By Karen Cordaway
Pinterest has inspired millions of people to have DIY courage, cook meals from scratch, ramp up their workouts and make home sweet home a little sweeter through simple decorating techniques. Most people, though, still don't realize how they can save money through this virtual pin board. Below, Pinterest enthusiasts share their money-saving secrets about this image-based platform.
Find inspiration. You can learn to turn random items around your house into creative home decor -- inexpensively. "I'm fickle when it comes to home decorating, which means I change my mind frequently about styles and accessories. This can get expensive, so I turn to Pinterest for ideas. Arranging something differently or using common household items as props can be all you need to freshen up a space. For example, I started using liquor bottles as vases after seeing it on Pinterest, and have a newfound appreciation for produce crates as decorating pieces," says Kendal Perez of Hassle-Free Savings.
"Pinning home decorating ideas also helps me hone in on what I really want, so I don't waste money trying items that don't actually fit within my vision. I'm an obsessive planner so having as many visual reminders of what I'm looking for helps me make better purchasing decisions. Pinterest is also great for finding DIY tutorials on everything from laying tile to arranging flowers like a pro to safely removing your washer or dryer. This helps you avoid paying a premium for services you can do yourself!" she adds.
Learn new strategies. Do you realize that getting organized and implementing an orderly system saves you money? If you can't keep track of paying your bills, it's easy to get a late fee or two. Follow pinners who share their organizational know-how to save money indirectly by staying organized. Mridu Parikh is a simplicity and organization junkie for women who are sick and tired of feeling overwhelmed and stressed out. She suggests keeping track of payments by using a calendar to write important payment due dates. Digital calendars work best since you can set up repeat reminders for ongoing payments. Set alerts a few days before payment is due to ensure you get them paid on time and avoid late fees.
%VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%Vow to avoid the dreaded tax scramble next year by keeping all of your tax information for the year in one place. Have a clearly marked folder or box where you put all your tax-related documents and forms as you get them. Use folders separated by categories like end-of-year bank statements, receipts, business expenses, pay stubs, charitable donation forms and office supplies to make everything easier to find later.
Gaining insight from those who decorate on a dime can have your home looking beautiful for less, too. The Thrifty Decor Chick gives you a ticket to savings through her fabulous IKEA finds. She inspires others to make their home a haven without it costing a fortune.
If you're reaching for takeout after a hard day's work because you think you don't have time to cook, think again. Get a savings plan baked into your recipes. Erin Chase of "Five Dollar Dinners" does just that. She cooks on a budget. By pinning her low-cost recipes you can find economical meal to cook. She shares them on Pinterest and even has a board devoted to budget-friendly recipes for those with food allergies. Many of which are made in a slow cooker which actually frees up your time. How's that for saving money and time? Now you have no more excuses!
Embrace more DIY ideas. Brianna Merrick is a social media specialist who puts her know-how about the photo sharing platform to good use at work and in her own life. She realized that DIY is possible. Get inspired, get instructions and get savings on tasks including home decor and cooking. "When I got my new apartment, I turned to Pinterest for guidance and it showed me unique and low-cost ways to decorate without blowing my budget," she says. She was able to successfully decorate without spending a bundle.
Don't miss out on the cost-effective information that Pinterest has to offer. Take advantage of the many inexpensive ideas found on this social media platform and make savings pin-worthy. Then, you can share your own tips with your new Pinterest friends.
Karen Cordaway is a teacher, website owner and writer who currently teaches personal finance to children.
By Karen Cordaway