I have traveled to over 50 countries on seven continents, more than half of which were visited solo. I love traveling, being outdoors, and hiking. I hope to inspire others to travel and explore further, even if that means going alone.
Hey, I'm Ashley!
After staying in my audit job for years, all I wanted to do was save money so I could take a year off and travel the world.
No matter how much more money I made throughout the years, I did everything I could to continue saving more. I will admit that in my last two years of working full-time in audit, I was making a significant amount per year which made it easier to save.
However, now I want to share 25 tips to save money I implemented to get to that point…
For the past decade, I’ve been using my United Mileage Plus Explorer card. I chose a United card for flights because there is a United hub in my hometown. I knew there would be plenty of United flights and opportunities to use my points.
I also have a few cash back cards, but I really only got these for the benefit of having one year of no interest. This benefit helped me to furnish my house. I have used the cash back benefits, but I only ever get a few hundred dollars per year. On the other hand, my United Mileage Plus card has gotten me many free flights worth up to $2K.
I wouldn’t get a card for hotels because you may go to a destination that doesn’t have that hotel. I wouldn’t want to be stuck only going to destinations because they have a Marriott, if I was to have a Marriott card for example. I also wouldn’t get an Amex for the travel benefits because many merchants in other countries don’t accept Amex. Amex tends to have higher credit card fees that the merchant ends up paying for.
Make your purchases go further with more reward points. Although I mainly use my United Mileage Plus Explorer card for flights, there is also a shopping website you can use to get extra points for your purchases. At the time of writing this post, Lululemon was offering 6 additional airline points for every dollar you spend.
When I was traveling as an auditor, I used to only stay at Hilton and Club Carlson hotels because I felt they had the best promotions for more hotel points.
Now I more often use hotels.com so I’m not stuck to only one brand that tends to attract more tourists. After 10 nights booking with hotels.com, you gain reward dollars to use when booking your next stay. If you stay with hotels.com often, you can also get added benefits like late check out for being a loyal customer.
Mint is a great way to manage your expenses against your budget. Mint makes it easy by linking to all your accounts. All you have to do is review your account periodically to ensure all expenses are accurately categorized.
It’s so easy to sign up for free trials of certain services and then forget to cancel them. I periodically check all my subscriptions to evaluate if I really use and need the service. Maybe you only use a service once per year. Cancel the service for now and re-add it when you need it again.
Both State Farm and Allstate have drive safe programs that will provide discounts for save driving. Contact your insurance agent to see if this is something your insurance provider can offer you.
I’m pretty much always searching the internet for promo codes before I make a purchase. You’d be surprised by how many discounts are out there. I’ve used these promo codes for rental cars, meals, furniture, and more. USPS address changes also offers plenty of opportunities for discounts, especially for those moving into a new home.
I’ve found that employee perks aren’t always well advertised to employees so you may have to search for these or contact your HR department. My previous companies have offered awesome benefits like discounted airport parking and rental car discounts.
I also had a company that offered discounts on products for healthy practices. I was able to purchase an Apple Watch at half-price and received a free dining set with this perk.
You may also get benefits through your job’s health insurance. These benefits were available to me directly through my previous job’s health insurance with Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Grocery shopping can get expensive real quick, especially if you’re shopping hungry. By using curbside pickup, you can save yourself from the potential of overspending.
Getting a daily coffee from Starbucks can get so expensive and is really such a waste of money. Take a few extra minutes to make your coffee at home with this espresso machine. Make it more fun by grabbing coffee beans from the different places you travel. If don’t feel like you have enough time in the mornings, drink the coffee at work and add a bit more sugar if necessary.
Stop eating out and pack your lunch! Not only will you save money, but you’ll also be more likely to maintain your waistline.
I used to have Uber Eats deliver me even Chick-fil-a when Uber Eats was gaining popularity. But then, I realized how much money I was spending and it was a lot! By no longer using this service, you’ll likely save hundreds of dollars per month, with less restaurant food and/or less delivery fees.
Spending time with your significant other doesn’t have to be expensive. Instead of going out, save money by testing out new recipes with this sous vide, taste testing a new wine, and playing a few fun board game. Enjoying activities at home is such a great way to bond while also saving money.
If you search Google Maps for gas stations in your area, Google Maps will actually show you the gas price at each nearby station. Find the station with the lowest price to fill up your tank.
Keep your blinds closed and purchase blackout curtains that will help keep out the heat when you’re not home. Nest thermostats also make it easy to put your home’s temperature on a schedule. You can even control the temperature while you are away.
For Texans looking to save more money on their electricity bill, check out powertochoose.org where you can easily compare electricity plans. Energy brokers can make it even easier by taking out all of the guesswork.
Do people still use cable? If you do, streaming services provide much better deals. Streaming services also don’t lock you in forever.
My boyfriend and I share our subscriptions to YouTube TV, Netflix, Hulu & HBO. We are very thankful for our generous friends.
Save money by signing up for auto-pay for your monthly bills, if you can. My companies offer discounts for signing up for auto-pay.
Got caught up with life and forgot to pay your bill on time? Maybe it was your first time. Call the company that charged you a late fee and see if they will forgive it since it was your first time.
If you haven’t worn an outfit you bought three weeks ago, you probably don’t actually like it that much and you should probably return it. Sorry, but it’s true!
For outdoor gear I’ve already tested and recommend, check out my Amazon Storefront in the Shop.
With so many stores constantly asking for your attention, it can be hard not to give in to temptation and buy something you never really needed. So remember, the next time you get one of those emails with the latest sale, hit unsubscribe.
Now that phones and computers store so much of our information, shopping can be done without ever getting up to get your credit card. Before you hit purchase, try asking yourself, do I really need this?
Take part in a 30-day minimalist challenge. The one I did a few years ago eliminated 465 items I never used and didn’t need to hold onto. The challenge is to get rid of 1 item the first day, 2 the second day, 3 the third day, and so on for 30 days.
At the end of the challenge, you’ll feel more free of all the clutter. It will also prevent you from wanting to buy more stuff after just getting rid of so much.
When searching for a contractor to provide home services, don’t just go with the first price you get. I’d recommend calling at least three companies to get a good sense of what the market price is for that service. The lowest price also isn’t always the best. If poor quality work is completed, you may end up paying more in rework later on.
I have definitely splurged on high-end furniture, but after moving a few times I realized how much more stressful and expensive it was to transport. Not only is heavy, expensive furniture a pain for movers (who usually need extra insurance too), but good luck getting any kind of return on investment.
If you typically require frequent relocations, cheaper and lighter options may be better. No one can tell the difference anyway with what is now available.
December 14, 2022