7 Ways to Stop Wasting Money πŸ’°

Disclaimer: I uploaded this post in 2019 as its own page, but nobody stumbled upon it. I added updates and edited the original blog post to reflect the direction that this blog is headed in. Btw, I searched high and low for the original Pikachu x Coffee & Donuts image(s) but I could only find them as re-shares on Pinterest. I cannot take full credit for these, so if you happen to know where they came from, feel free to let me know so I can give the artist(s) credit. Thank you! βœŒπŸ’–

The Frugal Millenial

As a Millenial, I noticed that I do not fit the typical Millenial stereotype. Yes, I do enjoy homemade avocado toast once in a while, but you probably won’t find me frivolously spending money on daily Starbucks coffee runs or FabFitFun subscription boxes. Don’t get me wrong: there is nothing wrong with Starbucks…. more on that later. β˜• Since moving 2000+ miles away from home, I have learned to embrace frugality and started living below my means, which in turn, helps me save money. I am not saying that you should become frugal like me. All I am saying is that people are at risk of over-spending and buying sh*t they don’t need if they aren’t conscious of their spending habits. Surprisingly, cutting back on unnecessary spending is not as painful as it sounds nor does it have to be difficult. Below ↓ I have 7 practical tips on how to save money, whether you are a college student or a broke Millennial who needs to cut back on frivolous spending and curb your bad habits, once and for all. Let’s get started, shall we?

7 Ways to Stop Wasting Money

1. Think before you buy. When you receive your next paycheck, birthday money, etc. you don’t need to spend it immediately. How can you think like a wealthy person if you keep blowing your money on materialistic things or wants, rather than needs? It’s not about how much money you make; it’s about how much money you save.

(っ◔◑◔)っMy Two Cents: Is a daily Starbucks run really necessary? I go to Starbucks maybe once or twice per year, and even then, I am conscious of how much I am spending on these overpriced drinks. Sometimes, date night is a must so I do splurge from time to time but this is not a daily or weekly thing for us. Being frugal doesn’t mean that I don’t buy nice things. However, we buy what is on sale and only if we need it vs. want it. For example, a few years ago when my daughter was a toddler, we bought a Baby Gap hoodie that was on sale for $10 in the U.S.


2. Less is more. Do you really need 4 tablets, 2 laptops, and 3 smartphones with unlimited data and roaming? If you are being honest with yourself, then you probably don’t need data on your tablet when you travel and you can still live well without the latest tech gadgets. This is not only expensive but it won’t keep you satisfied for very long. Soon enough, you will want the next latest, shiny thing that is within reach. Like video game, manga collecting, etc., it gets old after a while or you will grow bored of it. Most concerning, you will end up burning a hole in your wallet from this compulsive habit. Although some people might disagree, collecting stuff might not give you the sense of satisfaction that you have been searching for.

(っ◔◑◔)っMy Two Cents: We all gotta start somewhere. During the decluttering process, you might also benefit from reading this book: “The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo.



3. Shop at discount stores. If you can find the same brands at a discount store, then shop there. In order to know if I am actually getting a good deal, I shop by unit price to save money on groceries, etc. My husband taught me this trick so that I don’t get carried away shopping at places like Dollarama where smaller items by weight are disguised as being a good deal πŸ˜† Sometimes, upgrading to a larger size elsewhere makes sense, like dish soap or…. ahem! toilet paper! πŸ§»πŸ™Š Most of the time, I can get away with shopping at Dollarama for the same brands.

(っ◔◑◔)っMy Two Cents: When we were still living in the NW of Calgary, I was excited when there was a Dollarama opening nearby. If you are familiar with the NW of Calgary, it used to be challenging finding a Dollarama within a 10min. driving radius. Since we moved to our townhouse, I happen to live close to a plaza with a Dollarama! πŸ˜… This is the best Dollar Store in Canada in my opinion. I often shop here for discounted brand-name items and cute stationery (see photo of cute tropical stickers). The photo of the Dollarama signage was taken in the NW of Calgary before we moved across the city in May 2021.



4. Don’t collect multiples.Β This is an ongoing problem at my mom’s house. She often buys multiple items of the same thing because she forgets what she already bought. As a result, items like food in the fridge often get lost and forgotten. Not only is this a waste of money, but chances are you will end up tossing these expired products in the trash. I try not to buy multiples by keeping track of what I own which is easier when you own less stuff in the first place. Do you really need 5 bottles of soap from Bath and Body Works? Unless there is an amazing sale on soap and you plan on giving them away as gifts, skip the multiples. My husband often buys multiples so I have a rule that we have to use up what we have before going to the store to buy more. πŸ›’πŸƒβ€β™€οΈ

(っ◔◑◔)っMy Two Cents: I got a discount on these items which I would normally buy anyway because I bought them in a gift set rather than individually. Best of all, these items are full-sized so I got to try new brands and scents that I would not have tried otherwise. They sell these gift sets at the beginning of the school year, so it is like Christmas in September! To this day, I still don’t know what happened to the dry shampoo… I think it got left behind the last time I visited Ontario. If anyone has ever tried dry shampoo, let me know if it is worth buying in the comments below ↓ I’m curious to know what you think! πŸ™‹β€β™€οΈ



5. Make it Yourself. Do you have a habit of getting takeaway every time you leave the house? Do you need that daily 3 PM caffeine fix at the drive-thru? Instead of buying drinks, fast food, etc., the frugal alternative is to make it yourself. It is much cheaper to make a smoothie at home but it requires a little effort. I prefer to take the DIY route plus I can control what I put in my body (calories, fat, ingredients). With the internet being readily available to us, there are DIY recipes on YouTube, from Starbucks mock-cappuccinos to bath bombs.

(っ◔◑◔)っMy Two Cents: I never understood why anyone would spend full price on hot water and a teabag at Tim Horton’s, especially when hot water is virtually free and tea costs roughly 10 cents per bag. For this reason, I only order steeped tea at Tims which I cannot replicate at home. Trust me, I tried every hack and my homemade steeped tea tastes nothing like store-bought, even after I tried filtering the teabags at home for a richer, bolder taste. *Le sigh*


6. Cancel your subscriptions.Β As much as I enjoy reading magazines, much of what I read becomes redundant over time. There are a couple magazines that I really enjoy but even these get old after a while. Magazines are also quite pricey so it makes sense to order a yearly subscription. The only problem is that I was locked into a 2-year subscription to Cosmopolitan even though I got bored of reading them after a few months. I couldn’t care less about the advertisements, makeup, and fashion sections (more ads for expensive products that I don’t need).

(っ◔◑◔)っMy Two Cents: Before discarding my magazines, I made a vision board with snippets of positive messages. Before I moved to Calgary, I mailed my vision board to an online friend who lives in the U.S. For a while, we were sending each other snail mail. Since I reached most of the goals that I had put on my vision board and I didn’t have room for it in my new apartment, I gave it to her. What you are seeing here are some of the snippets I used. At this time, I am unable to dig up a photo of the vision which is probably buried in a file somewhere on our computer.



7. Rewire Your Brain. I recommend having a broke student mentality, but not to take it too literally. If you have ever been in post-secondary school, then you will understand what I am talking about. Much of changing a habit begins with the way you think. By thinking a certain way, over time you can reprogram your brain to understand that the sacrifices you are making now won’t feel like sacrifices in the future.

(っ◔◑◔)っMy Two Cents: I have also adopted a minimalist mindset over the years and I am much happier with what I have these days. I no longer chase the latest, shiniest thing that is waved in my face. Learn to appreciate the good things in life and be grateful for what you have. πŸ™πŸ’•

“Nothing worth having comes easy.” – Theodore Roosevelt


To all of my Millennial and non-Millennial readers, I hope that you enjoyed reading this blog post! πŸ™Œ If this blog post taught you something or made you think about things differently, feel free to join the conversation by leaving a comment below ↓ I will be AFK (working) this weekend, so I will reply to your comments when I have time.

Thanks for stopping by! β™₯

great-vibes.regular (1)

29 thoughts on “7 Ways to Stop Wasting Money πŸ’°

  1. ZeroSpace says:

    Very good post. One can simply buy Starbucks coffee at home and brew it. I cannot remember the last time I bought an Americano at Starbucks, which is a cheaper option to start with. For a while there I got myself trained to drink Yuban. It is the best of the shitty coffee. However, I went back to my snobbery and now drink French roast Starbucks at home. Still cheaper than hitting up a Cafe and aligns with your frugal philosophy. Drinking shit coffee is something I am unwilling to do at this point in time, but at least I am kind of smart about my chosen luxury. Know what I mean? πŸ™‚
    Smoothies – omg, so worth the effort of making at home. Few things in this world are as good as frozen mixed berries thrown into a blender with water, plain Greek yogurt and a banana. There ain’t no bottled smoothie anywhere gonna compete with that!

    Liked by 4 people

      • Hilary Tan says:

        Costco sells Starbucks coffee. Sometimes we buy it, but I much prefer MCDs coffee. Coffee isn’t so bad. It’s the expensive coffee drinks like the frappuchinos, macchiatos, etc. That’s where they get you.

        Liked by 2 people

      • ZeroSpace says:

        Costco also requires a membership cost which isn’t worth it for single people :). We have a store down here that is a much better deal for singles and it is called Winco. Just as cheap, or cheaper, and you can get stuff in bulk and smaller amounts. I need to start going there again.


    • Hilary Tan says:

      I replied to your second comment first. 95% of the time I would buy frappuchinos and expensive drinks at Starbucks. Bubble tea is another drink I didn’t list but deserves a mention too. That sh*t is is expensive! At home, I drink tea on my days off and coffee on the days I am working, because I need the caffeine. I recently discovered an instant coffee that I actually like because we got rid of our coffee maker due to lack of kitchen space. Occasionally, I will make Dalgona coffee which is luxurious, indeed. Living the good life, frugally of course. πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Third Culture Kid says:

    I embrace a lot of this! One thing about multiples though is it depends on how many people are in your house, so I normally pause and think, “Is it necessary?” Although, you do get into typical patterns of multiples because of your household and it works

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hilary Tan says:

      That’s very true. It makes a lot of sense to buy multiples for larger households. Growing up, it was just me and my parents so it didn’t make sense for my mom to buy multiples. If I buy multiples now, it’s usually non-perishable items. Baby formula is one of them. If Costco has a good sale, my husband will buy a crate of em’! πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pepper Valentine says:

    Such a great post! I love Dollar-stores! My biggest pet-peeve is buying Hallmark cards – those things are sometimes $6 – $12 EACH! I’ve found the exact same cards at Dollar-stores for 2 for $1. Such savings, especially when you have kids and you keep having to buy holiday cards for all their birthday parties and all their teachers every week. Thank you for sharing! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hilary Tan says:

      Never pay full price for a Hallmark card! Dollarama caught on and sells the fancy ones for $4 and they also carry the pretty, less expensive ones for $1. I can find great cards at Dollarama that don’t suck! My only pet peeve are the repeats each year, and sometimes it is hard for me to remember who got what previous years. The last thing I want to do is accidentally send the same card twice! Thanks for reading! πŸ˜ŠπŸ’•


    • Hilary Tan says:

      Avoiding shopping centers keeps me out of stores LOL But put me in a mall or take me to my favorite store(s) and my willpower goes down. Yes, being mindful can help with impulsive spending. Thanks for reading! πŸ˜„


  4. Pooja G says:

    These are all really great tips and I have been practicing most of them! I agree so much with the making it yourself one because I have started to make everything I can on my own and it has saved me so much more money than I expected. Also buying stuff in bulk, on sale or at discount stores has been super helpful.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hilary Tan says:

      Thanks for your insight, Wendy! I have the opposite problem where I have a hard time staying within budget whenever I shop online. It magically adds up like the Diderot Effect where one thing leads to another and another…. πŸ˜… NesCafΓ© coffee isn’t bad. It’s popular at my house. I recently discovered Taster’s Choice and that instant coffee is so good that it doesn’t taste like instant coffee. A bit pricier but totally worth it, especially for the decaf kind. β˜•οΈπŸ’•


    • Hilary Tan says:

      Are you sure that’s not a cover up for β€œI’m secretly addicted to Starbucks coffee?” πŸ˜‚ If it adds joy to your day, then I don’t see anything wrong with it. β˜•οΈπŸ’•


  5. strawberryandcream says:

    This is awesome, thank you for sharing this! I’ve been thinking about β€œThe Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up” – would you recommend it? I love a good discount store to find previously-loved items. It not only saves money, but also helps produce less waste.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. kiki | soyvirgo.com says:

    im pretty much the type to buy in bulk whenever possible i think it goes a long way since i dont like that i have to drive every week or more times a week just because i ran out of something. i dont like when someone buys multiples of one item UNLESS it was worth it like you said, if theres a sale of some sort. but wow i love this list you give a ton of great advice!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. cierraellis says:

    This blog post is worth saving in my saved blog post tab; I really enjoyed reading your post!

    Also, what is the name of the strawberry Starbucks drink shown above?☺️

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s