Personal finance has never been a sexy subject. After all, we work hard so we should be able to play hard, too, right? Well, yes and no. While it’s not wrong to indulge in life’s little (and big) luxuries, we should also keep a close eye on our expenses to make sure we are not leaking money and wasting hard-earned cash on things that really make no difference to the quality of our life. Cutting your monthly expenses doesn’t mean sacrificing those things that you really love. Instead, it means being savvy about your dosh and perhaps a little more cautious with your spending.

Just a few small shifts in your spending habits can make a big difference in the long run. You can further invest the money that you are saving in order to make it work for you. Read the ten tips below on how to save money without scrimping on the fun.

Write it Down

The very first step, and possibly the most important, is to note down every little thing that you spend your money on. There are free apps on Android and iOS that help track expenses, so you can see exactly where your money goes. Categorize your expenses so that you know where you spend your money most and whether you should cut on restaurants or entertainment.

Compare What is on Offer

Always use comparison sites to secure the very best deals around. From home insurance to property sales, comparison sites will enable you to cut costs on most things that you buy. If you’re looking for a holiday home in the Philippines or search for a piece real estate to invest in, you probably want to do heavy research on comparison sites such as Zipmatch, a Philippine property portal where you can choose the best properties in Metro Manila based on affordability, amenities, investment value, neighborhood, size, price and other factors.

Cycle and Walk

Walking to your destination will surely lessen your daily expenses, and works as a great exercise, too. Instead of catching the bus or train, or even driving to work, you could also make use of the bike lanes of your city. Another option is carpooling with other people who live and work in the same area.

Be Thrifty

Thrift stores are a gold mine rife with affordable clothes, shoes and accessories. If you are patient enough, you may even be able to find some designer threads and save lots of money.

Coffee Fiend

Invest in a durable and reliable coffee thermos, and then choose to brew your own coffee at home. Coffee from coffee shops has an enormous mark-up, so this little step could save you thousands a year alone.

Keep the Change

Set up a little piggy bank jar and put all of your change there at the end of the day. Don’t touch this jar for one whole year. You will be surprised at how much change you actually accumulate in 12 months.

Use Cashback Sites

Cashback sites provide a free and easy way to save money on almost every single purchase that you make online. Simply sign up for one, click on the store link through their website and then shop as normal. You will be refunded a portion of the sale into your account just a few weeks after your purchase.

Create Space

It’s time to get rid of things that you no longer like or need. One of the best ways to do this is to hold a big yard sale, so that you can make some money in the process, too. You can also list more expensive items on eBay.

Make Gifts

Finally, try making some gifts for friends and family rather than buying them. After all, handmade gifts are a lot more personal and sincere. It shows that you really took the time to make something special for them.