Saving money is always a good idea, but it can be difficult to find a balance between having fun and knowing when to cut back on your spending. Whether it’s for a new car, a new sofa, paying off student loans, or to have an emergency fund, having a plan to save will help you reach your goal faster. With a few easy swaps you’ll be able to save cash without feeling like you’re sacrificing your current lifestyle. You’ll be able to say ‘hello’ to that new car in no time!
Easy Ways to Save Money
Treat Yourself (Less)
When you’re eyeing a new shirt in the store, or even that gourmet pint of ice cream, it’s easy to use the treat-yo-self mentality as a reason to buy it. Everyone deserves to splurge on something for themselves once in a while, but once in a while can easily turn in to once a week. When you treat yourself often those special items or dinners out start to feel less special. Focus on saving and only treat yourself every few months.
Download an App
These days there is an app for everything, including budgeting! Many apps allow you to connect your bank account and credit cards so you can manage your monthly expenses in one place. See how much you’re spending, when bills are due, and set monthly budgets for categories like clothing, fast food, beauty, and entertainment. Seeing how much your spending in plan view will encourage you to cut back.
Make Your Favorite Meals at Home
You know that Chicken Parmesan from your favorite restaurant? The one with the yummy cheese that comes with a side of garlic bread? Learn how to make it at home! Cooking dinner instead of eating out is a simple way to save a lot of money. Dinner out is often two or three times the cost of making the same meal at home! Cooking is also a great activity to do with your spouse, friend, or roommate and you may even discover you have a true talent for it.
Spend Some Nights In
Going out is a lot of fun, but the bill can add up quickly. Trips to the movies, your favorite bar, a concert, or brunch with the girls all cost money that could be used elsewhere. Instead of declining the next time your friends invite you out, invite them over instead. Host a potluck, game night, movie night, or just enjoy catching up without having to yell over the noise of a crowded bar. If you want to get out of your apartment for the afternoon consider a free activity. Hiking, going on a walk, volunteering, or playing Frisbee at the local park are all free of charge!
Move Money to Your Savings Account
At the end of the month check on your budgeting app and see how you’ve done. If all went well, you should have some extra money in your bank account. Now is the time to move it to your savings account so you aren’t tempted to spend it.
The more you continue to make small changes, the more money you’ll accumulate in your savings account. Buy one less latte a week, bring lunch to work, and repair the hole in your coat pocket instead of tossing it out.