Saving money can be hard, but having a creative mindset around how you can save makes the process feel a lot more fun. Especially when you’re just getting started building your financial foundation, saving money can feel like a challenge.
But even with a tight budget, saving is still a possibility.
Here are a few thrifty hacks you can try to save extra cash:
Recreate Your Favorite Dish or Beverage
A Starbucks chai latte is one of my must-haves, and I also can’t get enough of the spicy basil fried rice from my local Thai restaurant. As delicious as these treats are, the $5-$20 I spend on them, starts to add up.
If you can relate, try making DIY versions of your preferred drink or dish at home.
Not only is it cheaper to purchase the ingredients yourself, but you can enjoy putting your own spin on some of your favorites. (Bonus points if you make enough food to have leftovers.)
Swap Clothes with Friends
Buying new clothes can get expensive, so if you have a couple of friends with similar tastes and clothing sizes, shop each other’s closets instead. Make a pile of items you no longer wear and invite your friends to bring over any clothes they’re willing to part with.
To make it more fun, improvise and turn it into a fashion show. Throw on an upbeat playlist, and take turns modeling your favorite pieces. Don’t forget silly selfies to capture the memories!
Find Free Activities
Are you always looking to add new books to your reading list? Plan a day at your local library. Do you love art? Check out the upcoming gallery or museum exhibits in your area. Whatever interests you, you can almost certainly find a free or low-cost activity to check out.
If it’s something you’ve never done before or don’t know much about, even better. You can learn something new, meet new people, and have a unique experience to bring up as a future conversation-starter.
Make Colorful Savings Goals
Saving isn’t always exciting, especially when you’re living on a moderate income and don’t have the funds to hit major milestones quickly. This is the time when you should brighten things up, so saving feels like less of a chore. This can look however you want it to. So get as creative as you like. Buy – or create – a savings coloring book and use your favorite markers to fill in the pieces or make a chart to put stickers on whenever you reach a goal. One of my go-to savings methods is depositing spare change into a decorative piggy bank.
Once you dream it, the next step is to believe it. Right? And if you’re truly a person who truly thrives of visuals, a vision board might be right up your alley. Whether it be words of affirmation or images that will motivate you to stick to your savings goals, pin it to your board. Your board should help provide clarity around your goals, help you stay on task and illustrate your progress.
There’s really no wrong way to save. No matter how you choose to do it, you’re making a great financial decision to protect your future self. It takes discipline to save, but it doesn’t have to be all work and no play. Keeping it fun will only make things easier when you have more money to set aside later down the road.
Quinisha is a freelance writer, U.S. Navy Veteran, and part-time Staff Writer with The Muse. She writes about topics on career development, diversity and inclusion, and financial literacy for entry and mid-level professionals. You can follow her on Twitter @KWright0702.