ILLUSTRATION BY JONAN EVERETT
Featured image art by Jonan Everett.
Spring is the time to ditch winter habits and reinvent yourself into a new, bright, and happy person. You know that feeling — in the dead of winter, you don't want to wake up because it's dark; don't want to go to work because it's cold outside; and don't want to meet with your friends because there is a duvet and a hot chocolate waiting for you at home. I've been there, too. But let's see how the fresh kick of spring can help us improve our habits and find ways to save money in the process. I found eight life hacks that can help you cut costs in the spring:
- Wake Up Early
- Walk or Cycle to Work
- Eat Healthier
- Ditch the Gym
- Find Cheap Cultural Events
- Sell Your Stuff
- Plant a Garden
- Save Energy
1. Wake Up Early
This is one of the most praised and valued habits of highly successful people. By getting up early, you get a lot done (exercise, catch up on your reading, work when you are at your sharpest) before other people even get out of bed. I usually get up at 5:30 a.m. I go for a run, have a swim, eat breakfast, and by 7 a.m., I am ready to conquer the world.
If it was hard in winter, then spring — with the days getting longer — is the perfect time to start waking up a little earlier each day. Try 10-minute increments until you reach your target time.
Waking up early saves you money because it allows you to enjoy a real morning routine. No more expensive lattes on the go. No more forgetting your lunch and buying a sandwich at work. And plenty of time to earn more money with your side hustle before you get to work.
2. Walk or Cycle to Work
Your bicycle was locked all winter — time to oil your chain and start pedaling. Biking to work is excellent for your mood. Plus, it offers a wonderful break between work and home. Cheap exercise and fresh air to kick-start your brain in the morning — what else can you ask for? Ditch the car or the metro pass and enjoy the warmer days on two wheels.
3. Eat Healthier
Doesn't the cold weather make you want to eat twice as much, and eat food that's twice as greasy and twice as sugary? I hear you. I'm the same way. I love hearty dishes, but spring is an ideal time to stop and return to lean meat and salads if we want to get back in shape for summer.
Enjoy the seasonal fruits and vegetables and make colorful dishes full of vitamins!
Save money by buying in-season foods, cooking meals from scratch, and going to the park on a picnic instead or eating at expensive restaurants.
4. Ditch the Gym
Tired of sweating indoors? Get rid of your gym membership and go explore the local parks. Save money every month and buy better gear to keep running outside next winter.
5. Find Cheap Cultural Events
Spring is the time for music festivals, outdoor shows, new movies . . . Save money by checking your local calendar or nearby colleges and art galleries for free and cheap activities.
6. Sell Your Stuff
With spring comes spring-cleaning. Get rid of all the clutter and simplify your life. If you haven't used it, worn it, or watched it in over a year, it may be time to donate or sell it. Save money by repurposing other people's trash for your use, and make money by selling your old junk.
7. Plant a Garden
Plant flowers all over your house, make a little vegetable patch, or — if you live in the city — start an herb garden on your balcony. Save money by eating what you produced and acquire a new, fun, and inexpensive hobby.
8. Save Energy
Spring is that blessed time of year when you don't need heat anymore, and you don't need air conditioning just yet. Make sure you enjoy the savings and keep them for a fun activity this summer. Save money by turning the heat off as soon as possible, even if that means keeping a sweater on for just a bit longer.