[updated April 2020]
Through my upbringing and my travels, I’ve learned a lot of tricks to save money. These are easy and come at no sacrifice to me or my lifestyle.
Last week, in Part 1, I wrote about how to live simpler and save money by reducing consumption. Not only does this free my mind and space and allows me to focus more on the things that make me happy, it saves me money at the same time.
Nowadays, I’ve learned a lot of tricks to save money, which to me, means I’m making money.
Here’s a quick list:
I no longer own a car. I am a member of Zipcar, the car sharing company, but honestly hardly ever need to use that either. In Chicago, I walk, ride my bike, or take public transportation which is much easier to do in a city. When necessary, I’ve also used services like Uber and Lyft to get rides from others – it’s still cheaper than a taxi. I save tons of money each year not having to pay for fuel, parking, car insurance, and car repairs.
2. Sans Mobile Phone Bill
I only use a pay as you go plan and only spend about $100/year for my phone service (which is just for calls and texts). I do not have any data plan on my phone, but just use free wifi nearly everywhere to get online. I’ve been doing this for 5 years now and it suits me just fine. If you love talking and texting, it’s not for you. But it works great for me!
Now when I travel, I sublet my apartment on airbnb so I can provide a place to stay for a traveler and pay my own rent at the same time. This is what enables me to travel, but also live in New Jersey without getting rid of my Chicago apartment…just yet.
4. I Don’t Shop…much
I no longer go ‘shopping’ just for the sake of it. I rarely buy new clothes anymore unless I really need something. Of course, working from home helps since I don’t have to ‘dress up’ for work anymore. Not only do I prefer to save money for experiences that I really enjoy like food and travel, I don’t like accumulating a lot of physical ‘things.’
5. Saving the Earth and Saving Money
As I mentioned in the previous post, I reuse and recycle all that I can. Now that I have a home in New Jersey and quite a bit more land than I have in Chicago, I’m trying to incorporate ‘new’ ways to save.
I recently went to a rain barrel workshop and came home with my very own rain barrel. We hooked it up to the gutter system and now collect water off the roof when it rains. This saves us money on our water bill and allows us to use perfectly good water before it runs into the street and into the sewer system to go through a treatment process (adding chemicals). And by collecting rainwater we are helping reduce runoff pollution. When it rains, runoff picks up dirt, fertilizer, oil, pesticides and other contaminants and pushes them into other areas of the landscape. These pollutants can increase algae growth in lakes, alter the habitat for fish, and even make lakes and oceans dangerous for recreational activities.
Garden and lawn watering accounts for 40 percent of residential water use during the summer, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Thanks to a rain barrel’s water catch, the typical gardener can save 1,300 gallons of water during the growing season.
I also started composting which will create rich garden soil I can use to grow veggies and plants and cut down on our waste going to landfills at the same time.
For more details on how I live on less money now, see this post.
Find out how I became financially independent while making less money!
So, these days, my salary is lower than it used to me, but I am saving more money and making money in other ways…so I sometimes feel it balances out.
What are you doing to make money by saving money? Leave a comment below.