The air is getting warmer, and the sky is brightening up, and it stays light outside for a little longer. Spring is on its way! This beautiful time of year heralds in gardening chores, outdoor parties, and inevitable weddings. Spring is also the perfect time to start saving money. Take a look at the top seven ways that you can save more in the springtime. Being financially clever will make the summer more comfortable than ever before!
1. Use Cash Only
For people who are serious about saving money, they have to be creative. Not using a credit or debit card and just cash may seem like going back to the dark ages, but it can have a profound impact on the bottom line. Of all the money-saving ideas in this blog post, this one may be the most powerful.
There are studies out there that suggest people spend less when they have to use cash. When people use credit cards, even debit cards, they either don’t feel anything, or they feel the positive dopamine rush of buying something new. It’s called the buyer’s high, and it’s a REAL thing.
When people use cash, on the other hand, they feel pain or loss when departing with that physical money. This is obvious to most people, and most don’t need a scientific study to know this is true. Pavlov’s Dog from Psych 101 comes to mind. When pleasure receptors go off in the brain, the person looks for more of that associated activity. When pain receptors go off, they stay away from that activity. Associating pain via cash when they spend physical money, consumers will not only be less likely to be drawn to buying stuff, but they will be repelled from the action perhaps.
2. Don’t Buy Coffee
This one right here may be the toughest for most people. If most people look at their spending closely, they will discover they are spending a ridiculous amount of money on that daily coffee or latte.
Among coffee drinkers, the average daily consumption is 3.2 cups. The average price of a cup of drip coffee is $2.38 (we know that’s not Starbucks either). That’s an average of $7.61 that coffee drinkers are spending on coffee a day if they get it from their nearest coffee shop. That means they can potentially save over $200 a month if they just brewed their own coffee.
3. Side Gig Or Second Job
Getting a side gig during one’s free time can be a powerful way to save and make money at the same time. There’s a total of 168 hours in a week. Full-time workers usually work 40 hours a week, but sometimes more. People should be sleeping for at least 56 hours. That leaves 72 hours of discretionary time a week. Some of that time can be spent working a side job.
Most people do their unnecessary spending during their free time. If they occupy that free time by using some of it to work another side job or a part-time job, it will give them fewer opportunities to spend money. The nice side benefit, if they use this method to save, is that they’ll also make money in the meantime.
Not only that, because they are working hard for their money, they’ll end up valuing each dollar more. This is especially true if they are paid hourly for their side gig. When they go to buy something, they’ll calculate in their head how many hours they had to work to pay for it. That’ll make them think twice before buying it.
4. Shop With A Budget In Mind
If you’re invited to even one wedding, buying a dress or suit for the occasion can set you back $100 or more. Regardless of the springtime occasion, shop with budgeting in mind. Head out to thrift shops where vintage outfits are sold for a low price. Consider a simple, tailoring project on an outfit that you already own.
Many women save money by hosting clothing swaps. There’s no money involved in this occasion. Everyone brings their gently used clothing that they want to trade for alternative items. The swaps occur over snacks or a potluck meal. You end up with a practically new wardrobe without spending a lot of money. Clothing is particularly expensive, so always look for clever ways to gain access to new items. The money you save can go toward a growing credit-card bill.
5. Cut Down On Energy Costs
The heater may have been on for most of the winter. Warmer weather outdoors means that you can turn off the heated air. Cut down on energy costs to save money by opening up the windows. Let the fresh air in with the beautiful sunlight. Turning off the thermostat can save you $100 in one month alone, depending on your settings and energy bill.
Go a bit further by budgeting for a DIY project. Add insulation into the attic or fix a leaky roof area. Any improvements to the home will reduce your energy use, which leads to less money spent. No one wants to spend money on electrical bills, so these suggestions are usually top priorities for homeowners.
6. Skip The Gym
If you have a gym membership, it’s time to evaluate that monthly charge. It may only be around $10 or $15 a month, but that adds up to hundreds of dollars each year. Cancel the gym membership so that you can take advantage of the warming weather. Go jogging, biking or participate in a group sport. You can benefit from just walking around the neighborhood too.
Take those funds that are normally earmarked for the gym and put them toward a credit-card balance. Pay down any debt that you might have, especially if it’s high-interest unsecured debt. The balance may not move substantially, but it will have a positive effect in the long run. Add in the outdoor activity, and you’re improving yourself on several levels. No one can buy a good mood that comes out of a solid workout!
7. Be Smart About Tax Refunds
The sudden influx of money from your income-tax refund might prompt you to overspend on some unnecessary items. Try to use rational thought when it comes to this refund. Pretend that the amount didn’t just increase your checking account’s value. Ideally, apply the extra funds to debt, such as your high-interest credit card or student loans.
By paying down the card’s balance, the interest won’t accrue so readily. You’ll increase your credit score at the same time. Creditors like to see a big limit on the card but with only a small balance.
Place most of the refund on your highest interest card. You’ll have an easier time paying off multiple cards when the interest isn’t compounding onto the balance. Try this tip every spring to see your credit-card debt drop by significant numbers.
There are many other suggestions and tips that can save money in the Springtime. Enjoy the season while keeping an eye on your finances. The extra effort puts you in a better position for investing in the future. Saving money can be fun and exciting if there’s some creativity involved and the joy of becoming financially independent will be a very nice cherry on top.