I’ll be the first to admit that saving money is probably the thing I suck the most at. I am AWFUL at it. I tend to be in a 24/7 “treat yo-self” mindset and it has to stop. But as I’m getting older (gross) I’ve realized that saving money doesn’t have to be hard. So a few months ago I sat down with myself and made some realistic goals for how I could be better at saving – check them out below!
1. Making A Budget
I always thought that if I didn’t have a budget, that meant that I wasn’t really struggling. But realizing I was living paycheck to paycheck is a truth I couldn’t escape. So my first step was to make myself a budget. The essentials (rent, bills, gas, and groceries) were things that I couldn’t cut out of my budget, but I did leave a little wiggle room for the occasional girl’s night or a midday coffee. I cut out any extras right away (especially the gym membership that I hadn’t used in 4 months…) and decided I would put the rest into my savings account each month.
2. Setting A Goal
The most important thing for me when I was trying to figure out how I would stick to my budget was actually figuring out WHY I wanted to save money. So if you’re trying to save up some extra funds, it’s best to figure out early on what your goal is. Are you saving up for a car? A dream vacation? Trying to pay off your credit card? Whatever your goal is, make sure that you always remind yourself of it when you are tempted to break your budget!
3. Retiring My Credit Cards
Yes – I am one of those people who immediately ran up her credit card bill when she got one. And yes – I am one of those people who is still paying for it. So how have I managed to tackle my credit card bill? By retiring my credit card. Trying to save money is hard enough, but it’s even harder if you are still using a credit card and adding to your debt. So I’ve been extra good and have left my credit card at home the past few months so I wouldn’t depend on it.
4. Using Money-Saving Apps
One of the easiest ways that I’ve been able to save money is by using money-saving apps. The two apps that I use (Digit and Acorn) are set up to take small amounts out of your account every day or week. My Digit app takes out no more than $5 per day and my Acorns app takes out $5 a week plus any change rounded up from my debit card purchases. I found that this was an easy way for me to save my money because it was coming out of my account without me thinking I was spending it. (And if you’re thinking about downloading one of these apps, don’t worry – you can set limits for what it takes out of your account!)
5. Sticking To Cash
Using a debit or credit card can be a bit deceiving because it makes money seem less real. It takes away the tangible aspect of actually handing over your money for each purchase. I found that carrying cash and forcing myself to use it, meant that I was being more careful with what I was spending since parting with bills and change was harder for me than just swiping my credit card.
While I know that everyone is different, I do hope that if you’re looking to save some money that these tips can help you out! Do you have any other money-saving tips? Let me know in the comments!