You’re probably here because you want to have so much money that you will have to shovel it out the window so you don’t drown in it. I always knew how to save from a young age, so I decided to present the ways in which I manage to put money aside.
Learn to haggle
Don’t buy anything without haggling, even if you know that it doesn’t always work. A friend of mine managed to get a bonus in the freakin’ Pharmacy in Turkey. And my sister-in-laws German bf get her a discount on a cooling appliance in an electronic store in Germany.
If you want to buy a new car, don’t be too shy to try and get a better deal. Many people got either a better price or a set of new winter tires and other good stuff.
I managed to get a better deal on my home internet service, just because I let them know that I’m going over to their rivals if they don’t lower the price. And so they did. They put the price back to 20eu instead of 40eu. In a year I save 240 freakin’ euros !!!
If I buy stuff from other people, in many cases, I am able to get a better price. If you don’t have experience just search the internet for haggling techniques and methods. Feel like you lack confidence? Just ask a friend who is good at it to help you out.
Know the difference between wanting or needing something
Many of the things that I thought were so important to my existence are now just collecting dust in the attic. In fact when I think about the stuff that I paid a bunch of money for, I feel stressed and guilty because I don’t use them. So I basically threw money out the window.
More recently I purchase things only if it is absolutely necessary. I will only buy it if my brain keeps bugging me for a few months. You can set an alarm on one of those price watcher sites so that you know when your object could come up on sale and then you can jump on it like a kitten on fresh milk.
I Will never forget how I sucked it big time..with the W810i Phone. I begged by dad to buy it for me and we even paid in installments, because it cost a shitload of money. But within 5 months that crap was put on sale for half the price… so now every Tom, Dick and Harry had one. And when people were like : Wow did you also buy it on sale? my answer to that was: No I bought it at full price like a sucker.
Don’t buy any technology that was recently released on the market because they will all be on sale(sooner or later). Wait at least 4 months.
I recently went back to buying second hand( maybe less for electronic stuff because I’m kinda afraid in that department) or if I purchase new I will spend 5 min searching for online coupon codes.
You can install ”Honey” Addon on your browser with Automatically search for coupons when you put that object in the shopping cart.
One time I bought a wireless headset with a code that was in the description of a Youtube video that should have expired and yet it worked like a charm.
Instead of buying crap that fills up your home, you should think about spending more on experiences that will be with you till the time you kick the proverbial bucket. These experiences will help you make easier conversation with strangers and maybe find more things you guys have in common.
You don’t need to go out all the time
Now that I’m older, I appreciate board games more than going clubbing to destroy my liver with alcohol and my ears with the loud music. In my opinion, it’s better to invite each other over for a home-cooked meal.
If you do not know how to cook, then order a family pizza or there’s tons of tutorials on youtube that show you the simplest dishes which you can cook with your eyes closed. Just joking, don’t do that or you’ll burn the house down.
If you still need to go clubbing (seals), get tipsy beforehand, but be sober just enough to pass the bouncer. Just meet at one of your friends place, buy the booze together and split the bill, that way you won’t spend as much as you would, because you probably only need one more drink.
It is much more advantageous to get drunk at home than trying to get wasted at the club where a cocktail costs as much as a cocktail dress.
If you go to the movies, take a backpack with you and stuff it with lots of food and drinks, or better yet tell your girlfriend to bring her large bag. You know which bag. The bag that can be used to smuggle people over the US Border…that bag. Fill it up with goodies and presto – now that’s a nice movie time. Ahh the good times where I took my mother’s homemade schnitzel with bread. Bet those guys behind me felt pretty inferior with their cliche popcorn.
Train yourself to say no
If you get the chance, say no from time to time just to get used to the feeling of not satisfying your every wish and whim. You can build up resistance, just pass a fast food stand and even though you feel you could kill for a sandwich, resist the urge. The dark side may have cookies but they fail to mention that: those ain’t fo’ free.
At work we get free ice cream in the summer and as you would expect,everybody is happy about that. But even though I see my colleague go for his 3rd ice cream I can still say no. And then I get home and I feel a sense of pride that I resisted the temptation.
If I don’t gain weight I don’t need to buy new clothes so again money saved Ka-ching!!!
Promo sites are awesome to train,just look at all the stuff that is on sale and you don’t buy jack sh%&. As a ground rule : Don’t buy something just because it’s on sale. In case you weren’t planning on getting it before, then it’s not a great deal.
If you can, buy used
If it’s not something electronic, just buy it online (used) or the thrift store. Ah yes, the good old days of hunting for clothes in the thrift shops. Jack and Jones, Adidas , Nike I was swimming in brands as If I were Scrooge McDuck from Ducktales and his beloved coins.
Give it a try, you might find a bargain, and if it turns out to be a bad decision, at least it won’t be so costly.
Try intermittent fasting
After spending 7 years in Germany, I’ve gained a good 14 kilos. My metabolism processes food at the speed of a dead snail. When I work I never have breakfast and the only time where I had regular 3 meals a day was on the weekend.
After seeing so many successful and intelligent people use intermittent fasting I’ve decided to give it a try. There are more types of fasting, for me the 8-16 did the trick. I’m considering making this a lifestyle instead of a diet. I feel good and gotta admit that I feel more creative when I’m fasted.
Since we don’t eat as much my wife doesn’t have to spend so much time in the kitchen and we have more time to do other stuff :).On vacations we also eat less so spending on food has also decreased and I’m pleased.
Don’t buy medicine beforehand
If you are worried and need to have some reserves just talk to some friends and share a box. You will never be able to use all the motion sickness medicine. Our medicine drawer looked like it belonged to senior citizens after they robbed a pharmacy.
Use an app to search for products on sale
I use “YouPickIt” to search for bulk items which I use/take to our families in our home country. Why should I buy the coffee that my parents love at full price, for like 6eu, when I can buy it when it’s on sale 1-2 months beforehand for 3.5 (tree fiddy) ?
If you’re buying electronics from amazon you can use camelcamelcamel.com to see the price history of the item and check if it really is the best deal or a freakin trap.
Prepare food and drinks ahead
If you’re going out of town and don’t want to spend as much, be sure to at least take some water from home. And if you have to travel by plane be sure to pack some biscuits and apples for the flight, this will save you the hassle of buying a Sandwich for 5eu.
Book your vacations ahead of time and out of season
Those of you who have kids in school are unfortunately not that flexible because of it. But if you don’t have a kid, there is no reason for you to go in season. It will cost you way more and don’t forget that you will go together with ⅕ of the population who is also taking a vacation.
Those of you who feel more adventurous, there are last minute deals/vacations all the time. In fact there are some people who have their luggage already packed and ready to go before they even check for a deal. After all, their flight might leave in a few hours and that dream vacation may have cost them only a fraction of the price.
Remember that plane tickets cost more if your flight is from weekend to weekend. You could get a cheaper price if your vacation is midweek to midweek or maybe some unusually late or early hours. If you choose one of these special times be sure to calculate in the possibility of you needing to take a cab or book a hotel room with late check-in.
You can choose from a great variety of apartments which are sometimes available at a fraction of the price of a hotel. If you travel with your friends, renting a condo/villa is your best bet.
Use just as much as you need
Don’t use more shampoo/detergent/toothpaste than you actually need. If your clothes are just sweaty, you don’t need to use the same long ass program (with a ton of detergent) as you would after a poop fight with a monkey. If you have shorter hair, you don’t need the same amount of shampoo as Rapunsel does.
The excess foam will just fall down and If you are unlucky you could slip and injure yourself. While you’re applying the shower gel, turn the water off and save some money while being environmentally friendly.
Try to limit the number of invitations to an acceptable one
Don’t always invite all sorts of people to your place just because you feel bored. If you do that you will have to go more often to buy stuff and the more visits you make to the shop the greater the chance you will fall victim to one of the products in the shop. It is ok to stay alone on the weekend from time to time and just chill on the couch. But if you are to lazy to clean you can invite people over so you will have no other choice but to clean. Because your friends will notice the rotten chip crumbs in the middle of the room.
Reduce the number of times you prepare special dishes
Can’t even count the times where we made something exotic and bought some rare spices, from which we used like 2 tea spoons and the is still there in the spice jar, untouched from 3 years ago.
It’s more profitable to prep your meals for the week ahead, you save time and money this way.
Be mindful of buying souvenirs
Starting the souvenir circle with friends could lead to tons of unwanted spending that comes back to haunt you on every trip you take. I’ve written a nice article about this click here.
Plan ahead and eat what you cooked
We throw you so much food just because we let our impulses and cravings get the best of us. If you barely have power over what you eat than just prepare smaller portions in a smaller pot.
Use the wetting technique
No I don’t mean to pee yourself. Bread,Bagel and other pastries if left outside can either become like a sponge losing all crispynes or hard as a rock. What many don’t know is that you can put a sponge Baguette under the tap and soak it in water, then place it in the oven for a limited amount of time something like 7-10 min. And voila as if it would have been freshly baked. Nice and crispy yummy. Just remember to eat it all after you warmed it cuz like magic it will turn back to stone pretty soon.
The costs of keeping food in the freezer
Many people buy a lot of meat on sale and they store this in a big old freezer, so big in fact that you could stash bodies inside it. And they don’t calculate how much does it actually cost to keep the meat inside it for a year for example. That’s why I suggest that you calculate before you acquire one.
True Chefs can cook with leftovers
Some leftovers from one food can be used as ingredients for the next one.
Discipline when you go inside a shop
When you go in a store, be prepared with a list and make a commitment to only buy what you have on the list. If you need to, wear that eyewear that they put on horses so they only look in the front
The lazy person’s recipe
If you’re too lazy to cook, then learn recipes that involve only putting stuff in the oven. Or by yourself a steamer, rice cooker, egg cooker and other machines that can do all this for you so you don’t have to eat out a ton of times and enjoy binge watching your favorite series
Create passive income
As soon as you step into the house and turn on the lights !bum! you are already spending money. You plant a *brown cable* in the toilet and flush !bum! you’re spending again. To compensate for all of these expenses, it is good to have a constant source of income that is compensating for all of these passive costs.
This is a huge subject so if you are interested in it, look up some articles on it.
Have a mechanic from your home country on hand
I don’t think I need to tell you how expensive an official service is at BMW, Mercedes or Audi…
If you have an experienced friend who can fix your car cheaper then go for it.
Warning The following techniques are for Germany
Tell them you don’t have a religion
When you first register after moving to this country make sure not to fill out your religion. Say you are agnostic or atheist. I wasn’t warned and put down Catholic and I ended up having to pay 2% of my salary every month, which I think is outrageous. And to top it off, to change this I had to pay 40 eu and also had an awkward conversation with a priest who was already worrying about my mental state. My problem is that I barely heard any good deeds that the church is doing, I’ve heard more stories about the little boys and tax deductions ….
Do your tax return
If you earn alone more than 9000eu (or if you are married 18000) a year you are required to file your tax return. At the beginning I thought that If you want a professional to help you out you need to go to a tax consultant that cost quite a hefty sum.
But luckily there is something called Lohnsteuerhilfeverein which doesn’t cost that much and can get you way more money back from taxes than you doing it personally. I did myself in my first year and got 50eu back and when I let the Pro do it I got 600eu back. In fact even a part of the costs of the Lohnsteuerhilfeverein membership can be deducted from your taxes.
You can also get money back if you help your family out by sending them money home. I advise you that if you do need to send a larger amount, just send it in smaller increments. For example you want to send 1500. then send 200-300 every few months. If you go back home to visit your family, even a part of the costs for the journey can be sent with your tax returns.
Wouldn’t you rather give money your parents than the state? There is a huge list of things for which you can get money back from. Be sure to check it out thoroughly.
Medicine and the commute to work (only to way to work and unfortunately not the way back) you get 30 cents/km. These costs will be subtracted from the brutt sum of your taxes.
If you’re commute is long think about joining a carpool (Fahrgemeinschaft)
Talk to your work colleagues, maybe some of them come from the same area as you do. You guys could meet up somewhere and go with a single car, that way you save on gas,insurance and some parts of the car will hold out longer. Also you reduce your carbon footprint and you don’t have to inhale all those fumes ,ergo Win/Win.
If you live close to work you might want to get a bike. I don’t think I have to tell you about all the health benefits of sports.
Get the ADAC insurance
If your car breaks down you get towed for free and the guy coming is a mechanic and in some cases can help you start the car. In winter he can give you some juice if the battery is running low.
They are all over europe and in case something happens to you they will pay for plane tickets, telephone calls and all sorts of expenses. They may even pay for the rental char that you need till they fix yours.
If you are outside your home country one towing could cost you around 300eu and ADAC for all europe costs like 90 eu for a whole year. I already used it tons of times so it has already paid off.
Some companies in Germany offer Vermögenswirksame Leistungen, which are simply put are a little bit more money in addition to the salary, which they transfer in a savings account where the company offer to pay a small sum between 6.65-40 eu a month.
There are more types of Vermogensblablabla and you can search for them on the internet. One with money directly deposited into a savings account, ETF fonds where the money is placed on the german stock exchange (here the German state offers a 20% bonus) , Bausparvertrag (savings for construktions), or a private pension fund. Each of these has its advantages especially in the Tax division.
In case the company you are working for payes just the minimum amount, you have the option to complete this from your gross income till you get 40eu. You pay this monthly for 6 years then you have to leave it one year to “rest” and after the 7 total years, you can take out the saved amount. In the event you need the sum faster, because of some emergency or you change the company you work at, and your new employer can’t continue your old contract that saved amount you take out will be Taxed.
If you guys know any other methods to save some money, I would really enjoy reading about them in the comments down below.