With rent costs ever increasing, people are spending more on living expenses than ever before. It can be difficult to find money to put away for emergencies or big-ticket items. While rent itself is usually non-negotiable, there are other ways you can save a few cents here and there.
Cancel or Share Subscriptions
If you’re living with roommates, consider sharing your subscriptions. You don’t ALL need to have individual Hulu accounts. And Netflix. And HBO Go. And Disney+. And… well, you get it. Make sure you each keep a subscription rather than one person being on the hook for all of them. Otherwise, think about cutting down entirely to just one TV package. There’s only so much television you can watch anyway, and if money is tight, this is an easy way to recoup some quickly.
Have you ever accidentally made too much food and had to have leftovers? Then you’ve pretty much food prepped. Try doing this intentionally instead and set aside some time to bulk or batch cook your meals. Invest in some Tupperware to freeze your meals in, or else save any plastic takeout containers and reuse them. Instead of cooking one portion of dinner, and potentially having to throw out extra ingredients that may go bad before you get a chance to use them, cook enough for four people and freeze the excess portions. If you’re lacking inspiration for ideas of dinners you can make en masse, Google 'food prep' and check out Pinterest for hundreds of different meal suggestions.
Grocery Shop Online
Rather than getting caught out with impulse buys, get your groceries delivered by shopping online. You can equip yourself with a list and make sure that you stick to it, much easier than if you’re physically in the store. Combine with your list of Pinterest inspired batch cooking recipes and you have yourself a plan. Also, make sure that you never grocery shop while you’re hungry! That’s just a recipe for disaster.
Set the Thermostat Timer
Programmable thermostats mean that you can set the heating to go on and turn itself off at specific times of the day. This is perfect if you have a set routine because it means that you can make sure that your home is only warm when you need it to be - and that you don’t come home to a freezing apartment after a long day of work. The same applies for your AC unit. After a hard day working you don’t want to come home to a boiling apartment. By only using the heating and air conditioning when you need to, you can save a hefty chunk of change over the winter period.
Say Goodbye to Starbucks
Although you may not want to give up your daily macchiato, switching from coffee shop coffee to brewed at home can quickly add up. Buy yourself a reusable cup and make yourself coffee before you leave for work - you may also find yourself saving time from not having to stand in line anymore! Save even more money by splitting a pot of coffee each morning with your roommates.
Furnish for free
Or at least very cheaply. Check out local Facebook groups, or places like Craigslist for people giving away furniture, or selling it for pennies. If you’re renting an unfurnished apartment, you might find yourself missing an item or two. While there are some pieces of furniture that you’ll want to splurge on, instead of splashing out on everything, keep an eye out for bargains.
Small Savings Add Up
Saving money is always a good idea, especially if you’re planning on buying a house one day. Having a little spare cash is handy for a rainy day, or in case of emergencies, and using our tips above, you can make sure that you start saving without even really noticing you’re doing so.