Saving money is a skill all on its own. Since the recession hit, people have come up with some creative ways to save money and have even developed skills to help to do. Here are some easy skills you can use to save you more money.
1. Learn the art of couponing
Couponing is the act of searching and seizing coupons to save you money on groceries. It seems like you’d just pick up the daily newspaper and find some good deals. The truth is you can find coupons everywhere. Inside of stores, in newspapers, and even on the internet you can find coupons and great deals on every day items. If you want to learn how to do extreme couponing, here is a great website to get your started!
2. Learn the art of cooking
Cooking is a great way to save money. When you go out to a fast food restaurant you spend anywhere from $5 to $8 on a meal per person. Using that same money you can create multiple meals. For $8 you can get a half a pound of your favorite protein, sauce, and noodles and make spaghetti which you can then enjoy over the course of three or so meals as leftovers. Eating in means saving money. If you need some help learning how to cook, YouTube has thousands of videos that will teach you how to cook practically anything. Check the video above for a really good introduction to basic cooking.
3. Learn how to sew
Just because your favorite shirt has a hole doesn’t mean you have to throw it away and buy another one. You could always grab some thread and sew it up. It seems a little frugal but most holes are in the armpits of shirts or the crotch area of pants. These are areas that people often do not see or look at so practically no one will know there is a hole there that’s been sewn up. Sewing kits are cheap but the skill can be hard to master. The video above is a great tutorial on learning to sew by hand. If you use a sewing machine, here’s a great video for beginners.
4. Do some of your own housework
Contractors can be expensive and there are a lot of household tasks that may not require one. If you learn how to unclog your drains then you can save hundreds of dollars on a plumber. You can also do things like patch holes in drywall, reseal windows, mow your own lawn, and other small things around the house. If you pay someone $20 every two weeks to mow your lawn, you end up saving around $200 per year. That’s enough to buy a lawn mower and gas to run it. The YouTube channel expertvillage has a host of DIY home improvement videos that’ll teach all sorts of amazing skills.
5. Learn how to write
Proper writing techniques won’t save you money but it may help you make money. Writing is still a major form of communication and the people who can write the best have an advantage. You may even be able to land a blogging job with an awesome advice blog and make a couple of extra bucks teaching people skills they can learn to save themselves money. You can also do things like creating your own resume or write your own cover letter without paying someone else to do the job for you. Here is an amazing website that puts writing into perspective and will help you write better content.
6. Learn how to haggle and negotiate
A lot of people poke fun at those who haggle or negotiate prices but they don’t tell you is that those people get nicer things for less money and have more money left over. This skill can come in handy when you go to garage sales or flea markets. It can also come in handy when you buy things on eBay or Craigslist. You may be getting a seriously good deal on that couch for $50 at the garage sale but you could walk away with the couch and some smaller items for the same price. New York Magazine has a great article to help you learn how to haggle with class.
7. Learn how to budget
This is one of the hardest skills for adults to learn but it’s also one of the most valuable. A lot of people operate on the premise that they get a paycheck and thus always have money to spend. That isn’t true at all. Many people underestimate how much their bills, gas, and food will cost. Then that $25 lunch you went to is the last $25 you had in your account. You can save a lot of money by budgeting because it teaches you self control and you won’t spend so much on stuff you don’t need. Here is a great guide to basic budgeting.
8. Learn how to sell
Learning how to market your own items and yourself can make you money. For instance, I have a wood and glass coffee table to my immediate right. Right now I could get $20 out of it. With a little elbow grease I can clean it up and easily sell it for $40 when it’s all cleaned up. That’s extra bucks. You will spend your life selling things. Whether it’s in garage sales or selling yourself to your future job with your resume and cover letter, you should learn how to sell. Here is an article from Business Insider that help teaches you the basics of selling.
9. Learn to fix your broken things
This one is absolutely essential because this is where the biggest expenditures come from. Getting your oil changed doesn’t cost much but you can still do it cheaper yourself. If your hard drive dies in your laptop, you can replace it for the cost of a new hard drive instead of buying a brand new computer. I once took apart an Xbox 360 and dusted the inside of it to fix an overheating problem that was caused by clogged fan vents. Repair services and replacement can cost you thousands of dollars depending on the item. Proper maintenance and doing simple repairs can save you a boat load of money. This is a harder one to link up because there is no universal tutorial for fixing everything. Your best best is to search YouTube and Google for how to fix the broken item.
10. Streamline your entertainment
This is an amazing skill to learn. By streamlining your entertainment costs you can cut down immensely on your entertainment bills. Look for cheaper cable deals from other providers or begin looking into cutting the cable. At my last apartment, our cable and internet ran us about $120 per month. Now we have faster internet for $70 along with Netflix and Hulu for about $15 per month. It’s not huge savings but every penny counts. Books are always free at your local library. You can get a newspaper subscription for very cheap these days. You can also go for walks, visit nearby parks, or get a board game. It sounds a little lame but board games have a nearly infinite return on investment as long as you take care of all the pieces. It’s a hard skill to quantify or learn but it’s a valuable one.
There is no one method that will save you hundreds of dollars per month. You may see some places claim that it’s possible but it really isn’t. With skills such as these, you can save yourself quite a bit of money every month. It essentially boils down to depending on others less, depend on yourself more, and keep an eye out for good deals. Best of luck!
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