14 New Ways to Save More in 2019
Are you looking to save more money in 2019? If you’re struggling to come up with some goals to pursue in 2019, we have a few for you here. There’s an added bonus: many of these ideas will not only make you wealthier, but healthier as well!
1 – Make a budget.
This one seems obvious, but according to a U.S. Bank Possibility Index poll in 2016, only 41% of Americans actually make a budget. Stand out from the crowd and take the first step towards more financial responsibility.
One of the most famous budget percentage recommendations is the “50/20/30 Budget Rule” popularized by Senator Elizabeth Warren. This means spending 50% of your income on needs, 30% on wants, and 20% on savings.
To help you along, you can use anything from a simple Excel spreadsheet to one of many apps on the market designed to help you budget smart. (Cathy here: This is the best budgeting app that I use and recommend. You can also try the Cash Envelope System, or see how I use 7 bank accounts to segment our money.
2- Stop buying coffee, sell the coffee machine, and get a cheap filtration system.
Your daily coffee run to the neighborhood café might not feel like an exorbitant luxury, but it adds up. A $2.50 coffee per day becomes $12.50 per week and $50 per month!
Many caffeine enthusiasts have a home espresso or coffee machine, but a hundred-dollar tech toy isn’t necessary. Instead, consider selling your machine and replacing it with a manual filtration system like a pour-over or single-serve French press. These devices are light and portable too so you can bring them to your workplace for a fresh, personalized brew.
3- Ditch the gym membership, go outside, and grab some free weights.
Many fitness hopefuls sign up for the gym on January 1 hoping 2019 will be their year of fitness. Unfortunately, many of these dreams fade before the month is even over. Yes, paying for a gym membership can give you financial incentive to work out (if you paid for it, you gotta use it), but gyms aren’t required for fitness, especially if you live in a spacious area.
Use the great outdoors! Most gym activities can be done outside, including jogging on sidewalks, yoga in the park, and chin-ups from monkey bars. If you live in an area not conducive to exercising, or if the weather is awful, you can still get a good workout at home. Just grab some free weights and browse the many free fitness video channels on YouTube.
4 – Stop buying sugary drinks.
If you’re trying to be healthier, sugary drinks are one of the worst things you can put in your body. A single can of cola can contain 160 empty calories.
If you live in an area where tap water is safe and free, don’t buy sugary drinks, period. You can save lots of money. If you have an occasional craving, that’s okay, just buy yourself a single-serve drink so there’s no big gallon of soda in your fridge to tempt you every night.
5 – Meatless Mondays.
Meat is expensive. Although humans benefit from animal protein, going meatless once a week won’t hurt. It may even encourage you to eat more leafy greens which, let’s face it, if you’re on the average American diet you’re not getting enough anyway.
Meat production is also harmful to the environment. Significant amounts of water, land, and food are spent on raising cattle, pigs, and poultry. Since excessive red meat consumption is linked to heart disease among other things, you can be kinder to the Earth and your arteries by eating less meat.
6 – Sign up on e-newsletters to get deals.
If you like shopping online, chances are you’ve received that pop-up that prompts you to sign up for the company newsletter. Do it! The company will often send you a discount code right off the bat. They can send you regular deals too, but if you don’t like the spam, you can opt out of the subscription after receiving your initial discount.
Don’t want a ton of retailer emails? Use our online deal database instead! We do all the work and find the best deals with the best coupon codes! You can use our deal filter to find exactly what you’re looking for too!
7 – Leave your items in the shopping cart overnight – you might wake up to a sweet deal.
Here’s another trick that works. When you buy something online, leave it in your shopping cart overnight. Sometimes, if a website senses you are hesitant about buying something, they will send you a small discount to encourage you. Leaving things for a time in your shopping cart also allows you to evaluate whether you actually need to buy the product. This is a great habit for the impulse shoppers among us.
8 – When evaluating a price, think of how many hours of work it’ll take to buy.
Instead of thinking in dollars and cents, think labor. If you make $20 per hour, consider how many hours it’ll take to “work for” an item that is, say, $100. Then, ask yourself whether the item is really worth five hours of work.
9 – Make an eating-out rule.
Eating out is a notorious money-sucker. The money spent on a single meal in a restaurant can feed you for an entire day (or more) in groceries. Try to make food at home as much as you can (it’s healthier!) and if you really enjoy the pleasure of eating out, make a rule. For example, “only lunch on Friday” or “only in social settings.”
10 – Only grocery-shop on a full stomach.
Grocery shopping while you’re hungry is a bad idea. You’ll start craving foods and buy more than you need. Go grocery-shopping after a meal. You’ll be less tempted to buy “naughty” foods that are expensive and unhealthy, and going for a stroll after a large meal is good for digestion anyway.
11 – Wear things that FIT, not necessarily nice things.
There are occasions that require wearing the finer threads in life, such as job interviews, weddings, and meeting your date’s parents. While it may seem reasonable to splurge on something fancy, you might not need to. Many people don’t realize that store-bought clothes, even expensive ones, don’t always fit; badly-fitted clothing just looks sloppy, even if it’s sewn from diamonds.
Instead of buying something “nice,” think “does it fit.” You can also buy a cheap suit or cheap dress that’s ill-fitting and then pay a little extra to get it tailored.
12 – Turn down the thermostat and put that old sweater to use.
Speaking of clothing, put that old ratty sweater to use by turning down the heat. According to the Department of Energy, you can save 10% a year on your heating bill if you turn down your thermostat just 7-10 degrees for 8 hours a day. If you’re chilly, throw on that old sweater you won’t be wearing outside anyway. Put it to good use.
13 – Cut out your vices.
Most of us have a vice we’re guilty of engaging in excessively. Whether it’s alcohol, cigarettes, or video games, it’s costing you money you don’t need, and maybe even shortening your life. Make it a goal to cut down on your vice, or give it up altogether.
14 – Buy generic medication and buy online.
Healthcare in the United States is expensive. To save on healthcare costs in 2019, start by buying generic. Generic drugs are, as stipulated by the FDA, “bioequivalent” to brand-name ones. That means there is virtually no difference between the two.
To further save money, buy medication online from international and Canadian pharmacies. Some countries have tighter price controls when it comes to their pharmaceutical industries, so medications abroad can be significantly cheaper.
You’re right to feel hesitant about buying drugs online, but there are many reliable websites out there. For example, Rx Connected, a Canadian pharmacy referral service, always requires a prescription and only sources drugs from pharmacies and fulfillment centers that have met stringent standards set by their respective governing bodies.
If a website claims you can buy a prescription medication without a prescription, that’s a red flag. Never hesitate to call a website and ask them questions; a legitimate company would be happy to address your concerns. Rx Connected even encourages doctors to speak to staff directly.
Go Forth and Save
Saving money is not an easy task. Even if something sounds easy, you’ll likely be faced with temptation. It’s just part of life. If you make an occasional mistake, that’s okay. We’re only human, and you do deserve a nice treat sometimes. Even if you’re only successful for a month, that’s a month’s worth of savings back into your pocket.
If you’ve been putting off making that budget, have a health goal in mind, or just want to drastically cut your spending this year, take the plunge.
Alison Lee is a freelance writer based in Vancouver, British Columbia who enjoys writing about finance, medicine, and health, among other topics. Alison strives to bring accurate, helpful information to readers everywhere through simple, engaging language. During her free time she enjoys hiking with her dog and roaming the city.
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