Previously I wrote about ways to make some extra money, so today I’m going to share some ways to save money! Saving money may seem difficult sometimes, but with these tips, hopefully saving will turn into mindless, every day actions!
Save money in small increments
Instead of trying to put away large amounts of money each week, try something a little more doable. Try putting away $1 increments each week for a year. In the first week, save $1, in the second save $2, in the third save $3. You get the idea. By the end of the year, you’ll have over $1000 saved up!
Using this method, I saved money through week 26 and I was amazed at how easy it was! The only reason I didn’t continue is because that was when I started school and wasn’t working anymore. So I truly had no income to save at all.
Try using this weekly savings plan I’ve created for you!
Has anyone tried this or a similar tactic? How did it work for you?
Give up your daily coffee shop visits
With the price of coffee going up seemingly every month, your $2 coffee is now $6 and your bank account is crying every single time you hand over the cash. Even if you just get a plain black coffee, it’s still at least $3! That’s $15 (at the very least) every week gone for a simple cup of Joe. As someone who personally loves her coffee, this has been a hard pill to swallow. But making coffee at home is so easy! Plus you get to make it exactly how you like it.
And if you absolutely can’t imagine giving up these visits completely, consider making the switch the tea. The venti lattes are what kill me every single time! Also consider visiting only once a week as a treat instead of every day.
This fad may seem to have ended a while back, but there are still tons of ways to get coupons. My grocery store lets you download digital coupons onto your account so you don’t even have to keep track of paper ones anymore. How convenient is that?
Of course you can still clip coupons from the Sunday paper or save the ones you get from the grocery when you go. Just be sure you’re making grocery lists for every visit and only saving coupons for things you’d normally buy. Don’t get sucked into clipping coupons for things you don’t need just because you can save 50 cents when you buy two.
I’m not necessarily recommending to turn into an extreme couponing queen, just clip the ones to save $1 on almond milk or for the things you buy regularly!
Give up Cable or Netflix
I love Netflix and cable just as much as you do, I promise. But are both of them really necessary? Cable prices are through the roof, even just for basic channels. I can understand keeping cable especially if you need to watch all your sports like I do, so try giving up Netflix. Having both isn’t really necessary. Chances are, you’re not using one (or either) of them enough to make the monthly fees worth it!
Another thing to try is give up one or both for two months. How much are you really missing it? Maybe you really aren’t using it as much as you think. On the other hand, maybe you’re using it a lot more than you realize and that extra monthly bill is just one that’s worth it.
Create a budget
This probably seems obvious, but the key in order to save money is by creating a budget for yourself. It took me forever to realize how important this actually is. Whether you’re using cash or credit, it’s hard to know where your money is really going if you’re not on a budget. I always thought I knew where my money was going because I check my credit card statements every other day. But just because I see $50 at Sephora and two Starbucks account refills on my statement, doesn’t mean I’m actually realizing how much money is going into things I don’t need.
You can create your own or find one easily online. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. Ones I’ve made have listed exactly how much I bring in each week and exactly how much I need to pay each week. Nothing incredibly fancy, just a simple spreadsheet with the necessities.
Once you realize how much money you’re bringing in and compare it to how much you have to spend on bills, there’s typically not enough left to be spending $6 on coffee!
This one is so hard to get used to. Using my credit card has become such (bad) habit and with cash back on every purchase, why not? I know, I’m a sucker for the credit card companies. Admittedly, I’ll still always use my Target card every time I shop there. But using cash everywhere is just an excellent habit to have.
Obviously I am not the best model for this, but I have made significant improvements! If I don’t have the cash in my wallet, I don’t have the money for it. If you must swipe, using your debit card is a better option than a credit card. There are many studies that still show that people still spend significantly more money when using a debit card than when using cash.
Something that has helped me immensely is by cutting out credit cards for a certain period of time. For a while, my retail therapy was out of hand. Online shopping is entirely too simple using plastic for every purchase is the most convenient. I decided for six months, I would completely stop using my Target card, my Gap card & get rid of any other store specific cards I had. By not using any of these cards, I wasn’t visiting these stores and I was spending significantly less money. Looking back over the 6 months these cards weren’t used, I finally realized where all my money had been going!
Now I’m not trying to tell you to live on rice and beans and never enjoy yourself and to cut back on every single item that isn’t absolutely necessary. Unless you’re really trying to pay off debt or save for something major, it isn’t necessary to go wild with saving strategies. The six tips I’ve provided above are simple and pretty easy things to change. Whether you try one or all, you’re sure to see a difference in your bank account!
What strategies have you used to save money? Tried any of the ones I’ve listed?
I want to challenge you to try one of these strategies for 60 days. Then let me know what your results are! Who’s up for the challenge!?