Not that I’m a mind-reader or anything, but I bet I can guess what one of the biggest worries on your mind is.
Being a twenty-something is such a fun time in life with new opportunities and experiences at every turn. However, it’s also full of loads of new responsibilities: student loans, car payments, rent—the list goes on and on!
Handling your money can be beyond-stressful, and the first place to start is usually reducing your spending as much as you can. But how can you do this without feeling like you’re depriving yourself? Rest assured: You don’t have to suffer to save a few bucks. Below are five tips that you can add to your 2020 money regime to get you saving in no-time.
5 Frugal Hacks That Can Save You Tons of Money
1. Get thrifty.
It’s no secret that buying clothes at thrift stores is a super easy way to save money. A top that would normally cost you $35 is marked down to $8…all because it was worn once or twice.
If you want to take this a step further and get a little more creative, you can host a clothes-swap with friends, or you can upcycle items you already have by adding different buttons or embellishments.
Managing to look put-together on a budget isn’t as hard as it sounds—I get most of my clothes thrifted, but you’d never know it! Plus, this option is also environmentally-friendly, so it’s a definite win-win.
There are also many online thrift shops that will let you browse online for great secondhand deals!
2. Make your beauty routine DIY.
We all know the phrase—Look good, feel good. This doesn’t mean I’m spending hours per day glamming myself up, but it does mean that I incorporate some pampering into my self-care routine. But how do I do this when I’m on budget? It’s actually pretty easy: I do most of my beauty self-care myself.
For example, I splurge on a professional haircut once or twice a year so that my hair keeps its shape, but other than that… I’m my own hairdresser! It might seem far-fetched, but I’ve gotten plenty of compliments on my haircut right after I did an over-the-bathroom-sink trim, plus I save tons of money by skipping the salon.
If you’re feeling daring yourself, check out a YouTube DIY haircut tutorial like this one by PickUpLimes.
3. Identify your biggest money-suck, and limit it.
I have a daily routine that I do every morning as soon as I wake up. First, I stretch my arms wide and tell myself that I’m thankful to be alive another day (sappy, but true!). Next, I think about one thing and one thing only.
I’m pretty thrifty with my spending in general, but going out to get a latte is what you’d call my “Achilles’ heel.” Something about being in a coffee shop with its ambient music, aromatic smells, and unlimited caffeine sets my introverted heart ablaze.
But you know what? I realized that buying a coffee out five days per week added up to a hefty credit card statement (not to mention a large carbon footprint!). Once I made the (difficult but worth it) change to brew my own java at home, I eliminated my biggest expense without giving up my vice. Plus, once I throw on some Bossa Nova Jazz, it feels like I’m at a café anyway!
4. Get a hobby that doesn’t cost you a penny (or a nickel or a dime).
When I picked up the guitar for the first time five years ago, I had no idea what a big part of my life it would become. Not only is it a great way for me to decompress and let off some stress, but it’s also another one of my favorite things: free.
Finding ways to spend your time that don’t cost you anything is easier than you think. Other than playing the guitar, I also attend a writing group and sew in my free time (don’t let my twenty-something exterior fool you… I’m a grandma on the inside).
If you’re feeling stumped as far as ideas go, check out Meetup.com, or simply skip going out to eat and cook up some Pinterest recipes with a friend. The options for free activities are limitless—you might just have to get a little creative to find them.
5. Change your outlook on money.
A few months ago, someone gave me some game-changing advice. “Instead of thinking of money in terms of dollars, think of it in terms of the time it took you to make it.”
Mind. Officially. Blown.
I’d never thought of money in that way before, and it completely shifted my perspective. Give it a shot yourself—you just might find that you’re less-tempted to splurge on a triple-frappuccino-and-veggie-bagel combo once you realize that it costs you an hour (or more) of hard work!
Just be careful to not go overboard here—establishing a healthy, balanced relationship with your spending habits is the end goal, after all.
Navigating your finances as a twenty-something comes with a big learning curve–one that I’ve often learned the hard way.
But with a little help from the tips above, you can put yourself well on your way to growing your savings account—without losing any sanity.
And cheers to that!