How to Save Money By Downsizing Your Eco-Friendly Lifestyle
Downsizing your lifestyle to be more eco-friendly can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! With some small changes, you can save money and help the environment at the same time. Here are some tips to get you started:
Evaluate Your Needs vs. Wants
The first step is taking an honest look at your spending habits. What do you really need, and what is just excess? For example:
- Need: Basic groceries, healthcare, modest housing/transportation
- Want: Dining out, premium cable, multiple vehicles, excessive shopping
Make a list and try to cut back on as many wants as possible. This will immediately reduce your spending.
Reduce Your Living Space
Housing is often one of the biggest expenses. Consider downsizing to a smaller apartment or house to save on rent/mortgage, utilities, maintenance and property taxes. Even going from a 2-bedroom to 1-bedroom could make a noticeable dent.
- Move to a smaller home
- Take on a roommate
- Move to a less expensive area
- Declutter and organize to reduce unused space
I was able to cut my rent in half by moving into a cozy studio apartment outside the city. It required some adjustment, but was worth it!
Use Public Transportation
Cars come with ongoing costs like gas, insurance, repairs and parking. Public transportation like buses, trains and ride sharing services can get you where you need to go at a fraction of the cost.
I sold my car and now use a combination of biking, walking, and public transit. I save over $400 per month!
Use less heat, AC, and electricity around the house to cut utility bills:
- Unplug devices when not in use
- Install energy efficient light bulbs
- Adjust the thermostat a few degrees
- Run full loads of laundry/dishes
- Take shorter showers
- Open windows instead of blasting AC
These small changes add up. I reduced my electric bill by $30 per month just by being more conscious!
Buy Used Over New
One person’s trash is another’s treasure. Check out thrift stores, garage sales, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace for great deals on household items, furniture, clothes and more.
For big ticket items, look into refurbished options. I found a refurbished washing machine for 50% off retail price!
Meal Plan and Cook at Home
Eating out and take-out is expensive. Save money by cooking simple meals at home.
- Meal plan/prep – Make a weekly plan and shop for only those items
- Batch cook – Make double recipes, freeze half
- Leftovers – Repurpose them for lunches or new meals
- Basic pantry – Keep staples like rice, beans, pasta on hand
With a little planning, I’ve cut my grocery budget in half!
Downsizing your lifestyle takes some effort, but can pay off in the long run through lowered expenses and reduced environmental impact. Start with small changes to spending and consumption habits. You may find you don’t miss your previous lifestyle, and actually enjoy the freedom of living with less!