12 ways of saving money that are completely underrated

window in a airplane
I love traveling, that’s why I save money: so I can travel. This was taken on my way to Berlin. (2019)

Everybody is always looking for new and easy ways to save money. Me too and here I’m going to show you some underrated ways on how saving money easily.

When I was 13 years old, I decided I want to do an exchange year 2 years later. And I knew I wanted to be able to do some trips, eat out with friends and travel. So I decided I was going to save up money.

Since my older sister already earned some money through babysitting, I did a course on how to babysit and started earning some money. First I got paid between CHF 10-12 per hour, and almost all of it ended up in my savings jar.

This Article is also available in German: 12 unterbewertete Wege, zum Geld sparen

12 ways to save money: simple guide on how to save money

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I developed some saving strategies, which I still use up to this day:

Whenever I want to buy something, I think about it for at least a week (like new clothes or make-up).

Do I actually need this new item? If you want to buy new shoes, look into your closet, and be honest with yourself: Do you actually need a third pair of vans? We often buy things spontaneously, we don’t really need it, we just want it. In my opinion, that’s one of the most valuable tricks on how to save money.

I try to always bring my own food, and I don’t eat out often (like twice per month).

I know it takes effort to cook your own meal and then carry it around but you can save up to like CHF 20 per meal, which in my opinion is worth the time. Also, I always carry around my own water bottle, that I can refill everywhere. I can recommend these water bottles, that I have: chilly bottle. They come in different sizes and they keep the water warm or cold no matter what. I really love these. Also, this is really sustainable and you are saving money 🙂

bring water bottle to save money

Look for deals and coupons on the internet, so you can start saving your money

Sometimes you can for example go to the cinema cheaper on certain days or you can get clothes at a discount. If you live in Switzerland, I can recommend getting a Colourkey. It’s a card where you can do loads of free stuff, like going to museums for free or to a swimming pool for like CHF 1. I got this card 3 years ago and it’s sooo useful!. It costs CHF 30 per year and is for people under 25. It’s a really good investment.

Pay with cash

This is important because you get more a sense of how much you are actually spending. I personally have 2 cards. Whenever I spend money using these cards, I don’t get a feeling of how much this is worth. I can recommend using cash because then you always see the amount of money you are giving that person.

person holding money

Doing free stuff with your friends

Another underrated saving tip is: when you hang out with friends, there are lots of great ways to do free stuff, like do a picnic, go to a free concert or swim in a river/ lake. And if you have the colourkey then there are even more free activities you can do. If you are thinking of going to the movie theatre with your friends, why not invite them over, make your own popcorn and watch a movie at home?

Reuse clothes to step up your game of saving money

Instead of buying new shorts, you can cut long pants. You can watch many tutorials on youtube on how to cut shorts from long pants for example. There is so much fast fashion, it’s really bad for the environment as well. There are many good reasons to reuse your own clothes. But this doesn’t only work with clothes, you can also for example use an old jar and put flour or oats in it, or plant your own herbs. This is a great tip on how saving money can be really easy.

Declutter your room

You might find interesting stuff that you can use or you can sell it on the internet. I usually go through my closet like once a month and I always find clothes, where I am like: I haven’t worn this in like one year. I don’t think I’ll need it anymore. There are many selling apps, in Switzerland, for example, there is Depop, Ricardo, eBay… They are usually free and you can also buy amazing stuff on there as well. I have bought my computer as well as my phone from Ricardo and they are perfectly fine. It was as good as new and I only paid half the price that I would have for a new computer. I also have my own account on Depop, If somebody is interested.

buying clothes at a market to save money

Try to get a job

There are lots of ways to earn money as a student, like babysitting. Last year, I wanted to get a job on the weekends, so I went into a pasta store in my town and asked the manager if they are interested in hiring students and he said yes. It’s literally that easy sometimes. If you live in Switzerland, there is a great website called Babysitting24. You can register yourself as a Babysitter or as someone who is looking for a Babysitter to sit their kids. I found a lovely family there and definitely made some money through that.

Save some money

If you have a job, save as much as possible and put the money away so you can’t take it. Look at the number how much you earn, if you’re earning, let’s say 200 per month, save 150. You still have 50.- that you can spend on the things you love doing. But knowing that you are saving that much money makes you determined, or at least it was like that for me. Also maybe you can negotiate your pay a bit, you can ask for more money. I really liked this article, you can check it out here if you want to learn more about that.

Create a budget list and start saving money

Write down all the money you spend over a time period of 3 months, on food, clothes, activities, hobbies… I know this is a lot of work, but trust me, that’s where the magic happens. You will see what you spend a lot of money on. For some people it’s food, for others, it’s clothes or traveling. That really depends on the person. If it gives you a lot of value on what you spend your money on, by all means, you can keep doing that. But maybe you can reduce your spending a bit or look for cheaper versions of doing it. For example, if you buy new books often, maybe check out the nearest library.

Buy clothes at a flea market or secondhand

This is another underrated tip on saving money: When I was younger I spend so much money on new clothes. In the last 2 years, I maybe bought something like 5 times clothes in a store. In Switzerland, there are many flea markets where you can find really cheap but still good clothes. Also, secondhand shops are a great way to find cheap clothes. I personally loooove flea markets, because you can literally find shirts for 2 Swiss Francs, that would cost 30 Swiss Francs in the store. There is a good one in Basel, every Saturday from 8 am to 4 pm, and the best clothes you find at 8 am. There are also good ones in Zurich, that I went to last year.

Change your mentality about money

If you found out your budget and maybe cut out some expenses, act as if you don’t have more money than you actually need. If you have used your (like we said a few points ago) 50.- then act like you actually don’t have any more money. It is really important that you don’t touch the money that you set aside as savings. This money is meant to use for something big, and because you made some sacrifices to save all that money you will enjoy the product or experience that you spend your money on a lot more.

If you now have saved a lot of money and you don’t know what to do with all that money you can go here and learn how to make a passive income by investing your money: investing explained easy

This way I was and still am able saving money. I was able to spend a lot of money in America, I was able to do a trip to Berlin and London, which I paid all by myself.

The thing is you need to look what you are really spending and ask yourself, if this gives you a lot of value and if you could maybe find a cheaper or free way of doing this.

I hope you liked these tips, please let me know which ones you tried out in the comments or by sending me an email.

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