My Money-Awareness Tricks

Everyone’s financial situation is different. These are some things I do as part of being aware of my spending and developing responsibility.

  • Save $2. Don’t use the dryer unless absolutely necessary.

    I don’t own a washer or a dryer, so sometimes I will use public laundry facilities. However, it’s even better when you have friends who will let you borrow their washers and dryers. If you have enough friends who have their own, you can rotate whose you borrow so it won’t be an issue. Plus they smell much better than the smoky public ones.

  • Use amazonsmile.com. Donate to charity when you shop.

    Not really a money-saving trick, but something good to do.

  • Have multiple savings accounts like a student account.

    I opened accounts at a new bank when I began college. I had one checking and one savings. The savings account was one I couldn’t withdraw from unless I went to the bank personally, simply because it was a student savings account. After graduating, I still kept that account open while creating another savings account without the student status. Having the two savings accounts has helped me because the student one is “locked up” until I physically go in and permit the withdrawal of money. It creates another layer of conscientiousness about where and how I’m using money.

  • Use a budgeting app like Mint.

  • Make a list of household items you want to buy – underwear, trash can, Windex…

    Break up the list to small monthly purchases. I once set aside $12 to purchase a really nice wastebasket. Two years later I still have it and love it.

  • Buy name brand jeans at Goodwill.

  • Host a clothing swap.

    One of my friends did this: Get a group of friends together for a “party” where everyone brings unwanted clothing items. You basically get to go shopping in your living room, and whatever is left over goes to Goodwill.

  • Christmas/birthday money goes toward debt.

  • Tax return goes toward emergency purchases or debt.

  • “Fun money” goes toward things like trying new shampoo or lotion.

    I used to not buy lotion because it seems frivolous to me. I still rarely buy it, but when I do it is a luxury, and I try to get a different kind of lotion every time so it seems new and exciting.

  • Host potlucks

    Great for spending time with friends and eating a full meal for a low cost.

  • Create wish lists for different stores; then you know how to break down gift cards when you receive them.

  • Don’t buy anything you can borrow from the library.

  • Invest in a microwave.

  • Save on heat; buy microwaveable body wrap.

    In the cold times I heat it up and put it under the covers at the foot of my bed. It helps to keep me warm so I can fall asleep.

  • Buy cheap disposable razors; spend an average of $4 per month.

    Not the most environmentally friendly option, but I hear of other people spending up to $10 per month on razor blades. If I can make a razor last the whole month before it gets dull or icky, then it’s really only like spending $2 per month.

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