Saving money seems like such a daunting task, doesn’t it?
“Money is just a piece of paper.” Yes, it’s true. That $100 bill is just a piece of paper. However, it’s that piece of paper that makes sure you have clothes on your back, food in your child’s tummy and a roof over your family’s head.
We can keep telling ourselves that budgeting isn’t important but it is.
Saving money doesn’t have to be so scary though. You don’t have to give up your happiness. You just need to give up the idea that money is happiness.
Financial security will bring you a little bit of peace though.
How many times have you sat up at night wondering how you’ll pay this bill or when you’ll be able to take that vacation?
You can change that with just a few simple lifestyle changes! I don’t mean to make it sound like it won’t take work, dedication, and a little self control. It will. It is so worth it though
So here they are, 5 Simple Steps to Start Saving Money:
1. Be Mindful
Being mindful of how long you let the water run before actually getting in the shower or how many times you forget to shut off the lights on your way out the door or how often you throw out groceries because they’ve gone bad can seriously save you some cash.
Have you ever read those articles where people were mindful of unplugging their phone chargers when they weren’t using them and were able to save hundreds? They aren’t lying. Little things like that can just be a leak in your bank account. Slowly draining you of every last penny you have.
We’ll get more into things like this in later posts.
Have you ever been shopping at a furniture or decor store and saw the most beautiful, rustic-looking chair you have ever seen it and bought it on the spot? Even if it did cost you a years worth of electricity bills.
Yeah, me neither. Ahem.
Consider this. Instead of buying a rustic looking piece with a brand new price tag, go to a rummage sale. You can get something that’s actual rustic. For $10. Then head online, find a project and Do It Yourself.
It feels really cool to tell people you made something too. Just sayin’.
But don’t stop there! Make your own bread. Your own butter. Your own everything! Grow your own veggies! Seriously, it’s fun. (Makes for good gifts too.) We’ll be getting into that in later posts, too.
3. Don’t buy it, if you don’t need it.
That sounds like an obvious one but you’d be surprised. Those big sale signs and clearance stickers are an adrenaline rush for most. One sale that gets me is BOGO. Do I really need a second shampoo? If there wasn’t a BOGO sign under this, would I feel the need to buy 2? Probably not.
They also get you with the 2/$4 or 5/$10 deals. Most of the time, they don’t require you to buy that many items and you can get just one for the same deal but seeing the number of items before the price makes you believe you have to buy that many items to get the deal.
Retail stores want you to spend all of your money. That’s what they’re in business for. The more you spend, the more they make. So you have to make a conscious effort to pay attention to where your money is really going.
4. Make a budget. Stick to it.
My budget is really very simple. I write down what our expected income is (from our jobs, bonuses, extra, side gigs, hustlin’, etc.) and what our expected bills and other expenses are. Then as they come in I write down the actual income and then the actual expenses. Then at the end of the month, I can calculate how much we’re spending vs receiving and also make adjustments for next months expenses.
It makes life so much less hectic. There’s less mistakes. Which makes for less stress.
5. Learn how to have fun, for free!
Think about how many times you’ve gone online shopping just because you were bored. I used to do it all the time. I’d get an email from some online boutique that said SALE! and it was game over. I was going to buy that really cute pair of shoes that I knew I would never wear. But hey, they were on SALE! so obviously I needed them.
Shopping isn’t the only way we’re wasting money on entertainment. Concerts, bowling, mini golfing, movies, carnivals, etc. They honestly all have much cheaper alternatives. You just have to be willing to give them up.
For date night, instead of spending an easy $40 at the moves and twice that on dinner, cook at home together and eat by candle light. Then cuddle up on the couch with a $1 rental movie and enjoy each other’s company! Right there is a savings of around $80!
Buy a game system that you can play virtual bowling on and have countless hours of fun for the whole family and you’ll be saving money in the long run.
Or just go play at the park! It’s free and I guarentee you’ll have fun while getting in a little workout too.
With just these few small tips, you will be on your way to saving a ton of dough and you’ll be having fun in the process.
Have more tips? Share them with me in the comments!