35 ways to save money in 2017

For Millennials, trying to plan for their future can be a stressful time. Earlier this year, the Pew Research Center reported that millennials are having to move back in with their parents at a rate not seen since the 1880s . On top of that, the national average student loan debt is over $30,000, and the cost of everything from groceries to health insurance premiums is expected to start rising in 2017. Furthermore, with the U.S. unemployment rate currently at 4.9% and wage inequality likely to increase for another 136 years, this will not become a reality. So, unless you're rich, it might be a good idea to start looking for small ways to save money in 2017.

Even if your finances are pretty solid right now, it's always a good idea to save some money. As you've probably experienced firsthand by now, sometimes bad things happen—and having extra money can make difficult situations a lot less stressful. The thing is, the only way to plan for bad things like your car breaking down, your pet getting sick, and your laptop crashing is to learn how to save money. (It's also good to save money so you can buy things like lingerie and good wine, but whatever.)

With all that in mind, here are 35 little ways to save money in 2017, because going bankrupt sucks.

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Personally, I love birthdays and I'm very happy with the free birthday gifts I receive every year from companies I already purchase. (Hello, bras and eye cream.) Even if you don't care about your birthday, you should consider signing up for as many birthday discounts and freebies as possible—because there are at least 100 websites and stores offering them. Giving you free (or cheap) stuff just for birth.

Budgeting is pretty much the key to saving money, but budgeting can also be a little difficult for some of us. Luckily our phones are basically robots these days, so there are plenty of financial apps to help you track your spending and save money. To help you get started, here are some affordable apps for IOS and Android phones.

If you're like me, you probably give most of your old clothes away for free. Of course, that's a very good thing - so I'm not going to stop it. That said, if you're struggling with money, you should know that you can actually make a lot of money from used clothes. Whether that means selling your stuff to a thrift store like Buffalo Exchange, participating in a community swap shop, or selling your clothes to one of these 15 sites, don't underestimate how much your old clothes can fetch.

If you always carry snacks with you, you won't spend as much money eating out. So keep snacks with you and make sure they are snacks you actually want to eat. Here are 42 healthy, portable snacks you can keep in your bag, car, desk, or anywhere else you can.

If you don't use Amazon regularly, these features may not be worth it to you. ( Who are you if you don't use Amazon regularly, though?) If you're a regular user of the site, though, it's worth paying the initial $99 for an Amazon Prime membership—because of the free e-books and two days of Transportation is bomb. As for Amazon Allowances, it allows you to set up one-time or recurring spending allowances for yourself (or a loved one), saving you money. Check it out here.

It may seem like the only coins worth keeping are quarters, but that couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, one Penny Hoarder writer actually financed a weekend road trip with just money from her spare change jar. So if you haven't done so already, make your own adult piggy bank out of a jar or empty coffee can and put all your change in it at the end of the day. Hey, every little bit helps!

It's been a few years since I worked a traditional full-time job, but I still know there are times when you just have to leave the office and go grab lunch. However, if you really want to save money, packing a lunch is a great option. Bringing your own lunch to work has been proven to save you up to $1,500 a year. If you're not sure what to pack, here are a dozen packed lunches to try.

Even with rising grocery prices, buying groceries and cooking your own meals is cheaper than eating out all the time. So if you eat out a lot, start cooking more. Then, when you go out to eat, follow these tips for saving money on eating at restaurants.

In 2015, NASA paid people $5,000 to stay in bed all day (literally)—but that's just one example of how participating in a clinical trial can boost your savings account. If being a test subject makes you uncomfortable, consider signing up for a survey site. You can earn up to $250 per month simply by taking online surveys while watching TV.

Influenster will send you everything from lipstick to pet care supplies for free, and signing up is as easy as connecting your social media accounts. There's a lot more to it than that, though: you have to unlock badges by answering questions and making product listings, but if you're willing to put in the time, you can get a ton of free stuff. You can find more details here.

As every mom will tell you, the coupons are out there. Thanks to smartphones, we don't even have to spend time cutting or tearing them out of sales ads anymore. With that in mind, here are the best coupon apps to download, STAT.

Okay, there are some things you shouldn't buy at your local dollar store. Personally, I've never found a reasonably sturdy spatula at the dollar store, and I only buy certain makeup and skin care products from places like Sephora. However, other things like greeting cards, cleaning supplies, and party supplies are much cheaper at the dollar store. They often work just as well as anything you buy elsewhere.

Cashback sites like ShopAtHome are free to join and can earn you up to 70% cashback on your purchases. Other sites, like Swagbucks, will give you up to 20% cash back when you shop at your favorite stores. If you find that you don't quite like either of these, don't despair. There are many more cash back sites to choose from.

Yes, impulse buying is fun. The problem is, they're not very budget-friendly. So if you want to save money, you may want to start shopping for holiday gifts in March and swimsuits in January in 2017. It might not be fun, but planning your purchase ahead of time will save you a lot of money in the long run. This is especially true for those more expensive purchases, such as winter coats, where it's unwise to sacrifice quality for affordability.

I know, I know, gift cards aren't as mysterious as gifts, and some people just hate giving gift cards for some reason. However, if what you really want for your birthday is not to go broke, then asking your loved ones to buy you gift cards from your favorite store isn't such a crazy thing to do. I've done it before and I'll do it again. #SorryNotSorry

If you're like me, the idea of ​​planning meals in advance can be intimidating—and honestly, I'm just not in it right now. I would try to address this, though, because planning meals ahead of time can save you time and money. Here are some meal planning tips to help both of us get started.

You may not need 25 rolls of toilet paper now , but buying in bulk is always cheaper in the long run. In fact, if you have a Sam's Club or Costco membership, you can potentially save more than $2,000 a year by buying in bulk.

Most stores have rewards programs and/or rewards credit cards that include free sign-up and zero hidden fees. So if you spend a lot of time and/or money shopping at a store, find out what kind of benefits they offer store cardholders and reward membership.

Growing your own food not only makes you an eco-savvy person, but it also saves you money. So if you don't garden yet, consider changing that. If you want to start growing food but don’t have enough space, here is a great article for you to check out.

A great way to ensure that a portion of your paycheck goes toward savings is to categorize your paycheck. An app like Mint can do this for you, or you can discuss it directly with your HR department. You can also choose to allocate your salary yourself, but I think we can all agree that it's much easier to not spend money if you have it sorted before you even see it.

According to the folks at Penny Hoarder, by adjusting your thermostat correctly, you can save up to 10% on energy costs, or about $173 per year. Additionally, OhmConnect will pay you $40 if you commit to turning off the TV and lights for one hour. It's even better if you're a California resident. The state of California has at least eight different ways to pay you to care about your energy savings.

If you live in a relatively safe area that's not too far from work, start walking and/or biking to the office whenever possible. You'll save money on gas, MetroCards, Ubers, and more. Plus, you'll get some solid exercise along the way.

I'm an advocate of positive thinking, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't prepare for the worst-case scenario. Starting an emergency fund is one way to achieve this goal. If it helps you get started, think of it as a "fun fund" rather than a "looming disaster fund." Then, if you unexpectedly need to move this year, or if you have to replace the tires on your vehicle, you won't need to take out a personal loan to take care of your business.

If you want to avoid the overpriced, gender-specific razors at your local drugstore, join The Dollar Shave Club. Your first month is free (you only pay $1 for shipping), and after that you can expect to spend between three and nine dollars a month on all the razors you need.

If you live in a small town, you can skip this section. However, if you live in an urban area, taking public transportation can save you money on gas, parking, and car insurance if you rely solely on public transportation. Most importantly, taking public transportation is good for the planet.

The folks at Treadmill Reviews recently discovered that reusable water bottles are just as unsanitary as public toilet seats. That being said, if you clean your water bottle every day, you'll be fine. So instead of spending at least $1 every time you want a bottle of water, spend $7 to $45 on these great reusable water bottles. Not only will you save money and help the environment in the long run, you'll also start drinking more water.

You may have heard that paying with cash makes consumers more mindful of their spending habits, and this increased financial awareness makes it easier to save money. What you may not know: Studies show that paying with cash is also more satisfying. So if you want to save money and feel better about the money you spend, use credit and debit cards sparingly.

Spending $30 on a pair of THINX period panties or $35 on The Diva Cup may seem out of your price range right now - but considering you'll be spending around $7 on a box of tampons, it's really worth investing your time and money in affordable products for a sustained period.

If you love working out, I have good news. Apps like GymPact actually pay you for sticking to your fitness goals. If you have a FitBit, you can sync it to the Shop Your Way rewards program and earn points as you work out. If you don’t like working out, don’t worry. You don't have to go to the gym to get paid.

If your job suits you, off-season vacations are ideal - and if you want to save money, you won't need a summer break anymore. Don't know where to go? Check out Lonely Planet's best off-season adventures and learn how to travel off-season.

If you fly frequently, or you want to start flying more frequently, visit airfarewatchdog.com before your next flight. The website will search the vast internet for the cheapest tickets. Or, just sign up for the site’s travel deal alerts. Using the skiplagged.com website is also a great way to find cheap flights - it uses a clever loophole to find secret transfer deals you can't find anywhere else.

The best way to stock up on delicious fruits and vegetables without spending half your salary on them is to buy all produce that’s in season. Shopping at a local farmers market is a great way to do this. As an added bonus, it’s also a mutually beneficial way to support local farmers.

If you feel like you're burning money every time you drive, check out Gas Buddy. The award-winning app provides "real-time fuel prices at more than 140,000 gas stations across the United States, Canada and Australia." It's also available for Android and iPhone.

As early as 2013, the amount of food wasted globally was enough to feed 1 billion hungry people. As if that wasn't reason enough to take food storage seriously, the United States loses $165 billion to food waste every year. oops! To save food and money, consider investing in products that help reduce food waste (such as Ziploc bags), and don't be surprised by leftovers. If you store and season your food properly, you may find that the leftovers are actually quite delicious.

Drinking at home is always cheaper than going to a pub, and unless you're ordering from the fast food menu, eating out is expensive. So the next time your friends want to get together, offer to host a BYO Sunday Funday at your house. You'll have just as much fun, and you won't actually have to go anywhere. Win-win.

Check out the "You IRL" live streams on the Bustle app every day in January for daily tips on how to have an empowering 2017.

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