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Sam Chandler

Easy Ways to Save Money

I have recently decided I am going to try and be a lot more mindful about how I spend and save my money. I want to move to Los Angeles when I graduate, and every dollar I save puts me closer to my goal of having six months worth of expenses saved when I move there. Here are some of the ways I have found to save money:

Let your friends know you’re trying to save money.

My friends and I tend to spend a lot of money going out to eat and drink, and going to the movies. However, if I tell my friends that I’m trying to save money, they will be more likely to suggest more wallet-friendly social activities—like potlucks, wine nights in one of our apartments, and renting $1 movies from the RedBox on campus rather than spending $12 each at the movies.

Let your family know you’re trying to save money.

If it’s around the holidays—like it is now—this may result in you getting $50 from Aunt Sally rather than that ugly sweater with a sad-eyed puppy on it. If your family knows you’re trying to save money, they’ll keep you accountable as well, calling you out when they start to see your resolve slipping.

Drink at home with friends rather than out.

Drinks are ridiculously priced in bars and clubs. Rather than shell out all your money (and then more money on a cab), get together with a group of friends and make fancy cocktails yourself. Everyone can pitch in $15 for supplies and with a group as small as 5 people, you can have enough money to buy alcohol and mixers to have several different fancy drinks each.

Don’t go shopping with cash or credit cards with you.

So many times, women go shopping to improve our emotional state or to seek the sense of excitement and adventure so many of us feel when we find the perfectdress. However, if you go shopping with absolutely no money (okay, bring $10 in case you get hungry and need to buy a snack), you still get the excitement of going shopping without the temptation to buy. If you see something that you absolutely must have, make yourself wait 48 hours to go back and buy it. I guarantee you that 75% of the things you think your closet can’t live without will be forgotten about in 48 hours. If you’re a big shopper like me, you’ll save lots of your money this way.

Go on outdoors dates with your boyfriend.

My boyfriend i met online pays for most of our activities, but I still end up paying out big bucks to help pay for our more expensive activities like our upcoming trip to the Sundance Film Festival. By going on more outdoors dates (picnics, hikes, runs, and walks), you will both be saving money, spending quality time together, and getting in shape!

Never let your refrigerator get too empty.

When your refrigerator is bare, you are tempted to go out to eat, and the more you go out to eat, the less important your empty refrigerator seems. If you never let your refrigerator get so empty to where you have to race out of the house in search of a quick bite, you will spend your money on groceries (which are less expensive than mid-range restaurants) and likely be eating a lot less fatty foods (frying potatoes at home is no quick task).

Don’t take cabs unless absolutely necessary or if they are a shared fare.

Living at Harvard Business School has absolutely spoiled me and I use cabs to go just about everywhere despite Boston’s excellent public transportation system. Now that I’m trying to save money, I am going to really push myself to leave myself enough time to trek to Harvard Square and take the subway, because spending money on cabs feels like throwing money in the trash can. My reservation price will be $7. If my share of the cab + tip will be more than $7, I’m getting on the subway.

So those are some of my ideas on how I will save money over the next two months. They’ve been working for me so far!

What are ways you have found to save money?

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