Everybody already knows you can save money by avoiding buying $5 lattes, but there are plenty of other out-of-the-box ways to be frugal. Budgeting or using budgeting apps, having zero spend days, and eating in more often are a great start. But living frugally isn’t just a choice here and there, it’s an entire lifestyle. Below we will dive into some unconventional strategies for saving money – if you can incorporate one or two of these tips, you’ll be in good shape for creating a rainy-day fund or just an extra cushion to pay for emergencies.
Move to a State Without Income Tax
By 2021, there will be eight total states with zero state income tax. Considering moving to one of these states if you’re thinking about long-term savings goals. Obviously, you’ll have to weight the savings you’ll get with factors like your new job salary, living costs, and moving costs.
Here are the states with no income tax:
- South Dakota
- Tennessee (in 2021)
Sure, a move to another state is a big decision but life circumstances permitting, it can end up saving you a ton of money in the long run.
Airbnb Your Room
Obviously, this depends on your living situation but if you rent a home with at least two bedrooms, you may find success using AirBnb for one of your rooms – especially if you live in a high-demand city like San Francisco or New York City. Over time, you can save thousands of dollars on rent or your mortgage depending on demand and how often you rent out your place.
Before you go this route, make sure renting your room is legal both in your city and according to the lease rules. You won’t save any money if you have to pay for fees related to an eviction.
Buy an Efficient Car
Cars are a big expense. You need to pay for maintenance, registration, insurance, and gas which can add up to a lot – especially if you tend to extensive miles on your car during your commute or other work travels. In an ideal world, you can simply buy a bike and get around that way. But unfortunately, life often demands a car so you can get where you need to go in a reasonable amount of time – especially in areas that aren’t as bike-friendly.
Need a new car but not sure where to get one or what to get? Head over to an Audi dealer near Chicago if you’re in Chitown and try out a car like the Audi e-tron. Or, you can always go for a Toyota Prius, the classic choice of environmentalists everywhere.
Give Up Alcohol
A lot of socializing happens around alcohol but if you can learn how to have fun and stay sober, you can save some serious money. Does this sound like you during a night out? You start drinking, you need to Uber or Lyft to another bar or home, you get hungry and buy food, and you repeat this weekend after weekend. If that describes your nightlife habits, it’s time for a change. Embrace your inner grandmother and stay in to save and maybe one day you’ll have a robust savings account like her, too!
Plus, not only will you spend less, you’ll also be more productive because you won’t be losing entire days to hangovers or sleeping off a night of rowdy partying the night before.
Gyms are great – but they are incredibly expensive. There are tons of ways to get the same cardio and strength training exercises in but without the expense of a formal gym. You can run, do yoga, or even just walk. But what do you do during the frigid winter months? Easy – get a pull up bar and do some HIIT workouts. You can get all the benefits of a gym workout without techno music and people grunting around you.
Eat Cheap but Healthy
If you want to save money on your food, that’s great! But don’t forget that you shouldn’t skimp on the nutritional content of what you’re eating. Ramen everyday isn’t the answer. Here of some ideas of healthy foods that will set you back only a couple of bucks:
- Brown rice
- Multigrain pasta
- Whole wheat bread
- Nonfat Greek yogurt
- Old-fashioned oats
- Frozen veggies
- Bagged Spinach
- Canned beans
- Canned tuna
- Marinara sauce
- Pita bread
Living a frugal lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to give up everything you love – it just means you need to get your priorities straight. If you want to save up money for a down payment on a house, you probably should avoid unnecessary expenses like going out every weekend and eating out constantly. While some of the saving tips like moving to another state are drastic, you can always weigh your options to fit your life. And as always, you can save in small ways like not buying that $5 latte you already know you shouldn’t get (we don’t blame you if you do, though).