What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to save money? When you were in college, did you have to put together pennies to come up with a dollar just so that you can buy something to eat from the vending machine? When you were starting out in the workplace, you probably had to tolerate crazy roommates so that you can have people to split rent with because you cannot yet afford to live alone?
If you already have a family, you might have obsessively collected coupons just so that you can save on grocery money. These seemingly crazy things are what you have to resort to if you are on a very tight budget.
The good news is that you are not alone – other people are doing it, too. They have to come up with pretty unusual, crazy, creative and unique ways to save money so that they can extend their budget or make ends meet.
Here, we will take a look at what these crazy things are, and decide for yourself if you can apply the same techniques to save a dollar or two!
Unusual, Crazy, Unique, Insane Things You Can Do to Save Money
Before counting down the unusual, crazy and unique ways that people resort to in order to save money, let us first learn about the importance of budgeting. Whether you’re an average earner or if your salary is more than enough to let you live a comfortable lifestyle, it still pays to create a monthly budget.
Budgeting will let you know exactly where the money is going. How much are you paying for rent, utilities, food, clothes, car-related expenses, etc.? It’s also an effective way to force yourself to set aside a savings fund for future financial emergencies. You can also set short-term and long-term financial goals if you have a budget, so it is a must when it comes to ironing out your finances.
After making a budget, if you see that you do not have enough left to pump up your savings, you might want to make adjustments somewhere else.
You can cut back on your food budget by clipping out coupons and get discounts on groceries. You can take steps to make your home’s cooling and heating system more efficient so that you can lower your electricity bills. These are just some of the things that you can do in order to save money.
But what about the more outrageous things that you can do in order to save a dollar here and there? Take a look at our list of the crazy, unusual and unique things that you can do in order to save money:
Get your college kids to graduate sooner.
Taking a four-year course in college requires thousands of dollars from both the students and their parents. What if you can actually cut back on the number of years that it takes for a student to graduate – by taking heavier course loads? Instead of the usual four years spent in college, students who take heavier course loads can graduate within three or three and a half years.
This saves them thousands of dollars on the saved time. Initially, they might have to shell out more on the additional courses and work doubly harder – but the time and money that they will save is more than worth it. This is a strategic way to cut back on costs like university fees; room and board; food; allowance; car-related expenses; etc.
Paint your roof to save money!
If you live in a state which has particularly scorching summers, you can save a lot of money on air conditioning bills simply by painting your roof. This is especially true if you will choose a paint product which has a cool roof coating. This will cut your electricity consumption by as much as 6%, not to mention the fact that it will make the exterior of your home a lot prettier.
Take note of these two crazy things that you can do to save on money for food.
There are a couple of ‘crazy’ things that you can do to save money on food. First is foraging, and second is going vegetarian. Foraging is a recent trend which allows homeowners to pick out edible wild plants, mushrooms and fruits so that they can save money on food. There are plenty of foraging recipes that you can try as well as a guide on which plants are edible. Through foraging, you can save a lot of money on food-related expenses.
Next, you can go vegetarian. Sure, this may not sound like a ‘crazy’ thing to do in order to save money but for meat lovers, it definitely is a huge sacrifice. You might think that going vegetarian is more expensive than surviving on an all-meat diet, but it cannot be farther from the truth. The long-term benefits that you will get from being vegetarian more than compensates for the meat flavor that you will miss out on.
When you have a plant-based diet, your cholesterol levels will be lowered along with your risks of acquiring diabetes, heart disease or cancer. As compared to even the cheapest cuts of meat, a supply of vegetables and fruits are definitely cheaper.
Downsize your home.
If you think that the only people who can downsize their homes are retirees whose kids have all moved out, think again. These days, even growing families are trying to survive on downsized homes. Aside from saving on utilities and household maintenance expenses, living on a smaller home is a way to simplify their lives.
When you go online, you can watch videos or read stories of families who downsized their homes and simplified their lives, all for the better. Aside from un-complicating your way of living, you can also save a lot of money in the process.
Organize a clothes/accessories swap party.
If you love fashion, there’s no need for you to scrimp on clothes or stop buying what’s trendy just because you are on a tight budget. What you can do is organize a clothes and accessories swap party.
Get your girl friends to raid their closets and accessories drawers for items which they no longer want, have never worn or do not fit anymore. When you all get together during the party, what you can do is swap the items that you want from each other’s collections. This is a great way to update your wardrobe without having to spend anything.
Use your freezer to save money on items other than food.
The freezer is your best friend if you would like to keep food on storage, but it has more uses than that. To save money on candles, for example, you can keep them in a plastic wrap inside the freezer. This makes the candle wax last longer once burned, and this technique is especially good for tapered candles. You can also store batteries in the freezer to make their lives longer.
Alkaline batteries will last 5% longer while nickel-metal hydride batteries will last up to 90% longer if you place them inside the freezer. If you have a garden, you can also place seeds inside the freeze to increase their lifespan and make them germinate longer. Even women’s hosiery will last longer when kept in the freezer – just make sure they’re clean!
Go for DIY solutions.
With Pinterest boards, YouTube videos, how-to guides and detailed instructions available online, you can go for a do-it-yourself solution for pretty much anything. If you want to save money on car maintenance by changing the oil on your own, there are YouTube videos that you can watch for that. Need knitting or sewing instructions? Go online and check out videos for that, too.
You can also save a lot of money by learning how to grow your own fruits and veggies; making your own preserved food items; brewing your own beer; making your own cleaning supplies using the items that you have in the kitchen; or creating personalized gifts for loved ones for the holiday season.
Swap services and use professionals-in-training.
Let’s say that you need a massage or a haircut. Check out the vocational schools in your area and there are students there who are more than willing to practice their skills on you. Just remember that these are pros who are still in training, so you get what you pay for.
You can also go online to swap goods or services, which is especially useful for business owners.
Stop buying stuff just because you have a coupon!
Finally, stop the crazy impulse of buying something just because you have a coupon. If you have a coupon that lets you purchase an item at $20 off – and it is something that you do not usually buy in the first place – you are actually spending $20 more instead of saving that exact amount.
When you know how to use coupons wisely, you won’t have to spend any more than you have to on items which you might not necessarily find a use for.