How to Save Money on Virtually Everything

So you want to travel, but you don’t think you can afford it? Think again!

My first piece of advice, if you really want to travel, is to look at all your expenses for each month. So many times we are spending money on things we really don’t need.

For me, I stopped getting my nails done every month (I used to wear dip nails for years) and that allowed me to use the money to save for airplane tickets, etc! It’s crazy to me when people will tell they could never afford to travel anywhere, but they spend hundreds of dollars each month on stuff that prohibits them from doing so!

I can still paint my nails whenever I want, I just use OPI polish I get for $3 at Tj Maxx and I promise you, no one ever notices or even cares!

I’m going to share some more easy tips below that I currently use that has allowed me to save my money for various trips and vacations!

Clothing

  • When it comes to any clothing, shoes, accessories, etc. never pay full price for anything. Most all name brands and name brand items will go on sale eventually. At the end of each season, most all of the new styles will be on sales and the continuously marked down until warehouses are cleared out. I’ve scored markdowns up to 90% off original prices, so why not pay that instead?

  • What I do: Each season, I make a Pinterest board (see my winter one here) and pin from websites actual items I want to buy or find similar styles. Then I can click through and see if the items have been marked down. I found that in creating a capsule wardrobe I go into each season with a couple of pieces I need to cultivate my wardrobe so this also helps me not to spend money on things I don’t need or buy “fast fashion”.

  • Sign up for the email list, its annoying I know but you can change your settings where it only sends you sales or promotional emails. then when one hits your inbox you can see if any items you’ve been eying have made the cut.

  • Utilize places like TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack, Ross, etc. Most of my clothes are name brand that I get from these stores. For example, I love Lucky jeans but not for the price. At Tj Maxx, I can find a good pair for $30 so why pay more than that? Even at their retail stores, I’ve been able to score a pair of jeans for that price on their 50% off sale, sale.

  • Buy second hand! If there’s a piece you want for your wardrobe but it’s out of your price range, you should always check second-hand websites like Poshmark, eBay, etc.

  • Thrift! Yes, it can be tricky and it does take some time but it is 100% worth it. I have scored so many goodies and a ridiculous price. Some of my favorites: a NWT authentic leather jacket for $10, a pink Ralph Lauren sweater for 99¢, Leopard mules for $5, and even a new Breville Juice for $4! If you’ve never been, it’s definitely worth trying out!

    • My favorite shops: Goodwill in Rivergate (outside of Nashville) & Music City Thrift!

Keep in mind: I am looking for good quality clothing when I shop, not a bunch of cheap stuff. This helps you save money on the back end because when you buy a cheap sweater it will probably start to wear way faster than a better quality one. The key is to get the better quality one at a knockdown price!

Trick: ALWAYS google for coupon codes, places like Retail Me Not sometimes has ones you might not know about from the website alone. You can also use a web browsers extension like Honey to automatically check for codes every time you check out online anywhere.

Groceries

  • Use Ibotta (get $10 when you sign up using my link here.) It works like a cash back program and it also works when you shop online in places like Amazon, Sephora, etc. but you do want to launch those websites through the Ibotta app (it’s super easy, don’t worry).

  • Make a list. You probably already make a list of what you need when you go to the store, and if you don't you need to because you can spend way more than intended that way! When I make my list, I always find the store I’ll be shopping at on the Ibotta app and then either search for a product or scroll through their lists of coupons. Some people get a lot of money back when they just buy every item on the app but I have found that its not always the best route the go.

  • What I do: make a list and check to see if what I’m already buying is on the app. Then I will make a little note on my list if there’s a certain brand or size you have to buy. Then whenever I’m shopping I make sure that it’s the best deal. (Sounds like a lot of work, but I wouldn’t do it if it was). Most of the time an item is on the app the store will also have a coupon for it, hence double savings! So far, I’ve saved $70 with the app! They pay you through PayPal or your choice of gift cards!

Trick: Make sure you pull up your choice of store’s app or website and add any relevant coupons to your rewards account! Places like Kroger, Publix, and Target all require you to load on the coupons before you buy!

Travel

  • FLIGHTS

    • Skyscanner. So far, all of my plane tickets (domestic and international) have been purchased using Ibotta. I have flown to Spain twice from the US for less than $700.

    • Set price alerts. If you know certain dates you are wanting to travel setting up alerts on Google flights or Skyscanner is a great way to track price fluctuation.

    • Book around 3 months out for international travel. This is usually the best deal but it’s a trial and error thing, you just have to experiment! For Nashville, a good flight to Europe is around $600 round trip but it varies depending on the airports nearest you.

    • Try to fly with the least amount of luggage possible, because makes flights cheaper and you probably don’t actually need to check large suitcases for most trips!

Trick: So I’ve always heard this, but I don’t really know if it’s true but it makes sense! Don’t look up flights on a computer you plan to purchase on if you aren’t going to buy right then. It has been said that if you continue to search a certain flight, companies store your IP address and will increase the prices when you come back because they know you are trying to book that flight.

  • WHERE TO STAY

    • Always Price Check. Sometimes Airbnb is cheaper, in places like Paris, you can get a ridiculously low nightly price, but in smaller cities or in places where they have certain laws for Airbnb host it can be more expensive so it’s always good to check before you book. For example, when staying in Mallorca the cheapest nightly price was at a hostel where I got a private room for about 100 euros a night (this was also very last minute so it’s probably cheaper in advance). Places like Booking.com have hostels listed and you can even use Ibotta to get cash back when you book through their app!

    • If you want to check out Airbnb, use this link here to get $40 off your first stay!

There are so many tips I’ve learned over the years and these are just a few! If you have any questions, comments, or concerns let me know below!