The idea of saving money comes with a lot of baggage. It’s tied to the idea of missing out, whether that means losing internet speed, not going to that party, or resisting that vacation. But you can still save money without a budget or missing out if you swap out some of your habits.
How to Save Money Without Experiencing FOMO
We know budgets aren’t fun, and canceling on plans isn’t your idea of a great time. Don’t worry; it’s still possible to put money away and enjoy your life if you follow these five great tips.
1. Find Recipes You Love for Under $10 and Eat at Home
After a long day at work, it’s tempting to sit back and order in. But even when you get the motivation to cook, you’ll probably find you’re spending too much on groceries. It can cost $35 to $45 on a basic meal, but you can easily get that down to $10 if you make a list and shop smart.
First, find recipes you love and shop for deals on the ingredients you like. Try to buy seasonal, price match, and shop in bulk. Reduce food waste by eating out less often and only shop for store brands. If you really want to save money, swap meat for plant-based proteins like beans.
2. Use a Cashback Bank Account or Credit Card
If you’re looking for a trick to earn money while you spend, look for cashback deals. For example, online banks like SoFi really hold true to the motto “mobile banking made easy,” especially when it comes to their bank account that offers 4.20% APY and no account fees.
But don’t just stop there; there are many ways to take advantage of financial products or websites that offer cashback. Credit cards and sites like Rakuten and Shopback can earn you rewards on groceries, gas, drugstores, restaurants, movie theaters, travel, and more.
3. Swap Out Expensive Products for Homemade Alternatives
Many of us have a skincare routine, cleaning supplies, and a coffee habit we’d like to fix. But instead of just throwing everything out, consider swapping your typical products out for homemade alternatives. For example, fill your cupboards with coconut oil or witch hazel.
Vinegar, baking soda, and dollar store sponges can really clean your whole house, and a coffee machine will save you money in the long run. Can’t swap out for homemade? Then try cheaper brands. It’s more inexpensive to fill your cupboards with The Ordinary instead of Tata Harper.
4. Invest in a Good Gift-Making Hobby or Tool
If you’re the life of the party and you’re worried you’ll have to miss a birthday or two, you can rest easy knowing you won’t have to. By investing in a good gift-making hobby or tool, you can save a lot of money. Consider taking up carpentry or knitting to really impress your friends.
But if you have no interest in woodworking or making sweaters, there are so many other things to try. For example, you can make candles, brew beer, grow plants from seeds, cross stitch, record a song, draw a picture, or tie-dye a shirt. If you practice, they won’t even look handmade.
5. Reevaluate Insurance, Utilities, and Entertainment Spending
Many of us are spending more than we have on insurance, utilities, and entertainment, but we don’t ever consider how much we could save if we change a few habits. Even switching your insurance or utilities provider could save you hundreds a year without changing your plan.
One thing you have to consider is entertainment, especially if you’re keen on not missing out. You can still go to the movies, take a vacation, or go out drinking if you shop for deals. It’s cheaper to have a few drinks at happy hour or go to the theaters on a Tuesday night.