Everybody has something that they wish they could afford or are hoping to buy sometime soon. It could be a designer shoe, a splurge-worthy piece of furniture, a vacation, or even something as big as a house. Over the past few years, I’ve gotten really good at saving up for both big and small purchases so today I thought I’d share 30 things you can do to save money quickly! Some of them are more conventional and some are a bit out-of-the-box, but if you try working a few of these into your routine you’ll be able to buy those Jimmy Choo’s in no time. My personal favs are numbers 4, 7, 23 and 27!
1. Sign up for an Ebates account (www.ebates.ca) to earn cash back on hundreds of online retailers. It’s free to sign up and the cash gets added to your account on the site and you can request for them to send you a cheque at any time.
2. Do your research before buying something expensive to see if another store is offering it for a better price.
3. Visit RetailMeNot.ca to see if there are any coupon codes available for stores before you buy something.
4. Save money on books by renting them from the public library. If your library doesn’t have the book you’re looking for, see if they can order it from a different library for you. This is usually simple and it’s free for you.
5. Hold off on buying magazines and wait a few weeks. Publishers tend to release the same stories on their online sites after the issues have been on the shelves for a few weeks.
6. Shop the sale section first when you go into a store. This might seem obvious, but if you start in the sale section you’ll be less likely to want to pay full price for an item up front.
7. Shop opposite to the season. For example, look for bathing suits in mid- to late-summer when the stores are selling them off to make room for new items, and shop for winter clothes in the spring. Although it’s tough shopping for things that you won’t be able to use immediately, you can easily save more than 50% this way.
8. Call your bank and credit cards to get rid of any unnecessary fees. These fees can cost upwards of $20 per month if you don’t keep track of them.
9. Keep your receipts and return anything that doesn’t fit or that you aren’t happy with. You can often return shampoo, food and even make-up if the company has a “satisfaction guarantee” policy (and most do!).
10. Do your research before throwing out old clothes. Some companies will pay for you to return used merchandise to them or will offer you a discount on your next purchase if you trade your old stuff in (such as H&M).
11. Talk to store personnel and develop a repertoire if you shop there often (or plan on making your big purchase from them). If you make friends with a sales associate, they may be able to offer you a discount or let you know about sales in advance.
12. Check Groupon or other similar websites before ordering event tickets. You can often find steep discounts (BOGO, Half-off, etc.) on attractions such as local zoos, concerts, museums, and even spas.
13. Look in your social circle first before buying anything expensive. You never know who may work somewhere (or have an uncle who works somewhere) and can give you a friends-and-family discount.
14. See if your bank offers a cash-back credit card and use that when making purchases (but check to make sure it doesn’t have ridiculous fees first!)
15. Pack your own food and drink whenever you can to save money.
16. Check to see if you can get in somewhere for free before paying an admission fee. Museums, festivals, and local venues often have times where you can get in for free between certain hours as a way to drum up business. For example, the Glenbow museum in Calgary offers free admission on the first Thursday of every month from 5-7pm!
17. Stock up on items you use regularly such as skincare, makeup, and toothpaste whenever a sale is going on to save money in the long run.
18. Tape a photo of the item you’re saving for on your wallet. This one is super old school but really works by making you stop and think before mindlessly spending money on something that won’t mean anything to you.
19. Try Youtube or Google to see if there’s a tutorial that can show you how to do something before paying someone else to do it. Need to sew a button back on to your shirt? There’s at least two thousand tutorials on YouTube that can teach you and save you lots of money! *Note: However, if it’s super important to you, leave it to a professional!
20. Be proactive in taking care of things you own to avoid having them replaced or getting them fixed
21. Ask for gift cards from friends and family for birthdays and holidays that can be used to help off-set the cost of the item you want to buy, or off-set other costs (like groceries and gas), allowing you to save even more.
22. Place all of your savings for the item/thing/event into a high interest savings account, if possible. Why not make money on your money? That’s the best kind!
23. Ask yourself if you really, truly need something before buying it. I always place things on hold and then wait between 5-24 hours to determine if it’s really worth it. I find that I only go back about 25% of the time, meaning that I’m saving myself from a lot of unnecessary impulse buys.
24. If you notice a defect on something but still think it’s worth the money, don’t be afraid to ask for a discount! Stores want to get rid of defective items and will likely give you a good discount for taking it off their hands.
25. Only carry as much money as you want to spend in a given situation. Don’t carry your credit cards on a night out to the bar if you get spendy after a few drinks, or opt to only bring cash to the mall if you know you’ll be tempted to overspend.
26. Sign up for free rewards cards if you shop at a store regularly for free perks. Some of my personal favourites are Shoppers Optimum, Cineplex Scene, and Sephora Beauty Insiders.
27. Check to see if joining the mailing list can get you a discount before you buy anything. So many stores and companies do this! Sign up for the mailing list, get an instant 10-20% off coupon, then unsubscribe if you want. It’s so easy!
28. Take advantage of price-matching whenever possible. Trust me, it’s not just grocery stores that do this! If you’re in the market for furniture or something a bit more expensive, check to see if stores offer price-matching. In industries where commission is the norm, sales people are often willing to give you an extra 5-10% off to secure your business. It might not seem like a lot, but every little bit helps!
29. Put all of your change in a jar. This one is SUPER old-school, but it’s a classic for a reason! Take the change for your small purchases and put them aside and then bring it to the bank once you have a decent amount. Many banks offer coin-counting machines that will count and deposit your change for free (if you have an account with that bank).
30. See if you can borrow from friends before you buy something you won’t use often. For example, if you need a cardigan for a day but you know you won’t use it much after that, check with your friends first. Someone is bound to have one you can use. Same goes for formal dresses. Friends are the best!
So there you have it! These are some of my tried-and-true tips for saving money to put towards something I really want! I’ve used these tips to help build an emergency fund, grow my investments, buy my first pair of designer shoes, and put myself through university, so I promise that they do work! Which tips are your favourite? Do you have any other money-saving bits of advice? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for stopping by!
**This post is not sponsored by any of the websites mentioned, my opinions are completely my own!**