7 Effective ways to save money: based on real-life experiences

If we all had a few million on the bank, working for yourself would’ve been a lot easier. Unfortunately, real life is less romantic and giving up your full-time job (including all the security it gives you) can be scary as fuck. One way to give yourself a little more confidence and breathing space is by working on a piggy bank.

The more you have in your piggy bank, the easier it’ll be to take that step to the life you’ve wanted for so long. But how do you fill your savings account when bills still need to be paid?

You can find hundreds of articles about saving money. But turning off your television instead of using the standby mode does not immediately provide you with the amount of capital you’re looking for. So I’d like to give you a number of tips that I personally found extremely useful when it comes to saving money: in big amounts.

1. The groceries

To start with the basics: the groceries. One of the biggest costs, especially for a family. You might do your shopping on autopilot and often at the same supermarket. Convenience plays a major role for all of us. But by shopping more consciously you can really save a whole lot of money. This is how we, after seeing the documentary What the Health, switched to a vegan-like filled fridge. Not only do we feel super healthy, I also save on average 40 euros a week because I no longer have to spend money on expensive meat or fish. Also: skip Dunnes and Tesco and do your shopping and the cheaper supermarkets such as Aldi or Lidl.

2. Buy in bulk

Work on your smart shopping skills. Drugstores for example, regularly offer shampoo and other products that are about to leave their range with discounts of up to fifty percent. If you buy 20 bottles of shampoo at that moment, you can wash your hair for months and save a few tenners at the same time. So did you run into a good discount deal? Buy in bulk!

3. Buy second-hand

Are you in need of something? Go second-hand. To start there’s absolutely no reason to buy a new product if you can find a second-hand version in great shape. Save the environment guys! Secondly, it’ll save you loads of money. An old tv-stand can look as good as new if you just give it some TLC. Both Facebook groups and websites such as DoneDealz are a great source of second-hand goodies.

4. Buy online

I know I know: we should all support our local retailers. But when it comes to saving money; that’s the one thing not to do. Shopping online can save you loads of money and gives you the option to compare different providers. Often with the cheapest find as the ultimate outcome.

5. Cancel those contracts

A while ago we decided to cancel all our ‘entertainment’ contracts. Both phones are sim-only and we use a Chromecast to watch tv. A Netflix account is quite a bit cheaper than some UPC contract. A Chromecast will give you everything you need when it comes to streaming from your phone, laptop or tablet. We really felt relieved when we rid ourselves of all those contracts. Freedom, at last!

6. Ride that bike!

Alright in all fairness: Ireland could use some proper cycling lanes. But that shouldn’t stop you from riding the bike more often. It’ll save you loads of money compared to the car and actually benefits your overall health as well. I haven’t used a car for over two years and do everything by either foot, bike or public transport. That saves us at least a few hundred a month that a second car would normally cost us.

7. Keep an eye on your finances

Whether you use apps or sit down at the end of each month to organize your finances: keeping track of what comes in and what goes out is incredibly important. What do you spend every week and which of those expenses aren’t that necessary? I personally prefer to only carry cash on me as well; spending money is just too easy with a card in hand.