When it comes to saving money, you may have conflicting feelings. Sometimes, you’re on top of the world, while other times you feel overwhelmed and in need of some lifestyle changes. Your future is bright, but success doesn’t come without a few sacrifices.
Luckily, there are ways to stay on track, and some of the best money-saving tips are easy, quick, and even fun. Here are seven simple ways to save cash without the hurt.
1. Ditch the salon.
Men and women alike spend a lot of money at professional beauty spots, and at the end of the month, wonder where that hard-earned paycheck went. Break the cycle by hitting a local beauty school and have a student sculpt your coif. If you’re nervous about mistakes, don’t be—a licensed instructor oversees the work, and will step in to fix anything you might not like about your locks. The hottest cut will run you less than $10 at most learning clinics.
2. Flex your culinary muscles.
Take a free online class series (or two or three) for a few basic cooking pointers that can turn your restaurant addiction into a money-saving skill.
3. Coupon code everything.
Before placing an order on an online transaction, do a quick internet search for an online coupon or discount code. Whether you’re in the market for new shoes, personal finance books, or a gym membership, you never know what might be out there to help cut costs.
4. Preempt your triggers.
Know your pitfalls, and circumvent them by controlling your environment. Just like a person who cuts junk food from their diet doesn’t keep processed snacks in the house, you can manipulate your surroundings to make them more conducive to saving money. Opt out of the email marketing from your favorite shoe company, for example, and rehearse a concise, graceful demure for when your friends ask you to hit the bar after work.
5. Switch subscriptions.
When it comes to money-saving tips, this one’s huge. Nix the subscriptions you wouldn’t miss, like the fashion mag you signed up for as a gesture of support for your niece’s fundraiser six years ago. Instead, add smart blogs to your RSS feed so every time a new post is up, you’re alerted of valuable new content instead of tempting ads.
6. Sign up for a free trial.
Those first-two-weeks-free deals seem so tempting, but you know there’s a catch. Companies bet you’ll forget to unsubscribe at the end of that free trial, and hope to hook you for life. Thankfully though, there are calendar apps and mobile alerts. Set up a reminder to opt out at the end of each trial period, so you can still receive your free product or service without accidentally signing up past the time limit.
7. Swap and shop.
Buying used stuff might not seem like a fun outing, but you can score some serious swag if you give it a shot. You can also host parties with your friends to make trading clothes and other items fun.
When you successfully pass up a night on the town for a night of board games, or try out a DIY pedicure, Tweet your achievement, however small. The likes and encouragement you’ll get from friends may spur you to keep saving in every area.