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I’m someone who has a ton of hobbies, all of which I love equally. From balancing them all, I’ve learned that it can be hard to stay within budget while doing what you love – it’s easy to get caught up and before you know it, your money is gone.
Below are some areas that I find myself constantly having to keep in check. Take a look at how I manage to save money without sacrificing anything I love to do:
1. Check out the menu before deciding– Most restaurants have menus online, which can make it easier to figure out which ones are in your price range.
2. Drink Water – Skip the alcohol and pop. Water is free!
3. Ask about discounts and promotions – If you don’t ask, you won’t know. We recently dined out and received an unadvertised movie ticket promotion simply because we asked.
4. Pay with a cash back card – If you’re already planning on spending, why not get some type of reward from doing so? Small amounts of cash back can really add up.
5. Will my kids eat free? – Call and ask! This can be a huge money saver.
Upgrading & Decorating your Home
1. Utilize Amazon – I have found the best deals surfing amazon. Keep a list of what you’re looking for and search it every single day. Prices on amazon change all the time!
2. Create a running list in order of importance – Do you need a new dining room light before new hallway art? Decide what’s important to you, make a fun list, and try to complete the items in order.
3. Frequent your favourite stores – Here in Canada I visit Winners, Marshalls, Home Sense, and Michaels weekly. Clearance items come and go fast, so keep your eyes peeled and keep checking.
4. Upcycle – Before you throw anything away, consider how you could reuse it. Search “the item + upcyle” on Pinterest and see what others have done.
5. Create vision boards and stick with your colours and/or themes – Impulse buying things that don’t actually fit the feel of your home is a total waste of money. Unless you know exactly where it’s going before you buy it, leave it at the store.
Crafting & DIY’s
1. Be realistic – Are you really going to be able to hand carve a wooden owl? Probably not. Maybe save this one for a “someday” project instead of spending the money now.
2. Limit the number of projects you take on – Sometimes taking on too many DIY projects at once can make you unfocused and rushed, therefor spending more money.
3. Be aware of costs before you dive in – Chalk painting an old dresser might seem like a cheap upgrade, but specialty items like chalk paint can be extremely expensive. Do your homework and budget your supplies.
4. Utilize the dollar Store, yard sales, and thrift shops – Did you know grab bags at thrift shops are full of craft supplies? Plus, the dollar store carries a lot of the items that Michaels does for significantly less.
5. Don’t expect to make money right away – If you’re selling handmade or refinished items, don’t go all-in expecting a return right away. You might have to work at it, especially because in recent years the marketplace has become saturated by some of these goods.
Getting in Shape
1. Avoid jumping the gun – Take some time to see if you can really commit before spending any money at all on equipment or memberships.
2. Get creative – Use household items or buy an all-in-one kit instead of purchasing pricey equipment.
3. Do your research – I can’t stress this one enough. Research the price and what you’ll get out of every membership you purchase. My best advice is to ask about the cancellation policy. Some places charge upwards of $200 to cancel before the term ends!
4. Don’t take on too much too fast – You see it all the time. January first rolls around and someone decides it’s time to get fit. That person immediately drops hundreds on new activewear, a fitbit, and a gym membership. Spacing out these purchases will not only make sure you didn’t jump the gun, you’ll have fun rewards to look forward to.
5. Step outside your comfort zone – Most of us are good at putting in headphones and walking on the treadmill alone at the gym, but there are real savings in checking out local fitness programs and leagues. On top of saving money, you’ll be pushing yourself to meet new people.
The below infographic from the resources section of Loan & Go’s website provides some tips on staying active without sacrificing your budget.
Do you have any tips or tricks that keep you doing what you love? Comment below!