If you’ve ever tried to save money for anything, then you know it’s not always as simple as it sounds. It’s easy to trick ourselves into thinking “Oh, just one coffee today won’t break the bank”, and “I’ve earned these $100 pair of shoes I didn’t know I needed until right now.”
The only problem is before you know it, you’re savings are completely drained, you’re crying, and you’re questioning why you’re so bad with money.
Thankfully there are some simple hacks that will help you actually save the money you’ve been wanting to. The best part is, you won’t even feel like you’re missing out the good things in life.
So, if you’re stuck between “getting financially stable” and “you only live once,” than these 7 money-saving hacks are for you.
1. Track Your Expenses For One Month – First things first, you need to figure out where your money is actually going. Dedicate one month ( or one week, if an entire month seems too much ) to documenting everything you buy. Tip – the notes app on your phone works just fine for this. It’s important to know how much you spend on food, drinks, trips, gas, and everything else. You’d be surprised how this alone can make you think twice about impulsive spending, because you know you’re going to need to record it.
2. Create a Budget For Yourself, Based On What You Spend Money On – Once you figure out what you purchase in a month, you can get an idea of where the majority of your money is going. This will put your priorities into perspective and you can see if what you’re spending is actually adding value to your life. Can you manage to spend a little less on things that aren’t a priority? It’s not necessary or realistic to tell yourself you can’t go out to eat anymore, or can’t treat yourself to new clothes. Instead, set a set budget for these things and everything else you like to buy and try to stick to it. Just having a number, even mentally in your head, will train your brain to pay attention more.
3. Have Two Checking Accounts, One For Bills And One For Spending – Once you’ve figured out your budget than every time you get paid, take the money from your main account and put it into a separate account just for your bills. This is the account you can set up an auto-pay from. Don’t use this account to purchase anything daily, only use it for things such as rent, car, insurance, phone, etc. Now, all the money thats left in your spending account is what you have to work with until you get that next paycheck.
4. Meal Prep Your Food – Buy some groceries and spend an hour of time to make some healthy meals for the week that you’re actually excited to eat. Convenience is key. Yes, it takes a bit of time out of your weekend to meal prep, but it’s worth it and ultimately will save you money on food (which is always where it’s easy to lose track of your spending.) It’s just as much work to grab a pre-made sandwich as it is to buy one. You can also just keep some snacks in your car for when you’re hungry.
5. Make Your Savings a “Bill”, And Treat It Like One – Out of sight, out of mind. Say you want to save for a trip in six months that’s going to cost you $1,200. You figure out you have to save $200 per month. Pretend that amount is one of your bills and put it into your “bills” account that you don’t use daily, then you’ll forget you have it. Before you go on that trip or make that big purchase, transfer that money from one account to the next and you’ve pretty much magically made $1,200 in one day.
6. Create a Wish List – Most of the time once we buy something, the novelty of it wears off in a couple of days and it sits in our closet for the rest of our lives. If you see something you like in Target, instead of buying it right away put it on your wish list and wait until the end of the month to get it. Tell yourself if you still want it in 3-4 weeks, you can buy it then. You might be surprised that you actually don’t want it as much anymore now that some time has passed. Also, if you decide not to get it, you now have a wish list to give to people when they ask you what you want for Christmas or your birthday!
7. Become A Minimalist – At the end of the day, the easiest way to save money is to just to be content with having less. It might sound sad to think you’re “settling”, but it’s actually liberating. You’ll find that the stuff you buy no longer controls your life and clutters up your mind. Adopting a mindset of a minimalist doesn’t mean you have to own only 30 items. It just means that everything you own, you put to use. Everything in your life has a purpose. Realize that constantly spending money on things won’t bring you lasting happiness. This type of mindset will make everything else on this list much easier.
I hope you found these tips helpful! Before you know it, you’ll be saving money like a pro. Check off that goal on your list at the end of the year.
Until next time,