I wracked my brain to try and find some fun ways to save to make it intriguing for everyone and to make it feel less boring. Well, to help you find fun and creative ways to save money, I asked CEOs and business leaders for some fun and creative ways to save money, and I've gathered their best ideas. From cycling or walking to work to making your own laundry detergent, there are several ways to inject fun and creativity into saving money without even realizing it.
Creative Ways to Save Money
Cycle or Walk to Work if You Can
If you live close enough to your place of work, ditching public transport or your car in favor of cycling or walking could save you a fortune. Not only will you avoid pricey gas and parking costs, but you'll also get some much-needed exercise into your day. If you live too far away to cycle or walk the whole way realistically, consider using public transport or carpooling.
Volunteer at Events You Want to Attend
When my husband and I moved from Pennsylvania to Los Angeles for jobs, we were met with sticker shock at the cost of Southern California life: Although we received raises in the move, the limits of our budget led us to pursue volunteerism as a great way to enjoy leisure activities affordably. Our most successful volunteer efforts were for an acoustic music series. At the first show we attended (and the only one we paid for), we found the organizers and asked if we could barter admission for helping with the shows. This turned into getting to enjoy a monthly free concert and meeting the performers -- just for helping to put up chairs, set up a coffee and treats area, and sell merchandise at intermission. We also became such good friends with the concert series' soundman and one of the organizers that they invited us into their social circles, leading to dinners, pool parties, boating trips, and hearing even more free music by volunteering at the Pasadena Folk Music Society.
Celebrate Birthdays With Freebies
Sign up for rewards/birthday clubs, and you can score free meals, desserts, drinks, and other discounts at your favorite restaurants and stores throughout your birthday month! For example, Red Robin offers a free burger, and Buffalo Wild Wings gives you free wings! Starbucks gives you any size free beverage of your choice while Bevmo offers ten dollars off a purchase of $50 or more, and Benihana will give you a free meal with the purchase of another meal! Beyond food and drink, DSW will send you five bucks, and IKEA will give you ten dollars off in stores. Celebrate all month long with free goodies!
Get Free Coffee Every Week
Sign up for Starbucks rewards and use your own cup. The popular coffee chain will give you 25 stars for using said cup, plus two stars for every dollar spent. Therefore, if you get a Venti-sized latte every day, you can get every 5th one free because 150 stars equal a free beverage of your choice! Enjoy your caffeinated days and help the environment in one fell swoop!
Cook a Family Meal Once a Week for the Week
One privilege of working with different people is learning all of their creative ideas. One that stands out for saving money addresses a big-budget item - food/groceries - and a big-time investment - cooking. The idea? One night a week is the family cooking night. Everyone works together to cook multiple meals that can be frozen and heated as desired. It saves money because ingredients are used in multiple ways and in bulk. It also decreases the likelihood of eating out or having take-out. It saves time because the cooking for the week is done! As an added bonus, it is a fun family event!
Related: How to Budget for Groceries
Build a Capsule Wardrobe
When it comes to saving money, there are a lot of tried-and-true methods: cutting out unnecessary expenses, brown-bagging your lunch, and so on. But if you're looking for something a little more creative, here's an idea: wearing the same outfit to work every day. Now, this doesn't mean wearing the same outfit every single day (although if that's your thing, more power to you). Instead, it means building a capsule wardrobe of versatile basics that you can mix and match to create a range of different looks. Not only will this save you money in the long run (no more impulse shopping for that one perfect item), but it will also simplify your morning routine. So, if you're looking for a fun and creative way to save money, give the capsule wardrobe a try.
Have a Snack With You Always
Always have a snack with you. In the long run, such a simple thing as having something to eat in your bag can become a great money-saver. The thing is, hunger makes you spend much more money. Surprisingly, various studies show that the rule applies to all purchases, not only buying or ordering food. In general, an empty stomach is not the best financial advisor you could dream of. One snack prepared in advance can be worth much more than you think.
Create an Argument Jar to Drop in Money for Having Arguments
Every time you and your partner/best friend get into an argument, put a few dollars each (irrespective of who started it) into your "Argument Jar." Increase your contribution after every three arguments. This way, you'll try to argue less, but you save more money when you do. After a few years, you'll be grateful for all the arguments you've had.
Unsubscribe from Emails
Unsubscribing from emails is a simple, creative way to save money. Marketing emails have one goal: for you to buy something from them. When you unsubscribe from the email, the temptation to purchase something vanishes along with it. With how many emails fill up an inbox on any given day, one's inbox will become decluttered as a result too.
Borrow Books From the Library Instead of Buying
Library cards are fantastic and often overlooked ways to save money. Borrowing rather than buying books feeds your mind without draining your wallet. If you work remotely, you can save money on cafes or coworking spaces by working from the library instead. However, libraries offer much more than books and WiFi. Many also lend out movies, music, tools, and even baking supplies or other occasion-use items, meaning you can avoid expenses on purchases you hardly ever utilize. Some libraries even offer a limited number of complimentary passes to local attractions like zoos or aquariums. This resource is definitely an option worth exploring when looking for ways to cut back on spending.
Do Your Laundry With Cold Water
Wash your clothes in the cold. In addition to being better for the environment, cold-water washes are also more budget-friendly. Heating the water is the priciest part of running a laundry machine; if you do yours often, it can add up. Cold water can also preserve your clothing longer, decreasing how often you need to buy new items. While hot water is more effective for tough-to-clean clothing, cold water is usually sufficient to clean lightly soiled items.
Use Free WiFi in Cafes
Spending two to three hours daily in a café after work will surely help you save money. Look for a café where you can get a nice coffee and free WiFi. This is how you can save electricity consumption and WiFi expenses. You can also go to some other places like parks or any friend's place. Saving money like this is really fun.
Shave Instead of Going to the Barber
I think we can all agree that, on average, we spend at least $40 at a barber for a haircut, beard trim, or other services. Assuming one visits a barber at least once a month, that's about $480 a year at the minimum. That's a cost you can save with a simple shave. An average electric razor will cost you about $60, and with it, you will be rocking a smooth bald head and saving up on all those barber trips, not to mention those expensive hair-care products. Shave and save is what I say.
Make Your Own Laundry Detergent
One fun and creative way to save money is to make your own laundry detergent. You can do this by mixing a tablespoon of washing soda and borax with one cup of baking soda. Put the mixture in a container and store it in your laundry room. Then, when you need to wash your clothes, add half a cup of this mixture to each load of laundry. You'll save money because you won't have to buy expensive detergent anymore, and you'll do something good for the environment by reducing plastic waste!