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15 Easy Ways You And Your Roommate Can Save Money

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!

                              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 June 20, 2019

                                50 Businesses You Can Start In Your Spare Time

                                50 Businesses You Can Start In Your Spare Time

                                Most people want a few more dollars in their wallets. But between an employer and family, the time most of us can devote to a second job is severely limited. Running a small side business can provide a few more options: you don’t have to show up at a set time and you can use skills you already have. Not all will be perfect for everyone, of course, and I’m sure that you’ll have a few ideas of your own after reading this list. If you’d like to share any other business ideas, please add them in the comments.

                                1. Selling collectibles — From antique books to teddy bears, there are plenty of opportunities to buy and sell collectibles. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the collectible of your choice but if you choose something that you’ve been collecting for a while, you’ve got a head start.
                                2. Locating apartments — It can take time to sort through apartment listings, but you can make some money by finding the perfect apartment for a renter.
                                3. Baby proofing — New parents often prefer to bring in an expert to make sure their home is safe for a new baby.
                                4. Calligraphic writing — If you’ve got elegant handwriting, you can pick up gigs writing or addressing wedding invitations, holiday cards and more.
                                5. Selling coupons — Search on eBay for coupons right now and you’ll see thousands of listings for coupons. It’s just a matter of clipping and listing what you find in your Sunday newspaper.
                                6. Pet training — A surprising number of people don’t know where to start in training a pet. Even teaching Rover simple commands like ‘Sit’ and ‘Stay’ can bring in a few dollars.
                                7. Running errands — A wide variety of people want to outsource their errands, from those folks who aren’t able to leave their homes easily to those who have a busy schedule.
                                8. Researching family trees — Amateur genealogists often call in experts, especially to handle research that has to be done in person in a far off place. If you’re willing to go to a local church and copy a few records, you can handle many family tree research requests.
                                9. Supplying firewood — The prerequisite for selling firewood is having a source of wood; if you’ve got some land where you can cut down a few trees, you’ve got a head start.
                                10. Hauling — As more people trade in their SUVs for compact cars, hauling is becoming more important: people have to rent a truck or hire a hauler for even small loads.
                                11. Image consulting — Image consultants provide a wide variety of services, ranging from offering advice on appearance to teaching etiquette.
                                12. Menu planning — For many people, the trip up in eating home-cooked or healthy meals is knowing what to prepare. Meal planners set a schedule to solve certain dietary problems.
                                13. Microfarming — Cultivating food and flowers on small plots of land allows you to sell produce easily.
                                14. Offering notary public services — Notary publics can witness and authenticate documents: a service needed for all sorts of official documents.
                                15. Teaching music — If you’re skilled with a musical instrument, you can earn money by offering lessons.
                                16. Mystery shopping — Mystery shoppers check the conditions and service at a store and report back to the store’s higher-ups.
                                17. Offering research services — Just by reading up on a topic and compiling a report on it can earn you money.
                                18. Personal shopping — Personal shoppers typically select gifts, apparel and other products for clients, helping them save time.
                                19. Pet breeding — Purebred pets can be quite value, especially if you can verify their pedigree.
                                20. Removing snow — During the winter months, shoveling walks can still be a reliable way to earn money. You might be asked to take care of the driveway too.
                                21. Utility auditing — As people become environmentally-concious, they want to know just how efficient their homes are. With some simple testing, you can tell them.
                                22. Offering web hosting services — Providing server space can be lucrative, particularly if you can provide tech support to your clients.
                                23. Cutting lawns — An old standby, cutting lawns and other landscaping services can provide a second income in the summer.
                                24. Auctioning items on eBay — Want to get rid of all your old stuff? Stick it up on eBay and auction it off.
                                25. Babysitting — Child care of all kinds, from babysitting to nannying, can offer constant opportunities.
                                26. Freelance writing — If you’ve got the skills to write clearly, you can sell your pen for everything from blogs to advertising copy.
                                27. Selling blog and website themes — Do a little designing on the side? Customers that don’t want to pay full price for a website will often pay for a template or theme.
                                28. Offering computer help — Particularly with people new to computers, you can earn money by providing in-home computer help.
                                29. Designing websites — It may require a little skilled effort, but designing websites remains a reliable source of income.
                                30. Selling stock photography — For shutterbugs, an easy way to put a photography collection to work is to post it to a stock photography site.
                                31. Freelance designing — Check with local businesses: you can provide brochures, business cards and other design work and get paid a good fee.
                                32. Tutoring — Math and languages reamin the easiest subjects to find tutoring gigs for, but there is demand for other fields as well.
                                33. Housesitting / petsitting — Stopping in to check on a house or pet can earn you some money, and maybe even a place to stay.
                                34. Building niche websites — If you can put together a site on a very specific topic, you can put targeted ads on it and make money quickly.
                                35. Translating — The variety of translating work available is huge: written word, on the spot and more is easy to find even on a part-time basis.
                                36. Creating custom crafts — No matter what kind of crafts you make, there’s likely a market for it. Etsy remains one of the easiest places to sell crafts.
                                37. Setting up a wi-fi hotspot — With a little bit of equipment, you can set up a wi-fi hotspot and charge your neighbors for the access they’ve been ‘borrowing.’
                                38. Selling an e-book — You can write an e-book about almost anything and put it up for sale online.
                                39. Affiliate marketing — If you’re willing to market other companies’ products, you can earn a cut of the sales.
                                40. Renting out your spare room — From looking for a long-term roommate to listing your guest room on couch surfing sites, that spare room can make you money.
                                41. Offering handy man services — Handling small household tasks can provide you with plenty of work, although you’ll probably be expected to have your own tools.
                                42. Teaching an online class — Share your expertise through a website, an online seminar or variety of other methods.
                                43. Building furniture — For those with the skill to create handmade furniture, selling their creations is often just a matter of advertising.
                                44. Providing personal chef services — Personal chefs prepare meals ahead of time for customers, leaving their customers with a full freezer and no mess.
                                45. Event planning — From planning corporate events to bar mitzvahs, an event planning business can require plenty of work and offer plenty of pay.
                                46. Installing home safety products — Particularly as Baby Boomers age, people able to install handrails and other home safety products are in demand.
                                47. Altering / tailoring — If your sewing skills are up to par, altering garments is coming back as people try to stretch more wear out of their clothing.
                                48. Offering in-home beauty services — Hair cuts, makeup and other beauty services that can be performed at home have a growing demand.
                                49. Business coaching — Helping others to establish and develop their businesses can provide many opportunities to earn money.
                                50. Writing resumes — Writing resumes can provide a reliable income, especially if you can put a polish on a client’s credentials.

                                There are plenty of offers that claim to provide you with the opportunity to make thousands of dollars a week. Unfortunately, none of these businesses will provide that sort of income, but they aren’t scams either. They were chosen because they all require a minimum investment to get started — some require nothing more than a flyer advertising your business. Even better, if you do enjoy any of these businesses, there is a potential with most of them to continue to expand — perhaps even to the point of going full time.

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                                Featured photo credit: Omar Prestwich via unsplash.com

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