As some of you already know, I am a huge proponent of saving money without cutting out the enjoyable parts of life! Once I started working and driving, I quickly learned that I had to save money and allocate portions of my paycheck to things like gas and insurance. All of a sudden Venti Frappucinos from Starbucks and trendy clothing had to take a backseat. Even though I’m all for a great deal, I do believe in spending your money on the enjoyable parts of your life as well. Here are some of my suggestions for spending and saving the smart way!
If You Know You’re Broke, Avoid the Mall
Think of it like this: you’re addicted to gambling. Last thing you should do is go to the local casino. Well when you’re in between paychecks, avoid shopping malls and centers as much as you possibly can! I know that when I’m broke that I need to avoid tempting establishments such as Target and Forever 21 to maintain a positive amount in my checking account. When you’re tempted, you’re in a much weaker purchasing state. The best way to avoid impulse shopping is to take shopping out of the equation entirely.
Go for the Cheaper Food Option at Restaurants
There are so many ways to do this! I find myself getting water instead of a drink when I go out to eat now. Yeah, I’m only saving two to three dollars per meal, but those dollars can ad up pretty quickly. When I’m at Chipotle, the guacamole is a must-have for me. Well, if you get a veggie bowl or burrito, guac is free (which is wonderful since it usually costs extra). I don’t normally get meat, but I definitely avoid adding chorizo to my burrito on my money pinching days just so I can get my favorite green topping for free.
Go to Bars that Have Happy Hours or 2-for-1 Specials
Drinking can be fun, but it can also get very expensive! If you’re okay with skipping the club here and there, spring for a place where there are cheaper drinks or a decent happy hour! Unless you’re an alcohol connoisseur, either try to go for a beer or maybe choose the cheaper grade of tequila or vodka in your mixed drinks. Any little bit you can save money on, the more you’ll have to spend on other things as the week goes on. Of course skipping going out altogether for a weekend here and there helps as well!
Try to Pay Bills as Soon as Your Paycheck Comes In
I’ve found that paying any bills right away or setting money aside immediately when your paycheck comes in can help out a ton with spending your money wisely! Once you see how much of your paycheck has been subtracted just for your necessities, it might change your outlook on your weekly spending habits. Sometimes we all need that swift kick in the butt to shape up by staring our lack of money straight in the face!
Stay In At Least 3 Days a Week
I try to have at least three days a week where I don’t go out to eat on my lunch break and go straight home after work. Not only is this good for dietary and sleeping reasons, but it helps me save quite a bit of money. Besides saving money, it also makes going out more special and novelty. Going out isn’t nearly as fun when it becomes a daily routine. You can also do more fun things at home to make your lack of going out seem more tolerable!
It’s no fun saving money, but it’s a lot more fun than being in loads of debt! Instead of having a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out) try putting your finances in perspective and save where you can!
Infographic of the Week:
Question of the Week:
What tips do you have for saving money?