9 Must-Know Ways to save More Money ...

If you’ve been struggling with a dwindling bank account, these ways to save more money will leave you with cash to spare after the bills are paid! As a recent college graduate, I know that saving can be tough, but scaling back your spending isn’t an impossible feat. Take a look at 9 of my most effective ways to grow your stash of cash and get ready to save, save, save!

1. Make Your Own Lunch

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One surefire way to save more money is to pack your own lunch before you run off to school or work. Think about it: if you’re dropping $7 on a salad every afternoon, it adds up to $35 after five days. That’s the equivalent of a cute new skirt or a movie and dinner out with the girls! Do you really need to nosh on that wilted lettuce when mom and dad have fresh food in the fridge?

2. Hit the Sale Section

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My personal way to save some green is to make my way over to the sale section before checking out anything else. Full-price items can drain your bank account fast –especially if you hit Urban Outfitters more often than you’d like to admit. However, if you go for the sale items like I do, you can refresh your wardrobe at half the price. And with a friend by your side, you can make a game of sifting through those heaps of clothing!

3. Rent It

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A simple yet effective way to save more money is to stop buying books and DVDs that you will read or watch only once. Sure, you can find some pretty great deals on Amazon, but once you factor in shipping costs, that $2.99 book gets dangerously close to full-price. Instead of cluttering up your living room and wasting cash, get a library card and rent that Nicholas Sparks novel you’ve been dying to read. For DVDs, a Netflix subscription is a whole lot more cost-effective than wasting $25 on a cheesy chick flick.

4. Skip the Bodega

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Saving money can be as simple as walking the extra two blocks to the supermarket each week. As a city slicker, I’m tempted to hit the bodega after hours of walking. Often-times, however, you’ll pay more at these small corner stores. Supermarkets usually have deals and steals, so stock up on essentials when you can (and don’t forget to bring a shopping list with you to avoid impulse buys).

5. Trim Your List of Subscriptions

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Another way to save more money is to cancel your magazine and newspaper subscriptions, cable, and landline. This might sound harsh, but I've found that I only read about two of the several magazines and newspapers that arrived on my doorstep each month. In addition, I was reading most of the content in my favorite ‘zines online anyway, so it didn’t make sense for me to hang on to print editions. As someone who’s never had a landline in her apartment, I can assure you that a cell phone is more than enough. Oh, and you can watch many of your favorite television shows online, making cable just another cash gobbler.

6. Pay in Cash

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If you’re serious about having cash to spare at the end of the month, put those credit cards down! Instead of charging everything and freaking out about whopping payments, pay for most things using the bills (in your purse that is!). It’ll be much easier to keep yourself in-check, because once your cash flow diminishes, you’re forced to cut back spending.

7. Turn It off

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An easy way to save more money is to stop being wasteful. Turn off the lights and water when not in use. When you’re brushing your teeth, for example, avoid letting gallons of water go down the drain by turning it off until you’re ready to rinse. To save even more dough, unplug your toaster, laptop charger, and lamps to save more electricity. Your wallet –and the environment– will thank you!

8. Volunteer

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Being a "do-gooder" has a number of benefits, and not just for the people to whom you’re lending a helping hand! Volunteers tend to score free services from the organizations they’re serving. One of my best friends’ sisters was a summer volunteer at a local museum’s butterfly exhibit. And guess what? We all received complimentary passes. Now that’s a sweet deal!

9. Get Thrifty

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My final way to save more money is to purchase some of my standout pieces from thrift stores. Many times, secondhand shops are simply brimming with chic and original finds. Just be sure to take a shopping buddy with you for second opinions –or to talk you out of scooping up acid wash jeans!

These are 9 of my top ways to save more money. Which tips will you be using? I love to hear from my readers! Do you have any of your own great ideas on ways to save more money?

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