Building a nest egg isn’t just about bringing money and setting it aside. True financial stability comes from creating healthy money habits and integrating tips and tricks into your everyday life that reduce spending. When creating a plan to save money and reduce expenditures, friction is key. Reducing the friction to save and increasing the friction to spend frivolously is key. Below are some tips to save money without giving anything up.
You may already have a budget created, but if you’re reading this it may need a tune up. Times of energetic shifts, be them holidays, birthdays, or (of course) New Year’s are a great time for evaluation. At this time, take a look at your spending habits, current budget, and savings goals. As unglamorous as it might sounds, creating a budget allows you to live your best life. After all, what’s fun about having your stress level tied to wavering finances?
There are thousands of templates online to give you a strong start to your budgeting practice. Some choose to stick with the traditional pen and paper while others prefer a spreadsheet. Choose whichever makes checking in with your budget easy, accessible, and friction-free for you.
Begin by identifying your monthly income. Next, subtract your monthly expenses bill by bill - mortgage payments, car payments, groceries, utilities, etc. The remainder should be portioned for extracurriculars. One of the most important things you can do (and should do!) is to pay yourself. That means putting money, however much or little, away into a savings account.
You don’t have to give up everything you want in order to save money, but the first step is to examine how much you spend and where the money goes. Not only does this give you a baseline for the amount you spend, it gives you a snapshot of your spending habits. Sales, coupons, discount codes, and sticking with generics will work to shave quite a few dollar bills off your monthly expenses, but it doesn’t help if you spend that money on something else you don’t need. As you consider saving tips, tricks, and methods, really evaluate your spending habits. What do you value the most: material things or experiences? Can you readily set a spending limit for yourself? Do you associate the newest, shiniest things with happiness? With social acceptance?
Tips and Tricks
● Free (Or Cheap) Fun
Seek out opportunities for free events, plan craft times, or go for a hike at a state park! Your imagination is the limit!
● Make Friends With Pinterest
You can make your own toys, games, and more!
● Buy in Bulk
Buy in bulk, but focus on non-perishable goods. After all, if it expires before you use it then you’re not saving!
● Get Thrifty
Thrift stores are your friend! Just remember to wash and treat everything immediately! Not only might you score some cheap swag, it’s an inexpensive and fun way to spend an afternoon.
● Automatically transfer money to your savings account.
Remember to always, always pay yourself first!
● Pay Bill on Time
Even if you can’t pay your bills on time, always call the utility company (or whomever) and be honest with them. Often times they’ll waive the late fee and even coordinate an extension.
● Menu Planning
Planning out your menu for the week can help you maximize your money and reduce waste.
Practice packing lunches and snacks, not just for your children, but also for yourself!
Saving money doesn’t have to be difficult, in fact, the easier you make it, the more likely you are to do it. We’re just scratching the surface of saving here, but the internet is rich with resources to help you reach your saving goals and financial security.