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What weird things have you done to save money? The personal finance blogging world often throws around different ways to save money. Cut cable! Brown bag your work lunch! Unplug things when not in use!
What do you value most? What are you okay with getting rid of? I’ve heard of people even going as far as taking toilet paper from public bathrooms in order to save money. Ummm, okay, not for me.
Saving money all comes down to your own personal taste and priorities. It’s always funny when I see articles about saving money and in the comment section, there’s usually some disapproving comments about how saving money on this or that isn’t worth the effort, dumb, and so forth.
Why would you do that to save money! It’s not even worth it!
What? That’s crazy! No way I would do that.
Well, if there is a thing living in Thailand so far has taught me, it’s that 1. hot water is not necessary for a shower 2. 20-30 showers are not a necessity and 3. Many Thai people either don’t have internet at their home or their internet isn’t fast enough to sufficiently stream Netflix *gasp* *chills*
Let’s go through some of the ways I’ve gone about saving money.
1. I lived in my car for my first year of college
Probably the most extreme thing I’ve done to save money. During my first year of university, I didn’t get enough financial aid to cover room and board for the school year. Rather than take out some private loans (with crazy interest rates), I decided to live in my car.
It wasn’t ideal but I made it work. I hung out in the university library a lot, which had air conditioning, wi-fi, and big desks to work on (the necessities 🙂 ).
2. Getting a job that provided a free meal
Going through university usually means the rite of passage of working low-rung, minimum wage jobs. When I arrived at my college town, I started looking for jobs. I quickly found one at McDonalds (you want fries with that?) and got a free meal with every shift.
Usually I got to add extras to the food and even take some home. It made living the broke college life a little easier.
3. Saving condiments from eating out
Most of the saved condiments came from McDonalds that I took after finishing a shift.
4. Dollar Menu loyal
Sadly, the McDonalds dollar menu no longer exists in most places. Back in college though, it was alive and well. There were McDoubles, side salads, sundaes, small fries, large drink, pies, and 4 piece chicken nuggets, all for $1.00 each. I would usually pair up a “main dish” with fries or a salad for $2.17.
5. I kept store cups
I only kept a McDonalds cup. I would keep it in my backpack, order my food, then take it out and fill it up. It’s stealing, I know, I know. The habit died when I graduated from university.
6. Not washing my hair as often
This can be gross for some people, but it worked for me. I usually washed my hair around two times per week while in university.
7. Getting a “dumbphone”
The opposite of a smartphone. At one point a few years back, I decided to cut more expenses and felt I needed to get rid of my “expensive” $38.50 cell phone bill. I opted for a flip phone and got on a $10 a month plan for several months.
I now realize my “expensive” cell phone bill was probably half the cost of what most paid for theirs. You live and you learn.
8. College campus move out days=gold
At the end of the semester or school year, lots of students would throw out or leave a bunch of the school supplies, appliances, furniture and more (that their parents probably bought them).
Me and a friend went through at the end of one year and gathered up a bunch of school supplies, a small table, and a microwave.
Looking back at the somewhat weird things I’ve done to save money, it makes me curious as to what others have done. During my serving days, I know a big one many people seem to do: ghetto lemonade.
Ever heard of it? It involves getting the free water, then asking your server for more lemons (I can confirm, waiters hate this), then adding sweetener and the lemons to your water. Wha-la! DIY lemonade.
What weird things have you done to save money?