FTC: This post is not sponsored and I am not a financial advisor. All thoughts and weird opinions are my own.
Sometimes when you are saving money long term and working on your budget it can be daunting and seem like it is ineffective if you don’t start rolling in dough right away. It is not possible to go from zero to 100 in one leap. Budgeting is a slow and steady process that has great rewards if we stay focused and keep our head in the game/ and our wallets out of the stores.
We are human though and often times instant gratification is the key to our hearts, mine included. With these 12 tips/steps/ways to save money every day you get the instant gratification we desire and keep the focus to go long term with your budgeting progress.
12 Ways To Save Money Everyday
1. Plan Your Meals For The Week: A lot of saving money will consist of you giving up a bit of your time (at least in the beginning until you get the hang of it). This step/way for you to save money every day would have to be done once a week and really could take you anywhere from 30 mins to an hour depending on how extensive your planning is. Usually I plan my meals right before I go food shopping so this way I’m not just randomly grabbing things from the shelves and spending more money than I need to.
2. Weekly Money Date: Pick a date once a week where you check in with your self and your money. What does that mean? This is where you see how much money you have, and where you’ve spent it. If you’re seeing constant trips to Dunkin Donuts and Wendy’s chances are you need to reconsider some choices. If doing this every week is too time consuming, or overwhelming you can also make it a bi-weekly money date where you look at your statements in between pay dates. By actively keeping an eye on your money choices you can make better choices tomorrow.
3. Potluck instead of eating out: As a new homeowner this is one of the ways to save money that I’m actually pretty excited about. We all know that eating out can add up fast and eat up a good chunk of your monthly budget. Instead of going out to eat constantly try throwing in some potluck dinner/lunch options for you and your friends. This way you can create a dish that you planned for (see way #1 again), try out multiple other dishes your friends have made, and don’t have to worry about splitting the bill and leaving a tip.
4. Skip Starbucks + Make Coffee At Home: Treating yourself to Starbucks every now and then is absolutely okay. It is important to remember when saving money to always allow yourself to do things that you enjoy in moderation. This means if you need a quick Starbucks fix go ahead and grab it. BUT this does not mean that you go to Starbucks every day and spend 3-6 dollars on drinks you can make at home. I’m not a coffee drinker so I don’t know all the varieties and options out there, but I do know that you can make coffee at home and if you get yourself a Keurig and some K-Cups (always try to catch those on sale) you can even make yourself some of the fancy stuff too!
5. Wait 48 Hours When Online Shopping: With an increase in online shopping, I find that I have had a much harder time controlling my impulse. That’s one of the best parts of online shopping. The high/rush you feel adding things to your cart, purchasing and waiting impatiently by the door for the shipment to arrive. However I’ve set this rule for myself and I find that it has helped me decrease the amount of impulsive buys I make just because something shiny just so happens to be on sale. Instead of buying something right away that I really want, I wait two days. If at the end of the 48 hours I still want it, or can make a decent case for why I need it, then I buy it. If not, then I don’t. Most of the time I forget to even go back to the item which shows that I didn’t really need/want it in the first place.
6. DIY: Now… I add this step to the list with great caution because there are many times when DIY actually will be more expensive. You have to weigh out the options when it comes to DIY. For example I watched a video where a woman DIY’d her vanity to make it appear similar to the IKEA Alex desk that bloggers love. When she calculated the amount of money she spent it was about 30 dollars less than it would have been to simply buy the desk from IKEA. After taking about 2 hours to build the drawers, and the time to get wood cut, laminated…etc it just wasn’t worth it to me. However there are other times when DIY can save you a pretty penny, and honestly after building a desk and bookshelves from IKEA I do look at my built/DIY items with great pride/admiration.
7. Track Your Progress: You need to get some sort of digital app or archaic paper option to track your progress. Sometimes tracking progress can make it seem that you aren’t getting anywhere so you should only check your progress as many times that makes you feel empowered. If that means once a week, once every other week or once a month. However you want to track your progress and track it honestly. For me that meant sharing my progress with you lovelies on Instagram. I would check my progress once a month, and post it for the world to see. Even though I didn’t check in with myself more frequently, I would always keep in mind how the numbers were adding up whether it was saving or spending.
8. Read A Personal Finance Book: Whenever you think you know everything that is when you’ve failed yourself. As much as I’d like to say that I know about finance, there is always more to learn. There are tons of personal finance books out there, some are a drag and some are remarkable. They are really based on your needs, and level of knowledge, but I’ve written a Building Financial Freedom E-Book that helps beginners and masters of money alike. These 50 pages outline things from purchasing your first home, and getting things removed from your credit report.
And if you’re not a huge fan of reading you could start your journey to learn more about personal finance from my fave Shameless Maya with her latest video: Destroying My Credit + Going Broke
9. Use An Automated Tool: I’ve set up my mortgage to be removed from my account automatically, because I simply don’t want to be bothered to remember to make the payment. I know that sounds lazy AF and it is, but if I can make any part of this adulting thing easier, than that is what I am going to do. That is also what I do with my bills and my savings. Use an automated tool that will help you save even when you would rather buy that Gucci belt you see all the influencers on Instagram wearing. Even if it is simply taking fifty dollars from your checking and putting it into your savings on pay day, that will make saving every day a lot easier when it is automatically done for you.
10. Make A Grocery Shopping List: Like I mentioned in step #1, when you are going grocery shopping everything seems like you need it when it is in front of you. However with your meals planned out for the week , you can look in your cupboards and see what you have and what you are out of. You only need to buy what you are out of in order to make your meals. When you go into the grocery store, you only purchase exactly what is on your list, and not what you want to try, or what is on sale. That is how the coins go flying out of your pocket without you even realizing.
11.Discounts on Entertainment: Everything entertaining doesn’t have to cost money. Especially if you live in a major city like NYC or LA, there are tons of cool things to do for free year round. It is worth taking some time to look up the cool things to do in your city that don’t cost much if anything at all.
12. Map Out Major Purchases: Set up a damn sinking fund already! I’ve been screaming this from the roof tops for months now. If you know that you have a major expense, or major purchase that you want to make, then you need to curtail your impulse and start saving for it in advance. If you know you want that 2,000 bag, figure out how much you need to put aside for X amount of time so it doesn’t completely ruin your budget and savings goals.
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Hey there! I’m Melissa, co-founder of Trials n Tresses, natural hair and beauty lover, binge tv watcher and lover of life. When I am not creating content for TNT, I’m busy teaching the future of society.