Saving money can be hard work, and with so many small ways to save, it’s easy to overlook most of them.

Having something to save for, be it a vacation, luxury item, expensive gadget or a house, makes things easier but even if you’re just looking for ways to trim your monthly spending, these tried-and-true money-saving tips should leave you with a few extra dollars in your pocket.

N.B.: The ‘money saved’ for each tip is a rough personal estimation and depends heavily on the consumer and their consumption, but it’s a good starting point!

1. Seeking good deals.

Using a deals site is a great way to score huge savings, as long as you don’t go overboard and end up spending a ton of money on nonsense. While several local deal sites exist; Makhsoom, GoSawa, and ScoopCity are amongst the most reliable; you can find anything from electronics to food, and even vacations! You can find deals for almost anything, just make sure to check the deals’ expiry dates and read the fine print.

Money saved: up to 50% of the original price on a wide variety of deals.

2. Shop for less.

It’s a well-known fact: if you want to save money and improve your finances, you have to shop less, or at least shop smartly. Buy clothes on sale or better yet, during off-season. You can even bag great finds at our local clothing outlets such as Glowbal, Brands For Less, or Agency For All.

Money saved: Anywhere between $100 - $300 per month.

3. Cut that pesky dining out expense.

While it is certainly enjoyable to eat out from time to time, spending money daily on meals and beverages can put a serious dent in your pocket. By putting aside some time at the end of your day for some healthy meal prep, or simply bagging Mama’s food, you’ll not only benefit financially but your body will also thank you for it.

Money saved: Anywhere between $50 - $80 per week.

4. Move around wisely.

Our public transportation system may not be the best, but it is certainly one of the cheapest. With a ‘service’ ride costing 2,000 L.L, and a bus ride costing 4,000 L.L, you get to save on fuel, parking, and road rage (well, sometimes). For shorter distances, a more reliable option is to travel by bike and once you’ve invested in one, it will cost you nothing to use. Definitely lose the expensive habit of racking up Uber bills.

Money saved: up to $10/day (if one round trip by car + parking).

5. Gift wisely.

Most of us are far too familiar with the ‘so many gifts to buy, so little money’ feeling, which is why making gifts yourself once in a while is a great thing. Now, of course some occasions call for a store-bought gift, and that’s okay, but for more casual celebrations, there is nothing wrong with putting together a gift yourself. If you’re not the creative type, don’t fret, you can always enlist the help of a friend and check Pinterest for some DIY guidance.

Money saved: 50% - 100% of the value of a store bought gift.

6. Watch your phone.

There are many of us who don’t pay attention to our cellphone bills, and in turn, pay the hefty price of spending hundreds of dollars that we could easily be saving. Some ways to save money are by changing from a post-paid line to a pre-paid one, or by subscribing to a cheaper data bundle (e.g.: the $4 MTC WhatsApp bundle). You can also save money by simply tracking your phone data usage to make sure you’re not over-consuming, because you pay 7 cents extra per megabyte!

Money saved: up to $100 or more.

7. Party smart.

If you’re a heavy smoker or drinker, you probably underestimate how much your unhealthy habits are costing you. While cigarettes in Lebanon are sold for relatively cheap; quitting or cutting down on cigarette and alcohol consumption can save you a lot of money in the long run, and prolong your life. And even if you do go out drinking, drink smart: pre-drink at home and make sure you keep your booze habit in check.

Money saved: around $600/month (as a heavy smoker/drinker).

8. Learn to DIY (Do It Yourself).

When something breaks, we tend to go out and buy a replacement or call our local repairman to fix it. While certain repairs do involve specific expertise, there are several things you can have a go at fixing yourself. Whether it be your car, home appliances, or smartphone, you can find DIY repair videos for almost anything on YouTube. You’ll not only gain a new skill, but also save a lot of money in the process.

Money saved: anywhere from $20 - $150 per repair.

9. Go free.

Having some weekend fun in Beirut does not necessarily have to mean spending a fortune. There are a variety of free or inexpensive concerts, plays, talks, art exhibits, and other events happening all over the city on any given day; the only challenge is to find them. Luckily, has a super nifty calendar where you can view all the events happening on a specific day, or even in the near future.

Money saved: anywhere between $10 and $200.

10. Have a ‘no spending day’.

One of the simplest ways to save money is by not spending at all. By designating a ‘no spending day’ at least once a week, you not only significantly cut down your weekly spending and stretch your salary a little longer, but also force yourself to resist temptations. One day of ZERO dollars spent. If one day seems too easy, why not challenge yourself and try it for a week?

Money saved: up to a $100, if not more.

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These appliy everywhere!! Except #5 - taxis are still cheaper here than a lot of other places.

Lynne Skerritt on Feb 4, 2016 via web