Ever since the pandemic, the global economy has changed drastically. A lot of us were hoping for normalcy in 2021 but instead, we got hyperinflation and the supply chain crisis. Experts believe things aren’t going to be much better in 2022.
Since there’s little we can do about the international economy, our best bet to survive and thrive this year is to get our finances in order. There are ways to save money in 2022 and I am going to list twenty-two of them.
Let’s dig in.
1. Be Careful With Buy Now, Pay Later Schemes
Buy Now, Pay Later is one of the biggest stories of 2021. Although this method of payment is gaining traction, no one truly knows what the future holds when it comes to BNPL. One of the reasons this method of payment is getting criticized is because it’s designed to target impulse buyers rather than budget-conscious people. There's nothing to incentivize financial discipline in BNPL. It's easier to overspend when you are using BNPL as compared to a credit card. Consumers need to be careful with BNPL and avoid getting themselves into any debt traps.
2. Search for Coupons While Buying Online
Make a habit out of this. Search for promo codes
whenever you order a dress online. If the promo code doesn’t work, contact the customer service of the brand. Remember, the brands need you to buy their products and they would happily sacrifice a few dollars of revenue for this.
If you’re buying from a retailer for the first time, the chances of them giving you a coupon increase significantly. Some companies would need you to fill out a survey or sign up to their emailing list. But this small effort will be completely worth the discount.
3. Prepare for the Unexpected
In 2021, things were supposed to go back to normal but once the pandemic got in control, the supply chain crisis wrecked the global economy. The last two years have taught us that one should always save for the rainy days. You should always have something set aside for emergencies. It might be something that affects you personally or a global event that causes economic instability. There’s no telling what awaits us in 2022.
4. Diversify Your Income
It’s never enough to save the money you’re already making, you need to have multiple income streams. Get yourself a side gig to make some extra bucks. Make some passive by investing in the stock market. Explore Amazon’s affiliate program. There are plenty of opportunities to make some extra money if you’re willing to put in the work.
5. Search for Cheaper Options
Take a walk around your neighborhood to find cheaper grocery stores to reduce grocery bills simply
, restaurants, and fitness clubs. Most of us are addicted to convenience and use options that are nearest to our place. However, if you explore some of the areas around your neighborhood, you will eventually find money-saving opportunities.
6. Shop Based on a List
Many of us go to grocery stores planning to buy just a few items. But we eventually come back with a cart full of produce. These spendings pile up and have an awful impact on our monthly budget. So whenever you're planning a trip to the local store, create a list and stick with it. Another strategy is to avoid the temptations of physical stores altogether and shop online. Not only will this lessen the chances of you buying impulsively but it’s also easier to find discounts and coupons while buying online. Remember always, coupons can ridiculously decrease your household expenses
7. Choose Your Streaming Service and Stick With It
When it comes to streaming services, make your choice and stick with it. If you're subscribed to Netflix but Amazon has released an amazing new series, don't buy the latter's subscription just to watch it. In the words of Elsa; let it go.
With the way entertainment works nowadays, we all have to make tough choices. You can't enjoy Ted Lasso, Squid Games, and The Boys all at once without hurting your finances. This sounds harsh but it is the truth.
8. Don’t Buy Low Quality Products
Purchasing cheap products that keep falling apart is a classic penny-wise, pound-foolish move. Saving a few dollars by buying low-quality items actually damages your financial health.
Let’s say you’re buying an electronic item, it makes sense to spend a few extra dollars to buy something that would last for more years. Otherwise, you would be buying replacements every few months and emptying your bank account in the process.
9. Don’t Ignore Your Health
It’s never a good idea to save your money by compromising on your health. Your health is more important than any budget you will ever make. So skipping regular appointments to save a few dollars is one of the worst things you could ever do. Ignoring your health only means you’re setting yourself up for bigger problems down the road. And these problems are going to take a toll on your financial health too.
10. Learn to Cook
An average American spends $67 a week on takeout. Cooking not only saves that money but gives you an essential life skill. A lot of us might be going back to work in the office in 2022.
So it’s important to talk about how much we spend during the lunch break. Some people even spend $500 a month on lunch without even realizing it. So learn to cook and take your food to work. Cooking is a fun activity and saves you money as well.
11. Buy from Small Businesses
There’s a lot of small businesses out there creating quality products and selling them for reasonable prices. Many fashion outlets which are run by women and minority communities are crafting amazing dresses that are available for less than market prices. Supporting a small business is a great thing to do on its own but if you’re also saving money this way, that’s a win-win situation.
12. Don’t Wait Till Black Friday
Discounts are available throughout the year, not just on Black Friday. Search for the store name from which you plan to shop with the keyword "coupon" on Google. You would find plenty of money-saving opportunities.
New eCommerce sites pop up every month and offer generous discounts as they are looking to get their word out. If you put in some research, there are amazing discount offers waiting to be availed there. Some retailers introduce discounts before Black Friday so their deals don’t drown among the ones offered by renowned stores.
13. Save Money On Gas
Gas prices have gone up significantly in recent months. To save your money here, you need to become a member of a gas station rewards program that provides discounted gas, whether it's a simple customer rewards program or a credit card related to the network. These are also websites and apps that allow you to easily compare gas costs at nearby stations. As a result, you can choose the cheapest-priced station to refill at.
Finally, it's necessary to keep your vehicle running properly because a poorly maintained vehicle can consume up to 25% more fuel.
14. Lease Gadgets Instead of Buying
Yes! You can rent gadgets. Grover is a business that lets you lease everything from Laptops to smartphones. There are several advantages to leasing gadgets. The up-front cost is low. You don't need a large sum of cash to get your hands on a high-end gadget.
You can return the device if it did not live up to your expectations and there's little cost of cancellation. With this, it's good for the environment too. We are told to buy used clothing to stop them from going into the landfill. So why not do the same with gadgets?
15. Don’t Buy Unnecessary Subscription and Cancel Free Trials
Buying unnecessary subscriptions is one of the most common financial mistakes. Do you really need a razor blade delivered to your doorstep every week? Does your personal grooming routine even merit such a supply? Ask yourself these questions before signing up. This could save you from major financial troubles.
Also, remember to cancel any free trial you might have started. Have multiple reminders for when the free trial ends. Mark the date on your calendar. Set an alert on your cell phone. Put a note on your refrigerator. Share the subscription with a friend so they may remind you of the date on which you have to cancel before paying.
16. Create Healthy Financial Boundaries
Sometimes you can be peer-pressured into expenses that can disturb your saving goals. You may be asked to contribute to an expensive dinner party or buy a group present. Since you don’t want to come off as a cheapskate and ruin your friendship, a respectable way to avoid these expenses is by simply offering alternatives.
Tell your friends it would be better to have a dinner party instead of going to that fancy restaurant. When you're being asked to contribute to a group gift, let them know you can all get together and create a homemade gift. Other people like saving money too so there's always going to be someone who would agree with your opinion.
17. Be Reasonable With Your Vacation
You might want to travel across Europe or take a cruise to Honolulu. But if you don’t have the budget for it, there are always more cost-efficient options available. You can take a trip to a National Park near your State or spend a day at the lake.
Remember, the purpose of a vacation is to help you relax. Do not imitate anyone's activities on Instagram. Their bank account might be different from yours.
18. Reconsider Your Big Expenses
If you’re already avoiding takeouts, buying off-season, and saving on groceries but still struggling to save —there’s a chance you’re ignoring big expenses. Perhaps you’re renting a bigger house than you need and there are much cheaper ones available.
Perhaps you don’t need a personal car as your commuting can be done through local transportation. In other words, don’t be penny-wise and pound-foolish. Sometimes saving money requires you to make big decisions.
19. Finding Out if You’re Saving Money on ‘Deals’ and “Discounts”
Along with the genuine ones, there are a lot of dubious discounting offers with retailers hiking up the prices only to offer a huge ‘discount’ later on. A quick online search for the same products on different websites can help you determine whether a real deal is on offer or not.
If you find a product that’s actually on sale, consider whether you would buy them for their original price. $20 off on a sandwich maker sounds enticing but do you need this product in the first place? Pay attention to the money you’re paying rather than the money you’re saving.
20. Use the “Sleep on it” Strategy to Avoid Impulse Buying
We all have our weaknesses. Even if you’re someone who leads an extremely frugal and somewhat minimalist lifestyle, you can be enticed to buy impulsively every now and then. The best online shopping strategy to impulse purchases is simply ‘sleeping on it’. Put the item in your cart and bookmark the page. Get back to it the next morning to see if you really need it. Of course, this strategy works best if the deal isn’t expiring anytime soon.
21. Explore Thrifting to Find Your Style
Thrifting is a great way to explore your style. Fill your closet with cheap clothing items and see what works for you. If you want to save even more money, create a list of clothing items and colors that you think would look great on you. Do this for a few weeks and finally, you will have a style. Knowing what to buy would mean you will save a ton of money while shopping from brands in the future.
22. Have a Budget
None of the saving strategies are going to work if you don’t have a budget. The only way for you to control your spending, track expenses, and save money is by having your financial situation written down. A budget gives you direction and allows you to follow and achieve your long-term and short-term financial goals.
Published on: January 26, 2022