Seven money-saving tips we can learn from hipsters

By Susan Shain

Saving money is hard for anyone.

But when you’re young and broke and trying to maintain a halfway-cool lifestyle, it can feel near impossible. However, I can tell you from experience, it’s not. For inspiration, just look to the hipsters!

Here are seven tips on how to save money… when you don’t have any.

1. Skip the Bike Store

You already know you’re not supposed to drive, and instead, take public transportation, walk, or do the most hipster activity of all: ride your bike. That alone will undoubtedly save you money.

But if you don’t already have a bike, where are you going to buy one? To find great bargains, scope garage sales and thrift stores, or ask your bike-riding friends for their hand-me-downs.

2. Rock the 3 R’s

What are you doing? -- don’t throw that out!

Reusing an item is not only good for the environment, it’s also good for your wallet.

Here are some common household items you’re not reusing, but should be:

  • Ziploc bags
  • Dryer sheets: for dusting furniture
  • Glass jars: for organizing small items or storing food
  • Razors: for removing pills from sweaters
  • Newspapers: for cleaning windows and mirrors

That’s just a small sampling of ideas -- you’ll find lots more here.

3. Go Vegetarian

Factory farming in the U.S. is a total mess. But even if the environmental or animal-rights arguments don’t persuade you, consider going vegetarian for the financial benefits.

Switching to a vegetarian diet could save you $750 per year -- even when accounting for healthier choices like olive oil over canola oil.

Can’t stomach the idea of totally eliminating meat?

Then go meat- and cheese-less for just one day per week. It’ll save you money, and, if all Americans did it, it’d be the equivalent of taking 7.6 million cars off the road.

Check Meatless Monday for resources and tips.

4. Learn to Love the Library

Hipsters all want to be informed and well-read; buying books, though, is so 2007. To save money (and paper!), skip the bookstore and check out books from your local library.

The library also has tons of other resources, including e-books, DVDs, music and magazines. It also hosts community events, where you can expand your mind and meet new people.

5. Raid Your Grandma’s Closet

Who needs the thrift store when you have grandparents?

Old is hip, and there’s no better place to find vintage goodies than the closets of your elders.

Not only are the items free, but you’ll also get in some quality bonding time. And, if your family is anything like mine, your relatives will be honored you want to don something from the depths of their closet.

6. Grow Your Herbs

Cooking and the hipster lifestyle go together like Converse and skinny jeans. And any cook worth their salt knows fresh herbs can make a meal.

The problem? They’re really expensive if you buy them from the grocery store. There’s an easy solution, though: grow your own!

Herbs are cheap and easy to care for, and also look nice in an apartment. (Proof: these adorable herb planters I found on Pinterest.)

7. Find Free Events

As a young person, the last thing you want is for your budget to impede your social life -- but all those outings can quickly add up.

So look for free events in your area; you’ll probably be surprised by how much is available.

Google your city’s name plus “events calendar,” or check the websites of local universities and chambers of commerce. You’ll find everything from concerts to food festivals to poetry readings.

When saving money feels impossible, just remember: You live the rest of your life outside the box -- why not do the same when it comes to your finances?

With these creative solutions, you’ll be able to enjoy life, save some dough, and hopefully have a bit left over for PBR in a can.

What’s the hipster-est way you’ve ever saved money?

Written on July 22, 2016

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