All my life I have tried to be good with money. Since I was old enough to hold a babysitting job I have been working, and even before that, I was doing chores around the neighbourhood for a little extra cash. As the daughter of an accountant, I have always tried to budget myself to a few extra bucks, but a university student is somehow always broke.

Since living on my own, I have found the importance of saving money in every place and being able to budget so I can go do the things I want as if I had all the money in the world. I've learned a thing or two over the past few years, and now I'm balling on a budget!

Young Woman Counting Money photo by Sharon McCutcheon (@sharonmccutcheon) on Unsplash

Unsplash on Unsplash

1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle 

Plant, flower, bot and wall HD photo by Bernard Hermant (@bernardhermant) on Unsplash

Unsplash on Unsplash

One of the biggest things I have learned is how to reuse and repurpose things I use around the house. Now, I'm not some do-it-yourself mom, but I do condone repurposing anything you can figure out how too. Whether you're just reusing take out containers, plastic bags, or making your old dishes into jewelry racks, there's always another way to use something!

Repurposing your items doesn't mean you're broke and can't afford new things—it means you're smart enough not to spend money where it isn't needed. Being able to create things you spend money on, out of things you already bought is a great way to reduce, recycle, and save money.

2. Use It Again and Again!

Rustic Restaurant Decor photo by Javier Graterol (@grafuja) on Unsplash

Unsplash on Unsplash

On my journey to step out of the world of broke, I have recently stopped buying many one-time use items, and have replaced them with cost-cutting and kinder alternatives. One of my favourite examples is my makeup removing face wipes. As a girl who wears makeup every day, makeup wipes cost me a lot of money. By using these reusable wipes, the only money I spend is on soap and water to wash them.

Other reusable items you can purchase include dryer balls, food wraps, glass containers, diffusers, and a proper water bottle! Each time you buy an item like this, you save money long-term.

3. Buddy Up 

Tomato Garden photo by Elaine Casap (@ecasap) on Unsplash

Unsplash on Unsplash

My housemates and I recently realized how much our eating habits have changed since we moved out. When you're sharing family-sized meals with a family, it's great, but throwing out countless leftovers because you can't get to them all just doesn't seem fair. So buddy up! Buying food or other bulk items with a friend or S.O. is a great way to save some money and still have the things you love! 

4. Dollar Make You Holler

Journal, woman, dollar and writing HD photo by rawpixel (@rawpixel) on Unsplash

Unsplash on Unsplash

Don't have a buddy to go halfsies with? Try investing your money at your local dollar store. Items which you have to replace often such as scrub pads or dish soap, or things that don't need to be so nice such as cups or utensils can often be bought at the dollar store. By buying some of your items at a cheap cost, you're able to go out and drop money on the real things you want, without making yourself broke. 

Don't want to go to the dollar store? Try scouring the newspaper for coupons to your local grocery stores instead!

5. Play the Perks 

Basket, vegetable, fruit and carry HD photo by rawpixel (@rawpixel) on Unsplash

Unsplash on Unsplash

One secret I've discovered since buying my own groceries is the power of cash back and perk apps. I have about three of four cash back apps that only require an uploaded receipt to give you a couple dollars back on every trip. Some apps even include in-app surveys to add on a few extra cents, and allow you to cash out when you hit as little as 10 or 20 dollars! By using these apps, you're paying yourself to shop and making money on your groceries! 

6. Become a Member 

Hand, team, work and together HD photo by rawpixel (@rawpixel) on Unsplash

Unsplash on Unsplash

Right alongside cashback and perk apps, becoming a member is one of the easiest ways to save money. Signing up to become a store or restaurant member is easy and usually free, but comes with many perks such as reward programs, free birthday swag, and early promotional deals.

I have gotten so many free drinks and so much free food at Starbucks, many free scoops at Marble Slab, and even a month of free bagels at Panera! Take advantage of the programs in stores and franchises you frequent, to reward yourself from the purchases you're already making!

7. Sign Up For Those Surveys!

Woman using an iPhone photo by rawpixel (@rawpixel) on Unsplash

Unsplash on Unsplash

Alongside member perks, many companies send you surveys through electronic receipts or promotional emails. Many times completing these less than 5-minute surveys can lead to extra deals, free samples, and even cash prizes. By having a little extra on the side, you can save money on the little things and put it towards what counts!

8. Don't Cheap Out

Inside a washing machine photo by Nik MacMillan (@nikarthur) on Unsplash

Unsplash on Unsplash

The washing machine at my house doesn't properly wash my clothes. So not only do I have to replace it, but my clothes aren't being cleaned properly, my rags aren't being cleaned fully, and my towels are getting gross, and they'll all have to be replaced soon. The reason I bring this up is to back up my point of not cheating out! When it comes to items that need to stand the test of time, it's better to invest.

Buying one pair of winter boots that are bound to let you through ten seasons instead of buying whatever is cute that year is just the sensible thing to do. Spending money on a good mattress so that you sleep well and are productive is a no brainer. By buying items that will last, you will save boatloads of money in the long run. 

Shopping freak photo by (@freestocks) on Unsplash

Unsplash on Unsplash

Being able to spend like an adult doesn't necessarily mean being able to blow your money on anything you would like, whenever you want it. It means that you are financially literate, and understand your personal financial needs. Being able to have a little extra cash for a night out or some new clothes is always a nice perk, but you have to know the ways you can get yourself there. By helping yourself out with your money a little bit every day, you're going to be well on your way to supporting your champagne tastes on a beer budget.