Money Management

6 Things That Save Me Money, And Make My Life Better

By  Karen Banes

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So much personal finance and frugality advice is based on depriving yourself now, so you can live better later. But it doesn’t have to be like that. Some of the things that save me money are also the things that make my life better, right now.

DIY Fitness

Honestly, the fitness regime you’ll stick to is the one you enjoy. If you enjoy going to the gym, then it probably works for you and it’s fine to include it in your budget. I don’t enjoy the gym. I enjoy hiking in nature, practicing yoga, walking on the beach, and swimming in the ocean. All things that happen to be free, if you live near nature, the beach and the ocean.

I also do a little basic strength and cardio training as well, but I don’t want to pay good money to get sweaty in a room full of other people. I can squat and lunge and climb flights of stairs without leaving my home. And it takes up a lot less time than going to the gym. I’ve seen plenty of budgets that include hundreds of dollars’ worth of fitness memberships, subscriptions and personal training. That’s fine if that’s your thing, but if that was my budget I’d be a lot less happy, not just about how I was spending my money, but also about how I was spending my time.

Aging Naturally

I’ve also seen budgets that include some pretty big numbers for anti-aging treatments, procedures and surgeries. Again, if that’s something that makes you happy, it’s fine to include it in your budget. For me, it’s just not something that would impact my life, except perhaps negatively, while I took time out to recover from surgeries and other procedures. Once again I’m saving money by not doing something I don’t want to do (and that would interfere with things I enjoy doing).

No-Frills Travel

I’ve travelled a lot in my life, and while it’s great to splurge on a fancy hotel once in a while, all my best experiences have happened when I’ve been traveling on a shoestring budget. I’ve had amazing experiences backpacking and camping and youth hosteling. One of my best travel experiences was crewing on a yacht that sailed from Darwin to Singapore. It was free, although I did help pay for supplies.

There were times when no-frills travel was the only type that fitted my budget, and other times when I could have spent more on travel, but chose not to. Cutting corners helped my bank balance but provided me with a wealth of experiences, memories and stories I wouldn’t have had if I’d been travelling in luxury.

Trial Subscriptions

It’s a small thing, but I like to try before I buy, partly because I don’t want to spend money on something I won’t use and enjoy, but also because variety makes my life better. Whether it’s a meditation app, a streaming service, a grocery box, or anything else, taking advantage of a free or discounted  trial subscription lets me try new things. Trying new things is quite possibly one of my favourite activities in life. The money saved is a bonus.

Discount Sites and Apps

For me, this is just another way to try new things. If I find something fun to do on Groupon, Living Social or any other site or app that offers a huge discount, why wouldn’t I try it? Maybe I’ll love it, maybe I won’t. I tend to use these sites to find experiences or services rather than products, because having more doesn’t make me happy, but doing more does.

Cooking from Scratch

I never quite got it when I heard people saying that healthy food is expensive. Then I got busy and tried to find healthy takeout options and ‘convenience’ food. Yep, that is expensive. Cooking healthy food from scratch is a lot more affordable. It’s also more time-consuming, but if you enjoy it, it’s practically a hobby. If you love cooking, or want to learn, eating healthy can definitely be something that saves money and makes your life better.

Karen Banes

About the Author

Karen Banes

I’m a freelance writer specializing in online business, personal finance, travel and lifestyle. I also work as a content creator for hire, helping brands and businesses tell their stories, grow their audiences, and reach their ideal customers. I’ve lived, worked and studied in six countries, across three continents. Stop by my blog TheSavvySolopreneur.net to learn how to run your own (very) small business on your own terms. You can also connect with me at my website KarenBanes.com or follow me on Medium.com

Disclaimer: In order to make Wealthtender free for our readers, we earn money from advertisers including financial professionals who pay to be featured on our platform. This creates a natural conflict of interest when we favor promotion of our clients over other professionals not featured on Wealthtender. Learn how we operate with integrity to earn your trust.

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