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Spending unnecessary money is so wrong but at times, it can feel so right. If you were to look at all the money you spend on nonsense you’d be surprised. All that wasted money could be spent on meaningful things like taking vacations, investing in a business venture or even paying off debts instead of material things that we end up losing or not caring about in a weeks time.
When my hours got cut at work, I realized that all the money that I had wasted on brunches and happy hours, fast food and more makeup up than I can ever wear had finally come back to bite me in the ass. Wasted money meant I couldn’t put as much money into things that were important to me, like my site or making a move to a new city. I’m still on my road to real financial responsibility but I’ve definitely learned many things on the way and developed a few easy habits that have been helping me along the way.
Here’s a few ways you can easily save money so you won’t have to learn the hard way like I did.
Keep a money app handy
This was the first thing that got me to realize that I spent way too much money on unimportant things (specifically fast food and dining). When I got that alert saying that I spent over $400 in ONE month on food and dining I quickly straightened up my act. Seeing is believing and when you have a budgeting app like Mint, you will be more aware of your spending and make better money spending decisions.
Related Article: Read more about Mint and other productivity apps that I’m loving right now here
Make your friends and family hold you accountable if you can’t do it yourself.
If you can’t trust your friends and family to have your best interest in mind, who else can you trust? These two groups of people are who you can always count on to tell you about yourself and get you in check, so make sure you get their help if you can. You don’t have to tell them every little detail or have them micro finance you but just tell them to respectively “check you” if they notice you’re doing unnecessary spending. It helps.
Make a budget and stick to it and write everything down
Much like a budgeting app, an actual budget (via spreadsheet) also put’s your spending into perspective. Keep track of everything transaction by transaction. FYI Microsoft Excel has budget templates that you can use. Also, you can google them…just like everything else.
Stop spending before you get it!
Planned purchases when you don’t have the funds, at the time of planning them, is so problematic. Literally your money is gone before it even gets a chance to marinade in your bank account. Just chill for a sec…k?
Besides the fact that it can be unhealthy if not done in moderation, restaurants and fast food will drain your pockets. Instead of going to a restuarant, having to pay someone a tip for serving you etc. pay it forward to yourself. God gave you two hands for a reason. A moment on your lips is a lifetime on your hips and on your bank account. That money is gone…
Cut corners where you can without it making yourself uncomfortable
No, you don’t have to live like a caveman, just cut back on things a little. Make your morning coffee at home, shop the sales instead of splurging on full priced clothing, make brunch at home instead of going to a restaurant. Little things like that count and can help you along the way.
Carry Cash and stash the cards at home
With cards, you swipe swipe swipe, then look at your bank account days or weeks later and say to yourself “Damn, I’ve been literally doing too much.” Set an amount that you will spend for the week, withdraw it from the bank and only use that to get you through to the next week. Once again, seeing is believing. When you have the cash to see in front of you, you know exactly how much you’re spending. You can’t fake the funk by hiding behind plastic.
Personally, I usually hate carrying cash because as a teen I would always lose it but it makes a big difference. Having the cash in hand stops you from swiping with no regard.
All in all, you shouldn’t just save money when things get tight. Always give yourself a little cushion because life happens.