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Think Outside the Budget: 10 Unusual Tips That Work Wonders for Savvy Savers

A new survey showed that most people think they’re careful with money, especially when it comes to fun, eating out, and trips, but what being “careful with money” means can be different for each person.

In a popular forum, one user asked, “What goes against all the frugal advice, but is still frugal for you?”

Here are some of the top-rated responses:

1. Hire A Mechanic To Change the Oil And Brake Pads 

driving car on highway, close up of hands on steering wheel

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All the frugalistas believe in DIY, and this isn’t any different. The foremost frugal advice is to change the oil and brake pads yourself. 

A user shared, “I can do an oil change and change brake pads myself. But I NEVER do it. It got to the point where I drove the car twice as long as it was supposed to between changes and started to get worried, but I still didn’t seem to do it. So paying a mechanic to do it is much more frugal than me ruining my car through negligence.”

“This is me 100%. I kept saying, “oh, I’ll just look up the video and figure out how to change my oil!” Nope. The money spent on it was worth it to save the time, stress, and wear on my car.” said another. 

“My car’s oil filter is in a really inconvenient spot to get at, and having done it myself once, I’ll gladly pay someone to do it just so I don’t have to, ” another user said. 

At the same time, someone said, “I wouldn’t put those in the same frame of reference. An oil change will save you ~$30-90 a year for 3-4 hours of work. Brake pads will save you ~$700 for 3-4 hours of work. It’s a different magnitude of savings.” to which someone replied

“I could learn to do these things myself, but it would be a day of watching YouTube videos, swearing, running around for tools, etc., and then worrying about whether I made any mistakes while my car mechanic does it in 15 minutes in his sleep. I can change the battery and any lights, but that’s it. I’m usually capable, but I can’t afford to destroy my car with a mistake.”

In short, if you can eliminate stress and make better use of the saved time, there is no harm in hiring someone to do these part-time gigs. You can look into using apps like Taskrabbit to find someone affordable.

2. Meal Delivery Service

Cheerful attractive young smiling woman holding cash, dreaming about its spending, keeps mouth widely opened, stands isolated over yellow background, lady with her salary.

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Frugal advice is generally to cook the meals instead of ordering out. Right? 

A user says, “We get a meal delivery service. Of course, I researched and picked the cheapest one, but I could make rice and beans cheaper than $5/serving. The thing is, I didn’t. I said I would, would, and would, but I didn’t.

I wouldn’t say I like cooking, and I’m not good at it. But these are still faster than fast food, and they make it, so we go to the grocery store every other week instead of weekly. I budget $600/mo for groceries, and with this service, we are coming right in at that much more easily AND not going over the budget. Of course, I order the 4 servings per meal and split one between the kids (they’re small and hate dinner) and then give one to my significant other for the next day’s lunch. I mean, this is still r/frugal.”

In my opinion, yes, it definitely is frugal.

Related: How To Make Money Driving For UberEats

3. Hire Help

Beautiful chambermaids showing OK in hotel bathroom

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It is a super no-no in the frugal land.  

Someone said, “My wife and I hire a cleaner for 4 hours once a year during our big deep-cleaning day. It helps to have a 3rd pair of hands helping us so we can get it all done in a day.”

$100/mo (less in urban areas) for clean, folded laundry is a huge time & mental saver.” said another. 

“I second this. Ours come every 3 weeks, and it is worth every penny. Even though muddy dogs and children make a mess quickly, nothing truly gets out of hand, and I can avoid the chores I hate the most. It’s worth budgeting around if you have conflicts or stress around cleaning, and it’s like a reset button.” seconded another. 

Someone also said, “I pay to get my house cleaned once a month. Having pets and ADHD makes it hard for me to keep my place as clean as I like (when I do a full clean, it takes me six hours). The time, mental energy, and stress I save enable me to do other things that save money; I have time to cook, focus on doing a better job at work, and host friends instead of going out. Food is the big one for me; when things are super hectic, and I’m barely functioning, I end up ordering DoorDash. If I don’t order DoorDash 2-4x per month, that covers the cleaning fee.”

A user put it aptly, said, “Your time is worth money, too. Absolutely!”

4. Walmart Plus 

Novi, Michigan, USA - AUGUST 8, 2021: Walmart sign at store exterior. Walmart is an American large retail corporation operates discount stores across the world.

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“I’m signed up for grocery delivery from Walmart. It’s 12 bucks a month but free unlimited delivery. However, I pay 10-12 bucks as a tip for the driver each time. It’s a little steep; however, I work full-time and attend school full-time. The nearest Walmart is 20 minutes out of the way… so it’s a 40-minute round trip plus shopping time. I have found the time saved is worth the extra cost.” said a user.

“OMG, yes. After moving to an apartment 30 minutes away from the closest Walmart and being on the third floor… Yeah, it made sense. I didn’t want to drive 30 minutes into town and then have to carry all the groceries up three flights of stairs….” said another.

Also Read: How To Make Fast Money (For Women)

5. Travel To Create Memories 

Travel hiker taking photo of Lake Braies (Lago di Braies) in Dolomites Mountains, Italy. Hiking travel and adventure.

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“I am happy to spend our holidays. The value, in this case, is in the rest and relaxation and building good family memories.” said someone.

6. Spend On A Budgeting App 

Young beautiful redhead woman holding bag with money and dollar sign over white background stressed with hand on head, shocked with shame and surprise face, angry and frustrated. Fear and upset for mistake.

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Frugal spending on a budgeting app is such a dichotomy. 

“I pay for a budget app (YNAB). Could I sit down each week to log all my transactions and my wife’s transactions? Yes. Could I take what I know and do it all in excel? Also Yes. But ease of use/entry that YNAB provides is what makes my budgeting a routine habit.” shared someone.

Related: Best Jobs That Pay Weekly, Boost Your Income Now

7. Quality Shoes

Woman kissing shoe. Women loves shoes concept. Multiracial girl and pink high heels shoes on pink background. Beautiful young happy mixed race Asian Chinese and Caucasian female model.

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“Never be cheap with shoes. You rely on them every day. It’s best to pay for stuff that can last for years, especially if you can have them repaired and maintained at a cobbler. Far cheaper than new shoes every year,” said someone.

“I used to get cheap shoes at Marshall’s <$30 but after foot problems, I now buy >$100 shoes, and they’re worth every penny.” shared another.

Remember, if you ever buy quality shoes, you can always resell them for profit

8. Gym Membership

man gym

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Can we workout without a gym? Yes. 

But, a user shared, “Paying for an expensive gym membership. I go more than if it were the YMCA, and there are mental health benefits to using a sauna, which the YMCA doesn’t have. It’s a bit twice the monthly price as YMCA and 10 times that of planet fitness.”

Related: Is $5000 Enough To Move Out And Live Comfortably

9. A Nice Pair Of Bag

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - MAY 09, 2016: inside of Louis Vuitton store. Louis Vuitton Malletier, commonly referred to as Louis Vuitton, or shortened to LV, is a French fashion house founded in 1854 by Louis Vuitton.

Image Credits: Deposit Photos.

“Buying nicer bags. Not necessarily a designer or brand, but I work in a professional field and need a large bag to carry a tablet, calendar, umbrella, etc. (sometimes even a pair of flats in there so I can change out of my heels after meetings).” shared someone. 

Another user said, “I tried inexpensive Amazon or target bags that look nice and have the right pockets/configuration, but they wear out after a year of use on average, and the faux leather will peel and look shabby. So I invested in a couple of nicely made real leather options for around $200 each. Still going strong after about 5 years, with only minor wear from daily use. I’ve saved money going for the nicer option in the long run.”

I also snagged an adorable blue coach bag second hand but near new condition for like $50 one summer, so that’s been my “fun” evening bag for close to 7 years now 😊 I shared yet another. 

Note: If you buy quality bags, you can resell them and make money

10. Getting Rid Of Stuff 

Portrait of a satisfied smartly dressed couple holding bunch of money banknotes and celebrating isolated over pink background

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Get rid of stuff, even though I might need it. I’d rather rebuy a few things instead of hoarding everything. People only remember the couple of times they regret getting rid of something.” said a user. 

Source: Reddit 

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This article was originally published on Mrs. Daaku Studio.