Hawaii has one of the highest costs of living and the reasons for this are many. From the fact that everything is imported into the state to high utility costs to high property values, which translate into high rent and mortgages, living in Hawaii can be very financially difficult. Learning how to save money in Hawaii can help to live within your means and prevent bankruptcy. Here are seven ways to spend less in Hawaii.
1. Consider Your Housing Expectations
While everyone would love to live on the coast, it is most likely not financially possible for most people. Most Hawaiians spend at least $1500 a month for an apartment, and these costs can go up from there. By lowering your expectations, by looking for a room to rent or a studio apartment, you can save money. Consider a roommate or see if you can housesit for a part-time resident. There are many different ways to save money on your housing, as this can be a huge portion of your income.
2. Rethink How You Shop
Having to import in most of the food and other products from the mainland raises the prices significantly. For food, you want to consider buying from local farmer’s markets and shop at the large discount stores, such as Sam’s Club or Costco. Also, buy foods when they are in season, rather than out of season, when possible.
Local stores that feature locally made products can be less expensive as well. The key is to think more locally and what you can get that is made in Hawaii. While you will still be forced to buy some imported goods, you will find that you can find many things that can replace those goods that you are dependent upon.
3. Utility Costs
The island that you choose to make your home can affect your utility costs. Oahu offers the least expensive utility costs in general, but you can save on utilities by making some changes in how you use them as well. Turn off lights when you are not in a room or leave your home, avoid using your air conditioner as much as possible, and close the blinds in hot weather. These are easy changes that can make a big difference in your utility bills.
4. Public Transportation
Automotive upkeep and gas costs can quickly add up. Using public transportation on the island can be much cheaper, and if you live close to where you work or shop, then you can save money by walking or riding a bicycle. You will be amazed at how much you can save by not having a car to take care of, and you may get healthier as well.
5. Keep Eating Out to a Minimum
While you may like eating out, this can really suck up your weekly income in a big way. If you do eat out, keep it to breakfast and lunch, as these meals are less expensive than dinner. Also choose more local restaurants, rather than restaurants aimed at tourists, as they tend to be more expensive. Take your lunch to work a few days a week. This can quickly add up financially.
6. Ask for a Discount
If you live in Hawaii and have a Hawaiian ID or driver’s license, you can ask for a Kama’aina discount. This discount is normally 15% off of your purchase at local stores and shops, so this will encourage you even more to buy locally. “Kama’aina” means “friend of the land” in Hawaiian and it is a big benefit when you are living in the state. Always ask. All they can say is that they don’t offer that discount.
On the mainland, there is a lot of money wasted on things like entertainment, clothing, eating out, furnishings, and more. While you can continue to live the same way when you move to Hawaii, this can be to your detriment. Take advantage of the free entertainment options that are available, as there are many free family-friendly activities that you can take part in. Make do with less clothing or learn how to mix and match what you have. Look at local sales listings for used furnishings, clothing, and other products. All of these things can allow you to live simpler and save money.
Living in Hawaii can be an amazing experience, but it will take some change in how you live to live there in a comfortable way. By making some changes in your life and how you think about life, you can make sure that you remain in control of your finances and keep yourself out of bankruptcy. Housing costs, utility costs, food costs, transportation costs, and other costs can quickly add up, so be sure that you save money where and when you can.