This month, I’ve been trying really hard to save money, but sometimes it just seems impossible when all I want to do is eat out (re: guilty pleasure + lazy). Since i’m going on a few mini vacations and weddings this year, I don’t want to blow my budget, but it’s hard to keep motivated when I can just swipe my credit card and pay it later.
In relationships, it’s hard not to spend more. With a date for 2 here, a fancy meal for an anniversary there, and buying each other gifts at random times, it all adds up. Though I would love to spoil someone, I know I also need to be reasonable. Working is the same for me. Oh, a co-worker wants to go out to eat, or I just have to buy that new pen set because it matches with everything I own. My excuse? My desk needs to look cute just in case someone happens to stop by.
I’m not trying to say spending money is bad, especially when you have that hard earned paycheck, but if you’re anything like me and want to save for a big purchase item down the road (car, house, kids, school, etc), here are my super simple personal tips to saving just a little at a time.
- Keep a budget. I use the app “Expense Tracking” and basically told everyone around me about it. It’s literally the simplest app that you type in what you bought, sorts it by categories, and lets you set a limit on how much you want to spend each month. However, don’t forget to account for additional things you don’t always intend to buy. For instance, I ran out of toilet paper… ugh. That’s an expense I didn’t have for a while. I also need to get my oil change…sigh.
- Coupon. I know this sounds old school and cheap, but trust me, with data nowadays, it’s quicker than going to the bank to get more money. Simply google the store and coupons to see if you can save. I just saved 20% at Souplantation this weekend because it took 10 seconds…
- Cook. This is my hardest thing to do since I absolutely love eating out. But I realized how much it really does save. So instead, save eating out for the special occasions and start having a cooking date night with your significant other instead.
- Wait for it… I’m a sucker for window shopping, but I’m also indecisive. Before I buy something, I walk around the mall and if i’m still thinking about it, I’ll go back and buy it. That’s how I know I want it that bad.
- Buy the cheaper brand if reasonable. I’m all about quality over quantity and I do splurge on some bigger ticket items that will last me. My Kate Spade purse? Been using it every day for over 2 years now and still getting complements. However, my flip flops I wear poolside once in a while? No need to splurge on those Tory Burch’s when I can get them at Old Navy. No one’s going to be looking at my slippers when I’m in the pool!
- A little goes a long way. If keeping a budget is too hard for you at the moment, set a goal for yourself to put a small dollar amount in a jar each month. Even $50 each month can make a difference!
I know you’ve probably heard all these before, but I wanted to share my little tips and tricks to save. It’s been a hard month, yes, but in reality, you just have to have the willpower to do so. I know we all don’t want to live paycheck to paycheck and we do deserve to splurge once in awhile, but it’s also important to make sure you have enough for your future. Cheers to a great career, relationship, and saving for your Peanut Butter!