If you follow my travel blog, you probably know that I can be a real money saver. But it’s not just when I’m traveling that I always try to spend as little as possible. Saving money in everyday life is also important to me.
Not only during my studies, but also since I started my own business, I keep trying to discover new and smart ways to save money. This doesn’t only include saving money in the household, e.g., to save on heating costs, but also a lot of small things that can add up at the end of the month.
You can find a few of my simplest tips and ways to save money here.
12 Smart and ridiculously simple ways to save Money in Everyday Life
When I moved out of my parents’ and stood on my own two feet for the first time, I had to find out how quickly my account balance decreases if you eat outside every day. A snack here, lunch with my best friend there adds up so fast.
Even if the choice of food is not exactly high-end restaurants, eating outside is still extremely expensive.
Therefore, cooking yourself at home and bringing packed lunch to work is the key. This practice can save a lot of money, especially if several people are living in your household or you cook for several days at once.
Cocktail Party instead of Cocktail Bar
Every student can tell you all too well how much the weekly parties and club visits cost. A cocktail in a bar easily costs you 10 euros. And most of the time it is not just one drink a night. Then you’ll also have to add a small snack, entrance fee, and the taxi back home.
How about a cocktail party at home instead? Invite your friends and mix your favorite cocktails yourself. You can find a whole bunch of great recipes online.
Divide the ingredients between all of you and talk to each other about the recipes you are going to use so that there is an excellent cocktail for everyone.
Quality can work without brands
Brands have a good grip on us and are happy to let us reach for the expensive products in the supermarket or drugstore. And that although many house brands offer just as good quality at a much lower price.
I love, for example, my shampoo and lotion that I buy from a German drugstore because they often only cost half of the branded products but still help amazingly good. But not only for lotions and shampoo but also for cleaning products, I like to use the supermarket’s brands.
The same applies to the basics, such as pasta, rice, mashed tomatoes, cream cheese, etc. It truly doesn’t always have to be branded products. Why don’t you test different products at home? Do you really taste/notice a big difference between the brand and the no-name product?
Do it yourself
Even better than buying brands and private labels, it’s easy to make your favorite products yourself. In this way, not only can you often save a lot of money, but it can also bring other benefits. Those benefits can be that you can add less sugar if you do food yourself. Or you simply know the ingredients of your dish much better and can leave the one you don’t like.
Warning: Before doing so, make sure that doing something yourself actually saves money. Sometimes a product from the supermarket is cheaper anyway.
You can do it yourself, for example, Cleaning products, beauty products such as face masks, but also decorative items, food or small repair work. There are as many tutorials on the Internet how to do certain things yourself.
But: This also includes a shot of healthy self-assessment. Can you really repair your PC/car yourself, or should you let a professional do it for you? Sometimes it is cheaper to let someone else do it for you than to have them correct your mistakes later.
Cash is King
If you always pay with a card, it’s easy to lose sight of your expenses. Studies have shown that buyers who pay in cash spend less on average than people who pay with cards. And there is a simple reason for that. If you pay in cash, you have every note you issue in your hand before you spend it and therefore have a better understanding of how much you are actually spending.
Especially if you count your budget at the beginning of the week and put it in your wallet, you have an excellent overview of how much money you can spend (logically: the less money is left in your purse = the less money you can spend).
But even if you don’t have a weekly budget, this makes it much easier to see how much money you spend on what. Even if it is much easier to pay with a card, or precisely because it is much easier to pay with a card, paying with cash can literally pay off quickly.
Switch of your electronics if not needed
You can save a lot of money every year if you turn off all electronic devices that you don’t need. That sounds pretty logical and easy. But do you actually know how many electronic devices keep running even if you don’t use them at all?
The radio, the television on standby, your laptop, or the electronic clock, your microwave… Yes, many devices still draw electricity without even running.
The perfect solution is a multiple plug with a switch-off button. As soon as you switch off the radio or television, you can press the button and thus save money.
The same applies to lamps, heating, etc. As soon as you leave the room for a long time, you should switch off everything that is not needed. Does the heating e.g., run all day when you are at work? There is also the option to install a timer at your heating. This way, your flat is warm when you come home without consuming unnecessary energy during the day.
Planning is everything
One thing we learned during our travels: The more we plan and research beforehand, the more options can be found to save good money. The same goes for spending money in everyday life, of course.
During my student days, I kept a record of how much I earned at work every day and how much I had spent on what. This habit gave me a precise overview of my income and expenses and allowed me to better plan how much money I had available and in which area I could be spending less.
Of course, you don’t have to keep track of every penny now. But it can help save money if you plan your expenses a little more. It’s essential to do so in order to get an understanding of how much money you have available every month and how much of it you can spend freely.
Reduce unnecessary expenses
Easier said than done, I know. But let’s face it, how many of us are registered in a gym without even using it regularly? Maybe we could do a home workout instead once in a while. The same goes for Netflix and other streaming services, magazine subscriptions, and the like.
Check out all of your monthly expenses and see how badly you really need them. But that can also be credit cards, electricity or internet providers: Maybe you could save a lot of money if you’d switch to another provider?
However, the same goes for spontaneous purchases or other expenses, as well: do you really need those shoes or a new short? Does it really have to be the expensive Starbucks coffee or is it not enough to have a coffee from the small café around the corner that only costs half (or maybe even a homemade coffee at home?)
Invest in a water filter
Regardless of how annoying it is to carry heavy water bottles every week, have you ever considered how much money you spend on drinking water each year? Actually, it’s a total irony, if you think about the fact that the water comes out of the tap for free.
Of course, all those who live in regions with high drinking water quality have a great advantage. In the place I grew up in, the Harz Mountains in Germany, e.g., the water from the tap tastes better than bought from the bottle. In Barcelona, however, the water doesn’t taste good at all and can even sometimes cause an upset stomach for some.
So it can help to invest in a good water filter to filter the hard tap water before drinking.
If you prefer your water as sparkling water, you can also buy a soda stream to avoid the constant carrying of water and high expenditure for water.
Take advantage of discounts
They arrive at the house every week: discount booklets and brochures for supermarkets in the city. And how often do we really use them?
I am usually rather spontaneous when I discover a special offer in the supermarket for one of my products. And that although there are actually great offers every week in Spain, like 3 for the price of 2 or similar. It is often worth buying several products at once. Especially for items that do not expire, e.g., Toilet paper, shampoo, or toothpaste are almost always worth buying if they are discounted.
So it’s best to find out beforehand when your favorite product has a discount and buy 2 or 3 of it. If you do this with all or at least several of the products that you buy frequently, you can save a lot each month.
Free events and activities
The after-work beer with the colleagues, the cinema visit on weekends with your partner, and going to the museum with your family – there is quite a bit of expenditure involved. Anyway, there are so many free activities and events that you can visit with your loved ones.
How about a bike tour instead of a visit to a swimming pool or a picnic in the park instead of going to the restaurant? Instead of an expensive date, how about a romantic date at home?
Find out in the daily newspaper or on the Internet about free events in your city, and you will probably be surprised how much there is to experience without spending a single cent.
Is anything leaky?
Every year, we spend so much money on electricity, heating, and water. Many doubt that these costs can be changed. And, after all, we need electricity and water – and we don’t want to freeze either, right?
But did you know that in many, especially older flats, a lot of heat is lost through leaky windows and doors? The same applies to dripping taps. So it’s worth putting a cover in front of your door to prevent cold air from entering. And more importantly, be sure to have your window seals checked so that no heat simply pulls outside.
What do you think about our savings tips? Or maybe you still have the ultimate advice for us that is missing from our list? Let us know in the comments below!