Household: 9 tips on how to save money every month

Do you know the situation: getting a salary, a flat, food, clothes, going out – and already broke again? Well, life is expensive. But often you spend money in places where it’s not even necessary. Let’s explore those places here.

How can money be saved without it hurting? And where are the obvious savings opportunities that you may never have thought of? Below are 9 tips for everyday life that will help you save money effectively.

1. Where do I start saving?

Taking stock is the first step towards saving. Many people own far too many things that they a) don’t need, b) have in duplicate and triple versions, because c) sometimes they cannot remember owning them or where they are stored. Unfortunately, this chaos leads to you spending far too much money on new bits and pieces. This is not only a waste of money, but also questionable from an ecological point of view.

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It sounds paradoxical, but it is actually true: the fewer things you own, the less the desire to constantly buy and accumulate new things becomes. If you don’t believe this, you should clean up radically. And this does not mean the half-hearted sorting out that you probably knew about before, but cleaning out according to a plan.

The author Marie Kondo, who has become famous with her cleaning-up-mist-concept “Magic Cleaning” (Magic Cleaning: How proper cleaning changes your life, rororo, approx. 10 Euro), explains how you can get rid of superfluous things and get order in your 4 walls permanently. This not only frees you from mental ballast, but actually tempts you to be more economical with money.

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2. how does a budget book help with saving?

This method may seem old-fashioned, but it definitely makes sense: Keep a budget book. Because honestly, can you tell me immediately how much your monthly mobile phone bill is or how much your Gym membership costs you month by month? The fact is that your account is cheerfully debited from everywhere and you often have no overview of exactly how much it is. Such a household book can be a simple notebook – or a professionally designed book like this one.

Write down all your fixed costs, but – and more importantly – also every coffee to go, every online shopping invoice and every roll you buy on the go. At the end of the month, you’ll quickly get a feel for where you could save. By the way, there are also free apps such as “Money Control” or “My Budget Book” for smartphones that make it easy to do this.

3. Do investments help with the household?

Never let your bank advisor tell you that investing in shares and funds necessarily means more money – first of all, of course, you decimate your budget by the costs involved. Investment advisors sell investments because they receive commissions for them – that is actually quite logical! The belief that the bank will focus on your needs rather than its own when advising you is simply naive. Consumer advice centres and non-profit online portals such as finance tip.com .

There are free analyses and advice that is really independent.

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4. how can I save on travel?

Did that last vacation put a huge hole in your budget? If you’re not too bad to trade comfort for adventure, there are plenty of ways to see the world with a small wallet.

Kostengünstig verreisen You don’t have to pay a fortune to see the world. © sergey causelove / Shutterstock.com

With the hospitality network couchsurfing.com you can get a roof over your head worldwide. This works because more than 14 million people in more than 200,000 locations around the globe make their sofa beds available to other travellers – spontaneously and free of charge. Networks that work similarly: hospitalityclub.org, globalfreeloaders.com.

Also on airbnb.de there are of course some bargains. You haven’t visited hostels or youth hostels since your school days? Understandable, but they are unbeatable in price. Quality and service are often in no way inferior to expensive hotels or holiday resorts. If you want to save a lot of money and don’t mind people snoring, you can book a bed in a dormitory. The advantage of this is that you can talk to other travellers about places of interest in the area and make friends.

Individual travellers should have a look at lonelyplanet.com before their holiday. A worldwide hostel overview is available on hostels.com.

5. how do I save in everyday life?

A lot of your money goes on food. That’s great as long as you invest in high-quality, fresh and healthy food – and eat it. Unfortunately, the reality is different: According to a study by the University of Stuttgart, each of us throws away an average of 82 kilograms of food per year. This is a rather worrying trend that not only costs money, but is also quite reprehensible from an ecological point of view.

If a yoghurt, according to its best-before date, only had a shelf life until the day before yesterday, this does not mean that from now on it is fatally poisonous and must land unopened in the bin. Why should a number on a lid be more reliable than your own judgment?

That way you can throw away less food Keine Lebensmittel verschwenden According to a study, each*r throws away about 82 kilograms of food per year. © Foxy’s Forest Manufacture / Shutterstock.com

Helpful information on this is provided by the homepage zugutfuerdietonne.de of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. Here, for example, it says about the best before date: “This information is not a throw-away date, but a recommendation of the manufacturer to use up the product within this period. Because until then it guarantees the specific properties of the product such as taste and smell, colour, consistency and nutritional value.

So, when the best-before date expires, a food product is not automatically bad.”

6. How do I save money when shopping?

Of course, renunciation is the best means of economizing. Unfortunately, buying triggers feelings of happiness in you, because shopping activates the reward system and makes you so susceptible to impulse buying. A good strategy to resist this: Instead of hitting directly, take a picture or write it down and let it take at least a week.

Then take another look at it and be honest with yourself: Does the item still appeal to you the same way it did in the shop a few days ago or have you perhaps even forgotten about it?

7. how do I save money on clothes?

The pink shirt from last summer is somehow not really your style anymore? Before you give it away or scrap it and buy something new – stop! Have you ever thought about making something new out of the good piece? If you’re not quite as talented in this respect, you can of course dye clothes.

Also useful with regard to your own wardrobe: Find your own style! This may sound banal at first, but it’s actually quite helpful in order not to follow every trend and end up with mountains of clothes in your wardrobe that don’t suit you very well or are really compatible with the rest of your clothes. By the way, inspiration for the theme “the perfect wardrobe” comes from the YouTube channel of Moin Yamina.

One more tip: cleaning expert Marie Kondo recommends that you throw all your clothes in one pile and then keep only those pieces that you really like, that you feel absolutely comfortable in, that fit well and that simply make you happy. Bet you’ll be shocked by the mountain of clothes you’ll be sorting out. The shame of having worn some pieces only once or twice (maybe never) is guaranteed to slow you down on your next shopping trip.

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8. should I put money aside too?

Of course, that should be the ultimate goal in saving. So set a fixed amount that you really want to put into a savings or call money account every month – and that must really be your top priority. It is therefore best to deposit the amount into a separate account at the beginning of the month. This is strategically cleverer than simply putting aside the amount that remains at the end of the month. The following savings rule is important. Not: Income minus expenses = savings amount.

But rather: Receipts minus expenses = Expenses.

9. how do exchanging, sharing or selling used equipment help the balance sheet?

Sure, you know ebay classifieds, and many people have already sold their clothes via clothing spinning tops. But there are now a whole range of other ways in which you can turn used items into cash. Below are 3 ingenious apps for Second-Hand enthusiasts:

Apps, die beim Sparen helfen Exchanging or buying used goods works great online. © sergey causelove / Shutterstock.com

Shpock (“SHop in your POCKet”) is a flea market app similar to ebay classified ads. From vintage bicycles to fashion treasures, tablets and mobile phones no longer in use to fancy second-hand furniture.

momox is a pretty ingenious way to buy used books, CDs, DVDs or PC -games to get rid of. The easiest way to get rid of them is to download the free app and use your smartphone’s barcode number or ISBN of the article on the back. You will immediately see how much you get for each item. Then print out the delivery note, put all articles in one package and send it free of charge. Shortly afterwards the money will be credited to your account.

Behind Swapper hides an online exchange market for used goods in Tinder-Style. Here is exchanged instead of sold. The app works with an algorithm that links suitable exchange partners with each other, who can then cheerfully exchange clothes, vehicles, tools or whatever. This saves money and connects people in a pretty ingenious way.

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Saving rocks. If you find hidden costs and cleverly implement appropriate tips, you will see positive results immediately. That motivates and makes you more satisfied in the long run than shopping and being broke all the time.