30 tips to save money in a Long Distance Relationship
Money and long distance relationships: this is the #1 problem that LDR couples face with the lack of each other.
Look at this picture:
47.4% of LDR couples say that money is the main reason they can’t break the distance.
That’s almost 1 in 2 couples!
And indeed, even if couples in long-distance relationships tend to spend less money on a day-to-day basis, the cost of airfare is a major factor.
Save money in a long distance relationship is a key success point for breaking the distance
That’s why in this guide, I’m going to give you 30 everyday tips that will help you save money on your long distance relationship and allow you to spend more time together.
Let’s get started!
For an ever more fulfilling long distance relationship, you can read these articles:
Saving money on gifts for your long distance relationship
1) Make your own gifts
« Do It Yourself » is always in fashion! So rather than spending hours in stores or on Google looking for a gift for less, follow a tutorial on Youtube and create your own gift.
The advantage is not only economical:
Your partner will see the efforts you made to offer him/her something original, personalized and unique.
I’ve already given you some ideas at the beginning of this list of romantic gifts.
2) Wait for promotions if you really need something
Waiting for sales or promotions is a great way to save money in a long distance relationship.
- Do you need new clothes?
- Or want to improve the comfort of your video calls by buying a tripod or a second screen?
If you know that the sales are coming up in a short time, take your lumps and wait until they’re here.
You can easily save 20-30% of your budget with this technique.
Especially if you are buying clothes!
The idea is to only buy things that you really need.
3) But always beware of sales and Black Friday
This is also the trap. In general, Black Friday pushes us to buy items that are not always useful.
- « It was really cheap, the offer was interesting »
- « I buy it in case I need it later »
- « I had a crush on it »
Any excuse is good enough to fall for it. Marketing geniuses are very good at getting us to pull out our credit cards. Don’t underestimate them!
So remember this golden rule: Only buy things you REALLY need.
You can even write a list beforehand to limit yourself to those purchases.
4) Use cashback website
Cashback allows an online shopper to be reimbursed for a portion of the money spent on an online purchase.
For example, you can get a few dozen dollars back on the price of a plane ticket.
Cashback works in the following way:
- You create a free account on a cashback site
- You visit a shopping site
- The extension of the cashback site detects it and offers you to activate your cashback, and you accept 😉
- You fill your shopping cart
- At checkout, the extension searches if there are valid promo codes and applies them directly and automatically to your cart
- You pay your purchase
- Your purchase has been tracked by your cashback site, and a few days later, your kitty is increased by the percentage refunded
- After reaching a minimum amount, you can receive this money in different ways: check, bank transfer, credit card, Paypal…
I strongly recommend you to install TopCashBack. Here are the reasons why I recommend this one for LDR couples:
- They have a lot of offers with airlines, comparators and and hotels (Kiwi, CheapAir, Kayak, eDreams, Booking Lufthansa US, KLM, British Airways and 25 others…)
- A large number of brands are present, in all fields: Puma, Acer, Farfetch, Macys, NordVPN, FinishLine, SoundCloud, Walmart, Lacoste, H&M and thousands of others.
- They have interesting commissions, up to 8-10% for some offers
- You can withdraw your winnings after reaching $10. It’s very fast.
Don’t hesitate to register on TopCashBack to discover all the advantages they offer.
Buy smart to save money in your long distance relationship
5) Fight compulsive buying: wait a few days
Compulsive purchases are the worst: they come without warning and can take tens of euros in a few seconds.
To avoid falling into their trap, you must know how to control yourself and be patient.
Prices always go down with time.
There is a video game that I have been waiting for several years. It is Dying Light 2. A game offering a mix of Parkour and Zombie. Everything I like!
It was released on February 04, 2022. Price: 70€ (75$). It hurts.
At the end of May, I was browsing on Amazon when I saw it posted at 30€ (33$).
More than twice as cheap! Used, it would have been even lower.
So the next time you find yourself in front of an item you want to buy but that is too expensive, ask yourself if you can wait before buying it. In the case of this video game, it was definitely possible.
6) Shop for food at discount stores
Aldi, Market Basket, WinCo, Food4Less… there are plenty! It doesn’t matter which country you live in.
If you are careful about what you eat, you can go to these stores to buy non-food items: toothpaste, razors, cleaning products…
Switching stores will allow you to earn a few dozen euros every month in your long distance relationship.
7) Buy second hand to save money in your ldr
Second hand will always be cheaper than new.
So go for it! Especially since nowadays, some second-hand products have only been used once or twice (because some people didn’t respect tip #5).
After that, it depends a lot on what you buy.
Favour objects that have a medium or long life span (a few years) such as telephones, household appliances, furniture…
You can save up to 30% or 50% of your budget. That’s a lot of money!
8) Anticipate to avoid last minute purchases
The best example concerns LDR couples: I’m talking about plane tickets.
I don’t need to explain to you that a plane ticket for the next day will cost much more than a ticket for a flight in 6 months.
Anticipation allows you to drastically reduce the costs for big purchases.
There are many techniques to find cheap airline tickets.
9) Buy in bulk (or in lots)
Why do you think large packages of cereal or bottles of Coca-Cola cost less than small packages or bottles?
Because large quantities cost less proportionally speaking.
So aim for lots for your food purchases! This will save you money and if you are 100% sure that you will consume everything you buy, this is a sure-fire way to lower the bill.
Do you usually buy a bottle of water every day? Get a 6-pack instead
It’s bound to be cheaper than buying 6 individual bottles.
Change your lifestyle to save money
10) Stop to smoke and limit your alcohol consumption
A pack of 20 cigarettes in France costs 10€.
If I smoke 10 cigarettes a day, it represents a monthly budget of 150€.
A bottle of wine costs 10€.
If I drink one bottle of wine per week, it represents a monthly budget of about 45€.
These two « false pleasures » are bad for your health but also for your wallet!
If you want to save money and you are in this situation, start here.
11) Bulk tips to reduce your hot water consumption
- Take cold showers. It’s full of virtue!
- Wash your dishes in cold water
- Instead of heating your apartment slightly, put on a sweater!
- Don’t use a dryer
12) Sell the useless objects you accumulate at home
We all have dozens, even hundreds of items gathering dust in our closets.
So rather than leaving them lying around, give them a second life by selling them!
There are plenty of websites to put new ads online: Facebook, Ebay, Vinted…
You can even participate in a garage sale to make the money that’s sleeping in your house go further. It’s a « one shot » action but it can bring you a lot of money.
13) Find out about free activities to do in your city
Entertainment (or leisure) can be a big part of your monthly budget. You can easily cut down on these costs by learning about the free activities your city offers.
Feel free to follow your city’s Facebook or Instagram pages to see all the activities you can do without spending a dime.
At the end of your day, you may be satisfied for several reasons:
- You won’t have spent any money
- You can meet new people
- You can discover new activities that you are passionate about
14) Do as many things as possible yourself
Just like the first point on this list, it is always more economical to do things yourself than to pay someone to do it for you.
Time is money.
So instead of buying, fixing or building!
This works for household products, cleaning products, furniture…
Change your eating habits to save money in your long distance relationship
15) Don't buy sodas or bottled water anymore
Or only occasionally. In general, water will always cost less than any other drink. Especially if you drink tap water and not bottled water.
It’s a few euros each day, but accumulated over several weeks or months, you can save a few dozen euros in addition to taking care of your health.
A simple and easy tip to implement!
16) Make a precise shopping list before going to the supermarket
There is nothing worse for your wallet than going to a supermarket and not planning what you will buy.
Your eyes will naturally be attracted by the promotions, the attractive and neat packaging, the highlighted promotions…
To counter this, it is important to define exactly what you need before going shopping and to make a list (on your smartphone or a piece of paper) and stick to it.
There are many benefits to making a list:
- You reduce compulsive shopping
- You avoid buying food you won’t use
- You don’t have any surprises when you pay
- You respect your budget and spend less money
17) Cook your meals for the week in advance
Cook as much as you can.
It’s more expensive to buy pre-made meals from outside than to prepare them yourself.
But I think you already know that.
This tip goes a step further. It’s all about cooking as many dishes as possible for your week in one day.
This will save time and money for your long distance relationship.
For example, you can do your shopping for the week on Saturday (after making a list!) and cook everything on Sunday.
18) Carry a thermos of coffee with you
When I was a student, I had to spend an astronomical amount of money on coffee machines.
I never did the math and I don’t want to, believe me.
Investing in a thermos and refilling it every morning will be infinitely cheaper than putting a few pennies every day into a machine.
19) Eat less meat to save money for your long distance relationship
Meat is expensive. Much more than any vegetable!
Reducing your meat consumption will save you money for your long distance relationship easily.
Find out what vegetarian dishes you can prepare at home. You can easily find some after a few clicks on Google.
20) Use anti-waste apps
The last food tip to save money for your long distance relationship is going to depend on your country.
There are anti-waste apps that you can download for free on Android or Apple or create an account on a website.
To explain how it works, I’ll use Too Good To Go as an example, because that’s the one I use.
Very often in food shops (like a bakery for example), when they have unsold goods, they throw them away.
Too Good To Go allows these professionals to make baskets at reduced prices to sell them (rather than throwing them away). It also means that the expiration date is pretty short.
You create an account, you’re geo-located, you book and pay via the app, you pick up your basket at the agreed upon time.
That’s it! You can easily get baskets discounted for 30 or 40% of their value.
Save money in the long term in your LDR
21) Subscribe to a mutual insurance to avoid big expenses
The principle of a mutual insurance is simple: you pay a certain amount monthly, and in exchange you can have free medical consultations (general practitioner, dentist, chiropodist, etc…)
This trick can’t be applied to everyone because of 2 reasons:
- Your country of residence
- Your monthly health costs
If you almost never go to the doctor for medical problems, it is better not to subscribe to a mutual insurance.
If, on the other hand, you have a luxury to pay for medical care in your country, it can be interesting to subscribe to a mutual insurance company to save money for each consultation.
It’s up to you to figure out which option is best!
Don’t hesitate to talk to family members, friends or colleagues who can give you advice and valuable information.
22) Move if your home is too expensive / too big
The most radical tip on this list!
If you feel that your apartment is too big or your rent is too high, you can definitely change your apartment and move to a new one to reduce the price of the rent.
We are talking about several hundred euros saved per month. That’s a lot of money!
If you find an apartment closer to your workplace, you can even save on your commute.
Finally, don’t hesitate to ask your landlord if you can benefit from social aid.
I know that there are a lot of them in France and there are still a lot of people who don’t take advantage of them because they don’t know that they are entitled to them.
23) Check your monthly subscriptions
This tip is REALLY effective:
- It is not complicated to set up
- It doesn’t take much time
- It can save a lot of money
In 2022, I changed my subscriptions for my blog, my phone and my bank.
As a result, my monthly bills went down by 40%. That’s huge!
Go to your bank’s website and look at the automatic bills you have to pay each month. For example:
- Your phone
- Your internet box
- Digital subscriptions: Spotify, Youtube, Netflix, Twitch…
- Physical subscriptions: magazines, gym, box to receive…
For each of these automatic bills, see if there are cheaper alternatives!
Believe me, there are.
And over the year, that’s several hundred dollars that you keep in your pocket. It’s a good start to save money in a long distance relationship.
24) Don't pay an internet box anymore and economise cash
In connection with the previous point, it is quite possible not to subscribe to an internet box for your home. Here is the trick:
- Look on the website of your internet provider your consumption of the last 6 months.
- Then look if there are offers of mobile packages higher than your consumption. For example, if you use between 80 and 100 Gigas per month, look if there are mobile packages of 120 Giga.
- Compare the price of the internet box with the price of the mobile package.
If the price of the mobile package is lower, then change your package and say goodbye to the internet box! It’s money you’re throwing away if you combine the two.
25) Use your car as little as possible
The car is a financial drain: gas, insurance, technical control, repairs, washing…
You don’t realize it until you have one!
If your workplace is only a few kilometers from your home, invest in a bike!
Public transport like buses or streetcars can be cheaper
Trains, buses or carpooling can be a good and cheap solution for longer trips
It depends on your country. In France (and in Europe), I know that it is easier to go without a car than in the US when you live in a big city.
Ecological associations can help you. Don’t hesitate to contact them.
26) Put up barriers to purchase
The less tempted you are to make a purchase, the less you will spend!
Concretely, limit your contacts with commercial offers and promotions, and make it difficult for yourself to pay online.
- Unsubscribe from promotional newsletters
- Put your phone number on a red list
- Put a « No Ads » sticker on your letterbox
- Pay cash as much as possible to be more accountable for your spending
- Do not save your credit card on your computer or phone
27) Compare your insurance costs
This long term tip is a bit boring because you’ll have to sort through your paperwork and compare offers online.
Not very glamorous, but it’s still an economical tip that deserves its place in this list!
Here’s the idea:
- Gather all the insurance policies you’ve signed up for (home, car, health insurance…)
- See if your offer still suits your needs
- Search the internet for competitors’ offers and compare prices
You may be surprised by the result!
The world is changing fast and some things are getting cheaper. And insurance is one of them.
Manage your budget in your long distance relationship
28) Save money as soon as you get your paycheck
This is the first thing you need to do when you realize that you’ve got your salary.
Take a fixed percentage and transfer it to another account.
Even if the amount is small (5 or 10%), do it and promise yourself that you will only use this money for your long distance relationship or exceptionally (like if you have problems or if you need to fix something urgent at home).
I don’t recommend using this budget for monthly expenses. The idea is to see it grow and give you the feeling that each of your small daily actions brings a big result.
The 50/30/20 rule
This is a simple and effective way to manage your budget and manage to save money, no matter how much you earn.
The principle is to divide your income into 3 categories:
- 50% for what you need (housing, food, transportation…)
- 30% for what you want (passions, hobbies, restaurants, movies…)
- 20% for your savings (or debt repayment).
This is a solid and well known technique, which has already proven itself.
29) Keep a safety budget and don't take out consumer credit
I always have a safety budget in reserve in my bank account. And I only use it in case of big unforeseen expenses: changes in plane tickets, repairs to a washing machine or a car…
Anyone who cares a little about their budget should set up this safety budget. It is really not complicated to do!
You can open a new bank account or even keep some cash at home.
What is a safety budget for?
Simply to avoid taking out consumer credit if you have a problem in life. Repayments are very expensive!
30) Calculate and measure all your expenses
It is imperative that you calculate and measure your expenses to know if you are saving money in your long distance relationship.
This is the basis!
The easiest technique (and the one I use) is to divide your expenses into 5 categories:
- Obligatory (monthly payments, gas, phone…)
- Extras / Exceptional
The goal is to easily know which category predominates the others, and if you have the possibility to lower this percentage.
Long Distance Relationship and Money: the hardest thing is to start
Einstein said « Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result! »
And he was right.
If you want to save money in your long distance relationship, you have to change your habits.
The transition stages are always the hardest to get through:
- When you see your partner off to the airport
- When you attend your first class at the university
- When you make your first video call with your boyfriend or girlfriend
So here’s what I advise you to do: choose from the list 1 action to do once (like tips #12, 21 and 23) and 1 action to do every day (like #10, 15 and 18).
Set the end of the week (or the next one if you are reading this on the weekend) to do them.
Start slowly. There’s no point in suddenly changing all your habits. You won’t be able to keep up for long.
Then quickly implement tips 28, 29 and 31. They will help you measure your financial efforts!
Now if you want to find cheaper airline tickets, I have also written an article on this subject.
See you soon,
Download my 26 LDR Challenges and Activities
One idea done every week
= 6 months of activities
If you liked this article and want to help other couples in long distance relationships, please share it !
You will also like :
We are Léo & Kyomi, a French-Peruvian couple in a long distance relationship since 2019. Welcome to this blog entirely dedicated to this way of life.
We decided to create
My Sweet LDR
to help people who want to live their relationship serenely and who don’t know how to do it.
To read our entire story
you can click just here !