These days, it seems like everyone has adopted a do it yourself (DIY) mindset. Whether they brew their own beer or knit homemade hats, lots of people have joined the “maker movement.”
Not only can the DIY mindset teach you cool new skills, it can also lighten the load on your budget. Fixing or making stuff at home tends to cost less than hiring a professional or buying a finished product.
Even if you’re not crafty, you can replace common expenses with DIY money-saving habits. Want to share in the pioneering spirit of frugality and self-sufficiency? Read on for nine saving money tips.
Saving money tips: ditch these nine common habits
1. Eating out at restaurants
Generally speaking, eating out at restaurants costs a good deal more than cooking at home. In the past few years, the price of groceries has fallen by 2.2 percent. The cost of restaurant food has increased by 2.3 percent. And yet, more people eat out at restaurants than ever before. To save your budget, shift your habits away from dining at restaurants and toward cooking at home.
2. Buying cleaning products
Instead of buying all your cleaning products, consider making your own. You can make large quantities for a lower price, plus you’ll end up with simple products free of chemicals.
Check out these 27 recipes to clean every room in your house. Baking soda, lemon juice, and vinegar are all common ingredients. You can stock up at a grocery store or bulk store such as Costco.
3. Getting a daily latte
Fancy coffee drinks are a common guilty pleasure. At Starbucks, a grande caffe latte goes for $3.65. One latte a day adds up to $25.55 a week, $109.50 a month, or $1332.25 a year! Just think what you’d save if you skipped the latte and invested that money or used it to pay back student loans.
For example, let’s say you had a $10,000 student loan with a 5.7 percent interest rate. By making a $110 monthly payment, you’d pay it off in 10 years. By increasing your monthly payment just $82 to $192, you could pay the loan off five years earlier! Not only would you be free of that monthly bill five whole years earlier, but you’d also save $1,626 in interest.
Now, these money saving tips may have convinced you to skip the daily latte. But how can you still get your caffeine fix at a lower price? Try making coffee at home with a coffee maker or a French press. Time estimates the cost at only 28 cents per cup. You could also make your own latte with this great recipe (or try this one for a French toast latte).
4. Purchasing skin and haircare products
Buying pricey skin and haircare products is a major weakness of mine. I always think the next product is going to give me perfect glowy skin or frizz-free hair. In reality, a lot of products make promises they can’t keep. Many come with a high price tag, plus they contain a laundry list of unnecessary chemicals.
You don’t have to be a lifestyle guru to make your own beauty products. Coconut oil, witch hazel, and sugar are all common ingredients. Check out these 19 simple recipes for face wash, moisturizer, toner, shampoo, and other products.
5. Buying full-price furniture
If you’re a broke college grad, you probably have a bunch of saving money tips and tricks up your sleeve for furnishing an apartment on a budget. Instead of buying full-price furniture, consider making or fixing up your own. You can buy unfinished pieces from a crafts store or refurbish antiques.
You can also scour the free section of Craigslist for pieces that need some love. Secondhand stores are also a good bet. A can of paint may be all you need to breathe life into an old desk or dining room table.
6. Getting oil changes at a car dealership
Oil changes are a regular part of car maintenance. According to CostHelper, a professional oil change costs between $20 and $55 for standard oil and between $45 and $70 for synthetic oil. Changing the oil in your car yourself only costs between $10 and $20. For money-saving tips on oil changes, check out these instructions by Pennzoil.
7. Paying for bicycle tune-ups
Are you a cyclist? Instead of paying for professional tune-ups, learn how to do them yourself at home. This five-step checklist from Triathlete explains how to do a bike tune-up, including how to clean the chain and center the brakes.
8. Buying drinks at bars and cafes
Do you drink beer? What about fresh juice? Are you into kombucha? If you spend a lot on drinks, consider making them at home. Once you’ve got the initial equipment, you can make big batches for a low cost. Plus, you can teach yourself an impressive new skill.
9. Paying for an expensive gym membership
Some gym memberships charge well over $100 a month. While the facilities can be great, you can stay fit for free by exercising outside or at home. Use an app to track your run or workout. Alternatively, you can check out YouTube videos for free exercise classes.
If the gym brings a ton of value to your life, then this may not be a great area to cut. However, if you’re really trying to watch your spending, you could swap the gym for a home workout to save every month.
Money-saving tips: embrace the DIY mindset
If you don’t track your budget, it’s easy to spend all your disposable income from month to month. There are always opportunities to spend money; you have to try a little harder to find saving money tips.
That’s why embracing a DIY mindset can transform your spending habits. In most cases, buying your own ingredients or relying on your own labor will be the more cost-effective option.
When you adopt money-saving habits, you can use your extra money to save for retirement or pay back student loans. In the end, you’ll probably be happier that you paid off a loan instead of spending your money on impermanent things.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2018!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
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1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.97% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.30% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of Month/Day/Year, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 08/21/18. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on ourstudent loan refinance product.
© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
APR stands for “Annual Percentage Rate.” Rates listed include a 0.25% EFT discount, for automatic payments made from a checking or savings account. Interest rates as of 11/8/2018. Rates subject to change.
Variable rate options consist of a range from 3.27% per year to 6.09% per year for a 5-year term, 4.64% per year to 6.14% per year for a 7-year term, 4.69% per year to 6.19% per year for a 10-year term, 4.94% per year to 6.44% per year for a 15-year term, or 5.19% per year to 6.69% per year for a 20-year term, with no origination fees. APR is subject to increase after consummation. The variable interest rate will change on the first day of every month (“Change Date”) if the Current Index changes. The variable interest rates are based on a Current Index, which is the 1-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) (currency in US dollars), as published on The Wall Street Journal’s website. The variable interest rates and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will increase or decrease when the 1-month LIBOR index changes. The variable interest rates are calculated by adding a margin ranging from 0.98% to 3.80% for the 5-year term loan, 2.35% to 3.85% for the 7-year term loan, 2.40% to 3.90% for the 10-year term loan, 2.65% to 4.15% for the 15-year term loan, and 2.90% to 4.40% for the 20-year term loan, respectively, to the 1-month LIBOR index published on the 25th day of each month immediately preceding each “Change Date,” as defined above, rounded to two decimal places, with no origination fees. If the 25th day of the month is not a business day or is a US federal holiday, the reference date will be the most recent date preceding the 25th day of the month that is a business day. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 3.27% per year to 6.09% per year for a 5-year term would be from $180.89 to $193.75. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.64% per year to 6.14% per year for a 7-year term would be from $139.65 to $146.76. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.69% per year to 6.19% per year for a 10-year term would be from $104.56 to $111.98. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.94% per year to 6.44% per year for a 15-year term would be from $78.77 to $86.78. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 5.19% per year to 6.69% per year for a 20-year term would be from $67.05 to $75.68.
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown.
All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.28% effective October 10, 2018.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.47% – 6.99%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.47% – 6.30%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.51% – 8.09%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|3.02% – 6.44%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.69% – 7.21%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.79% – 8.39%6||Undergrad & Graduate|