When it comes to money, we all could use a little more. But, it’s a grim reality that between paying rent and bills, socializing, eating, dressing, downloading, and pretty much everything else we do, saving isn’t exactly an easy feat for most young women. Which is exactly why we decided to compile a handy list filled with 101 ways to save money today—without drastically altering the lifestyle you’re used to.
While it’s key to know how to stick to strict budget and manage your long-term finances, it’s also key to know easy tips and tricks to save a little immediate cash if you’re feeling short, if you’re looking to splurge on a particular item down the line, or if you’re simply seeking peace of financial mind.
Read on for 101 ways to save money right now, and let us know which tricks you use!
101. Unsubscribe from flash sale emails and sale alerts. Go directly the retailer’s sites if you want, but you’d be surprised how little you impulse buy without the pressure of limited-time emails being hand-delivered to your inbox all day.
100. Forgo manicures and pedicures and do your own nails this month. Make it fun and relaxing by carving out some time, and putting on music.
99. When you order takeout, pay with cash as opposed to using a service like Seamless, whose ease often prompts us to throw in a few extra add-ons.
98. Listen to songs you love on free apps and sites like Spotify, Pandora, or YouTube instead of downloading them on iTunes, which costs $.99 to $1.29 per song.
97. Don’t drop by Zara, H&M, Forever 21, or any other fast-fashion store on the fly, unless you know want something specific. Odds are, you always end up leaving with stuff you may not really need just because they’re cheap.
96. Don’t buy pre-cut produce. Sure it saves time, but a small container of already-sliced oranges can run you $4 to $6, when an actual orange is mere cents.
95. Never download an app that costs money if there’s a basic free version. If you find you’re loving the app and using it regularly, then upgrade to the pay version.
94. Buy things like tampons, makeup removing wipes, bobby pins, hair elastics, detergent, and toothpaste in bulk if you have the room to store them. You’d be shocked how much cheaper they are this way, as opposed to buying them individually at the drugstore.
93. Stop buying bottled water! Buy a water filter instead.
92. Turn off your AC, heat, TV, and all the lights before you leave for work if you pay for electric. It’s a no-brainer, but it’s the holy grail of money-saving rules.
91. Never use your gym membership? Cancel it and start to work out at home using the many free fitness tutorials available on YouTube.
90. If you know you’re only going to wear a trendy item once or twice, don’t buy it. It doesn’t matter how little you spend on something—if you never reach for it, it’s wasted money.
90. Likewise, invest in things you can wear or use daily like a bag, a cashmere scarf, a watch, a pair of boots, denim, or a coat, as opposed to things like trendy tops, or loud pants you can wear once a week at most.
89. Cinnamon is actually the active ingredient in lip plumpers, so for a fuller pout, go to your local health food store and pick up a bottle of cinnamon oil, which is way cheaper than most “plumping” products.
88. Watch less TV. You’ll save on electricity, and you won’t be as susceptible to ads!
87. Bar soap is way cheaper than body wash (and better for the environment.)
86. Sell unopened beauty products or sample lots on eBay—there’s a big market for them.
85. Quickly revisit your phone bill and make sure your current plan is still necessary. If not, cut it down.
84. Use your laptop instead of a desktop while at home. It runs on batteries, so it’ll save you money since it’s not always plugged in.
83. Set calendar reminders when it’s time to pay bills so you don’t have to double up for the month, which can be a big chunk of change to shell out all at once.
82. Make up your mind that you’ll only take a taxi if you have cash on you, since swiping your card is so easy. Having to go to an ATM might make you walk or hop on the subway instead.
81. Save money by closing the door to rooms in your house you aren’t using to save on heating and cooling if the heat or the AC is on.
80. Going on an adventure vacation? There are certain things worth borrowing from friends rather than buying, such as backpacks, camping equipment, a suitcase, ski goggles, hiking boots, etc.
86. Sell your used books and DVDs on eBay–package them in bulk to make more cash at once.
79. Use cloth napkins when cooking at home at home instead of paper towels. Only use paper when you order in.
78. When you’re down to the end of a tube of toothpaste, snip the end off with scissors—there’s a lot left in there. Simply roll to close.
77. Every time you’re shopping and see something you love but don’t really need, put it back on the rack (or remove it from your online cart) and wait 24 hours. If you can’t stop thinking about it, it’s a sign that it might be worth it. You’d be shocked how often we forget about items that we almost buy when we put a little distance between it and us.
76. Treat big purchases like big purchases. When someone buys a big new car or a big new house, they don’t buy a bunch of smaller, cheaper houses and cars a few months later, right? So if you buy that major investment bag, why buy five other, cheaper bags soon after? It’s all about commitment!
75, Switch to a bank where you won’t have to pay on maintenance fees.
74. You know how they say to make a list of pros and cons before purchasing an apartment or a car? Well, apply that to investment items like bags, shoes, and clothes, as well.
73. Adopt a “meatless Monday” mentality and on Mondays, prepare inexpensive rice or pasta with fresh veggies for dinner, and make a salad for lunch.
72. Cancel the magazine subscriptions you don’t really look forward to getting, and pay your bill immediately. Read the highlights online instead.
71. Never go grocery shopping when you’re super-hungry. Everything looks good, so you’ll undoubtedly start throwing in items you normally would never buy.
70. Don’t run out and buy designer pieces you see on street style stars. Instead, use style blogs as a jumping-off point and seek out lesser-priced pieces that resemble things you admire on It-girls. Plenty of sites and stores offer items that feature similar aspects to designer pieces, and put your own stamp on it.
69. Drop your loose change into the same jar at the end of every day. Once a month, take it to the bank and get cold, hard cash!
67. Save money by signing up for free rewards programs for things you actually need, like groceries. Set up a separate email and check it occasionally.
66. Cheap doesn’t always mean better when it comes to appliances and big purchases. That Dyson vacuum might be expensive now, but if holds up for years to come, it’ll be worth it.
65. Invite your friends over for drinks instead of going out once in a while. Why? Because that bottle of wine at the restaurant will cost $60 and at the wine shop it’ll be $15. Same goes for cocktails: For the price of one martini at a nice place, you can buy an entire bottle of vodka or gin and make drinks for everyone.
64. Don’t buy loose greeting cards at the drugstore, which are totally overpriced. Instead, seek out bulk packs at stores like Home Goods, Marshall’s, or TJ Maxx, which will often sell more stylish cards than you’d find in the drugstore for $4 or $5 a pack. If you’re crafty, make your own.
63. Are you a shopaholic and low on funds? Get together with a few friends and have a clothing swap. Not only will you be cleaning out your closet, but you’ll be able to snag a new dress or pair of skinny jeans without spending a cent.
62. Make your own coffee in the morning. Drink it at home, or invest in a travel mug.
61. Instead of buying pricey beauty highlighters, mix a bit of gold or taupe eyeshadow with vaseline or coconut oil. It’ll have the same effect when dabbed on your cheekbones, eyelids, or your browbone.
59. Pay off your credit card. According to Kiplingers, even carrying a $1,000 balance at 18% blows $180 every year on interest that you could put to better use elsewhere.
58. Don’t be fooled by outlet shopping! A lot of the items are made for off-price stores, so you’re not always getting things that were on the racks at, say, J. Crew or Ralph Lauren.
57. Invest a good self-tanner instead of going for pricey spray-tans.
56. Start biking, even if it’s just to do a few errands on the weekends instead of driving, cabbing, or taking the subway. Most big cities have bicycle sharing programs for people who aren’t owners .
55. Did you know department stores have secret discounts? According to Bargain Fever: How To Shop in a Discounted World, Bloomingdale’s has a bargain program that’s restricted to its four flagship cities: Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, and its two stores in New York City. Any visitor browsing racks in those stores can receive an instant 10 percent off at the register, but it rests entirely on the sales assistant’s mood.
54. Buy the store brand! It’s cheaper, and many name brands care more about the appeal of packaging rather than perfecting the actual products.
53. Carry cash. In today’s “swipe it” day and age, it’s easy to bust out the plastic and not think twice, but having to pay cash forces us to think about what we’re buying.
52. Ask HR at work to remind you of benefits you’re probably not using, such as flex spending accounts for prescriptions, transit cards, or classes.
51. Google “how to make your own cleaning supplies.” Seriously, do it now.
52. Instead of buying overpriced face scrubs, mix a little brown sugar with your favorite face wash.
51. Cancel the paid-cable channels you don’t watch all the time. Even if you love HBO, Starz, or Showtime original series, you can download a low-def season on iTunes for less than $20. You can also download movies according to what you really want to see.
49. Commit to bringing your lunch to work two days a week, and go from there.
48. Invest in one good leather item that’ll stand the test of time and look better with age (a bag, a jacket, a great pair of boots.)
47. Instead of continuously wasting money on the latest anti-aging creams, ask your dermatologist to prescribe you a good retinol product—it’s the only thing that really works.
46. It’s unrealistic to expect busy women to cook every meal, but it really does save money. A realistic way to go about it: replace one weekend dinner out with a nice meal made at home, and one takeout meal during the week with an easy dinner recipe.
45. If you love the minimalist fashion look, try to make it happen in your closet—only hang onto simple and chic mix-and-match basics, and only keep what you can see.
44. Plan meals for the week based on what’s on sale at the grocery store.
43. Compare prices on everything from a pair of boots to car insurance.
42. Another easy money-saving tip: Stash healthy snacks at work so you won’t have to hit the vending machine or Starbucks.
41. Shockingly, you may pay less for both your cable and your Internet by agreeing to install or keep your phone landline, even if you never use it.
40. Always check the expiration date on perishable products at the supermarket. If that gallon of milk expires in a day or two, what’s the point?
39. Consolidate and pay off debt as soon as possible! If you have debt, make it a point to consolidate it to a lower interest and paying it off ASAP. Money paid in interest is money thrown away.
38. Buy new hardcover books from Amazon, as opposed to an actual bookstore—they’re often up to 30% cheaper. Even better: If you’re an avid reader, think about investing in an e-reader: Digital books are way cheaper than paper versions.
37. Get your car inspected frequently, and keep up with things like oil changes and air in your tires—these small things can significantly lengthen the life of your ride.
36. Always know how much cash you have in your bank account. That way, you can avoid overdraft fees.
35. Buy plane tickets for leisure trips way in advance. Last-minute booking is almost always exorbitantly expensive.
34. Give service-based gifts if you’re low on cash, such as a night of babysitting or pet-sitting, a cooked meal, or another thoughtful service.
33. Don’t try to keep up with that one friend who always has the new “It” item—it’s a dangerous and very expensive game.
32. Improving your credit score is an important factor in saving money. Whether you’re planning home or car loans, or applying for credit cards, a good credit score can save you a small fortune.
31. Don’t do drugs. It might sound funny when put so succinctly, but you’re never going to save any cash with bad habits. Plus, legal fees will be a bitch if you get caught.
30. Likewise, don’t smoke. Between exorbitant cigarette prices and health bills down the line, it’s so not worth it.
29. Cut cotton rounds, makeup sponges, and pre-moistened face pads in half. You’ll instantly double your stash.
28. Take care of your clothes. Wash them properly, hang them up or fold them instead of tossing them on the floor, and get things repaired if needed. (Here’s a starter guide filled with 101 tips to care for everything in your closet.)
27. Did you know that you may get tax credits under the Energy Policy Act for reducing your home’s energy use? Head over to energystar.gov to see what qualifies.
26. If you can’t afford to put a lot into savings, start small—$25 from each paycheck is a good way to begin.
25. Never pay full price for linens and towels. Buy them on sale or at off-price retailers like Home Goods—you’re still getting top-notch stuff, but at a steep discount.
24. Instead of tossing out broken bronzer, mix it with some baby oil when you need a glow. Same goes for broken powder blush—a dash of oil will turn it into a chic cheek or lip stain.
23. Save money by avoiding pesky ATM fees—try to only withdraw money from your bank.
22. Try to make one day a week a “no-spend day” and plan ahead accordingly.
21. Try this genius trick from AmericaSaves.org: “Save” the amount that’s equal to whatever you spent on nonessential indulgences. For example: If you bought a bottle of wine, a new shirt, or two new lipsticks at Sephora, put a matching amount aside. If you can’t afford to do that, you can’t afford that $5 pumpkin spice latte.
20. Check retailers’ Facebook pages often, as they’ll occasionally post online discount codes that won’t be advertised on-site.
19. Have you ever collected anything that you’re not into anymore? Start selling now.
18. Cold-pressed avocado oil is all natural and works wonders on dry skin—and a big bottle lasts forever. Try using it instead of pricey moisturizers that are filled with chemicals.
17. Create unique wrapping paper by using glossy magazines you already have, newspaper, or brown paper grocery bags and some cool twine. Not only is this method environmentally friendly, but it looks way cooler than store-bought generic paper.
16. If you do laundry at home, wash clothes on cold rather than hot or warm water. This makes a big difference, and most modern washers do an equally fine job of getting clothes spic and span in cold. Likewise, try to hang dry items when you can—skipping the tumble dryer can nix around 60% of energy used on laundry.
15. Looking for uses for all the single socks you’ve amassed over the years? When you’ve got aches or pains, fill a sock with dry beans or rice and pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Voila, an (and free) heating pad.
14. Pour a dash of vodka into vase water—this really works to extend the life of flowers, therefore saving you money!
13. Get free high-end haircuts by seeking out students in training at top salons.
12. Unsure about buying something? Calculate the cost per wear or use: Total cost of the item divided by the estimated number of times you’ll wear or use it.
11. If you’re buying a new laptop, it pays to spend the extra $100 or $200 right away to get the bigger hard drive. Why? Because down the line, you’ll have to buy memory or replace your computer faster.
11. Start paying all your bills online (no stamps!), but don’t sign up for auto-pay because it’s easy to lose track of your monthly expenses.
10. Before you give them away, think about whether you can make old clothes into new clothes. For example: If you hate the hem on a pair of jeans, they might look super-cute as cutoff shorts. Likewise, have a tailor shorten an oversize top into a cool crop-top, a long skirt into a mini, or a too-big blazer into a slouchy sleeveless vest.
9. Check out site like Paperback Swap, which allows you to swap books, audio books, and textbooks instead of buying new ones.
8. Use your freezer to store unlikely things, such as candles, batteries, and stockings—it’ll preserve their lifespan.
7. Use sites like Paperless Post to send invitations, thank you cards, and announcements. You’ll save money on cards, envelopes, and stamps.
6. Ask for gift cards to stores you love for holiday gifts.
5. Use 1/2 cup of sour cream or plain yogurt to revive super-dull damp hair before shampooing. It works better than most pricey glosses and masks.
4. Are those designer jeans starting to rip, sag, fray, or just look blah? Before shelling out big bucks for a new pair, check out Denim Therapy, which promises to doctor almost any denim.
3. Make your own perfume! Here’s how.
2. Really love something that’s a little out of your price range while shopping? Ask a floor associate when the next sale will be—they’ll usually tip you off if you’re friendly.
1. Be financially independent. Even if you have a partner who makes way more money, don’t fall into the habit of spending whatever you want and relying on them.
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