend to overlook – you can do it!
Here are 10 simple ways to begin right now, right where you are, to save money for the year ahead:
Whether it is to school or work, find out if there is a fellow student or employee with whom you can carpool. Take turns using your car and then the other person’s car and depending on how many people are in your carpool group, you can cut down on your gas and vehicle expenses by at least half.
Live at home or with a roommate
Living at home can save you quite a bit, so consider it as one of your best money-saving options. It’s great to pitch in financially even as you are seeking to save money for the future and make sure that you are actually saving money. You probably don’t want to squander all your income because you are too comfortable and complacent at home having fewer bills. Set aside and save the money you would otherwise be spending on higher rent and utilities.
Once you are out of your parents’ home, consider taking on a roommate. Be safe and wise about your choice of roommate(s), of course, but do think of it as a possible option for you to be able to save quite a bit of money as you split rent and utility costs.
Meal plan rather than eating out all the time
It may sound boring, but meal planning can be fun, and it definitely saves you a ton of money! Hop onto Pinterest, shop your refrigerator and pantry, see what you can make with what you already have, and then shop the sales for ingredients you still need. You will be surprised by just how much money this one simple practice will save you!
Cut out the cable and conserve utility usage
Cable television is one of the greatest money-suckers there is. You can save hundreds of dollars by instead just going with cheaper options such as Hulu, Netflix, PureFlix, or Amazon Prime Video.
Save money on your other utility bills by setting your thermostat just a bit warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter than you usually would. Conserve water usage by turning the water off when you can while brushing your teeth. Unplug appliances such as toasters and stand mixers when not in use.
Take advantage of used books
When it comes to the books you will need for school, buy used whenever you can! Borrow books from others, rent them from your college library, etc.!
Take classes online, when possible
Sometimes online classes are available for your degree, and they can be much cheaper than the in-person option. Take advantage of this whenever you can!
Don’t have an unlimited data phone plan, and conserve your data usage
Unlimited data is obviously going to cost more than if you just purchase a certain amount of data to use each month. Pick a cheaper plan and exercise some self-control to stick to it.
Take advantage of the local library
If you are a huge bibliophile like me, buying books can be where the majority of your disposable income ends up going. Taking advantage of your local library can be a lifesaver in this area! If your library does not already have the book(s) you are wanting to check out, oftentimes they will order the requested titles for you, so look into that, as well!
DIY as much as possible
Whether it is making your own coffee at home instead of going on that daily Starbucks run or cooking instead of buying pre-packaged meals, try your hand at “DIYing” as much as you can, and you will save a lot of money in the process!
Shop the thrift store
If you aren’t accustomed to it, shopping at a thrift store may seem like an unsavory option, but I have found it to be a wonderful idea. The vast majority of my clothes come from local thrift stores, look brand new, and were purchased at a fraction of the retail price.
Implementing even a few of these ideas will make a difference and improve your finances for the coming year! Try what you can, and watch the savings add up!