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15 Easy Ways You And Your Roommate Can Save Money

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15 Easy Ways You And Your Roommate Can Save Money

Do you and your roommate want to reduce your living costs? As prices in pretty much everything seem to be on the rise, many people are struggling to pay the bills and have enough money left over at the end of the month for themselves. Check out these 15 simple tricks and tips to make yours and your roommates lives cheaper!

1. Close your closet

Every winter comes with the internal heating debate – should you put the heating on now, and pay expensive bills later, or put on another sweater and keep the bills low?

A handy way to make sure you get the most out of your heating is to try shutting your wardrobes and closet. They needlessly suck up heating, as no one spends time in the closet anyway. Close the doors so the heat stays where you are!

    2. Buy everything in bulk

    While bulk buying sounds pretty boring, it means you get a lot more for your money. Try going halves with your roommates on essentials like toilet paper, butter and coffee. This way you will have supplies to last you months, instead of picking up overpriced milk from 24-hour stores during the week.

      3. Bring your hobbies home

      Whether your hobby is yoga, dancing or painting, doing it at home will probably save you some money. Buy a yoga DVD, invite your friends around, and have a blast. Often hobbies come with added expenses and paying for classes, or a studio, can add up. This cuts some of the costs down, without cutting out your hobby or the socializing that comes with it!

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        4. Embrace natural light

        Switching off the lights and opening the curtains during the daytime is one of the easiest ways to save some money. Natural light will keep your house cheerful and bright during the daytime, and has the added bonus of keeping your house a little warmer. After an expensive December, this is a handy tip to help cut down on the upcoming electricity bills.

          5. Eat at home

          After a long, hard day at work, most people can’t face up to the effort of getting in the kitchen and cooking up a meal. It is much easier to just pick up the phone and order something delicious. Takeout can be a drain on your funds, especially if you are looking to save some money.

          A good alternative is for you and your roommate to buy some easy to cook meals and take turns cooking for each other. For every meal you make, you get a night off with a cooked meal – and some more savings in the bank!

            6. Buy all of your snacks with your weekly shopping trip

            Sometimes you crave something quick – preferably something sugary, salty or cheesy. However, buying your snacks from the nearest convenience store often means you end up paying more than you would at the supermarket. Try stocking up at the beginning of the week, and watch the spare change in your wallet grow!

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              7. DIY your laundry

              If you are trying to cut costs down, try doing as much as you can yourself. Paying someone else to do your laundry might be the only routine you know, but going to the laundromat instead can save you some serious money. Ask yourself – is it essential, or is it a luxury?

                8. DIY your furniture

                Although this is similar to the last point, DIY ideas are great for roommates looking to save money. If you and your roommate dislike your table and chairs, try painting them a new, fresh color. Painting old furniture often makes the piece look brand new – but it’s a lot cheaper than actually buying new furniture!

                  9. Make plans with your roommates

                  Lack of planning can end in reckless spending, as the easiest thing for you and your roommate to do would be to go out for a drink – or seven. But there are always cheaper alternatives, like movie nights, pamper sessions and game nights.

                  Try making plans at the beginning of the week, and you could have a great night watching Mad Men with your roommates – without reaching into your wallet.

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                    10. Start a household coin jar

                    Start a money jar for everyone in the house to put change into. Every few months, you and your roommates can cash the jar in and use the money for anything, from groceries to the expensive winter bills.

                      11. Become baristas

                      If you and your roommates love coffee and buy a cup most days, start buying flavored coffees and cinnamon so you can create them at home instead. Every drink you make instead of buying will be much cheaper – so get some great syrup and see what you can create yourself.

                        12. Rethink cable

                        Everyone loves a lazy evening spent on the sofa, watching marathons of your favorite TV shows. But are you paying more than you have to for your down time? Cable is often expensive, and you might find yourself paying for extra channels you never use.

                        Consider a cheaper way to catch up on TV, such as Netflix or Hulu. Although both are cheaper than cable, they still come with hundreds of recent movies and TV shows.

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                          13. Pack your lunch together on Sunday

                          Even though it is much easier to pick up lunch during the day, it could be one of your biggest expenses of the week. There are other downfalls – store-bought lunches are often unhealthy, and picking up lunch becomes a chore you need to do before you go to work.

                          Try to make lunch with your roommate the night before work. This means you get some time to chat to your roommate, eat healthier, and all while saving some money – bonus!

                            14. Scratch each other’s backs

                            While this tip sounds a little odd, it just means you can help them with jobs they would normally pay someone else to do, and they can do the same for you. It is likely that you have skills your housemate doesn’t and vice versa. If you are handy with a sewing kit, help them patch up some torn clothes. In exchange, let your housemate do your nails instead of paying a nail technician.

                            This way you don’t have to cut down on luxuries – you just stop paying for them!

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                              15. Get green fingers

                              If you want to save a little money every week, go halves with your roommate on some seeds to start a container garden. Often, money saving tips require time and effort, but growing your own herbs and vegetables require very little time or effort, as well as being much cheaper than buying herbs and vegetables at the store. Just plant the seeds, take turns to water them, and then feast on your home-grown food!

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                                Amy Johnson

                                Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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                                Last Updated on July 20, 2021

                                Financial Freedom is Not a Fantasy: 9 Secrets to Get You There

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                                Financial Freedom is Not a Fantasy: 9 Secrets to Get You There

                                Have you ever considered your life now, and how it would be if you had more time to spend with your family and less worries about money?

                                Nowadays, financial stress is one of the most troublesome weights in life. If you’ve ever encountered financial stress, you know the difficulty of not having enough income to pay your obligations or bills.

                                Many people say that money is not the ultimate goal of life. While that’s true, money certainly plays a very significant role. The meaning of financial freedom changes with the different phases of our life, but ultimately, it is something that many people strive for.

                                In this article, we’ll explain how to capture that financial freedom you’ve been looking for. Read on to learn the secrets to financial freedom.

                                Break Free of Your Finances

                                Financial freedom is about having a constant flow of cash from your assets to cover all your regular needs.

                                When you are not worried about your income, or living paycheck to paycheck, you gain a great sense of freedom. It’s the freedom to be obtain and do what you truly need to make your way through everyday life.

                                Gaining financial freedom, though, is a process of growth, making small improvements and gaining emotional strength.

                                Though it seems hard to believe, it is really very simple to get financial freedom.

                                To do so, you simply need to make sure that your assets exceed your liabilities. In other words, you’ll need to find the sweet-spot where your residuals meet or surpass your expenses. This is something that you can achieve with the proper plan.

                                While not every person will accomplish financial freedom, the potential for anyone to do so is certainly there. Anyone can achieve this success, regardless of their income level.

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                                Outlined below are 9 secrets that will help you in your goals of achieving financial freedom.

                                1. Stop Unnecessary Spending

                                We often spend money inwardly, instead of objectively.

                                For example, you may spend when you’re anxious, depressed, restless, exhausted, from fear of missing out, or to please others. This is a very unhealthy way to handle your finances.

                                To stop this habitual spending, log down all your spending over the course of a month.

                                Just as some people keep a food diary, keep an expense diary. Remember not to just write down how much and what you spent the money on, also include the circumstances of why you spent the money. Was it an impulse buy at the checkout line or was it something you planned to purchase?

                                This increased self-awareness could enable you to avoid triggering situations in the future when you are considering an impulse buy.

                                2. Plan a Monthly Budget

                                This is a great opportunity to get serious.

                                Take a seat with your spouse or partner and make a monthly budget based on your income, not your expenses. You are never again going to spend more cash then you have on hand.

                                Overspending is the thing that led you to more financial obligations. Make sure you decide every month what is coming in and what will be going out and stick to that budget… no matter what.

                                3. Cut-up Credit Cards

                                Perhaps you are the type of person who always pays your credit card balance in full before the end of your billing cycle, and enjoys the reward points you gain. If this is the case, then you’re already way ahead of the game.

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                                If not, you may want to consider ridding your life of the burden that credit cards bring.

                                Many cards have strategies set up so that if you make a certain number of late payments, they will raise your interest rate much higher. This can really add up in the long run and you won’t be doing your financial situation any favors. If you’re prone to late payments or have a large balance due on your cards, cut them up!

                                Without proper self control on credit card spending and payments, you are basically throwing your money away. To ensure that you have better control over your spending, use only cash or debit for all future purchases (and don’t forget to pay at least your minimum payment on your cut-up cards each month!).

                                4. Increase Savings

                                There is no doubt that for a comfortable retirement you must accumulate satisfactory savings throughout your working life.

                                It’s good practice to save up to 15% of your income.

                                Start with your workplace 401(k), if you have one. If not, a Roth IRA (if you are eligible) or a traditional IRA (if you are not eligible for the Roth) are the next logical steps.

                                Increase in longevity means you might be able to look forward to 25 to 30 years in retirement, or possibly even significantly more. Investing now in good retirement plans will ensure that you have a guaranteed a stable monthly income when the time comes to stop working. [1]

                                5. Invest Wisely

                                Consider investing in funds.

                                Specifically, you will gain higher returns if you invest in different types of mutual funds such as Debt funds, Equity funds and Hybrid funds with a proper balance, although it absolutely relies on your personal preferences and sense of risk taking.

                                To get the most of these benefits, make sure you are investing in a variety of assets. Another resource of investing in mutual funds is SIP (Systematic Investment Plan) where you invest some money every month in funds. SIP works by averaging the per unit price of the stock.

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                                Mutual fund investors are aware of the benefits of an SIP (Systematic Investment Plan). For one, it is the most secure way to invest in equity mutual plans so that wealth is created over a long period of time. This plan also helps you to gain a better sense of financial discipline, which will come in handy in all your financial endeavors.

                                6. Invest in Gold

                                There isn’t really a better way to invest in gold than to have the physical gold itself in your possession.

                                You can purchase gold coins and bars from mints as well as from coin dealers and other private sellers.

                                Another way to invest in gold is through ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds).

                                These are is similar to mutual funds but they are exclusively investments of gold. ETFs are great because they offer more liquidity; the ETF owns the actual physical gold, stores it, and retains the value of the shares. These shares can then be bought and sold in the stock market, and one big benefit is that the transaction costs of gold ETFs are much lower than the that of physical gold.

                                With its consistently-increasing demand, investment in gold can be very wise long-term investment to make.

                                7. Stash Emergency Funds

                                Whether it’s a cash gift or a work bonus, always try to save any extra money that comes your way rather than making unneeded purchases.

                                If you get paid every other week, you’ll get an “extra” paycheck (three rather than the usual two) twice a year. Either save those paychecks towards your emergency funds or utilize the money to pay down other obligations, such as loans, credit cards or other debts.

                                Make it hard to get your cash.

                                Put your savings in an alternate bank, maybe an online bank that forces you to delay for several business days before transferred money hits your regular bank account.

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                                8. Find Fabulous Mentors

                                Find a mentor, such as a friend or family member, who has exceptional control over their finances and pay attention to everything they do.

                                If you do not have any friends or family that are enjoying financial freedom, then find a mentor online! There are numerous blogs and guru websites featuring the advice of many people who have reached financial freedom, and they exist primarily to let you in on how to achieve it for yourself.

                                There are also plentiful forums available that share tips and tricks on how to best achieve financial freedom. Read as much as you can and start changing your habits for the better.

                                9. Be Extra Patient

                                Patience is the key of financial success.

                                Being patient can be quite tough, especially when you’re struggling with your finances, but having faith is worth it. You’ll continuously be on the right track if you are taking the proper steps above.

                                So don’t be discouraged, even if you are only saving a few dollars a month; it all adds up. Within just a few years you’ll look back proudly at your accomplishments and be glad that you had the patience to get there.

                                Financial Freedom for All

                                Anyone can achieve financial freedom, regardless of their financial circumstance.

                                Use the tips provided above to get yourself on the track to financial freedom and toss your monetary concerns out the window. If you wish to achieve a life with financial freedom for yourself and your family then you must adopt a disciplined approach towards your finances.

                                Following the simple secrets above is a great start to making your money work for you, so you can work less and live more!

                                Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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                                Reference

                                [1] Hartford Gold Group: IRA Retirement Accounts

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