As someone who loves to shop and spend money, actively trying to save, sucks. And for other people like me, it’s not as easy as, “Just don’t spend it.” Especially if you’re used to a different lifestyle. And I’m telling you right now, anyone who is used to spending money will not stop unless they have big enough motivation to do so.
So, if you’re like me, and you’re trying to save, for a vacation, or a dress, or just in general, here are some tips that hopefully will help you get through it:
Don’t go to a mall or shopping centre unless it’s an absolute must. If you have to, make sure you know the exact store you need and make a plan to get in and get out. Window shopping is a scary trick.
If you need new clothes or are just so tired of the same dresses and same tops, go to stores like H&M and Forever 21. Their clothes are made specially for one season wear, they don’t break your wallet, and are very in-style. (This was very hard for me as I prefer to buy quality clothes that will last me a long time but it is worth it.)
Delete or unsubscribe from promotional emails. If you have one of those VIP memberships at AdoreMe or Fabletics, cancel it. They make you go to their site to “skip the month” and it can drag you in, or if you forget or don’t see the email, they charge your account anyway. Better not to even have the chance to look or the chance to forget.
Delete accounts and memberships you don’t need. I belonged to two gyms, and have a gym at my apartment complex. Now I belong to Planet Fitness which is crappy but only charges me $20/month for 24/7 fitness and unlimited tanning. I deleted my Netflix account and now use my boyfriend’s. I got rid of my cable and went to the lowest speed of internet available. There are options for you; you just need to have an open mind.
Make it a point to plan out your meals. Not only does this help save you money, but it’s also a great way to stay healthy. If you make a list for the grocery store, you’ll know exactly what you need for the week ahead. That way you’re not spending more than you have to.
Don’t go to the grocery store hungry. I’m sure ALL of you have done this before and know why I say that. You will buy everything. And girls, for that week you go grocery shopping while you’re PMSing, good luck. This is no easy feat.
Make an Excel spreadsheet of your finances. It’s very smart to understand everything you need to cover for a month, how much you owe (if you’re in debt), or how much you can save a month. It also keeps you accountable of your expenses.
Make a point to track your transactions, and stop using cash. How many times do you disregard your credit card app because you’re scared to look at what you’ve done??? Make it a point to look at it daily, or weekly, so that your guilt can power you through. You really should be doing this anyway to make sure there are no charges on there that shouldn’t be so this will kill two birds with one stone. And quit using so much cash unless you’re able to give yourself an allowance.
Put as much money as you can into a savings account monthly. The more you put in, the more interest it starts to accrue. So if you can afford to do so, do it.
Utilize life hacks. They tend to cost a lot less and they’re all over the internet. For instance, instead of going to the movies and spending over $20 on popcorn and a drink, bring a bottled water with you and pop your own popcorn ahead of time. Just put it in brown paper bags and stuff it in your large purse. I do it all the time. It’s healthier, tastes better, and saves you money! *Pro tip: just arrive with your credit card in your hand for a matinee ticket so you don’t have to fish through your bag with all the contraband items in plain view.
Most importantly, visualize your end goal. I can’t tell you what mine is right now as I’m keeping it a secret for a little while longer, but it’s big and exciting and holy shit is it well worth it. For you, it may be a nice vacation or a car, or saving up for a family. Just think about how good it will feel when you finally get to that moment and you have all this money that you saved. The hard work will pay off. You just have to endure it for a little while.
As I believe these are all great tips that I use myself to get me through these trying times, I am still a firm believer in being able to enjoy your life. It is way too damn short and we have no idea what could happen in the future, so don’t spend too much time in misery. Go out for dinner every once in while, take a not-so-expensive trip to relax, go buy a couple summer dresses from Forever 21. After all, once you solve your money problems, there will be others to take its place. Money is just money. You can always earn more.
Are there any tips or tricks you use that I may have left out? Please share them with me. Comment below!