Nowadays we are so used to instant gratification, apps that allow us to buy almost anything we want with one click or a fingerprint ID, and 24-hour stores. The problem with this is that it can be all too easy to overspend and end up with far too much month at the end of your money! When this happens, the important things such as the rent and bills can be difficult to deal with, and once that begins, it’s a spiral that is hard to get out of. Here are some great ways to easily save money rather than spend it – you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes to your overall well-being.
Have Weekly Reviews
If you don’t tend to look at your bank account from one week to the next, you could get into problems when you accidentally overspend and have nothing left in there. Make sure you hold a weekly money review where you can see what your spending activity has been and what is left for the important bills. This is the perfect time to create a budget, track any progress you’ve made towards your savings’ goals, and look at your spending habits. Add up what you spent in the week and ask yourself honestly whether you needed everything that you bought.
Try to spend less and save more in the next week until you are at a level that works for you.
Plan Your Meals
Planning your meals out for the week in advance may sound dull, but it can actually be pretty enjoyable – you’ll get a great sense of achievement, you’ll be able to try out new recipes and flavors, and you’ll save money too. How? If you go to the grocery store without knowing exactly what you need to buy you will probably overspend, buying things ‘just in case’ you are going to need them. In many cases, a lot of those items just get thrown into the garbage because they weren’t needed at all and have gone bad.
If you only buy what you need, there will be less waste and less spending. Plus you won’t find it so tempting to go out for food or order takeout.
Give Up Cable TV
Many people love their TVs and wouldn’t even consider giving up cable, even if it is costing them a fortune each month. However, with so many other – cheaper – options such as Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hulu, do you really need the TV? Think about the shows you watch and where and how you watch them, and you might be surprised at just how little TV you enjoy throughout the week. Suddenly, giving up cable doesn’t seem so bad, or so difficult, does it?
Give Up Bad Habits
If you smoke or drink, for example, you are spending a lot of money on something that is, in the end, bad for you. When you are doing your weekly spending review, don’t forget to include these items. It’s important to know what you’re spending, and if it shocks you into giving up the things that will make you ill, then that’s a great bonus. When you do give up make sure that you put the money you would have spent on alcohol or cigarettes into a separate account.
If you find that you’re having problems giving these things up, speak to a medical professional or look into private rehab centers as you might have a deeper issue than you realize, and your health may already be negatively affected.
Stay In With Friends
It’s great to meet up with your friends on a regular basis – it’s even good for your health – but going out with them all the time can really take its toll on your finances. So instead of heading out to a fancy (or even not so fancy) restaurant, why not have an evening in at your home? You can even host a potluck so that everyone brings something over for dinner; that way you barely have to spend anything, and you can all enjoy one another’s company. Take it in turns and get to know one another better in comfort.
Drink Coffee At Home
If you’ve got into the habit of ordering a coffee on your way to work or after dropping the kids off at school – or at any other time, come to that – you’re spending way too much on the stuff. Especially when you’ll have the same ingredients at home and you can make it yourself for a fraction of the cost. It’s true you won’t have the same industrial equipment, but you could invest in a home coffee frother or milk heater; the money you spend here will easily be recouped when you’re no longer buying hugely expensive coffees from Starbucks or somewhere similar.
If you really can’t get enough of having someone else make a coffee for you, look out for cheaper coffee shops instead. The big brands can charge more because they are household names and no one even has to think about using them or not. Smaller, independent stores can be just as good (better in many cases) but a lot less expensive, so it’s worth exploring what’s out there.
When you’re doing overtime at work, you’re not spending money at the store or online. Rather, you’re gaining money instead. We don’t recommend doing crazy hours and making yourself ill or neglecting your family just to get a few more dollars in, but every now and then it can be a good idea to pick up some more shifts or hours if you can.
When you spot something online (or in a store) that you fall instantly in love with, wait. Wait for at least 48 hours (a whole month is better) and then reassess. Do you really need whatever it was? Can it wait until after you get paid or get your overtime bonus? Are you actually going to have a use for whatever it is, or will it sit and gather dust when the thrill of buying it has worn off? Giving yourself a cooling off period can often save a lot of money. If you do still want it and can make use of it, then go ahead – unless your budget won’t stretch in which case do the right thing and wait until you get paid.