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You guys know I’ve spent a significant amount of my life battling depression but in addition to that I’ve also spent a lot of my life being really freaking broke. Like seriously dead ass broke. Like I used to regularly buy groceries at the “everything is one dollar” store broke. These are the tips I used to save some money so I could get basic self care items or treats for special occasions like my birthday or a new job. I don’t think self care has to cost money (checkout my post 30 Free Self Care Activities) but I still think it’s nice to be able to save a little money to treat yo’self. Honestly, not having any extra money sucks and it’s really stressful. You’re already fighting a hard enough battle so if you can save a little money to help alleviate some money related stress I think that’s a win.
I have been talking about IBotta a lot lately but that’s because I use it all the time and it saves me hella money. It’s a rebate app for your phone that lets you clip the coupons you want to use and then take a picture of your receipt after you do your shopping. They will give you ten bucks just for signing up. It’s so easy and the money adds up really quickly and helps me afford self care.
This website gives you cash back on everything you buy online! If you’re going to order something online go to the Ebates site first and then place your order. Last week I placed an order on Sephora and I got 4% back! This was all stuff I was going to buy anyway so it was like getting free money.
Pack a Lunch
Right now, I only eat out if it is going to be a treat. When I first got my job I bought lunch out most days (!) instead of packing it. Now I try to only spend money on eating out if it’s a social thing like dinner with friends. I’m really shocked at how much money packing my lunch saves me every week. I try to make sure I spend some time on Sunday getting my lunches ready for the week. Prepping ahead of time really keeps me from getting lazy and buying lunch out.
Cut Monthly Expenses
To give myself a little extra self care cash I cut my monthly expenses. I cancelled my Ipsy, Spotify and HBO subscriptions and started using the free version of Amazon Music (you can use a lot of the Amazon Music features free with an Amazon Prime subscription). Go through and see if there are any monthly subscriptions you can cut. If listening to music or watching movies is something you do for self care then don’t cut these things. I cancelled three subscriptions I was barely using and saved my self $35.00 a month.
Get a Side Hustle
If you have some extra time, find a side hustle to make some extra money. You could try picking up some extra work by babysitting or dog walking. I used to find babysitting gigs on care.com. If you want the easiest side job ever try out SwagBucks. I use it to fill out online surveys while I’m watching TV at night. This isn’t high paying work but it makes me feel productive during a Netflix marathon. They will even give you five bucks just for signing up. You get points for each survey you complete and then you’re able to use the points at different online stores.
Groceries are one of my biggest reoccurring expenses. I have a whole article about how to eat healthy food when you’re broke AF. I try to stock up on items when they’re on sale. I’m working on getting better about cooking food before it goes bad. I tend to buy too much food and part of it will go bad before I can eat it. Try to plan your meals for the week so you only buy what you need and you don’t end up wasting money.
Quit the Gym
Staying healthy should definitely be a priority and a gym membership might be a really important self care item for some people. If that is the case for you then keep your gym membership. I decided to save some money and give up my gym membership because I was only using it to do cardio. I can run outside and get the same benefits and it doesn’t cost anything. I used to pay a lot of money for a gym membership every month but now I have a little extra money to spend on myself each month instead.
Make Coffee at Home
I know some people get a lot of pleasure out of their Starbucks habit. If it’s worth it to you I think you should totally keep doing it. It’s your hard earned money after all. I started bringing my own tea and coffee to work and it has saved me a ton of money. I wasn’t really enjoying the daily Starbucks run, it just slowly became part of my routine and before I knew it I had a $4.00 a day habit. If you’re doing the same get into the habit of making coffee at home instead of getting it out. I invested in a coffee mugthat keeps my drink hot all day.
Save your Change
My checking account is set up to round purchases up to the nearest dollar. It automatically stashes the change into a savings account whenever I make a purchase. This is an easy way to put money aside. I don’t mess with this account very often but it’s nice to have some extra money. I usually use it to take myself shopping for my birthday.
Ask for a Raise
My brother taught me this one. He would religiously ask for a raise every six months and his manager always said yes. The other people my brother worked with never asked for a raise so they never got one. It’s awkward to talk about money but asking for a raise is something you’re always going to have to do if you’re part of the workforce. Asking for raises is a great habit to get into and you will make significantly more money throughout your life if you regularly ask for raises.
I hope some of these tips will help you save some money so you can treat yo’self! Self-care doesn’t have to cost money but not having any extra cash to spend on yourself can be stressful. It’s nice to know you can go out for ice cream with friends or get a new fierce shade of lipstick if you feel like it. Let me know if you have any good money saving tips to share!
I am not a licensed therapist or mental health professional. If you are suffering from a major disorder and need treatment please seek the help of a professional. If you need help finding a mental health care provider call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit BetterHelp to talk to a certified therapist online at an affordable price. You can download a free printable list of hotlines here and join the free mental health support group on Facebook here. This post contains affiliate links, you can read my full disclosure policy here.
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