If you are looking for creative ways to save money it is smart to use the double win approach. With this method, you create an extra incentive for yourself to stay on top of your game. In this article, we explain everything about the double win and give you 14 creative ideas to save money using this approach.
How to save money
Saving money is essential in getting yourself to financial freedom. If you are keen to live a financially independent life, cutting expenses is actually more important than earning more money. We explain why this is the case in the blog article Cutting Expenses vs Earning More Money.
To achieve financial independence, you need to invest in assets. With these assets, you can create a passive income to replace your ‘active’ income from working your job. This passive income will be your way to break the cycle and achieve financial freedom. Saving money is important for financial freedom because it will allow you to get the money to create and grow your assets. In essence, saving money is your ticket out of the rat race.
Saving money may sound simple: it’s just spending less money than you earn. But in practice, spending less money can be quite a challenge. There are a lot of temptations to deal with. And to make it easier to save money, you probably have to break with a lot of old habits. In this article, we will help you by focusing on double win ways to save money.
How to live on 100 a week
When we started to work towards financial freedom, we searched for creative ways to make saving money a more fun experience. One successful way for us was living on a weekly budget of only 100 dollars. Setting a strict limit on our spending, helped us to focus on the essentials and made us more creative with spending less money on non-essential things. Living on only 100 dollars a week actually was how we discovered the power of double win ways to save money.
What are double-win ways to save money?
In society, saving money is seen as a negative thing. When you save money, it means you have to say NO to something. Saving money is often experienced as a sacrifice you have to make. Every time you want to buy something, there is this nagging ‘I have to save’ voice in your head telling you not to do it.
Doesn’t sound like fun, does it?
Luckily, it doesn’t have this way. In this article, you will find 14 creative ways that make saving money a fun and positive experience. The fact is, that – next to keeping money in your pocket – saving money can also give you an extra win. For instance, for your health or the environment. When you start looking for opportunities to save money in this way, you will shift your mindset towards a more positive approach. You will create a better habit of saving money.
The double win factor is a great way to guide you in your finances on all levels. If you are keen on reading more about this, check out the blog about “using the double win factor in your financial choices”.
14 creative double-win ways to save money
Below, you will find 14 creative ways to save money. Each idea on the list is a double win way. This means that next to saving money, it will also give you something else that is positive. This can be a benefit for your physical health, your mental health, the environment, your relationships, or the quality of life in general. Sometimes, the creative ways even give you multiple wins in saving money.
Do a Dry Month
Needless to say, alcohol is expensive. But next to that, it also isn’t good for your health. That’s why doing a dry month is a great double win way to save money. You cut expenses and do your body a favor at the same time. Dry January has become kind of a standard concept, but there is no need to wait till then. You can do a dry month any time of the year.
Go on a holiday
Okay, we get it: going on a holiday sounds like spending money instead of saving money. However, you could go on a holiday and save money while you are at it. How? Well, if you time it right, you can go during those cold winter months when you spend most on your heating. Or, if you live in a warmer climate, do the opposite: go in summer when your air-conditioning costs you a lot of money. Another option is to rent out your own house during your holiday and spend less than that on your accommodation. Or try Home Exchange and swap your house.
Sell your car
Unless you intend to use your car as an asset (for instance by renting it out via a car-sharing site regularly) owning a car isn’t that healthy for you or the environment. Cars are expensive to buy, expensive to drive around, and expensive to maintain. Reasons enough to walk more often or take the bike to work. If you rely on your car for your commute, calculate the costs of switching to public transport or consider sharing a car with co-workers to reduce the costs and the impact on the environment.
Start meal prepping
When we got to know the concept of food prep, we were immediately fans. Especially when we stumbled upon the videos by Lisa from Downshiftology. With meal prep, you can save countless hours in the kitchen during the week. It’s just 1-2 hours of prep every weekend and you will eat healthy during the week. Next to that, it’s also a money saver because you only shop once and can buy in bulk. We still meal prep when we go sailing so we have enough healthy meals to rely on. It’s a great hack!
Clean out your pantry
The average amount of total food wasted per household was 4.41 kg per week in 2019. That sounds crazy, right! And even though you might think this doesn’t account for you, you probably would be surprised how much it is. A thing that is often overlooked when it comes to food waste is the stuff we clean out of our pantry every year because of food that expired beyond the best before date.
Cook your own meals
Eating out is very expensive and will cost you a lot of money, even when you go to the cheaper restaurants. Next to that, it often isn’t as healthy as cooking your own home-made meals. So why not tap into this opportunity for a double win way to save money and cook yourself. It will be cheaper, healthier and make you feel good.
Go to bed early
Having a good night’s sleep has multiple benefits for you. You will be more energetic, more positive, and more productive during the way. Going to bed early will also help you to prevent late-night snacking, hours of phone scrolling, and high energy bills. It is in the evening that we actually spend quite a lot of our hard-earned money on such trivial things without actually really enjoying them.
Downgrade your phone subscription
Let’s face it: your phone is a money eater. And next to that, a time-eater as well. A great way to save money and invest more quality time in your life is by downgrading your subscription you will be more economic with your phone hours while improving your mental health.
Switch to outside sport activities
Time to cancel that expensive gym subscription and go walking, running, biking. A lot of sports activities can be done completely free and with the extra benefits of being in the fresh air. If you think that a costly monthly gym subscription is your stick behind the door to actually exercise, then reevaluate: how much does it actually cost you to go to the gym per visit?
Another option when it comes to food and creating a double win way to save money is to skip meat or even dairy from your diet altogether. Next to saving money on these (costly) ingredients, eating (less) meat is healthier for you ánd the environment. And, in addition to that, it also contributes to animal welfare.
Do a magazine swap with friends
Media is expensive, but many people are fond of reading their favorite magazine(s). It’s a luxury, but if you like this luxury and still are keen to save some money on it, you might want to consider a swap-system. How does it work? Save up your old magazines and ask family and friends to do the same. Now and then, swap your magazine with them. You will have new ones to read, without paying extra!
Take cold showers
Needless to say, by taking cold showers, you save money on heating that water. But next to saving money, cold showers have a lot of health benefits as well. They jolt your system to increase alertness, clarity, and energy levels. Taking a cold shower 2 or 3 times per week may contribute to increased metabolism and blood circulation.
Drink more tap water
Soda is not very good for you and bottled water is not so good for the environment. So, if you can drink tap water instead. You can use a bit of lemon squeeze to spice it up. We drink loads of tap water with lemon. If the tap water, isn’t of great quality where you live, you can add a filter system to improve it. That’s a one-time investment to will go a long way.
Treat yourself when you’re are doing great
Last but certainly not least: don’t forget to treat yourself now and then when you are doing great with your savings. It’s important to keep it fun and stay motivated throughout the course of saving money. Especially when you are on a longer track towards achieving financial freedom. So, go for that scoop of delicious ice-cream at that specialty ice-cream shop or buy that magazine you love so much.
What’s your favorite way to save money?
There you have it, our 14 creative double-win ways to save money. If you are interested in saving money, you should definitely check out these other articles as well.
We would be curious to know which of these ways is your favorite one. Let us know in the comments below!