Saving money can be so intimidating. After you're done paying the bills no matter hard you try it seems like there is rarely anything left over.
Do you ever feel this way? I have. You are not alone.
However, if you re-read what I just wrote keep in mind I said have. As in past tense.
Over the years I have started to pick up a few habits from other women that are just rockstars at saving money. And these habits have been the difference between me having a few extra bucks every month and looking forward to a cup o noodle and a bottle of two buck chuck because that is all my budget will afford.
There are a number of money-saving habits online. And while I can easily have a list of over 100 ways you can save I have decided to stick to a list of things that I actually do.
Disclaimer: I did not do all these things in one shot. I started to implement these things on a rolling basis. Before you jump in head first test the water out. Start with one. Establish it as a habit. Then move on to the next. This gives you a hire liklihood of actually sticking to it.
Ok so let's get on with the list.
Have a Budget and Stick to It
Having a budget is key regardless of how much money you make. Even people that make six and seven figures have budgets. While it may seem restrictive to feel like you have to stick to whatever number is on an excel spreadsheet the freedom you get from knowing that you have control over your money is well worth it
Since implementing a budget I have found that I am less stressed about whether I can actually afford something. I know because I sat down and figured it out.
If you don't have a budget set some time out to put together a budget. You can keep it simple. You can do with a piece a paper and a pen or in a google spreadsheet. Just enter how much money you have coming in. List how much you're spending and tweak accordingly. There is no need to get complicated with it.
Pay Off Debt
Debt is easily the biggest money pit for anyone. So if you're drowning debt the first thing you want to do is figure a way to start paying that down. Watch your spending and try to put as much as you can towards your highest interest rate debt every month.
And be patient. As long as you are consistent and pay just a little extra every month that debt will slowly disappear. And soon enough you will find yourself with a whole lot of extra cash when you have one less bill to deal with.
Use Credit Cards Wisely
Credit cards can actually be a great way to save money. We personally use our credit cards for everything.
I know. I know. I am contradicting myself but hear me out.
If you want credit cards to work in your favor here is what you need to do.
First. Find a credit card that has great rewards for your lifestyle. So, for example, I have a Delta Skymiles card that I earn airline miles with. This is how I am able to travel as much as I do because those points usually cover a good portion of my flights.
Second. Pay off your car every single month. Your card should be zero balance every month. This is where you have to be very disciplined.
If you know that you can't be disciplined enough then just forget about credit cards altogether.
Shop Often, Buy Sparingly
Ok. Fine if I lost you that is cool.
I mean how is it is possible to shop til you drop but yet not be broke.
There is a difference between shopping and spending. When you shop around you get to know how much things costs. You understand the value of certain products. Is that $200 vacuum really just as good as the $500 one? Do I really need another pair of black slacks, even if they are on a crazy sale for only $10?
Be mindful of your money habits. If you find yourself constantly buying and spending and needing stuff then it is time to check yourself.
Instead of just spending without putting thought to it become aware. You will find that you will start to second guess yourself. And that means spending less and having more cash in the back. Woot! Woot!
Have an Emergency Fund
We live in a world where we never know what to expect from one day to the next. An unexpected event like a job loss or illness are usually the most common ways that people go into extreme debt and possibly bankruptcy.
But what about things like your car breaks down, you lose your wallet or you have make a costly repair on your home. Without an emergency fund, these things can easily knock you right off track.
You can start by saving enough money to cover you for at least 3 months. However, ideally, you should shoot for 6 plus months. While it is important to have this money set aside should you lose your job this is also good to have if you just need any other life events that may unexpectedly come your way. If you want an easy way to get a jump start on your savings check out one of these money saving challenges.
Doesn't spend money for appearances
Do you have that friend that always seems to have the latest trends? Her nails are perfect. And her hair looks like she just walked off of a movie set?
Now is that same friend the one that never seems to have any money for anything?
Yeah. I know her. I used to be her.
And if you are that person well it is time for a reality check.
Instead of spending money to look rich try saving money so you can actually be rich. Be careful of spending for appearances. Before you splurge on those Louboutins or that fancy car make sure that you can actually truly afford it.
Learn some tips and tricks on how to stop spending money so you can save more.
If all your bills are paid, you have no debt and your savings is topped off then go for it.
But until you get to that point stick to the things you can afford. Before you know it you will actually be able to afford those things you really want to splurge on and not feel stressed out about it.
Money Savings Habits to Try Today
There are truly small things that we do every day that we don't realize are hurting us financially. The good news is that with small changes we can easily kick those bad habits and replace them with new ones.
And the best part. You can start implementing these today regardless of your budget. So give it a try and let me know how they work out for you.