April 28, 2017

Money Saving Tips Part.1

By In Guides, Money

Money Saving Tips Part.1

As a creative, money affords you the freedom to pursue your craft. There are several money saving habits you can adopt now that will allow you to use your money for something that can benefit your creativity. If you’re an artist, maybe you need to figure out a way to rent a comfortable studio space. If you’re a clothing designer, maybe you need money to buy more fabric. There are so many ways to easily save money without becoming an extreme couponer or eating Ramen noodles for a year straight.


Time is Money


Maybe you don’t necessarily need to buy any supplies for your craft, but think about the idiom, “Time is money”. As a creator, it’s important to conceptualize money as having deeper value besides a means to purchase things. Think of money as units of time. For example, your day job may pay you $10/hr. One hour represents $10 of work. A $20 shirt is worth 2 hours of work. You can now ask yourself, “Is this shirt worth 2 hours of work?”


The more money you save the more you will have to devote to creating. In some situations, a person could potentially save money so efficiently that she would be able to cut back on her day job hours. If you are a writer, a reduced work week could give you more time to finish your novel. You will be increasing your happiness since you will be working on something you love while devoting time to your novel that may bring you financial gains in the future. Start to view money as units of time that if saved can be put towards creating.


Dine In


If you are not a fan of cooking, I urge you to reconsider the benefits of cooking from home versus dining out. Eating at home is truly cheaper than eating out. Let’s take a chicken entrée meal from any chain restaurant, which on average is about $14. That $14 meal turns into a $17 meal with tip. Making that $17 chicken entrée at home costs about $7.


It will take you about an hour to prepare most meals. Likewise, it will take you about an hour to order and be served at a restaurant. Unlike sitting in a restaurant, the act of cooking can serve as an outlet for creativity.


When you are cooking, you are focusing on creating food. Use cooking as a method to zone out a bit from your personal creative project. This mental break of creating something else besides your work can boost your creative edge. Maybe you are struggling with a plot point in your screenplay. Checking out for a bit and cooking may give you the much needed break you need to think about something else. When you have finished your meal, you can return to your writing.


Adopting the dining in concept also can be applied to lunch. Most people blow so much money a week from buying lunch. Many people just buy whatever food is the quickest and nearby, which may not even be food they particularly love. A way to change this and maximize on your lunch hour is to bring your own lunch.


If you don’t have time in the morning, meal prep your lunches a week at a time. Use the weekend to cook and package your lunch in containers that you can easily grab on your way out the door. Bringing your lunch saves money, but remember it also saves time. Why rush around on your lunch hour to shove food in your mouth and then rush back to work?


If you bring your lunch, you can relax. You may even be able to sketch, read, or write with the time you save. You don’t even have to eat in the office. With your new relaxed lunch hour, you can go to a park and eat. Nature is incredibly conducive to generating creative energy. Bringing your lunch could be your key to maximizing your creativity and your bank account.


Money Saving Apps


There is a plentitude of apps designed to help you save money. Which ones are worth it? What really works? Here’s the break down.


Grocery Store Rebate Apps


Ibotta or Checkout 51


Why not use Ibotta or Checkout 51 to receive cash rebates on groceries you are already buying since you will be cooking from home more often now. The products available for cash back changes from week to week, but you can get back anywhere from 25 cents to a $1. All you have to do is scan the barcode of the item and scan your receipt. For Ibotta, when you have the minimum amount of $5 you can transfer the amount to PayPal or Venmo or get a gift card for Regal Cinemas, Starbucks, or Itunes. For Checkout 51, when you reach $20 you can cash out and they will send you a check in the mail. These apps will help you save money little by little on things you will already be buying anyway.



Receipt Apps


Receipt Hog and Receipt Pal


Receipt Hog and Receipt Pal work similarly. All you have to do is scan your receipt. These apps aren’t interested in particular products. They are generating marketing research data from what you are buying in general. Receipt Pay takes receipts from anywhere, while Receipt Hog only takes receipts from grocery stores. From the number of points or coins you acquire from your receipts, you can cash out on Amazon or PayPal.



Micro-Investing Apps


Acorn and Stash


If starting an investment portfolio seems too complicated, Acorn and Stash take small amounts of money and invest it for you. Acorn takes the leftover change from transactions while Stash allows you to set an amount you’d like to start with. These apps offer simplicity; they handle the investment process for you. These can be great apps to use for saving money and as a light introduction to investing.



Automated Savings App




The goal of this app is to take out money in small enough increments that a user will barely notice the withdrawal, but to take out enough money that the user will save a large amount. The app scans users’ bank accounts to determine spending and earning and then runs an algorithm that computes how much money a user can save. The company has saved users more than $350 million collectively. The best part of this app is that you can save money without putting too much effort into the process.



Subscription Services


Many people subscribe to services that they no longer use and actually forget they are subscribed to them. Check your bank statements! What services are you subscribed to?


Ask yourself: Are you actively using all your services? Do you need Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime? When was the last time you watched anything on Hulu? Do you really need an Audible subscription? What about borrowing audio books with your local library’s app?


I know a woman who canceled Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon while she was attempting to work on a creative project. In a few months, once she was done with her project, she signed up again. Canceling a subscription doesn’t have to be forever, but can be a way to stash away some cash for a while and focus on a project.


These easy tips can help you save money. Money equals time. The amount of money you save can be put towards something you rather be doing, creating. Extra money can also be used towards equipment and supplies you need to create. What’s a painter without paint, right? Pay attention to what you are buying and what you are subscribed to. Ask yourself if it’s worth the blank amount of hours it takes to purchase that product or subscription. Use technology to maximize your saving potential and as a result, your time.

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