One of the most significant decisions that you will make daily are concerns about financial choices. From the little spending of your regular coffee to your shopping spree haul, sometimes, it somehow feels as if it is challenging to stop the habit of spending.
Then regret comes later on when you realize that you have been spending your hard-earned money on things that you thought were useful, but ended up not using at all.
This article presents you with tips on how to save more and spend less:
Write down a budget
Writing down a clear and defined budget can help you spend less. When you have a written budget, you know where every single drop of your money goes. In this manner, you become more conscious of your budgetary decisions. Writing down a budget is also one of the best ways on how to save money with no hassle.
Writing down a budget is not too difficult to do, as most monthly expenses are often fixed and routinary.
To hit you even further with the truth of your spending decisions, a budget can show you which aspects you are wasting your money on. The rule of thumb to remember is not to spend more than you earn.
Know what triggers you to spend more
Spending and buying habits can be attributed to emotional or psychological problems that you may be going through. For example, after a bad day at work, you may have the tendency to splurge on an expensive meal or a shopping spree.
While eating and shopping, you are temporarily relieved of your stress. However, once you reach home, you still sulk and end up worrying even more because of the bill that you just spent on your spree.
When you understand and pinpoint what it is that triggers you to spend, you can handle and manage these better, and you start to finally decide not to rely on shopping to you relieve stress.
Think twice before buying something
The easiest way to fall into the trap of overspending is when you give in to your impulsive buying habits. When you enter a department store, a dress or a pair of shoes might be speaking to you, as if luring you to take them home. When you fall into this situation, ask yourself the following:
- Do I really need this right now?
- Can I make the most use out of this?
- Is it something that I like?
Take time to think about these things first, or sleep on it through the night. You might be surprised to realize the next day that you didn’t actually need or even like that item you were initially eyeing to buy.
Stop using your credit card
A credit card is an excellent tool if it is used wisely. However, once you start to use your card to buy things that you don’t actually need or even want, this is where the trap of debt begins.
It is so easy to overspend with a credit card because it is like a magic card that increases your capacity to spend higher, despite the absence of cash on hand. Do remember, though, that it is a debt that you will have to pay for later on, and it is not worth going into debt for that thousand-dollar bag you do not need at the moment.
Letting go of your credit card can bring you closer towards financial freedom for this year as you become less prone to incurring debts.
Cut down any of your subscriptions
Having many monthly subscriptions is not something that you may need. For example, you have subscribed to a monthly gym membership, but because of your schedule, you really only go to the gym once a week. Perhaps the cost of maintaining all these memberships are more than the price of simply paying for every session that you will actually attend.
Take time to review your subscriptions and check if there are any that you don’t necessarily need. These monthly subscriptions can immediately stack up your expenses, which you can instead use for savings.
Set short-term financial goals
One of the biggest goal-setting mistakes usually made is having the tendency to set more long-term financial goals instead of short-term ones. Set short-term goals instead, as these are often more attainable and achievable. Be specific about your goals.
For example: instead of saying, “I will spend less on shopping in the next six months,” you can write down instead, “I will cut down my shopping expense from 500 USD every six months to 250 USD.”
In that example, you have a better, more quantifiable, and specific financial goal. When you have this in mind, you can even track if your expenses have gone over the limit you have set for yourself.
Avoid going to shops
When you have extra free time on your hands, use this wisely instead of spending it at the mall for your afternoon coffee. Once you step out of your home without a direction in mind, it is easier for you to get lured into visiting shops instead.
What makes it even worse is that by the time you reach the mall, you might realize that they have a big sale going on, and here you start to take advantage of the sale, purchasing things thoughtlessly and later realizing you didn’t get to use them.
Budget experts have used a simple strategy to save more: designate at least one to two days every week for a no-spend day, where you do not shell out a single dollar out of your pocket. When you can, stay at home instead and do more productive things.
Pack your own lunch and coffee to work
A significant chunk of one’s monthly expenses often go to food. One of the easiest ways for you to spend less on food is to practice the habit of packing your own lunch, snacks, and bringing your tumbler of water and coffee to work.
When you have food with you, you are less tempted to purchase from your canteen or a nearby restaurant. Remember, that 20-dollar chicken fajita wrap and salad over lunch do pile up, if done regularly, or worse, daily.
When you have your food beside you, you are more conscious about not spending your money.
Bring only the amount you need, and leave your credit card at home
If your day is merely comprised of going to work and coming back home, it is best if you just leave your credit card at home, and bring only the amount of money that you need. When you carry less cash with you, you have a lesser impulse to buy something that you passed by on your way home.
For example, you certainly do not need to carry 100 USD with you when you only need 10 USD at most for your commute back home.
Learning how to save more and be wiser with financial decisions can seem like a difficult task. However, once you get the hang of it, you realize that the benefits are endless. For starters, you will have extra money on your savings account to help prepare for contingencies in the future.
In addition, your hard-earned money goes to more important things rather than expensive items that you might not even use more than once.