Go through your clothes – all of them.
If you have a regular urge to buy clothes, go through everything that you have and see what you might find. Take the clothes from the back of the closet and bring them to the front, and suddenly your wardrobe will feel completely different. Take the clothes buried in your dresser and pull them to the top. You’ll feel like a brand new person who doesn’t need to spend money on clothes right now.
Brown bag your lunch.
Instead of going out to eat at work, take your own lunch — if not every day, then at least a couple of times a week. With some thoughtful preparation and just a few minutes of time, you can create something quite enjoyable for your brown bag lunch – and save a fistful of cash each time you do. Your co-workers may not understand your desire to save money, but that’s their problem.
Learn how to dress minimally.
Buy clothes that mix and match well and you won’t need nearly as many clothes. If you have five pants, seven shirts, and seven ties that all go together, you basically have an endless number of options already.
This is exactly what I do in order to minimize clothing purchases and still look professional – I just mix and remix what I wear by using timeless, simple pieces that go well together.
Ask for help and encouragement from your inner circle.
When you’re feeling discouraged, sit down and talk to the people you love and care about the most and ask them for help. Tell them that you’re trying to trim your spending and you’d love it if they would offer any suggestions and support they might have.
Then, pay attention to what they tell you. They might have some personal insights for your situation that will really help. At the very least, they might understand your situation better.
Try to fix things yourself.
Years ago, it was far more difficult to find ways to fix everyday items we have in our homes. But today, it should be a piece of cake. You can find online tutorials and videos that show you how to fix almost anything, and all for free. No matter what you’re trying to fix, it’s always worth a shot. Learning a new skill never hurts either.
Keep an idea notebook in your pocket.
I’ve wasted countless amounts of time and money simply because I’ve forgotten some of my best ideas. Nowadays, I keep a small notebook with me to jot down ideas so that I never forget anything important. This keeps me from forgetting the ideas I have throughout the day.
Invest in a deep freezer.
A deep freezer can be a great bargain after the initial investment, but only if you’ll use it. Often, having some extra freezer space allows you to buy in bulk and pay lower prices overall. Even better, you can store lots of meals prepared in advance, enabling you to just go home and pop something homemade (and cheap) in the oven. Read this post if you need help determining whether a deep freezer is worth it.
Look for a cheaper place to live.
The cost of living in Iowa is surprisingly low, enough so that I’m quite happy to give up the cultural opportunities of other places to enjoy Iowa all year round. When I want to enjoy the cultural attractions of another place, I’ll travel there – after all, I can afford it because I save on living expenses the rest of the year.