Being someone who would rather spend $1,000 on a plane ticket than $40 on a dress, it's important to figure out easy ways to save money in everyday life. Since it’s me supporting me, I’ve had to learn how to live on one income. Here are a few of my tricks.
1// SPEND AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE ON THE DAYS YOU WORK
I work anywhere from 5-6 days a week. During that time I do my best to save on the simple things that add up. Bring your lunch to work instead of buying. If you want coffee, pick the two days you think are going to be the hardest at work and stop and get coffee. For the rest of the days, bring your coffee from home.
2// SAVE ON COFFEE
When you are in line waiting to order, think through your options. You could get the black coffee, or you could get the large, double espresso, whip cream, bla bla. By making your order simple you not only will save yourself a few bucks but you will also save yourself calories. Win win!
I use a french press when I have the time, but if not good old drip coffee is a wonderful start to the morning!
3// KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE
Keep your goals in mind. It's so easy to buy things you don't really need when you feel stuck. Wouldn't you rather spend that money on a dress in Rome, or a baguette in France than on that kinda ok necklace from the mall?
When you plan on making an impulse purchase, think over where else you would rather be spending that money. Keep that visual in mind and slowly put down that dress you don’t really need.
4// GIVE YOURSELF SOME SPENDING MONEY
I know this sounds counter intuitive but it's important. If you spend weeks or months on end not spending any money, you're more likely to snap and buy a big ticket item just to buy something. I can always tell when I’m mentally getting to the point where if I don't buy at least something small soon I’m going to feel like I’m spending nothing. This isn’t about that, it’s about making your money work for you, not being afraid of money.
On your days off spend some money on yourself. The important part is that your spending your money wisely. If you buy a pizza and have a movie night with friends, you will be getting more for your money than if you bought that impulse dress we were talking bout before.
5// CLEAN YOUR CLOSET
There are many places that buy slightly used clothes. See what you wear and what has been sitting in your closet for months.
I read this tip and it has been a favorite of mine for my entire home. If you don't have a happy feeling when you see that item, it should go. Isn't that fantastically simple but so impactfull! If you look at an item and think of a memory that you don't like, or don't have any happy feelings about it, why do you still own it? Life is too short to keep items around for the '“someday”. If it doens’t make you feel happy to see that sweater, get rid of it!
6// READ THE PRICE TAGS
That little heartbreaking white tag is an important one to read before you fall in love with an article of clothing that is out of your price range. When you do find a piece that you love, but it's just a little too much money, save that item in your mind and check for it at other stores that are more cost effective. There are a lot of "look a likes" out there, you just have to hunt for them.
It’s a good rule of thumb to look at the price tag even before considering purchasing an item, that way you know you’re realistically looking for what is in your budget. I’ve had many a time when I’ve picked up and item, looked at the price tag, and then slowly backed away.
7// SAVE WITHOUT THINKING ABOUT IT
At my job there is an option for me to have part of my paycheck go automatically into a 401k. Now, it's not always fun to have less on my paycheck, but I know I'm automatically saving for the future.
The earlier you start to save money the better, due to interest and a bunch of other boring stuff. Are there any passive savings that you can start today? What does your job offer as an additional benefit?
8// HANG DRY YOUR CLOTHES
I've accidentally brought myself to this point because I keep buying clothes that are "line dry" or "lay flat to dry." I really don't mind it. It helps me save on electricity and my clothes aren't shrinking.
Sweaters and dresses I’ve found this to be a huge life saver with. I remember once in college. I loved this one dress that I bought. It was beautiful and red, and I was going to wear it forever! Except I only got to wear it once because I accidentally put it in the dryer and it shrunk to basically the size of a top. I was not pleased at all! Lay clothes out to dry!
9// EXPLORE LOCAL
See what's happening locally by checking your local town calendar. Art Fairs and Festivals are good ways to explore and spend little. You can buy breakfast and walk around for a few hours. That way you're getting out of your house, and still saving money.
Check in your local coffee shop and see what they have pinned on the cork board. There tend to be free days at museums, or concert in the park type series where you are paying nothing and you get to explore a place you would normally have to pay to get into.
10// PHYSICALLY HAND YOUR MONEY OVER
Keep track of what your spending. For some, if you have cash in hand it's harder to spend money because you are literally seeing it leave you.
I love food! I also love coffee! I also love saving my money. It’s so intense when I have to hand over $8 for a coffee and a pastry. I start to think of ways that I can just cook at home and bake a loaf of pumpkin break and not spend the $4.
11// GO GROCERY SHOPPING WITH A LIST
Don’t go in hungry, it’s a bad decision! You’ll end up leaving with candies and chocolates and three bags of snacks that you didn’t need. On the flip side of that, if you plan out your meals and stick to a list when you’re at the grocery store, you’re much more likely to leave with only what you need.
On a sub tip on that. If you’re at a Target style store where there are home good items as well as grocery items, don’t let yourself wonder into the other sections. Stay focused, get in, get groceries, and get out!
12// FINISH READING YOUR CURRENT BOOK BEFORE PURCHASING ANOTHER BOOK.
If you have a book on your" “I want to read this” list, finish your current book before purchasing the physical or kindle version of the next book. By focusing on one book at a time will you not only actually have a better chance of finishing that book and feeling that accomplishment, but you also know you’re not going to purchase another book until you finish the book you currently have on your shelf.
13// STRETCH YOUR MONEY BY SHOPPING AT THRIFT STORES.
I personally love this one! Finding a pair of Zara jeans for $7 is so much more satisfying than spending $80+ on the same pair. I’ve found such killer items for a third of the price.
14// DON’T COMPARE
Remember that phrase “Keeping up with the Joneses”? It’s exhausting, so don’t try. Focus more on what you need that what someone else is telling you that you want. There are so many places telling you that your’e not enough as you are, but you are enough! Focus more on the internal than the external and you’ll even have a more healthy mindset!
15// WRITE DOWN YOUR “WHY”
Once you find out your “why”, not purchasing that dessert at dinner or not purchasing that shirt from your favorite clothing brand will become easier because you understand why you’re temporarily giving those up.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you decide to make your coffee at home from one of my suggestions, I would receive a small amount of money, at no additional cost to you!