Have you ever noticed how your expenses come all at once? Two weeks ago I decided to finally tackle some home improvement projects, book a (very much needed) long weekend vacation, and put my puppy through obedience training. These were all expenses that I’d been planning for and had budgeted accordingly. What I didn’t plan for was my perfectly sound car taking a dump in the middle of the week. It’s always fun when the words “new transmission” get thrown around. Luckily it ended up being an easier fix than it could have been, but I realized something very important. While the situation sucked, I could keep my calm because I was prepared for this. This is why saving money is important. When something goes wrong (which it will), your world can keep spinning.
Saving money is more of a mental state than anything else. So I’ve compiled my top 5 ways to save yourself some money. And the best part is only one of them actually involves putting money aside.
- Put all cash in a mason jar. I almost exclusively use my credit card to pay for things, because of the points I get back. So instead of only putting spare change in a mason jar I put everything. And since I usually forget it exists, it adds up quickly.
- Stop comparing yourself to others. Your spending habits don’t have to be like Sarah’s or Jessica’s. You don’t need the latest and greatest. You don’t need designer everything. The sooner you learn to be content with what you have, the easier it is to save.
- Don’t buy it unless you love it. In college I got in the bad habit of buying things because they were cheap. I didn’t love it, but it was only $3 so of course I had to get it. But those $3 add up. To curb my spending, and simplify my closet, I forced myself to answer a question when considering buying anything. Do I love this? If the answer was no, back on the rack it went.
- Don’t impulse buy. If I know I’m looking for something in particular, I’m less apt to spend money in other areas. There was a time when I had three things on my clothes shopping list: a denim jacket, flannel shirt, and dark wash skinny jeans. These were things I was constantly wishing I had in my wardrobe. By putting them on a list it helped to prioritize them. Yeah, I could get another dress, but what I really wanted was that jacket. So I’d put the dress back. It also forced me to weigh the pros before buying something. Did I really need this or could I get by with what I already have? This was especially helpful for me with beauty products. It gave me time to research to see if they’d really do all that they claimed.
- Don’t pay your bills late. I was notorious for paying certain bills about a day late. Usually because I’d pay them at 11 and they were due by 7. I was so close. But I’d still get penalized for it.This is the easiest way to save yourself $50. Just pay your bills on time. If you’re having trouble keeping on top of them like I was, I’m working on another article about how I finally got a handle on things.
What are some of the tricks you use to save money? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear them.