Simple Life Skills That Will Save You Cash: As prices continue to rise and wages remain flat, cutting back on unnecessary purchases is wise. But you can take it further and cut costs by teaching yourself useful skills and doing more things yourself.
Learning to do things on your own like cooking, cleaning, riding a bike, and filing your taxes can save you a lot of money over time. Gaining new abilities takes time and effort, but the benefits far outweigh the costs. You’ll become more self-reliant, keep more of the money you earn, and might even find some interesting new pursuits to pursue.
Here are 16 easy ways to save cash that anyone can pick up with a little practice. They can be interesting to investigate, boost self-assurance, and free up money that can be put toward other objectives.
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16 Simple Life Skills That Will Save You Cash
A special occasion or a well-earned reward at work warrants an occasional dinner out. However, it can be both unhealthy (look at those portions!) and costly to eat out for lunch and dinner every day.
If you know the fundamentals of cooking, you can save money by preparing your own meals at home rather than eating out.
While it’s true that cooking from scratch may require an initial investment in equipment and some pantry staples, the final cost will almost always be less than the alternative of ordering out or eating at a fast food restaurant. Think about how much you can save by making your own avocado toast instead of buying it from a trendy cafe. Before you go grocery shopping, try searching for recipes online and following money-saving advice.
Are you prepared to grab a paintbrush and learn a new way to cut costs? HomeAdvisor reports that the typical cost of an exterior house paint job is over $3,000, and that both renters and homeowners may end up paying even more if they hire professional painters. Currently, prices range from $2 to $6 per square foot.
Painting the interior of your home is a breeze, but painting the exterior can be a bit more of a challenge. You can save yourself thousands of dollars every time you decide to make some changes to the interior of your home if you are willing to put in the time to learn how to do it yourself.
Certainly, skilled landscape designers can perform miracles. On the other hand, gardening on your own can be a very rewarding and inspiring activity, not to mention a very frugal one. Learning the basics about your climate zone and the plants that will thrive in it, as well as browsing nurseries and garden centers, can provide a wealth of ideas.
With just a few dollars worth of starter seeds and some water here and there, you can save a lot of money on groceries each week.
Furthermore, landscaping is a crucial component of curb appeal when marketing a home for sale. Potential buyers may be drawn to your home and make an offer sooner if you maintain an attractive garden.
While it’s best to call a professional plumber in the event of a major plumbing emergency like a flooded basement or a broken water heater, you can save money by learning how to fix common plumbing issues like a dripping tap or a rattling toilet on your own.
You can benefit financially from this skill for a long time to come. The cost of having a plumber come out to fix every little thing that goes wrong in your home adds up over time. Actually, most plumbers will charge you anywhere from $45 to $200 per hour, with some even charging as much as $350 for a simple service call.
To complement your plumbing knowledge, you can also learn the fundamentals of electricity and carpentry and take on some simple home improvement tasks.
Having the ability to create a budget and stick to it is a vital skill. By comparing your monthly expenses and income in a clear and concise format, you can quickly identify your wasteful spending habits. The popular 50/30/20 rule recommends allocating 50% of your disposable income toward necessities, 30% toward luxuries, and 20% towards savings.
Moreover, there is no requirement to invest in pricey budgeting software. Simple spreadsheets can help you create a budget that works for you, and many online banking platforms make it easy to see all of your transactions in one place.
Although not every price is open to bargaining, knowing how to do so with authority is essential. You can haggle over more than just the price of a used car; the monthly bill for your cell phone service, the amount you pay for your apartment, and the interest rate you pay on your credit card are all fair game. Inquiring politely, “Is there room for negotiation on the price?” In some cases, a positive response could surprise you.
If you are only able to cut one cost, that is still money that would have been spent that you now have.
The ability to sew is useful whether you plan on making your own clothes from scratch (which you can do!) or not; for example, if you ever find a rip in a favorite shirt or the zipper on your parka starts to come undone. If an item of clothing has holes or is missing a button, don’t toss it; repair it instead. Fixing the torn back pocket on your favorite pair of jeans, for example, will prevent you from having to shell out $50 or more for a brand-new pair.
8. Trimming the Hair of the Family
Boutique hair salons are even more expensive than the pricier chain salons, where a haircut can cost anywhere from $30 to $70 or more. One way to save money each month is to learn to cut your own hair (or the hair of your family members). If you want to get better, try watching some tutorials on YouTube or another video-sharing website.
While it’s true that the stock market isn’t doing so hot right now, historically speaking, it has returned nearly 15% annually over the last decade. Even though you can hire a conventional broker to handle your investments for you, you don’t have to.
In reality, you can choose from a wide variety of investment platforms, some of which even support automated investment and fractional shares. Additionally, you can increase your financial literacy by learning from resources like blogs, books, podcasts, and even online courses.
10. Changing the Oil in Your Car
KBB reports that the typical cost of an oil change is between $65 and $125 (for synthetic oil), but the price of a new synthetic oil and filter is only $45. You can save anywhere from $20 to $80 every time you change your own oil (typically twice a year, depending on how much you drive). Having the ability to save money year after year is a great asset to have.
11. Gathering and Splitting Firewood
You can save money by chopping your own wood for an outdoor firepit or fireplace if you have a lot of trees in your yard or if a neighbor cuts down a tree and is willing to share the bounty. If you have a fireplace, you can use wood to heat one room while turning down the heat in the rest of the house, thereby reducing your energy consumption and costs.
12. Self-Prepared Tax Returns
Even if you are a student, it may be worth it to hire an accountant if you have a complicated tax situation so that they can help you claim as many credits and deductions as possible. However, if your income and finances are relatively simple, you may save money by filing on your own rather than paying an accountant.
Bartering, or exchanging goods and services, is a time-honored practice that can help you save money. Say you really want to take a spinning class but can’t afford to because of financial constraints. Is there any way you could offer your technological expertise (by, for example, shooting videos and sharing them on the studio’s social media accounts) in exchange for free sessions? Make use of your talents in inventive ways to score some free stuff. Inquiring about possible compromises is always worthwhile.
14. Making Your Own Coffee Roasting
While purchasing a morning latte from your local coffee shop may be a nice ritual (and a nice way to relax), it can quickly become a costly habit. A daily $5 coffee habit adds up to over $1,800 per year. Find ways to cut back on your coffee costs instead. Coffee can be made at home, and if you want to save money, you should learn how to grind and roast your own beans. In most grocery stores, whole beans are sold at a lower price than their pre-ground counterparts.
You could save time by picking up some fresh cakes and cookies from the bakery when you promised to bring a dessert to the family’s holiday gathering, but the cost could add up quickly. Baking is more difficult than cooking, but it’s worth the effort if you’re looking to cut costs. What’s more, it has the potential to become a fulfilling new hobby and outlet for your creative energy. Want some ideas?
Upcycling refers to the process of reusing an item rather than purchasing a new one. You can make a desk or table out of reclaimed wood or an old door, refashion an old sweater with torn elbows into a vest, and use worn-out towels as cleaning rags for a while before tossing them. It’s good for the environment and your wallet to upcycle, as you’ll be able to spend less money on everyday items.