Financial Social Work: Four Fun Money-Saving Self-Care Tips

My essay, Four Fun, Easy Ways to Reduce Expenses, was chosen to be published on the Center for Financial Social Work website! See the article included in this post below for information about how to incorporate nurturing activities and products into your revolutionary self-care plan without breaking the bank. To learn more about Financial Social Work (FSW) is a social work, visit the Center for Financial Social Work website or reach out to me for a complimentary 15-minute video call consultation.

Four Fun, Easy Ways to Reduce Expenses

You’ve completed your Personal Spending and Savings Plan (PSSP) and discovered that you need to reduce expenses. Cutting expenses does not sound pleasant. However, you can look at getting discounts and deals as a game or fun challenge. See how much money you can save and where you can get the best deal. Make sure that you are buying things that you need and can use. Don’t buy items just for the “thrill of the chase” or just because it is on sale. You are still spending money, even if it is a deal. Here are some fun ways to cut expenses and, if your PSSP allows, find discounts on fun activities, classes, and gifts.

1. Search for dupes and drug store brands.

It can be fun to see what types of dupes (less expensive versions of expensive items) people on the internet have found! Some items are the same product in different packaging. There might be a less expensive or store brand version that works just as well, if not better than the pricey brand name. Check out Costco and Trader Joe’s, as many of their private labels are actually popular name brands that they are selling at a fraction of the price. A word of caution here: Even though the products are less expensive, you can waste money if you don’t use them or if you buy a lot of dupes to test them out.

2. Trade tasks with family and friends.

You have probably heard of bartering or trading goods. You can also trade tasks. For example, if you would like to go on a date night with your significant other, but can’t afford a sitter, you can trade babysitting with a friend who also has kids and could use a date night. Or, let’s say you love to cook, though you are not so great at sewing, and you need some clothes altered. You could trade a meal with someone who knows how to sew. Just make sure that you are making a fair trade when considering the resources, time, and money you are devoting to the trade. Making a wedding dress is not equivalent to a pan of lasagna when considering the differences in resources devoted to the creation of the two items.

3. Look for coupons and discounts.

Look for discounts on fun activities if your PSSP allows. Groupon is a great resource for self-care and grooming types of services, such as haircuts, hair removal, and fitness classes, like yoga and pilates. Groupon activities can be gifted as well. Vocational schools for services like massages and hairstyling are great places to get discounted services.

4. Buy last year’s model.

Brands constantly release new and updated versions of their products to entice us to buy more. We can use this to our advantage by purchasing the model just before the newest version. This can be a great way to get sporting equipment, running shoes, electronics, and cars. Demo and floor models can also be a great deal if you don’t mind a few scratches or dents on the item.

I hope this brief list has sparked your interest in ways to get creative when cutting expenses. Happy bargain hunting!

*As published on the Center for Financial Social Work Website